What better way to beat the heat this summer than to read these cool ten facts about Asia’s World City? Whether you’ve just arrived in Hong Kong for the first time or have live here your whole life, this list will help you see the coolest city in Asia in a new light!
Feng shui, the Chinese philosophy that seeks to create harmony between people and their surroundings, has had an overwhelming influence on the growth and development of Hong Kong. As a result, many of the buildings in the city have facades that can be described as a distinctly “Hong Kong” style. For example, in Feng shui it is believed that a view of the water will lead to prosperity and positive energy; as a result, many buildings have holes in them!
Located on Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, more commonly known as Big Buddha, is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. Did you know that on good days, it can be seen from as far away as Macau? Just a few steps away from Big Buddha, you will find the Po Lin Monastery, which has been in operation since 1906! One notable temple in this monastery is the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, which houses massive golden statues of the five Dhyani Buddhas.
For a really unique shopping experience, make sure to check out PMQ! This building, located in Sheung Wan, once served as the housing barracks for police officers; however, it has since been transformed into a cultural hub that encourages local artists to nurture their crafts. You will find a wide variety of shops at PMQ that sell locally crafted and produced goods, including clothing, books, and furniture.
Don’t feel panicked if your hotel, hostel, or AirBnB rental isn’t in a busy part of the city. According to Frommer’s Travel Guide, Hong Kong has one of the most efficient public transit systems in the world. By taking the MTR, you can get from Lo Wu Station near the Shenzhen border to the middle of bustling Central in just over an hour! No matter where you are, a new adventure is only an MTR ride away.
Did you know that in order to get an Octopus Card, the card that allows you to travel via bus, underground metro, and ferry, you must sign away your right to personal body space? That’s why 100 people can squeeze into a carriage made for 50 passengers and no one is allowed to get annoyed
The Clockenflap Music and Arts Festival is held every year in late November and brings popular bands, such as Clean Bandit and New Order, to the city. In 2008, the original festival opened with just eleven performers; however, it has become one of the biggest music festivals in Hong Kong, with over 60,000 people attending in 2015!
If you’re hungry, this city has you covered! Hong Kong is one of the culinary capitals of Asia and with a diverse range of restaurants, cafés, and street food, there is truly something for everyone. True to its reputation as a haven for foodies, Hong Kong also has six Michelin star restaurants. This includes Lung King Heen, the only Cantonese style restaurant in the city to be awarded three stars! I personally recommend Pure Veggie House for some amazing vegetarian dim sum. Located in Mid-Levels, this restaurant is sure to please even the devout of meat-eaters!
For a few short weeks in 2013, Victoria Harbour became home to a giant rubber duck! This was an art project designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman with the hope of bringing joy to people’s lives. This big yellow duck has visited major cities all of the world and recently returned to the area when it visited Macau in 2016. We can hope that it will return to Hong Kong again soon!
Hong Kong is the perfect place to experience something new! Whether you’re interested in yoga, kayaking, painting, hiking, rock climbing, cycling, bubble soccer, or just hanging out with a good drink and some great people, this city has it all. As Hong Kong is home to many expats and travellers, there is always someone looking to hang out. I’ve never met an unfriendly soul here so be prepared to make lots of new friends.
Don’t forget to grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and water bottle because Hong Kong (and the sunshine and heat) is waiting for you!