Visiting Hong Kong

Visiting Hong Kong.  Hong Kong should be on everyone’s list of top cities to visit. It is a spectacular amalgam of Chinese and British colonial influences bursting at the seams of this city-state. Seven million people are packed into this city that sits on the South China Sea. Hong Kong was a British colony from 1842 until it reverted to China in 1997 and is governed under the “one country, two systems” structure.

Hong Kong is the Bizzaro World twin of Singapore, but in a good way. Singapore is a neat, orderly, and clean; if somewhat saccharine city. Not a strong personality, but pleasant. Hong Kong is gritty and lived-in. Vibrant and electric.

There are many must-sees for the first time Hong Kong visitor. A ride on the tram to Victoria Peak for the amazing views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Viewing the incredible cityscape as the sun sets of Hong Kong Island from across the harbor Tsim Sha Tsui. And taking the impressive cable car ride to view the Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha. So after you have visited these top sites, there are a couple of other places you should check out.

hong kong Victoria Peak

The view from Victoria Peak

skyline hong kong

The view of Hong Kong Island from Tsim Sha Tsui

big buddha

Tian Tan Buddha or Big Buddha

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery 

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery also known as Man Fat Tsz is located in Sha Tin.  This monastery is perched on top of a steep hill.  An arduous walk up the hill will bring you to the monastery.  But the winding journey is half the magic.  Hundreds and hundreds of golden Buddhas will accompany you on your 430-step walk up.  Each one is unique.  Check out the varying faces and poses.   Venerable Yuet Kai, a devout Buddhist layman, founded a monastery.  And it was a labor of love, as he and his disciples, carried the materials up the hill.  Construction started in 1949 and was completed 7 years later.  At the end of your walk is a series of temples and of course, many more Buddhas!

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

Take MTR East Railline to Sha Tin station and head toward Exit B. Do not be confused with the very large Chinese cemetery (Po Fook Hill Ancestral Halls) also located on the hill next to the monastery. If you find yourself on an escalator or a tram you are headed to the wrong landmark.

When you need a break from exploring temples, go visit this secret beach in HK.  

Man Mo Temple

Man Mo Temple, located in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island, was constructed in 1847. It is the oldest temple in Hong Kong and it honors two Gods, of Literature and of War. Walking in to the temple your sense of smell will be inundated by burning incense. Smoke wafts throughout the temple. Rich, dark reds intersperse with lights and candles. Man Mo Temple sees heavy traffic with the locals who come in to light a candle or incense and make a prayer.

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple hong kong temple

The nearest MTR is Sheung Wan.

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple

This incredibly busy and popular temple was constructed in the early 20th century. This temple is dedicated to Wong Tai Sin of the 4th century who dedicated his life to Taoism.   He attained immorality and was able to heal the sick and save the dying.

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is well known for its fortune telling. I watched dozens or worshippers shake cups filled with sticks. Eventually a stick would pop out. The sticks are each numbered. The worshipper would then sit down with one of the many fortunetellers who would predict their future while reading the numbers.

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

hong kong temple

Get off at the Wong Tai Sin MTR station and take exit B2. Follow the signs.

Visiting Hong Kong.

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4 thoughts on “Visiting Hong Kong

  1. Frank

    I absolutely love Hong Kong. Not so much for temples and the city life (although I like that too) but for the incredible nature, hikes and views. I really think it’s one of the most incredibly scenic cities in the world.

    Many years ago, Hong Kong was the first place I set foot in Asia. I stayed a week. I remember being mesmerized by the views from the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Incredible. Then going up Victoria peak and hiking the many, many trails all with different perspectives of the island. That trip is one of my greatest memories.

    Anyway, great photos.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    Reply
    1. Ric Gazarian Post author

      Hi Frank! I have not taken advantage of the nature in the city. I simply love the energy in the city. It was also my first city to visit in Asia as well. It made an impact me as well.

      Reply
  2. Lucille Kenworthy

    I do not know enough superlatives to write what I think of your work, Gaz.
    Every post of every destination is extremely interesting. I would never have known anything about what is in this post. It is absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for taking me on your travels with you! You are an amazing man and a great photographer.

    Reply

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