Hong Kong, which literally means “Fragrant Harbour” or “Incense Harbour”, is one of the expensive cities – and that includes visiting tourists. It is one of the places wherein you are expected to shed off some cash in order to enjoy through shopping and paying some of their tourist destinations. This, of course, is unless you avail of the free things to do in Hong Kong, which not only offer fun and some great experiences, but also a breather on your wallet.
Here are some free things to do in Hong Kong:
1. Walking the Avenue of Stars
Everybody loves to see the stars. What better way to spend some free time than to enjoy one of the free things to do in Hong Kong by navigating the Avenue of Stars? This spot is basically a sidewalk on the shore of Hong Kong’s Victoria Bay that is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The sidewalk and pedestrian area has the handprints and signatures of famous Hong Kong actors, such as Jackie Chan and metal sculptures of Hong Kong actors or film industry figures, such as Bruce Lee. Walking about 440 meters along the shoreline, one gets to enjoy the sight of the bay and the passing ships, the harbor air, and take some photographs among Hong Kong’s Stars.
2. A Symphony of Lights after the walk
If you are in for a fantastic show of lights accompanied by music, feel free to admire a Symphony of Lights at eight in the evening every day. Forty-four of Hong Kong’s imposing buildings work together to create a fantastic visual spectacle every night. This multimedia show features exterior lights and laser display that move and blink in complete synchronicity with an accompanying music. This wonderful sight can be viewed excellently while you are at the Avenue of Stars. After traversing the avenue, finish it off with a magnificent show of lights and music.
3. Visit Museums
Up for some history? Hong Kong offers great history illustrated through their museums. Visiting some of their museums is some of the free things to do Hong Kong. Every Wednesday, three of Hong Kong’s museums are free of admittance, making them an addition to the free things to do in Hong Kong! The Hong Kong Heritage Museum’s time tunnel displays the development of Hong Kong from its days as an imperial era fishing village.
The Hong Kong Science Museum has equal amounts of fun and education covered in nearly 500 exhibits, making it a sure fire fun and excitement for kids and the kids at heart. The Hong Kong Museum of Art is possibly Hong Kong’s most prestigious museum, making it a must see for art and history buffs.
4. Visit a Temple and see the Giant Buddha
If you are done with history or more interested with culture and the spiritual, then visiting a temple is the best way to go. Not to mention the view and epic photographs you can take with a gigantic statue of Buddha! This enjoyable endeavor is one of the free things to do in Hong Kong. Located in Lantau Island, the Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha are both on a plateau called Ngong Ping. Po Lin (translated as “Precious Lotus”) Monastery was originally built by monks in the early decades of the 20th century.
During the 1980s and early 1990s when China’s labor costs were much lower, the bronze parts and internal steel framework were manufactured in China, and the Tian Tan statue was set up in 1993. The Tian Tan Buddha, which faces north-east towards Beijing, is 34 meters tall and sits on a base on a hill. It is one of the biggest sitting bronze Buddhist statues in the world.
5. Hiking the Island
If you are not yet done with walks, or simply fascinated by such activity, then hiking around Hong Kong Island is one of the free things to do in Hong Kong for you. There are a lot of trails offered by this great city offering a different experience for every enthusiast.
One of the trails is the Hong Kong Park to Victoria Peak trail. It is from Hong Kong Park; walk over on Cotton Tree Drive to the zoo, then up Hornsey Road to Old Peak Road to the top of Victoria Peak. It is a moderately strenuous walk showcasing Hong Kong Park which is known for the large tent aviary and the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware. The Zoological and Botanical Gardens is world class. On top of Victoria Peak there are paths for 360 degree views and restaurants.
Another is the very difficult section 8 trail, otherwise known as the Dragon’s Back. The Dragon’s Back was named by Time Magazine as Asia’s Best Urban Hiking Trail. The Dragon’s Back stretches from Wan Cham Shan to Shek O Peak. The trail is along the ridge of upland of D’Aguilar Peninsula, and though the altitude isn’t high, the scenery is the best on the island because there are broad expansive views of scrub and grassland, seas, beaches, and sky. The way the water runs off the ridge makes the land grassy instead of jungle, like the land below. Thus, it will seem like you’re in another part of the world.
Another very difficult yet rewarding trail is the section 5 trail to Jardine’s Lookout. Though not as well-known as Dragon’s Back, the peaks provide a fine view of the whole region. It offers a great experience of the Big Tai Tam Country Park and a great view of Victoria Harbor. The big Tai Tam Country Park is behind the urban area of Hong Kong Island. It covers about a fifth of the whole island.
There are great green vistas, four reservoirs, dams to investigate, bridges to cross, jungles, city and sea views, Second World War fortifications, and even swimming turtles. The Wilson Trail and the Hong Kong Trail, two of Hong Kong’s top 4 hiking trails, go through it.
6. Sight Seeing at Victoria Harbor
If you are not into hiking, then another free thing to do in Hong Kong is one which offers a great view at the expense of leisure walking. This is done by casually strolling the Victoria Harbor, which is a natural land-form harbor situated between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in Hong Kong. It is one of the top free things to do in Hong Kong. Offering a spectacular view of the Hong Kong Skyline, you can spend time strolling while admiring iconic buildings, such as the Bank of China, the Convention Center, IFC Two Towers, and many more.
7. Park Relaxation
If what you seek is a walk in the park or simply sitting in one while basking in the magnificence of nature’s beauty, then Hong Kong offers that great relaxation experience through some of their parks. Park relaxation is one of the free things to do in Hong Kong. One of such parks is in the heart of Hong Kong City. Hong Kong Park is a small public city park in Hong Kong Island in Central. It is surrounded on one side by the skyscrapers and on the other side by Victoria Peak.
In the park area, you can see buildings built between 1842 and 1910. These buildings were renovated and now house the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, the Park Management Office, the Visual Arts Center and other small institutions.
Building a city park in the area was an old idea, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the Hong Kong government cooperated to build the park. In the small 8 hectare space between Cotton Tree Drive and Kennedy Road, the Hong Kong Provisional Urban Council and the Hong Kong Jockey Club opened this park, one of the great free things to do in Hong Kong, in 1991. Attracting million visits a year, it offers a big garden pond that covers a former tennis court, waterfalls or rapids and several important facilities, including a sports facility, a big aviary, museums, a plant conservatory and a children’s playground.
The park has won several awards including one from the United State Urban Services Department for its excellent design and facilities in the crowded urban area. The park is a walk through aviary. This means that you can walk on a walkway through the tree canopy so that you can see the birds flying around inside up close. The little Hong Kong Park has a lot of interesting attractions crammed into it and is a major highlight of a visit to Hong Kong Island.
Even expensive cities like Hong Kong can be enjoyed by the spendthrifts, or those who travel in a budget. So don’t hesitate to book your flights, pack your bags and enjoy the amazing yet free things to do in Hong Kong, which proves that indeed, money can’t buy happiness!