Hong Kong is not only one of the world's fastest growing financial centers, it also has a quickly expanding tourism industry. It's not surprising considering the amount of entertainment China's South coast offers. From museums and national landmarks to theme parks and shopping districts, Hong Kong offers a bit of fun for everyone. Renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor, Hong Kong is one of the most deeply populated areas in the world. The population is 95 percent Chinese, with their Han Chinese majority originating mainly from the cities of Guangzhou and Taishan in the neighboring Guangdong province.
Hong Kong is also a great destination for food lovers. As the culinary capital of Asia, they boasts more than 11,000 restaurants; many of them clustered in defined food districts. Aside from enjoying the best Cantonese and regional Chinese food, visitors can sample a full choice of authentic Asian cuisines and Western fare. Be sure to try the regional dim sum and fresh seafood, which is often caught locally. Shoppers will also delight in Hong Kong's diverse markets. Shops feature a variety of products and brands in all price ranges and have everything from glitzy malls to funky street fare. Whether you're looking for the latest electronic gadgets or traditional antiques, there is something for everyone.
Here's a sampling of what to do there:
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland was the first Disney theme park to open in Asia and offers fun and excitement for the whole family. The Hon Kong Disneyland is divided into four major attractions: Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and Main Street, USA. Stay in the two Disney-themed hotels for a bit of extra magic and make sure you check out Hong Kong Disneyland on Parade, which features your favorite characters singing and dancing along Main Street, USA. Watch as Donald Duck relives the memorable moments of Disney's animated films in the 3D show Mickey's PhilharMagic. For the more adventurous, there are also exciting rides like roller coaster Space Mountain. Small children will love fighting the aliens in the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters experience. Finish out your day by hopping on the Disneyland Railroad for a relaxing trip around the park.
One of the most popular things to do in Hong Kong is visit Victoria Peak or "The Peak" as it is called. The premier destination to get a great birds-eye view of downtown Hong Kong, Kowloon, and Victoria Harbor, at 1,810 feet above sea level, The Peak is a great place to take a hike. It is also an area packed with other entertainment, like great shopping and dining. Getting to the Peak via the Peak Tram is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. As one of the world's oldest and most famous funicular railways, the tram rises about 1,300 feet above sea level, and allows visitors to get a great view of the buildings and architecture that make Hong Kong so distinguishable. Be sure to visit the Peak Tower, with its iconic wok-like top, which offers a wide array of shops and dining opportunities. Visit the Sky Terrace for a stunning 360-degree panoramic view across Hong Kong. The nearby Sky Gallery showcases the works of the city's most talented artists, which is a great stop for art and cultural connoisseurs alike.
Lantau Island is the largest outlying island in Hong Kong and is known for its breathtaking countryside and lush green valleys. Not only are the island's surroundings beautiful, but it too is full of entertainment opportunities. No trip to Lantau would be complete without visiting Ngong Ping 360, a spectacular tourist attraction that features a 3.5-mile cable car ride up a mountainside. The 25-minute journey offers stunning panoramic views of the airport, South China Sea, lush mountains and valleys, and the awe-inspiring Giant Buddha statue. The cable car also takes you to the culturally themed Ngong Ping Village, which incorporates three major attractions: Walking with Buddha, Monkey's Tale Theatre and the Ngong Ping Tea House. If you're a history buff, head to the Tung Chung Fort, which was built in 1817 to thwart the opium trade and defend the coast from pirates. The Japanese army occupied the fort during World War II and in 1979 it was listed as one of the historical monuments of Hong Kong.
Filled with shopping and dining opportunities, Central District is home to Hong Kong Park and the Hong Kong Botanical and Zoological Garden. Emerging as one of the most popular places to go in Hong Kong, it is the heart of all commercial activities with the majority of banks and international companies operating here. A forest of tall skyscrapers with green hills behind populates the are and the most spectacular is the 590-feet-high tower of the Hong Kong Bank, designed by Norman Forster. The ferry pier in Central District is also a good starting point for sightseeing tours on Hong Kong Island and a pedestrian underpass leads from the pier to Statue Square, where you have a good view of the many impressive buildings that make up the skyline of Hong Kong.
If you're looking for off-the-beaten path things to do in Hong Kong, there is no better place to explore than Lamma Island. Just to the southwest of the more visited Hong Kong Island, it is the third largest island in the country. Lamma is an eclectic melting pot of art culture and Chinese tradition and features golden beaches, delicious seafood and fantastic hiking. With no cars allowed on the Lamma, bicycles are the main form of transportation. The island is also skyscraper-free and features only low-rise buildings, which allow for more spectacular views of your surroundings. Two of the most popular places to visit are the villages of Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. People come from all over the world to sample the seafood at Sok Kwu Wan's wide range of restaurants situated above the bay. On your way between the villages, visit Sham Wan beach to see the only site in Hong Kong where green turtles regularly lay their eggs.