Best Hong Kong Tours and Excursions: Take a Break from the City

Hong Kong is packed into a mere 400 square miles – and there's a lot to pack. Everyone knows about the gleaming skyscrapers that flank the glistening harbor – but there are islands to explore, markets to fossick through, ancient temples where you can pause for contemplation, and parks where – given a bit of luck – wander all day and hardly see another soul.

The great thing about Hong Kong is that because it's so small, no attraction is much more than an hour's travel time away. And fares on the buses, mass transit railway and ferries are incredibly reasonable. A return trip to Lantau can cost as little as HK$30 (about US$4). Riding the MTR from the central business district all the way up to the border with Mainland China is about the same price. Hong Kong may be expensive in some ways, but certainly not as far as getting around is concerned.

So, with a handful of dollars, the choice is yours, whether you head out to Sai Kung Country Park, or take a boat ride with First Ferry; Wong Tai Sin temple is right next to its own MTR station, while seaside Stanley Market is just a half-hour bus ride from Central.

Kowloon Walled City Park
Photo courtesy of Kowloon Walled City Park

This park was built on what was once a massive tenement block which grew up around an old fortification. The tenements were finally demolished in the 1990s. The Kowloon Walled City was famous for holding a unique distinction – it was the only...  Read More

Lantau Island
Tsing Ma Bridge

Massively imposing by day and a twinkling span of lights by night, the Tsing Ma Bridge is an engineering marvel that links Lantau Island to the rest of Hong Kong. The mile-long bridge was opened to traffic in 1997 as part of key infrastructure...  Read More

Wong Tai Sin Temple
Photo courtesy of Wong Tai Sin Temple

This well-known attraction was built in 1973 and is still one of the most active Buddhist temples in the city. The lush gardens, with their waterfalls, ponds and pavilions, inspire numerous photographs. Be sure to wander through the arcade,...  Read More

Lantau Island
Po Lin Monastery
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

Po Lin translates to "precious lotus," and this monastery is one of the most famous of Hong Kong's numerous attractions. In addition to being one of the most opulent and grandest temples in the country, this is also home to the famous "Big...  Read More

Sai Kung Country Park
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

The New Territories, once home to nothing but pastoral meadowlands, are quickly becoming industrialized and commercialized. However, this park remains a bastion of natural beauty. This unspoiled seaside area of parkland features hiking trails...  Read More

Museum of Coastal Defence
Photo courtesy of Museum of Coastal Defence

This site dates back over a century, to when Lei Yue Mun Fort was a strategic part of Hong Kong's defenses. It was the scene of fierce fighting during the Japanese invasion on 1941, and later became a regular barracks. So its current role as a...  Read More

First Ferry
Photo courtesy of First Ferry

New World First Ferry Services Limited – better known as First Ferry – operates five main inner harbor and outlying island ferry routes in Hong Kong, including North Point-Hung Hom and North Point-Kowloon City, as well as Central-Cheung...  Read More

Victoria Peak

The 552-meter mountain has that classic Hong Kong view. Near the summit at 396 meters high there is an entertainment and viewing complex called Peak Tower where travelers can snap that perfect souvenir photo. In the foreground, a forest of...  Read More

Stanley Market
Photo courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

Stanley is possibly Hong Kong's best-known market. And with good reason. It's part of a community set by the sea, with plenty of restaurants and cafes so you can pause for refreshment. The goods on sale are fabulously varied, and the traders...  Read More

Ocean Park
Photo courtesy of Ocean Park

This massive Chinese wonderland is a combination of amusement park, aquarium and zoo. It has enough activity to keep everyone in the family busy for an entire day. Built around several hills near the South China Sea, the 780,000-square-meter...  Read More


Meet Ed Peters

Ed Peters has been based in Asia for much of his life.