Very few places are as interesting as Hong Kong, with its high-rise buildings right beside ancient temples. It is Asia’s center for shopping, food, cultural activities, and even a global financial hub. Being a former British colony, it is a combination of East and West. The best way to take all of it in, especially the wonderful contrasts, is to explore Hong Kong one street at a time.
You will most likely explore the skyscrapers on Hong Kong Central and enjoy the views at Victoria Peak. No visit is also complete without strolling along Tsim Sha Tsui and the Avenue of Stars. But if you want to see Hong Kong from the eyes of a local, you will need to add these walking tours as well.
1. Discover local life in Shau Kei Wan
This is, without a doubt, lesser known to tourists but it is where locals live. It evolved from a simple fishing village into the huge residential district it is today. This is the place to watch the daily lives of Hong Kong locals and even learn about their customs and beliefs direct from the source.
2. Try street food in Wan Chai
Trying out street food is one of the things you definitely need to do when you are in Hong Kong. The food reflects an interesting mix of cultures, from Cantonese to western cuisine. The Wan Chai district is the right place to fill your stomach with these delicious delicacies. Walking around will fill the rest of your senses as well.
3. Experience Kowloon
Leave the main island and visit the Hong Kong mainland by taking the ferry or the MTR underground. Kowloon, specifically the Wong Tai Sin district is where you can see the evolution of Hong Kong’s public housing. The Choi Hung Estate, for example, is known for its rainbow-colored façade and is a popular background for tourists’ Instagram posts.
The district is also where the famous Taoist temple and the Chi Lin Nunnery are located, which is a welcome respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.
4. Take the ferry to Macau
Technically, Macau is not a part of Hong Kong, but it is ordinarily bundled together in one trip, thanks to the close vicinity. All you need to get there is to take a ferry ride lasting an hour. Once you get there, you can enjoy a very interesting walk around this former Portuguese colony. Walking through the UNESCO-listed Historic Center is like going back in time.
Beside Portuguese-era structures like the Ruins of St. Paul, the former military base Mount Fortress, and the old City Walls, you will see Chinese relics like A-Ma Temple. Then, in an interesting twist, fast forward to the present through a visit to the 338-meter high Macau Tower and the city’s famous casinos.
Exploring Hong Kong by foot is one of the best ways to delve into the culture, history, and many different aspects of this city. Very few places come close to the diversity of Hong Kong, so you better take it all in during your visit.