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Courtesy of Ngong Ping 360
Courtesy of Ngong Ping 360
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10 Things to See and Do in Hong Kong If You Hate Shopping

Picture of Matthew Keegan
Updated: 13 November 2017
It’s true, your credit card can take a beating in this city, but there’s more to Hong Kong than its shopping scene and temples of consumerism. Here are ten very good reasons to venture outside the shopping mall.

Take a cruise around the harbour

Hong Kong is famous for its Victoria Harbour which is among the busiest ports in the world. One of the most relaxing ways to see the sights is by taking a cruise on one of Hong Kong’s iconic red-sail Chinese junk boats. Operator Aqua Luna offers a variety of ‘hop on-hop off’ harbour cruises and discovery tours.

aqua-luna-hong-kong
Courtesy of Aqua Luna Hong Kong

Hiking

The city is home to a variety of hiking trails like the MacLehose Trail, named one of the best hikes in the world by the National Geographic Society. The popular Dragon’s Back trail was also named the world’s best urban walk. If you’re visiting during Hong Kong’s cooler months (Nov-Apr), a hike is one of the best ways to explore and enjoy Hong Kong’s diverse open spaces – from its mountains, woods, beaches, wetlands and numerous country parks, you’ll discover a whole other side to the city.

Bruce Lee exhibition

Few things are as synonymous with Hong Kong than its ‘most famous son’ Bruce Lee. If you’re a fan of the late kung fu superstar’s work and legacy, why not pay a visit to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum that has a special Bruce Lee Kung Fu ‧ Art ‧ Life exhibition that runs until 20 July 2018. The exhibition features more than 600 invaluable items of Bruce Lee memorabilia.

Foodie tasting tour

Dim sum, sweet and sour pork, wonton noodles…Hong Kong is a veritable paradise for food lovers. With so many restaurants, street food stalls, and glorious local dishes – it’s hard to know where to begin. To be sure you sample the best of the best, you can join one of the city’s renowned Hong Kong Foodie Tasting Tours. Local expert foodie guides will introduce you to Hong Kong’s best-loved dishes at hidden-away neighborhood gems and ensure you get to eat like a local.

Cooking classes

Better still, why not learn how to make a delicious serving of dim sum or Chinese cuisine yourself. Martha Sherpa’s Cooking School offers half-or full-day cooking classes for groups of no more than four. The dim sum-making courses are especially popular, as master chefs teach you how to make a variety of the delicious bite-size dishes such as barbecue pork buns and crispy spring rolls.

Cooking Classes in Hong Kong
Courtesy of Martha Sherpa’s Cooking School

Pink dolphin watching

Hong Kong’s waters are home to a rare breed of dolphin. Officially called Chinese white dolphins, they are often referred to as ‘pink dolphins’ due to their rosy hue which is believed to be caused by blood vessels in the outer layers of their skin. Eco-tourism operator, Hong Kong DolphinWatch, runs three half-day trips a week, departing from Tung Chung on the northern side of Lantau Island, and boasts a 97% sighting rate.

Courtesy of Ken Fung, Hong Kong Dolphinwatch
Courtesy of Ken Fung, Hong Kong Dolphinwatch

Visit an outlying island

Hong Kong is home to over 260 outlying islands. So whenever you fancy an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is no shortage of islands and new places to explore. Lantau Island, Lamma Island, Cheung Chau and Peng Chau are the best known and most popular for their seafood restaurants and more laid-back pace of life. Hong Kong even has a couple of ghost islands in the form of Yim Tin Tsai and Ma Wan. Once home to thriving communities, they are mostly abandoned but highly intriguing.

Hong Kong Outlying Islands
View of lagoon on north side of Peng Chau | © Daniel Case / Wiki Commons

Make a wish

If you’re looking to improve your luck or make a wish come true, the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees in Hong Kong’s Tai Po area are just the place to increase your good fortune. Although most popular during Chinese New Year, you can visit any time of year and take part in this local tradition. Visitors first write their wish on joss paper. The wish is then tied to an orange and you toss it into the branches of one of the many banyan trees. If the fruit remains in the tree, then the wish should come true. But don’t worry if you miss, you can always try again.

Take an epic cable car ride

The Ngong Ping 360 is a 25-minute cable car journey that covers a stretch of 3.5 miles leading to the site of the Big Buddha – the largest bronze sitting buddha statue in the world which sits alongside the Po Lin Monastery. The scenic journey offers stunning panoramic views looking over country parks, the South China Sea, Hong Kong International Airport, nearby valleys and surrounding countryside.

Cable Car Hong Kong
Courtesy of Ngong Ping 360

See the view from the Peak

They say if you can only do one thing in Hong Kong, it’s to go to the Peak. Rising 1,805 feet above sea level, the summit is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and offers breathtaking views of the city by day or night. Reach the top by taking the famous Peak Tram. The seven-minute ride is the world’s steepest funicular railway.

View from The Peak Hong Kong
View from The Peak | © Brian Sterling / Flickr