Explore Hong Kong a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. Though be surprised to find beaches, forest walks, island trails and much more than just high rise buildings.
Hong Kong island is really a mountain rising to nearly a kilometer above Victoria Harbour.
At the base of the mountain there is a narrow coastal strip along which development has taken place. As the strip is narrow, development rose skywards and now over a sky scrappers rise majestically over the bay. As part of the ongoing development older buildings are demolished and replaced by taller and more expensive.
At present the mountains can be seen from the the Kowloon promenade but this could change as newer buildings reach up higher and higher. Property prices in HK are some of the highest in the world.
But don't just think of Hong Kong as tall buildings, visit some of Kowloon's markets, the nearby islands which are pretty much undeveloped, the coastal towns and bays and your perceptions of this island will change.
Enjoy the skyline of the world's most densely populated island. The skyline is best viewed from Kowloon waterfront or from one of the many ferries, which cross the narrow waterway between Hong Kong and Kowloon.
East of Central Pier towards Causeway the skyline is lower but still makes for impressive viewing. The Causeway Bay area has one of the highest rentals in the world and is home to many global corporate headquarters and 4 and 5 star hotels.
One of the best ways to appreciate Hong Kong without being lost in the vast urban canyons is to take a ferry across the bay or to one of the outlying islands.
A trip across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon is inexpensive and provides an impressive view of both Hong Kong and Kowloon waterfront. Though a quicker way across to Kowloon and it's markets and sights is by metro which travels under the bay.
The series of piers 1 to 10 generally service the outlying islands such as Lamma, though a ferry crosses regularly to Kowloon. Pier 1 is a government reserved pier.
Public ferries are a cheap way of getting about the island and seeing the sights from the water. Ferries constantly traffic through the waters of Victoria Harbour, services are available throughout the day and till late at night.
Kowloon lies on the mainland across from Hong Kong and south of the New Territories. While the waterfront has been redeveloped, with many high rise buildings almost on a par with Hong Kong, further away from the water the area remains densely populated and unchanged for many years.
Along the waterfront, a promenade called Avenue of the Stars, where statues of later day film stars adorn the waterfront runs along Victoria Harbour. Walking this avenue provides a relaxing way to enjoy Hong Kong.
The best way to visit inner Kowloon and its markets is to take a metro to Tsim Sha Tsui Station on Nathan Road for the jade market and do a walkabout taking in the market and temple and hop on again to Prince Edward St. Station for the flower and bird market and then walk down to the fashion district around Mong Kok Station.
Jade Market Kansu Street
The jade market is an good spot for picking up some souvenirs or small presents. The market with over 390 stalls has such a wide range of jade jewelry in a variety of colours, many crafted by the stall holders. Close to the market you will find the Tin Hau Temple.
The fish market on Nelson Street is worth a visit, watch the fish mongers descale and clean the fish many of which are kept alive in plastic basins until the are sold.
Enjoy the colours and display in the flower market along the aptly named Flower Market Road, Mong Kok - closest metro is Prince Edward St. Station.
Stroll about this open market on Hong Lok St, where local bird owners display their finest birds and will for the right price, close by you can buy all the needs for a bird such as food, cages etc. Best station is also Price Edward.
Exotic Fish Market
On a walk down either side of Tung Choi Street, you will pass an amazing array of fish from simple Goldfish to the much more exotic. Best MTR is either Price Edward or Mong Kok Station. Though its easy to walk down Nathan St from the flower and bird markets.
Buy fashion goods at Asian prices in the Ladies market. This market opens around noon to late. Best MTR Mong Kok Station.
After dark the night market comes alive, the closest metro is Jordan Station.
Enjoy a relaxing break in this town located on a peninsula south east of Hong Kong. Access is easy by frequent local buses taking about 40 minutes. Stanley has a small market, attractive waterfront and some lively bars and good restaurants. Stanley Plazza a modern shopping mall attracts many visitors.
Stanley has two fine beaches. The main and larger beach is on the eastern side of the peninsula while St. Stephen's beach is on the west.
Ma Hang Park
When visiting Stanley take an even more relaxing break from Hng Kong's frenetic life and enjoy a stroll around Ma Hang Park, a recreational park opened in 2011. The park has a number of signposted walk ways, some board walks which run along the edge of the sea, past secluded coves and beaches.
Throughout the park there are numerous signs showing examples of the local flora and fauna. Pak Tai Temple dedicated to the protection of fishermen, is within the park.
The park is easy to find and starts close to Murray House adjacent to Stanley Plazza.
Repulse Bay lies on the western shore of the "Stanley" peninsula just south of where the road from Hong Kong City splits west towards Deep Water Bay and Aberdeen and south to Stanley Town.
The seafront promenade is curved and follows the lie of a sandy beach. Middle Island can be seen out in the bay just as the headland swings around towards Deep Water Bay.
Accommodation prices along the bay are some of the highest in Hong Kong.
The town of Aberdeen lies to the south of Hong Kong City. It formerally was a major fishing port. Today, it is majorly developed though retains a smaller fishing industry.
Aberdeen town on the south of Hong Kong Island is popular with day visitors. The town has a small fishing fleet and boat building, remnants of it's past a s a major fishing port.
Today junk boat trips through the harbour past the floating villages and restaurants are popular, as is a walk along the promenade from the fishing and ferry quays down towards the boat yard and view of the inner harbour.
The typhoon shelter within the harbour houses one of Aberdeen's most popular restaurants Jumbo Kingdom, this floating restaurant can seat over 2000 people.
Along the west side of Aberdeen Harbour you can walk along the promenade as far as the fishing and ferry piers and as far east as the Ap Lei Chau bridge .
On a fine sunny day it is a good place to sit and relax and watch the junks and water traffic pass by.
The promenade faces the small but densely populated island of Ap Lei Chau. There are two temples worth visiting on the island Hung Shing Temple and Shui Yuet Temple.
The regular ferry from the piers at Aberdeen take about 40 minutes to reach Sok Kwu Wan ferry port on Lamma Island.
The ferry crosses the East Lamma Channel, the body of water separating Lamma island from Hong Kong Island.
There is some accommodation available on Lamma for those wishing to stay overnight.
Lamma Island is just off the south coast of Hong Kong and easily accessed by ferry from Aberdeen or Central.
Sok Kwu Wan
Sok Kwu Wan is about 40 minutes by ferry from Aberdeen. The town lies facing a bay of the same name. Around the ferry pier and along a board walk there are numerous restaurants.
The town is predominately a small fishing village.
A footpath takes you over the hills to the far side of the island and the small town of Yung Shue Wan.
A good way to visit the island is to arrive at one or other of the ferry terminals and walk along the well layout out track, which crosses the islands hills.
The journey time is just over an hour not allowing for stops. En route there are numerous places to stop and view the scenic sights on both sides off the island.
Though the power station on the western side of the island is large and unimpressive.
Yung Shue Wan
The town of Yung Shue Wan (Banyan Bay ) is on the west side of the island. It is accessible by ferry from Hong Kong central and from Aberdeen.
Formerly it was an industrial centre but to day caters for the tourist with a wide range of restaurants and accommodation.
The cross island walk way from Sok Kwu Wan terminates in the town.