Hong Kong for Free
A tourist can easily spend a week in Hong Kong, and easily spend a small fortune on all the delights the area has on offer such as Disneyland, Ocean Park and cruises in harbour. However, such is the diversity of this wonderful city, that there are also many brilliant attractions which are totally free. So if you are planning a trip to Hong Kong try these excellent places.
Botanical and Zoological Gardens
When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, make your way to the Botanical and Zoological Gardens. This oasis of tranquillity sits among the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island. In the early mornings you will find dozens of people performing the graceful exercises of T’ai Chi Ch’uan. This small, but perfectly formed, zoo specialises in primates, and is home to families of orangutans.
Symphony of Lights
Impressive as Hong Kong’s skyline is by night, the introduction of the Symphony of Lights has raised the bar to another level. This 18 minute sound and light show utilises the outside of 44 buildings along the waterfront of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. This stunning display takes place every evening at 8pm (with narration in English on Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and the best place to view it is from Tsim Sha Tsui. According to the Guinness Book of Records the display is the largest, permanent sound and light show on the planet.
Kowloon Walled City Park
Now a beautiful park adorned with topiary and pavilions this peaceful area of Kowloon was once the notorious Walled City, one of the most dangerous and poverty-stricken places in the territory. Now you can go there to get some quiet away from the throb and bustle of Kowloon. It is a great place for a picnic; and if you are a chess player, then there are plenty of chess boards were you can watch or have a go yourself.
Temple Street Night Market
In Kowloon every night around 7pm, Temple Street comes alive with a massive and colourful market selling everything from jeans and T-shirts to silk shirts and fresh fish. At a junction in the middle of the market two fish restaurants spring into action – offering a range of formally, sea-dwelling creatures you can pick out and eat.
The Avenue of Stars
Situated along the beautiful promenade on the Kowloon waterfront, this is a great place for an evening stroll. Cooled by the breeze coming off the harbour and with magnificent views across the water, a 400m stretch of the promenade has been given over to the Avenue of Stars, which pays homage to Hong Kong’s movie making history. The highlight (for me) being the life-like statue of Bruce Lee, erected using money donated by his fans.