In a single business trip to Hong Kong you can spend your downtime enjoying a bustling Chinese street market, to the tranquility of zen-like gardens.
East meets West with the explosive power of a thousand firecrackers in Hong Kong, an island metropolis that was once a British colony in China and is now its own superpower. Boasting the most skyscrapers in the world, Hong Kong has a reputation for being a hubbub of action, life, and noise, and it’s an equally popular spot for doing business.
If your business travels allow you some down time to enjoy the Pearl of the Orient, it won’t be hard to stimulate your senses. English is spoken in Hong Kong with more frequency than on the mainland, meaning you won’t have any problems if you skip the tourist trail to hang out with the locals. From the sheer chaos of Stanley Market to the utter tranquility of Luk Yu Tea House, Hong Kong offers a kaleidoscope of colors, flavors, and interactions.
Discover some of the best views of the city at “the peak,” one of Hong Kong’s top tourist attractions. The highest point on Hong Kong Island, Victoria Peak offers a panoramic look at the city’s famed skyscrapers, the sparkling blue waters of the bay, and the glistening green of the landscape. Take the Peak Tram to the top, and discover the modern architecture and lively shops and restaurants at the avant-garde Peak Tower. Pay a small fee to enjoy the view from Sky Terrace 428, or observe for free at the nearby Peak Galleria. Walk the two-mile long Peak Circle Walk for additional viewpoints at Lugard Road.
It’s hard to walk far in Hong Kong without discovering a street market, and Stanley Market‘s location near Repulse Bay makes it a favorite with both locals and visitors. Browse the bustling open-air stalls and shops, and test your haggling skills as you bargain for traditional Chinese gifts, clothing, and souvenirs. The market is open every day, but it’s wise to visit during the week for the best chance at avoiding crowds.
Nan Lian Garden
Unwind after a busy business day with a visit to Nan Lian Garden, where you instantly step from the cacophony of the concrete jungle to the peace and tranquility of nature. Designed in the style of the Tang Dynasty, the garden offers a Zen-like atmosphere, despite its location in the middle of a busy area in Kowloon.
Stroll along the paths and get lost in the breathtaking beauty of bonsai trees, lotus ponds, and traditional Chinese architecture. Gentle meditation music plays in the background, adding to the ambiance. If you can, plan your visit at a time when the Chi Lin Nunnery is also open. Located right on site, this prayerful place offers a respite from the chaos of the surrounding city. Admission to both locations is free.
Luk Yu Tea House
Find traditional dim sum and an old-world setting at Luk Yu Tea House. With ornate paneling on the walls, stained glass windows, and folding screens, this tea house makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Opened in 1933, it was once a favorite hangout for artists. Today, its Art Deco ambiance, assortment of Chinese teas, and rotating menu of traditional Cantonese fare makes it a favorite stopping point for business travelers hoping for a glimpse of old Hong Kong.
Get a taste of all the flavors that make up Hong Kong on Lantau Island. The largest of Hong Kong’s islands, Lantau offers the commercial excitement of Hong Kong Disneyland, the natural beauty of the trails to Sunset Peak, relaxation at Cheung Sha Beach, traditional spirituality at Po Lin Monastery, and a glimpse of daily life at Tai O, a traditional fishing village. Ride the Ngong Ping Cable Cars for a birds-eye view of the attractions, and don’t forget to visit Big Buddha, a bronze stature measuring in at a whopping 112 feet.
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