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What to see and do in Hong Kong – a guide to the best views and where to relax

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Stooped in historic culture alongside modern arts and festivals, Hong Kong still thrives in celebrating its history and traditions. With a city that must rise vertically rather than expand in width, panoramic views are something Hong Kong specializes in. What’s more the modern buildings themselves are something the city prides itself in, and has plenty of. However, historical temples are still national treasures and fascinating places to visit.

Pik Mei Lee

My Destination local expert on

Hong Kong

Victoria Peak

 

Climb up Victoria Peak, the highest region on Hong Kong Island for the best sunset view in town. The area was once an exclusive neighborhood in colonial times; a place for the rich to come and escape the heat and smog of the city in a cooler temperate. Now, in the days of air-conditioning, the view still keeps people coming to this spot. It is a hangout for locals and tourists alike wanting to grab a last glimpse of the day before it turns into an array of pinks and oranges.

 

Lo Pan Temple

 

At the western end of Hong Kong Island is Lo Pan Temple, a Grade 1 historical building and temple. This is the only temple dedicated to the patron saint of Chinese builders and carpenters in Hong Kong. It is a square and mainly grey building, squeezed in-between other plain properties, yet attractively decorated with gold Chinese symbols of poems praising Lo Pan’s contribution to architecture above the entrance. Ornate red decoration on the roof sets the temple apart from the others on the outside, while inside murals adorn the walls.

 

Nan Lian Garden

 

If you are seeking escapism from the madness of the city, find it in Nan Lian Park in Diamond Park, Kowloon - all 35,000 square meters of it. This mid-city gem built in the classical style of Tang Dynasty boasts traditional pagoda buildings overlooking large lakes, rocky waterfalls and landscaped gardens dotted with trees, creating a peaceful getaway from a busy day sightseeing. Locals come here after work and during lunch hours to relax listening to trickling water.

 

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

 

This ornate Buddhist temple is brightly decorated on the outside; reds, yellows, blues and painted symbols make this temple attractive to the eye. Its name translates into ‘make every wish come true’ which probably has something to do with its popularity, yet it is still an important religious place. Built to commemorate Wong Tai Sin, a famous monk from the 4th century, the temple is actually home to three religions; Buddhism, Taoism and, Confucianism. It is also heavily influenced by feng shui, even in the colorful gardens.

 

Dragon’s Back Mountain

 

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, Dragon’s Back hike is an incredible way to see great views as opposed to standing inside a skyscraper, with the added bonus of fresh air! The trail resembles the shape of a dragon’s back bone, hence the name and leads walkers through hill tops where paragliders often use the peak as a jump off point. Views of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanely, Tai Tan and the South China Sea are stunning from the top. The MTR Shau Kei Wan Station takes you to the starting point of the hike.