Taking the tram to the top of Victoria Peak (太平山) for the first time can make you a bit giddy, first with the kind of buzz little kids get from amusement park rides, then with the pleasure of realizing that, in Hong Kong, everyday public transportation is fun (don't forget the double-decker street trams and Star Ferry). And once you reach the peak, you're in for another treat: one of the world's best views, with Hong Kong's skyscrapers, bustling Victoria Harbour and Kowloon spread out before you. The tram drops you off at the foot of the..
Repulse Bay, located in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, is the most spectacular bay in the region and the most popular beach and swimming place in Hong Kong. Primarily an upmarket residential area, sun-drenched Repulse Bay has a relaxed resort-like atmosphere. Endowed with a pleasant seascape and charming vistas it offers a long stretch of golden sand and gets really busy, especially on weekends and holidays. During the summer, lifeguards are on duty. Near the beach, there are extensive facilities: showers, change..
Stanley, the town, sits at the narrow neck of Stanley, the Peninsula, and is home to Stanley Market, Stanley Beach and Stanley Military Cemetery. It's also where you'll find St. Stephen's Beach, the Tin Hau Temple and Murray House. Once one of the more remote areas of Hong Kong Island (the last Hong Kong tiger was shot there 1942, the skin of whom can be seen in Tin Hau Temple), Stanley today is a pleasant upscale community popular with tourists for the aforementioned market and its manageable assortment of sights. Stanley's a great place..
Man Mo Temple (Man Mo Miu) is a quite traditional Chinese temple situated at the corner of Hollywood Road and the aptly named Ladder Street (it appears to run straight up the mountainside). The present temple building, dating from 1847, is dedicated to a pair of deities: Mo Tai, the god of war, and the god of literature, Man Tai. One of the oldest temples in Hong Kong, Man Mo is home to two antique chairs used to carry statues of the gods, which preside over the faithful from within clouds of incense pouring forth from hundreds of large..
Wong Tai Sin Temple (黃大仙祠) is a great example of Chinese practicality. Technically a Taoist temple dedicated to Wong Tai—a man who found the way and ascended to Taoist godhood—it actually does triple duty, welcoming Confucians and Buddhists as well. This may account for its great popularity with Hong Kong residents. This and the promise of a quick return on one's prayers: Wong Tai is reputed to be an especially responsive and generous god, willing to turn stones into sheep and mere paper into money if you ask in the right way, making him a..
It's a popular saying: "Hong Kong's favorite sport is making money and in horseracing you have Hong Kong's favorite money sport." Happy Valley has been important to the city since 1846. Some say the city grew up around the racecourse. Happy Valley Racecourse is an oasis of green in the midst of the city with impressive tracks, a green expanse surrounded by high-rises. Before the races the atmosphere is charged with anticipation, residents of the surrounding high-rises throw cocktail parties on their balconies overlooking the track. And..
Ocean Park, once unquestionably Hong Kong's premier theme park, took hits from the Asian Financial Crisis, the SARS scare and, most damaging of all, from the Disney empire, which opened a local Magic Kingdom franchise in 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland. Unable to compete directly with Mickey and crew's brandname power, Ocean Park has successfully set out in a new direction in recent years, upgrading and adding rides while also moving away from a fantasy-based theme park toward more of an eco-theme park focused on (you guessed it) the ocean...
The Hong Kong Science Museum is all about making science fun and accessible for all and is a great rainy destination for families with kids. There are over 500 exhibits in the 6,500 square meter permanent exhibition hall and over 70% are interactive for plenty of hands-on fun. Highlights in this section include a DC-3 airplane and the fascinating 22-meter-high Energy Machine. The largest of its type in the world, this behemoth contraption occupies four stories and generates a continuous flow of energy that moves a set of balls..
Situated on a hill overlooking the Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral, the Fortaleza do Monte (大砲臺), also known simply as Monte Forte, was built by the Jesuits at the same time as the Cathedral in order to protect the churchmen of St. Paul's from pirates. Called Mount Fortress in English, it later became a military base, equipped with facilities and ammunition for a two-year siege. It was only used in this way once—to repel the Dutch from the island in 1622. Today, the area consists of a public park, observatory and museum and affords great..
The Macau Maritime Museum (澳門港務局海事博物館) houses an interesting collection of maritime artifacts from throughout Macau's history. The huge Dragon Boat display is particularly enchanting. Dragon boats are tradtionally used in the annual Dragon Boat races which take place in early June. Exhibitions in the museum focus on maritime ethnology, history and technology. The musuem shows off sacred relics, clothing, scale models of dragon boats and the Macau landscape of yesteryear. In addition to these exhibitions, the..
The Ruins of St. Paul's Cathedral (圣保罗大教堂) are Macau's most famous landmark. Atop one of the island's seven hills, this spectacular facade is a symbol of Macau and an image that was projected throughout China leading up to the hand-over in December 1999. St. Paul's Cathedral was first built in the 17th Century, with the design of an Italian Jesuit and the work of Japanese Christians. This mammoth and spectacular building dominated the city until 1835 when it was savagely destroyed by fire, sparing only the facade, the mosaic floor and..
San Antonio Church was the first Catholic Church in Macau. The existing building is not the original however, and this church is famous for having burned to the ground as many as three times. This modern building is dedicated to Saint Anthony (a military saint) and on 13th June each year a ceremony is held in which the Chairman of the Macau government devotes part of the military provisions of the area in memory of the saints. Be sure to stop by the Camoes Garden and Grotto if you're visiting the church. Macau guide | Macau flights | Macau..