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The Top 10 Things To Do and See on Hong Kong Island
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The Top 10 Things To Do and See on Hong Kong Island

Picture of Wing Tung Isabella Yu
Updated: 9 February 2017
Hong Kong, crowned as a gourmet paradise, as famous as a hub for flavourful world-class and multinational cuisine. But Hong Kong Island is not merely a culinary haven, and there is also massive selection of tourist activities, including walking at night markets, watching traditional Cantonese opera, and visiting the Peak for sightseeing that never lets you feel tiresome. The Culture Trip guides you through the top things to do and see on Hong Kong Island.

Covering around 17,000 square meters, Tamar Park is situated adjacent to the Legislative Council Complex and the new Central Government Offices in Central. Surrounded by high-rise buildings, the verdant greens gives the city centre some lively yet refreshing colours. Designed with simplicity, the place boasts a spacious well-trimmed grassland perfect for throwing a picnic while embracing gorgeous skyline and blazing sunshine. The park is equipped with a floating platform, Tamar Corner, an amphitheatre, and Tamar Café, where you can have a cup of coffee while strolling along the waterfront.

Tamar Park, Admiralty, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong

Tamar Park in Admiralty © november-13/Flickr
Tamar Park in Admiralty | © november-13/Flickr
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Hong Kong City Hall

Established in 1962, the Hong Kong City Hall is a busy performance venue with various acts ranging from opera and drama to music concert. Enjoy a classic Chinese concert or a local musical to experience the true essence of traditional Chinese culture. Though most of the performances are conducted in Chinese, you’re still able to observe the distinctive movement and subtle interactions between actors. You may view the programme on the official site of Hong Kong City Hall to see upcoming events.

Watch out for: see a Chinese musicals

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9am-11pm

5 Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong, +852 29212849

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PMQ Night Market

PMQ is a former police marriage quarters that were revitalized into a studio complex for high flyers to develop and promote their artisan goods. Every month the Hong Kong Markets Organization will host the PMQ Night Market that consists of live music, beer drinking, and bazaars. The bazaars aim to offer young craftsmen, designers, DIYers, and food artisans a chance to promote their brands and sell their products. Strolling around, you’ll find seller, most in their 20s and dressed in chic clothing, fervidly introducing their artisan goods.

Watch out for: handmade goods from local designers and and craftsmen

Opening hours: the hours of these monthly events vary, you may visit the official page of PMQ to check out the monthly calendar

35 Aberdeen St, Central, HK

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Sing Heung Yuen

Opened in 1957, this forever-boisterous street food stall in Sing Heung Yuen is a world-renowned dai pai dong (open air food stalls) offering classic Cantonese dishes at a budget price. At the stalls you’ll find women in elegant mini dress with pinpricks of sweat along her hairline and wearing high heels sitting packed along the table with businessmen in fancy suits and patent leather shoes, all busily savouring instant noodles. Its signature dishes cover almost the entire menu, including peanut milk toast, kaya crispy crispy, salty seven-up with lemon, tomato and beef with instant noodles etc. Many locals are frequent diners, and they are thrilled about this stall, where they can recollect the pleasant flavour of dai pai dong in 1970s.

Price: budget

Watch out for: a classic street food stall settings and Cantonese buns

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8am-5.30pm

2 Mei Lun Street, Central, HK, +852 25448368

Instant noodles with tomato in Shing Hueng Yuen ©chee.hong/Flickr
Instant noodles with tomato in Shing Hueng Yuen | ©chee.hong/Flickr

The Peak

Overlook the stunning panoramic scenery of Hong Kong at the city’s most spectacular viewpoint, the Peak. Your eyes will feast on the breathtaking view of Victoria Harbour, the skyscrapers that are intimately packed together, and the distant view of the New Territories. To savour the landscape, you can take the historic Peak Tram that offers hard-to-find angles from which to view the island’s skyline while sliding slowly along a steep railway. On arrival at the Peak, the location offers an enormous sightseeing platform, Sky Terrace 428, where you can view the superb panorama of the high-rise commercial buildings.

