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Hong Kong must do's

Between its record-breaking number of skyscrapers, its sprawling territory across hundreds of islands, and its incredible diversity of attractions, you’d be forgiven for feeling overwhelmed by the city’s scope. Luckily, we have a few key suggestions to guide your initial explorations through this dynamic hub. From historic temples and junk rides to lively street markets, these landmarks and activities will plunge you straight into the heart of Hong Kong life.

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Hong Kong street markets

Though Hong Kong is also famous for its palatial malls and luxury boutiques, its street markets offer up a shopping experience like no other. From its Flower Market, where you can pick up everything from orchids to bonsai, to the Apliu Street Market, where vintage cameras and other electronics tempt buyers, you can find almost everything under the sun among peddlers’ wares. Pro-tip: if you only plan to visit one, make the lively, wide-ranging Temple Street Night Market your stop.

Ten unmissable markets in Hong Kong

Victoria Peak

Few other urban vistas can compare with the view from the top of Victoria Peak, the loftiest point on Hong Kong Island. Take a funicular tram to the top — or go for a hike, if you’re feeling especially energetic — and you’ll be rewarded with a glittering array of skyscrapers stretching as far as the eye can see. Time your trip for sundown so you can enjoy the view as twilight descends and the lights come on.

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Junk rides

Hong Kong’s historic fishing vessels, famous for their magnificent red sails, once trawled the waters of Victoria Harbour en masse. Today, only few are left, and these days they’re used for leisure rides instead. Hop onboard and see the Harbour’s sights from the water (with a glass of bubbly in hand, for a special trip).

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The Big Buddha

It’s formally known as the Tian Tan Buddha, but colloquially, this landmark is simply called the Big Buddha. The colossal bronze sculpture on Lantau Island measures in at an impressive 34 metres tall, and weighs approximately 250 tonnes. You’ll have to ascend several hundred steps to reach the Buddha, but the climb is worth it for an up-close look at the landmark (and for the views over the surrounding scenery).

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Wong Tai Sim temple

One of Hong Kong’s most visited landmarks is the beautifully ornate Wong Tai Sim temple, and it isn’t hard to see why. The shrine is dedicated to three different religions — Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism — meaning it was always destined to draw in crowds. Then there’s the sheer fact of its beauty, with its exquisitely painted façade, ornamental carvings, and other decorative touches.