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24 Hours in Hong Kong

Boats in Hong Kong Bay

Hong Kong, off China's south coast, literally has something for everyone. With its city skyscape, colonial heritage, gorgeous countryside and peaceful beaches, it can be as hectic or relaxing as you make it. See Essential Travel's round-the-clock guide to Hong Kong and discover the best spot for Chinese tea and dim sum, where to catch a Cantonese opera and where to find the best aerial views over the city.

Lin Heung Tea House

Join the rest of Hong Kong for breakfast dim sum in one of the territory's many teahouses. Try har-gau (shrimps wrapped in translucent flour paper) or cha-siu-bao (steamed buns filled with barbecued pork) and wash it down with a soothing white tea, or bitter oolong.

  • Address: 160-164 Wellington Street
  • Tel: +852 2544 4556

10,000 Buddha Monastery or Ngong Ping

The Chinese love to perch their temples high up on hills... it may mean a strenuous climb, but the views and sense of retreat are usually worth the effort. Try two of Hong Kong's most popular temples: 10,000 Buddha Monastery in Sha Tin and Ngong Ping in Lantau. The former offers steep steps lined with more than 10,000 golden Buddhas; the latter boasts one of the largest statues of Buddha, a carnival-like atmosphere and cable cars to the peak.

Disneyland Hong Kong

Smaller (and tamer) than it's US and European counterparts, Disneyland Hong Kong is still a vibrant place to take the kids.

Island Beverley

Fashion heaven Island Beverley will keep hard to please teens satisfied for hours. The mall's dense network of boutiques is full of quirky teenage fashion and Japanese clothing and accessories that attract the after school crowd in their hordes.

  • Address: 1 Great George Street, Causeway Bay

Ocean Park

A sea life centre-cum-theme park, the Ocean Park is a must for families. Thrill seekers get to enjoy rides such as Abyss Turbo Drop and The Dragon Rollercoaster, while tots can go to Dolphin University or watch the Ocean Theatre.

Sam Ka Tsuen Seafood Precinct

Seafood fans should explore Lei Yue Mun around lunchtime. At the southern tip of Kowloon, the area is originally known for its seafood market, though a bustling restaurant scene has become its main draw.

  • Address: A 15 minute walk from Sam Ka Tsuen Ferry Pier, Kowloon

Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park

This marine park forgoes the glitz of most of Hong Kong's attractions in favour of quiet ecology. Its main concern is to protect and cultivate marine life including gorgeous, growing coral. The bay itself is a small area, but you can walk around Hoi Ha village and the bay's surrounding park land or take a bottomless boat trip to see the water life.

  • Address: Sai Kung West Country Park
  • Website: wwf.org.hk

Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The building may look like a skate ramp from the outside, but the Hong Kong Cultural Centre houses a world of arts. It's here you'll find major exhibitions, performing arts in various concert halls, music, talks and workshops.

Happy Valley Racecourse

Horseracing is Hong Kong's favourite sport and attracts huge crowds to the racetracks. Set amid high rise buildings, Happy Valley is one of the most atmospheric and frenetic place to join the locals.

Festival Walk

Festival Walk is one of Hong Kong's premier malls featuring more than 200 shops and 25 restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and Hong Kong's largest ice rink.

Lock Cha Tea Shop

You'll delight in many cups of Chinese tea in Hong Kong and will undoubtedly want to bring some back. Head to Lock Cha Tea Shop for the best tea leaves from Peony White to Phoenix Danchong - a fruity blend from Swatow. They also serve the freshest dim sum.

  • Address: Upper Ground Floor, 290A, Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan
  • Tel: 852 2805 1360
  • Website: www.lockcha.com

Sunbeam Theatre

This is a legendary place (often rumoured to be closing down, though going strong for now) to experience Cantonese opera. It's dedicated to the traditional art form so you can be sure of a weekly schedule of performances.

  • Address: 423 King's Road, North Point
  • Tel: +852 2856 0161

Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade & A Symphony Of Lights

Take an evening stroll along this promenade and enjoy gorgeous city skyline views of Hong Kong Island. Make sure you're there at 8pm for the spectacular sound and light show that takes over 40 buildings with light beams, music and (on special occasions) fireworks.

  • Address: Along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront between the Avenue of Stars and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre
  • Tel: +852 2508 1234

Forum

Famed for its abalone dishes (sea molluscs considered a delicacy), Forum has built a world wide reputation winning fans, awards and critical praise.

  • Address: 485 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay
  • Tel: +852 2891 2555

Temple Street Market

This late evening market is one of those hustle bustle affairs where you can snag anything from a rip-off designer bag to cheap as chips batteries. The atmosphere is lively and the street food yummy.

  • Address: Temple Street and around, Kowloon

Late Night Movie

Film is huge in Hong Kong and you can be sure of catching a movie (in English with Chinese subtitles) at any time of day. There's often late viewings at the weekends.

Beijing Club

This multi-floor club is the biggest, and flashiest, in Hong Kong. Music moves from cheese to house throughout the week.

Sky Lounge

This roof top bar can be found in the Sheraton Hotel &Towers and allows you to sip on a cocktail while taking in endless aerial views over the city.

Venetian Macao

All night ravers need to check the bill at Venetian Macao's The Poolside before all else. Huge dance nights stop off at this poolside bar/club in the VM hotel. Kinky Malinki and Hed Kandi both have events here.

All Night Long

This all night bar (sister venue to Dusk Till Dawn) usually has a cosy atmosphere with a mixed crowd of westerners and locals. Check the bill for regular live music.

  • Address: 9 Knutsford Terrace, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Tel: +852 2367 9487

Tsui Wah Restaurant

Fast, cheap and tasty Tsui Wah is good any time of day, but with several 24 hour branches, it's a good destination for an early morning snack. Try the fish balls and rice noodles, or Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Hong Kong Park

Unusual to say the least, Hong Kong Park is something of a wonderland. Expect strange additions to the green space such as artificial waterfall, indoor games hall, squash centre and aviary. There's also a viewing platform, museum and arts centre. Get there in the calm of the morning (when only t'ai chi masters will be practicing in the specially made garden) and soak up the mixed up scenery: skyscrapers on one side, mountains on the other.

Last Updated: November 2009