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© tetsuya yamamoto/Flickr
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Why Everyone Should Visit Hong Kong at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Picture of Sally Gao
Updated: 31 January 2017
Hong Kong—also fondly known as the Pearl of the Orient—is a thriving metropolis unlike any other. As a Chinese city with a colonial British past, its society and culture are shaped by a unique mixture of Eastern and Western influences. Below, we’ve come up with ten reasons to put a trip to Hong Kong on your bucket list.

It’s one of the dining capitals of the world

Hong Kong is a foodie’s dream come true. The city attracts chefs and restaurateurs from all over the world, and boasts the most restaurants per capita in Asia, from cheap local noodle joints to hipster gastropubs, to some of the world’s most renowned Michelin-starred restaurants.

It’s a holy grail for shopaholics

The density of shopping malls, markets and shops in Hong Kong can be overwhelming to visitors. Luxury fashion, tech gadgets, antiques, teaware, Japanese gourmet snacks and more—if you know where to look, there’s practically nothing you can’t find.

Delicious street food

Hong Kong has a long history of producing cheap, hot and delicious street food. The most famous local specialties include curry fish balls, stinky tofu, egg waffles and egg tarts.

Dim sum

Yes, we’ve already covered Hong Kong’s stellar restaurants and mouthwatering street food, but dim sum is such an important cultural institution in Hong Kong that it deserves its own spot on the list. These delectable bite-sized snacks are served in bamboo steamers, consumed alongside Chinese tea and best enjoyed when shared with a large group of people.

The view from The Peak

The Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong island, making it a perfect vantage point for the snap-happy among you to camp out until the sun sets. Historically, this neighborhood was highly coveted during the British colonial era, as the cooler air provided respite from the sweltering heat. Nowadays, the view of the cityscape – a picturesque panorama of sharp-angled skyscrapers and a glistening body of water – is what draws people to this spot.

Tsim Sha Tsui

Tsim Sha Tsui, the beating heart of Kowloon’s urban scene, is located on the tip of the Kowloon peninsula. If you’re keen to explore this part of the city, a stroll along Tsim Sha Tsui’s waterfront promenade or a nighttime boat ride reveals a different type of panorama from that of The Peak. Maze-like patterns of neon seem to snake through the city, lighting up even the blandest of buildings.

Gorgeous hiking trails

You may not know this, but the skyscrapers that Hong Kong is famous for only take up one third of the territory. The other two thirds are made up of beautiful mountains, beaches and forests, with established hiking trails of varying length and difficulty all over the map. Gorgeous mountaintop vistas of Hong Kong’s natural landscape and surrounding islands await.

The street markets

Yes, the city’s many pristine shopping malls are impressive, but a dive into one of Hong Kong’s frenzied street markets is a must on a visit to the city. Depending on which market you visit, you can pick up anything from silk clothes, electronics and souvenirs to antiques, mahjong sets and paintings. The street markets are a delight to browse and a great chance to test your haggling skills.

The incredible public transportation system

Hong Kong’s public transportation system is one of the cleanest and most convenient in the world. And it’s not just the MTR, Hong Kong’s fantastic subway—from the delightful double-decker trams that traverse northern Hong Kong Island, to the longest roofed outdoor escalator system in the world, Hong Kong’s public transport is an eye-opening experience to outsiders.

A thriving nightlife scene

To experience Hong Kong’s nightlife, Lan Kwai Fong is the place to go. This tiny neighborhood in Central is just minutes away from Hong Kong’s business and financial center. It’s packed with upscale clubs and restaurants, and boasts some of the best bars and parties in Asia.