A meeting point between the East and West where Chinese traditions, European colonialism and the legacy of widespread trade have shaped a unique culture over thousands of years, Hong Kong is a fascinating place to explore. It has world-famous architecture, incredible cuisine, and various artistic events to enjoy.
Today, Hong Kong is as important as ever to world trade, but more visitors are taking the time to explore the region’s treasures and understand how it acquired its nickname, the Pearl of the Orient.
Places that you can’t miss
If your time is limited while you’re staying in Hong Kong, then make sure that you at least get to experience these places:
• Hong Kong Heritage Museum – With six separate galleries all in one place, this spacious museum hosts a diverse collection of exhibits that combine to tell the story of Hong Kong’s cultural development. This venue will give you the background that you need to get more out of every other attraction that you visit. It even has a museum dedicated to children, and it hosts family events, which can broaden the cultural experience of visitors of all ages.
• Dragon Garden – Hong Kong has more green space than you might expect, and this beautiful, ornate garden is the perfect place to relax. With elegant pavilions and sparkling water fixtures, Dragon Garden is dedicated entirely to beauty and traditional art, and it’s filled with flowering plants from all over China. On hot days, it’s a cool oasis where you can shelter under carved archways or beneath broad, spreading trees.
• The Sunbeam Theater – The legendary home of Cantonese Opera in Hong Kong and the only venue that still hosts regular performances, this theater may look modern on the outside, but it is steeped in tradition within its walls and famous for its elaborate sets. Even if you struggle with understanding the language, the music, singing and gorgeous costumes are guaranteed to make an impression. Its performances are a wonderful way to connect directly with the city’s history.
• Hanart TZ – Ever since it opened in the 1980s, this gallery has been exhibiting challenging and inventive work, and with a new venue recently enabling it to expand, it shows no signs of slowing down. The gallery is also a great place to learn about Chinese contemporary art, and you may wish to invest in some of it yourself. You can learn more about this process by chatting with experts in art investment such as the Art Futures Group.
• Wong Tai Sin Temple – You can’t fully experience Hong Kong without appreciating the complexity of its religious heritage. This temple is Taoist, but it also houses Buddhist and Confucian treasures and is visited by people from many different backgrounds who pay tribute during festivals, contemplate their sins or learn about their futures. The architecture and decoration are magnificent, and any visitors can have their fortune told through kau cim.
It would take weeks to take a full cultural tour of Hong Kong, but the destinations listed above provide a great starting point for planning your next trip. Many people feel that just one visit to Hong Kong is not quite enough to really appreciate all that it has to offer.