Hong Kong was our first stop on our round the world trip in 2006 and on a recent trip to New Zealand, we paid it a return visit on a stopover.

It is more than just the city and over the two trips these are my favourite things that we did.

Ride the Peak Tram for views over the Hong Kong skyline

Hong Kong SkylineA visit to the island isn't complete without a visit to the peak for some stunning views back over the city and across to Kowloon and the outlying islands.

And the best way to get there is by the Peak Tram. Climbing to 1,300 feet at a gradient of 4 to 27 degrees I loved the short ride to the top.

The Peak Tower had been revamped since my first visit and is now full of shops and a few restaurants so it's easy to spend a few hours up there.

The everlasting memory of the peak though has to be the 360 degree views around Hong Kong. Make sure you time you're visit well as when we first visited the skies were clear and allowed for views far across the bay to Kowloon, however on a recent visit the smog had descended and we weren't so lucky.

Visit Stanley

StanleyIf you want to escape the city and find a quiet relaxing part of the island then I can recommend the village of Stanley.

Located on the south of the island, Stanley can be reached via buses that run from Kowloon. The journey takes you through the city and continues around the island through Aberdeen and along coastal roads.

On arrival, cross the road to browse through the local market stalks selling clothes, fruit and souvenirs.

As you leave the market and hit the promenade there are several bars and restaurants that reminded me of Mediterranean resorts.

By the decorative wooden pier stands the Murray House, a nineteenth century building which is now home to the Maritime museum.

Stand in the shadow of the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island

Giant Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong KongThe Giant Buddha is a 34 metre tall statue on Lantau island to the west of Hong Kong island.

From the city you can catch a ferry from the terminal to Lantau island and then a bus service will drop you at the entrance.

The statue is impressive and it's size is overwhelming as you climb over 200 steps to the base.

Nearby there is a short walk to the Wisdom Path, a replica of the Heart Sutra, one of the world's best known prayers with the Sutra  being carved into a set of wooden pillars.

Eat at the Temple Street night market in Kowloon

Kowloon Night MarketThis was one thing recommended to us as a must so on our first night in Kowloon we hunted down the Temple Street night Market.

As you enter from the south of the street your senses are overwhelmed by the colours, the sound of chatter and the smells emanating from the street restaurants.

A table was cleared for us at the end and we spent the next hour tucking into some excellent crispy noodles and crispy chilli beef. Sipping on Tsingtao made the meal a joy as we watched the hustle and bustle as the locals and tourists mixed.

After a string of clothes and shoe stalls we entered a street where a small group of locals had gathered under a canvas shelter and were belting out songs in, I guess, a version of karaoke.

The Market was a great experience, so much so, that we returned for more of the excellent food a couple of nights later.

Watch the Symphony of Lights from Kowloon

Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong At 8pm every night, Hong Kong puts on a light show over the city and Kowloon. Building lights dance in time with music played through speakers strategically placed along the shoreline.

On our first visit we witnessed the Symphony of Lights from the City side looking out over Kowloon and we were disappointed.

Through staying in Kowloon on our return we got to see the reverse show over the island of Hong Kong and found the show much more enjoyable.


Have you been to Hong Kong? What were your favourites?