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Escaping the Hustle and Bustle of Downtown Hong Kong

As one of the world’s most compact and densely populated areas, you could be forgiven for thinking there is nowhere to relax in Hong Kong particularly on the Island.

First impressions as you emerge onto the streets revolve around the masses of people going about their daily life in a surprisingly organized manner.

Certainly the hustle and bustle for which Hong Kong is famous is an attraction in itself as you are able to blend smoothly in to day to day life getting a feel for the true Hong Kong. However, if you’re visiting for more than a few days, you may be interested in escaping downtown Hong Kong and exploring the other side to this intriguing place.

There are a variety of spots easily accessible from Hong Kong Island which offer an opportunity to see a more relaxed and peaceful side to life here.

Top of the list are:

Victoria Peak

Backpacking Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Backpacking Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

An early morning trip by tram to the top of Victoria Peak is the perfect escape from Hong Kong’s rush hour. Enjoy the breeze and the spectacular views from the viewing area at the Peak lookout. There are a variety of nature trails up at the Peak which make for a relaxing way to while away a few hours. Explore the Victoria Peak Garden and, at 554 meters above sea level, be rewarded with unobstructed views of the entire city.


Backpacking Stanley Beach, Hong Kong

Backpacking Stanley Beach, Hong Kong

Escape from the city and head out to Stanley, once a sleeping fishing village. While it has developed since then into a modern town, it still offers a pleasant and peaceful retreat. The pace of life is most definitely slower with a number of sandy beaches on which you can relax. Stanley is also an excellent spot to view examples of colonial Hong Kong. The area is also home to one of the oldest Tin Hau temples which date back to 1767; the gloomy temple interior is arguably one of the most evocative in Hong Kong.

Lantau Island – Big Buddha, Wisdom Path and the Monastery at Po Lin

Backpacking Big Buddha, Hong Kong

Backpacking Big Buddha, Hong Kong

No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the Big Buddha that sits majestically amongst the spectacular scenery of Lantau Island. After you’ve taken time to appreciate one of the world’s largest seated Buddha images, you can escape the popular visitor destination by enjoying a walk along the nearby Wisdom Path. This extremely peaceful walk through a corner of Lantau Island is the perfect place to unwind and you may even be joined on the trail by monks from the Po Lin Monastery nearby.

Tai O Fishing Village

Backpacking the Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong

Backpacking the Tai O Fishing Village, Hong Kong

To experience a complete contrast from Hong Kong Island’s neon lights and skyscrapers, take a few hours exploring the interesting village of Tai O. Located on the western coast of Lantau Island it is an example of the few last areas where people can see  original stilt houses in Hong Kong. Wander around the working harbor, visit the seafood market and take a ride by boat near the stilt houses to see a glimpse of life in this corner of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s non-stop reputation is certainly well-founded, however wherever you are you are not far from areas of peace and serenity.

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About the author

Tobias Carlson is a traveler and businessman. He's been lately working on the Service Apartment in Hong Kong page.

View all articles by Tobias Carlson
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