Hong Kong Travel Guide

China  #5 in Best Places to Visit in Asia
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Courtesy of Yongyuan Dai/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Hong Kong

If you have extra time, Nan Lian Garden is worthwhile.
  • #3
    Things to do in Hong Kong
    View all Photos
    #3 in Hong Kong
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Chances are you'll accidentally stumble upon one of these shopping frenzies on a tour of the city. But don't just stop at one. Hong Kong's street markets are diverse, catering to various clienteles with different merchandise. For instance, the Ladies' Market on Tung Choi Street in the Mong Kok neighborhood specializes in (you guessed it) women's clothing and accessories. Plus, each bazaar also has its own ambiance. The best example is the Temple Street Night Market – a traveler favorite. This nocturnal marketplace bursts with activity as vendors hawk clothing, electronics and local food, and culinary accessories from brightly lit stalls. There are even fortune tellers and opera singers. Another bazaar of note is the Stanley Market. Occupying an old fishing village on the southern coast of Hong Kong Island, this marketplace boasts home decor, jewelry and colorful souvenirs. Recent travelers said not to shy away from bargaining, as many were surprised at how low vendors are willing to drop their prices when they feel like you're going to walk away. 

    Each market operates on different hours. Reaching most of them is usually quite easy as they tend to be close to subway stops. For more information, check out the Hong Kong Tourism Board's website.

  • #5
    Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
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    #5 in Hong Kong
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    On the edge of the Kowloon Peninsula's popular Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood, the promenade is the Hong Kong locale for many visitors. Stretching from Hong Kong's colonial-era Clock Tower to Hung Hom, the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade gives you unobstructed views of Hong Kong Island's majestic skyline. During the day, you can watch the boats travel in and out of Victoria Harbour, but travelers recommend making an extra visit at night: From 8 to about 8:20 p.m., the Symphony of the Stars (a sound-and-light show) projects dazzling lights onto the Hong Kong skyline. Day or night, consider taking in the atmosphere at one of the many restaurants and bars located here. 

    Beginning near the Star Ferry Pier, the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is easily reached via MTR's East Tsim Sha Tsui Station. The shops, bars, restaurants and museums that stand along the promenade, including the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art, maintain varied hours of operation. For information about the light show, consult the Hong Kong Tourism Board's website.

  • #7
    Nan Lian Garden
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    #7 in Hong Kong
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're looking to rest your feet after a long day of touring, retreat to the Nan Lian Garden. Located in Kowloon, the Nan Lian Garden is a nearly 9-acre public park modeled after the style of the Tang Dynasty, which ruled from A.D. 618 to 907. Along the peaceful pathways, you'll find lotus ponds, manicured trees and gurgling springs, not to mention traditional Chinese timber architecture spread throughout. That, combined with Hong Kong's soaring mountain range as the garden's backdrop, makes for a tranquil place of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    The garden is currently managed by the Chi Lin Nunnery, whose place of worship is also on-site. The Nunnery is open to the public and free to visit, although photography is prohibited. Recent travelers said it's not uncommon to see people praying, so if you plan on visiting (which you should) be quiet and respectful of their space. Along with the relaxed nature of the park, visitors were also delighted by the teahouse and vegetarian restaurant on-site and recommended staying for a quick bite to further soak up the experience.

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