People in front of entrances of Central-Mid-Levels escalator between Elgin and Shelley St, in Soho, famous historic district for bars, restaurants and nightlife in Hong Kong. (Shutterstock/Benny Marty)
Want to visit Hong Kong? Before you go, visit Hong Kong Tourism Board’s website or download the My Hong Kong app. You may be surprised at all the things you can see and do.
The Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is located on the 100th floor of the city’s tallest building, the 118-storey International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. The ICC’s amazingly smooth elevators can shoot up from the ground floor to the deck in 60 seconds.
Once there, you are treated to an amazing 360˚ view of the Hong Kong landscape. You can also look through telescopes located on each side of the deck. There are many photo opportunities on the deck itself, especially if you install the Sky100 AR app on your smartphone.
The Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck is currently celebrating its seventh anniversary.
Read also: Street art makes a splash in Hong Kong
This 60m-high ferris wheel on Hong Kong Island, like the ICC, gives you a view of Victoria Harbour. Each of its 42 gondolas can accommodate eight people. Ride time is about 15 minutes, or three rounds. The place is roughly a seven minute-walk from the pier.
A Symphony of Lights
Every night at 8 pm, buildings lining the harbor on both sides synchronize all their lights to deliver a beautiful lightshow, complete with music. If you want to hear the music, however, you must view the show from either Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade or Golden Bauhinia Square.
Ocean Terminal Deck
This observation deck is on the roof at the end of Ocean Terminal, which is both a cruise terminal and shopping center at Harbour City. The deck gives you an unencumbered 270˚ view that includes the harbour. At night, it is also a nice spot to watch the A Symphony of Lights show, minus the music.
Old Town Central
One cannot have a tour of Hong Kong without a walk through Old Town Central, one of the oldest districts in Hong Kong. You can begin your tour on the Central Mid Levels Escalator, an 800m-long system of covered outdoor escalators that is escorted by concrete steps on one side. Officially opened in 1993, it was originally built to ease traffic congestion between the Central business district and the affluent Mid Levels residential area.
Basically, Mid Levels is where people live; Central is where people work.
There is no space for two escalators side-by-side, so these escalators travel downwards from 6am to 10am, to serve commuters in Mid Levels going to work in Central. Then from 10am to midnight, all those moving steps move upwards. Actually, there are three travelators in addition to the 18 escalators.
On the steps, however, it is easier to see that this island is a hilly one. Many of the narrow buildings were built into the hillside. Truth is, Hong Kong Island has many small mountains, Victoria Peak being the tallest ( 554m ).
My group exited the Central Mid Levels Escalator on Hollywood Road, for our first exposure to street art in Hong Kong.
Street art there is generally the purview of artists of HKWalls, a non-profit arts organisation made of Hong Kong and international artists. Such art here is of varying quality, but those painted by members of HKWalls are generally of high standard.
While scoping out street art, the nature lover in you may be interested to note that, because buildings are packed tight together, trees sometimes grow on the walls, with their roots clinging the side and stretched out on the top of the walls.
Old buildings are often given new purpose. For example, the Police Married Headquarters (often abbreviated to PMQ) is now a place where young artists and designers can showcase their work.
Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland are the two biggest theme parks in Hong Kong, and like any theme park, have their share of rides. Notable is the cable car ride that connects Waterfront and Summit in Ocean Park. It is high up enough to be scary, yet strangely peaceful.
And you know it is cool when, a few hundred meters from the landing at Waterfront, the ride stops for a moment and someone in one of the cars in front of mine yells, “Why did it stop?! I don’t wanna die!”