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  • Heathrow
    Stuart Messham
    Airlines and routes, Shopping, Food and drink,
     
    A tremendously versatile city, Hong Kong really does have the lot from moreish street food and trendy street art to luxurious malls, top-class exhibitions, plentiful green spaces and Michelin-starred restaurants. You really can't go wrong in Hong Kong…
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    One of the most famous views in the world and totally wonderful every time.

    Star Ferry + Dragon’s Back

    Ideal for: Laidback sightseers

    The Star Ferry is something of an icon in Hong Kong. It’s super-cheap, runs all day between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and provides an unbeatable view of the famous Hong Kong skyline across Victoria Harbour. Station yourself on the upper deck for optimal viewing and, if you can, do it during the day and after sunset for dramatically contrastive spectacles.

    If you’re feeling a little more energetic, you can take a gentle hike and enjoy the picturesque panoramics of the city, the sun, the mountains and the peripheral islands on Dragon’s Back, a mountain ridge in south-eastern Hong Kong Island..

    Just take the number 89 bus from Shau Kei Wan to Shek O Road and alight at the To Tei Wan bus stop to begin the hike, finishing at Big Wave Bay. There’s plenty of photo opps along the route and some lovely eateries at Big Wave Bay to treat yourself after all the hard graft.

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    Song birds in ornate bamboo cages in the Yuen Po street bird garden.

    Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens + Yuen Po street bird garden

    Ideal for: Wildlife lovers

    You might think of Hong Kong as a sprawling metropolis and city of the future, and in a lot of ways you’d be right, but there is an abundance of greenery that you rarely think about when Hong Kong comes to mind and plenty of natural refuges inside the urban jungle.

    One such place is the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. It’s one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens and home to a staggering variety of birds, reptiles and mammals. Peaceful saunters around the gardens make for a pleasant diversion from the bustle of city lights and the thematic sectioning of the space – scented garden, edible plants garden, native species garden, etc – only adds to the intrigue and serenity.

    There’s also an engrossing charm about the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. Songbirds are very popular pets in Hong Kong and people take them for “walks” every day in their cages to an area between Tong Mi and Mong Kok surrounding Prince Edward station in Kowloon. On a busy day, this is one of the most unusual sights in Hong Kong.

    Go early morning for best results.

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    Be the incredible athlete you always wanted to be in the AME E-Sports stadium.

    AME E-Sports Stadium + cycle from East to West of the New Territories

    Ideal for: Sports and gaming enthusiasts

    The AME E-Sports stadium is quite unlike any other sports facility you may have visited. Rather than being open-air with loads of seating where you can passively cheer the accomplishments of others, it encourage you and your party to be at the centre of the action. Inside its 3,400sq ft it incorporates lots of self-developed E-Sports games with professional simulators and Virtual Reality multiplayer frameworks.

    You can race horses, cycle the Lung Wo Road competition route, bomb downhill for the American skiing team, go to town on the sensor-loaded punch bags and generally work up a real sweat pretending to be the athlete you’d always intended. It’s lots of fun.

    Course, if busting a gut in the real-world floats your physical boat a little more, Hong Kong provides many options for this, too. You can cycle from the east to the west of the New Territories – from Tuen Ma On Shan – on a 60km cycling track, drinking in delicious seaside views and rampant greenery.

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    Tai Ping Shan has been voted one of the coolest streets in the world.

    Tai Ping Shan Street + street food

    Ideal for: Foodies and trendies

    Tai Ping Shan is a really cool, and rather historical, street located at the north slope of Victoria Peak in Sheung Wan. It’s ideal for an afternoon of leisurely browsing, with a mix of old and new eateries and trendy shops and cafes.

    You can amble around beautiful temples, peruse wonderful contemporary art in the many pop-up galleries and get lost among the unique wares of specialist retailers. It’s been voted one of the coolest streets in the world and no matter when you visit – weekends are best – it doesn't disappoint.

    While you’re out on your two-footed endeavours, it’s essential that you also sample the delicious array of street food on offer in the city. Not only is it a convenient way to sate your hunger pangs as you explore, it’s also the most cost-friendly way to sample the authentic taste of the region.

    Curried fishballs, offal, deep-fried veggies and imitation shark’s fin soup are all on the menu and we encourage you to remain curious even if your first culinary indulgence doesn’t match your expectations.

    There’s something for everyone, we promise.

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    There's a shining art scene in Hong Kong and M+ is at the very heart of it.

    Art at M+ culture at Tai Kwun + Kam Tin Mural village

    Idea for: Culture vultures

    Hong Kong doesn’t skimp on art and culture either.

    M+, in the West Kowloon district, has 33 galleries of local and international artists and a cinema offering wonderfully diverse feature films, documentaries and restored classics. It’s by far the biggest museum of visual culture in the city and it’s rather wonderful.

    Tai Kwun is another independent art space that occupies an old police station in Hong Kong’s Central district. There’s 16 heritage buildings with first-class exhibitions and plenty of offbeat eateries and snippets of culture to be siphoned.

    Art lovers should also be drawn to Kam Tin Mural Village in Yuen Long, which is well-known for its striking street murals. There’s over 40 designs by local artists which you can peruse as you scoff a pastry or two and sup artisan coffees from trendy local cafes.

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    Hong Kong has so much more to offer than many would believe.
    You can fly there from Heathrow using British Airways.