8 Quintessential Hong Kong Experiences For First-time Visitors
- A private helicopter tourA private helicopter tour
- Stay at a luxury hotel suiteStay at a luxury hotel suite
- Savour a dim sum brunchSavour a dim sum brunch
- Sail on Victoria HarbourSail on Victoria Harbour
- Drink in the viewsDrink in the views
- Dine at a private member’s clubDine at a private member’s club
- Place bets at Happy Valley RacecoursePlace bets at Happy Valley Racecourse
- A tram ride around the IslandA tram ride around the Island
Thrilled to show off “Home Kong” in front of visiting friends and family but not sure where to begin? The list of things to do in Hong Kong is endless, and that’s why we’ve cut through the cliché to bring you eight exclusive experiences, from sailing on a traditional junk boat to dining at a private members’ club, that will leave your guests in awe.
A private helicopter tour
Soar high above Hong Kong’s skyline with The Peninsula Hong Kong’s flight-seeing tour, which begins at The China Clipper, the hotel's aviation-themed lounge perched on the 30th floor.
The tour will take you on a scenic 18-minute helicopter ride over Victoria Harbour, rock formations of the geopark and the beaches and bays of Hong Kong Island. For hungry riders, the hotel offers a “Fly and Tea” package that includes an afternoon tea at The Lobby after your aerial excursion.
Find out more at peninsula.com
Stay at a luxury hotel suite
Home to some of the world’s top five-star hotels with Michelin-starred restaurants, world-class spas and warm hospitality, Hong Kong is the place to be if you’re looking for the most luxurious hotel accommodation.
Among the city’s most extravagant is the InterContinental Hong Kong’s Presidential Suite, which is the city's largest at 7,000 square feet, featuring five bedrooms with two-storey floor-to-ceiling windows and a large living area with a private gym, sauna and steam room. You'll have unobstructed views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island all to yourself at the rooftop infinity swimming pool, which is part of the expansive terrace that wraps around the suite.
Savour a dim sum brunch
If there’s one type of cuisine in Hong Kong that you may want to eat again and again, it’s dim sum. These classic Cantonese small dishes—usually enjoyed as breakfast or brunch—are part of daily life in Hong Kong.
From neighbourhood dim sum joints to Michelin-starred restaurants, there are plenty of options to indulge in the local delicacies. Head to Lin Heung Tea House for the traditional cart-style service, Duddell’s to enjoy all-you-can-eat dim sum in a gallery, or Mott 32 for dim sum with a modern twist with premium ingredients.
Sail on Victoria Harbour
Few skylines in the world can rival Hong Kong’s, with one of the most iconic views being the gleaming harbour with skyscrapers lined up in the background.
For the best views, criss-cross Victoria Harbour on Aqua Luna, one of the city's last traditionally crafted junk boats named after a Chinese pirate from the Qing Dynasty. Offering 45-minute loops around the harbour all day long, the most popular one is the night cruise that coincides with the Symphony of Lights show that illuminates the city every night.
Find out more at aqualuna.com
Drink in the views
Hong Kong’s rooftops are arguably the best places to glimpse the city from above—throw in a few sundowners and the night views can look almost dizzying.
From Popinjays' expansive wraparound terrace that captures panoramic views from Victoria Peak to Central, Wooloomooloo’s Happy Valley-harbour vistas to the city’s highest bar at Ozone, Hong Kong has no shortage of alfresco venues to soak in the stunning scenery.
Dine at a private member’s club
Hong Kong’s private members’ clubs have existed since colonial times, serving the city’s elite interests, whether it’s horse racing, sailing, golfing, or wining and dining.
As exclusive as these prestigious private club may be, there’s a way in if you have the know-how. The China Club, for example, allows dinner bookings, albeit with a strict dress code. The Shanghai-style restaurant prides itself on its authentic Chinese cuisine, from Peking duck to dim sum, and you can't miss its iconic library and Long Bar which boast striking views of the cityscape.
Place bets at Happy Valley Racecourse
If you’ve got a Wednesday evening to spare, head to Happy Valley for the horse races, which have turned into a social outing with a different theme every week filled with beer and food stalls, entertainment and live music.
It’s worth going for the atmosphere alone, though it’s always fun to try your luck with some friendly betting.
Find out more at happywednesday.com
A tram ride around the Island
Most locals would tell you the tram is a slow-paced, relaxing way to see the Island, but only a few know that you can experience the double-deck vestibule in style with a private tour.
Decked out with a bar, balcony and air conditioning, The Peninsula’s Circus Tram is an ultra-luxe alternative that includes Rolls-Royce transfers and two hours of canapés, champagne and Hong Kong cultural performances. While you’re at it, don’t forget to capture the cityscape using time-lapse!
Find out more at peninsula.com