Price: budget; admission to the Peak Tram Sky Pass (The Peak Tram & Sky Terrace 428) is HK$71-83 for adult and HK$33-40 for children and senior

Watch out for: the superlative view of Hong Kong Island and the New Territories

The Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Island, HK, +852 28490668

View from the Peak © Jirka Matousek/Flickr
View from the Peak | © Jirka Matousek/Flickr

Minority Inclusion Tours

MINT, short form for Minority Inclusion Tours, is a student-led non-profit organization in Hong Kong that offers secret tour to locals and tourists to explore the rarely-known side of the community. MINT mainly features handmade workshops, Indian cultural tours, religious tours and a delicacy tour in which guests can savour the distinctive cultural diversity in the city. Throughout the tour, visitors can interact with the local-born tour guide who are from ethnic minority groups and learn about their lives and the problems that they face in the prosperous city. This is a fantastic way of getting to know Hong Kong with remarkable depth instead of strolling around and taking selfies at tourist spots.

Price: budget

Watch out for: secret events on Facebook or announcements on Facebook regarding events and collaborative workshops

Cheung Chau

Take a one-day venture to this small islet featuring the distinctive Cantonese culture of the indigenous people in Cheung Chau. From Cheung Chau Bun Festival, where residents partake in parade, lion dances and the unique Bun Scrambling Competition, to Cheung Chau Seafood Street, that is packed with seafood stalls serving fresh oysters and fish in a buzzing atmosphere, you’ll have loads of annual events that bring joy and entertainment all year round here. To visit Cheung Chau, you can take commuter ferries from Central that take about 30 minutes.

Watch out for: ultra-fresh seafood

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong Island, HK

Cheung Chau © GD Preston/Flickr
Cheung Chau | © GD Preston/Flickr
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Lai Yuen

Lai Yuen was once the largest joy-filled amusement park in Hong Kong. Now that it is re-opened in Central, Lai Yuen offers diverse rides that are reminiscent of the olden days in the 1940s. The attractions, like the nostalgic photo booth, entertainment show at the grand stage or the pop-up carnival, transport you to joyous moments from the past. Lai Yuen is a part of the collective memory of Hong Kongers, and while visiting the amusement park, you’ll have a chance to experience childhood enjoyment from the olden days.

65 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong Island, HK, +852 34687962

Lai Yuen 2015 © Eric Li/Flickr
Lai Yuen 2015 | © Eric Li/Flickr
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Aberdeen Fish Market Canteen

If you crave tantalizing seafood, you should not miss the Aberdeen Fish Market Canteen that is run by local fishermen. Opening at dawn, the Market, opened by Ar Lo, is packed with fishermen folk busy sourcing the best seafood around the market. Boasting its ultra-fresh seafood, no standard menu is provided to diners, and you’ll find tables filled with diverse choices of seafood, such as pan-fried shrimp, steamed perch, deep fried abalone, and even starfish soup. You might need a Cantonese-speaking friend to reserve a table a few days earlier, as the spot is perpetually crammed with locals and guests looking for a seafood feast. Upon arriving at the dining spot, simply tell Ar Lo your budget and he will whip up the dishes that best suit you.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: 11.30am-2.00pm

Watch out for: ultra-fresh abalone, poached shrimp, deep-fried calamari with red chili

102 Shek Pai Wan Road, Aberdeen, HK, +852 25527555

Aberdeen Fish Market © stevemonty/Flickr
Aberdeen Fish Market | © stevemonty/Flickr
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Repulse Bay Visual Art Museum

As the largest 3D Museum in Hong Kong, the 23,000-square-feet Repulse Bay Visual Art Museum has six intriguing 3D zones that feature themes including a Safari Adventure, Discover the Ocean, the Miraculous World, Explore Hong Kong, Screaming Space and Augmented Reality that display 3D and digital art pieces, While walking around the pavilion, you’ll be intrigued by the illusional angles of the artworks and become part of them. Leading in the new augmented reality, visitors are able to enjoy the fun of interacting between reality and the virtual world.

Price: HK$160 for adult, HK$110 for children and senior

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-7pm

Watch out for: distinctive 3D art pieces with optimal illusions

Shop B104 – Shop 305, The Pulse, No. 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, +852 26170008