Hong Kong: Asia’s World City

Landmarks & Icons

Hong Kong sunrise view from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Even if you’ve never been to Hong Kong, you’re probably aware of its appeal. Known as “Asia’s World City,” Hong Kong is one of the most bustling and vibrant cities on the planet. You can find anything you’re looking for here, from historical highlights to breathtaking views to incredible dishes from most every international cuisine you can think of. Whether you’re a foodie, a shopper, or a culture vulture, you’ll never run out of things to do on Hong Kong tours.

Although technically a part of China, Hong Kong has always made its own way in the world. It was a British colony until 1997 and to this day remains a bridge city between East and West. It’s also noticeably diverse, especially when compared to mainland China. Although the majority of citizens are ethnic Chinese, you’ll find plenty of Filipino, Indonesian, and European folks living and working within its borders. A huge benefit of this diversity is that most people speak English and the public transit is accommodating to tourists, making Hong Kong one of the easiest foreign cities to navigate.

Just as Hong Kong has cultural diversity, it’s also home to stunning visual contrasts. Towering skyscrapers define Hong Kong in the popular imagination, but the city began as a series of farming and fishing villages that now live in the shadow of the modern towers. In the second-half of the 20th century, Hong Kong became a banking city and it continues to be a significant centre in the world of finance.

There are a lot of memorable views within Hong Kong’s narrow borders, not least of which are views of the skyline. For the best vantage point, ascend Victoria Peak or head onto the harbour. Victoria Peak is the tallest hill in the city and its most popular landmark. You can ride the tram up to its peak and reach Sky Terrace 428, a viewing platform that offers 360° views of the city. The terrace is named after its height, as it stands 428m above sea level. You can gaze through the viewfinders or simply enjoy the views of the lush mountains or over-1,300 skyscrapers comprising the city skyline. To see Hong Kong from the water, simply join a harbour cruise or ride the Star Ferry across the harbour, connecting to either Kowloon or Hong Kong Island. Travellers on Hong Kong tours should also consider visiting Aberdeen Fishing Village, which is a remarkable series of floating boats and platforms in the harbour that house around 6,000 people.

Panorama of Hong Kong skyline from Kowloon, Hong Kong
Panorama of Hong Kong skyline from Kowloon

Aside from the remarkable sights of skyscrapers and floating villages, Hong Kong is best known for its food and shopping. In fact, you likely won’t find a better food city anywhere else in the world. If you love Cantonese or Sichuan cuisine, you’re in for a treat, but even if you favour French or Indian food, chances are you’ll find the best duck confit or chana masala of your life in Hong Kong. Head to Kowloon City or Lan Kwai Fong to find excellent restaurants where you can feast on culinary favourites and drink San Miguel, the most popular local beer.

The shopping in Hong Kong is as good as the food. Not only is the city home to world-class designers and massive malls, but there’s no sales tax, making it especially appealing to travellers coming from expensive home countries. Head to the Temple Street Night Market to experience a traditional market atmosphere and pick up some souvenirs. The city’s many malls and bespoke tailors will also accommodate you when it comes to brand-name electronics and stylish clothing.

Tourist visiting Mong Kok in Kowloon, Hong Kong
Visiting Mong Kok in Kowloon – a shopper’s paradise

At the end of all your eating, shopping, and sightseeing, you’ll have barely scratched the surface of never-ending highlights on Hong Kong tours. It’s truly is a world within a city and a place with something new to discover around every corner.