The nonstop city of Hong Kong is packed with exciting things to do and see. You might fill your getaway with ferry rides in Victoria Harbor, shopping at night markets in Mong Kok or riding the tram to the top of the Peak. While there is lots to do in Hong Kong, don’t miss the chance to explore the region. Day trips from Hong Kong are readily available using organised tours or public transportation, and you can venture beyond the big city atmosphere. Trips can include hikes, traditional villages, theme parks and even budget shopping in China.
The outlying islands of Hong Kong offer a lot to travelers, and Cheung Chau is one of the smaller and more interesting isles to explore. Located off the coast of a larger outlying island called Lantau, Cheung Chau is known for its seafood cuisine and sunny beaches. A great way to explore the island is to arrive by ferry and then set off on one of the many well-marked hiking trails. Then, kick back on the sand and watch the waves crash as local fishermen haul in their catch. Find a seafood restaurant by the beach where you can dine on delicious and incredibly fresh dishes.
Whether you’re traveling with kids or you’re just a big Disney fan, Hong Kong Disneyland is a fun destination. Since it is smaller than some of the other Disney theme parks, it is easy to enjoy with a single day trip. Hong Kong Disneyland is located on Lantau Island, and the fun starts as you ride the Disney-themed train from the Sunny Bay MTR station. If you’re in search of adrenaline, there are plenty of thrill rides to choose from. However, there are also lots of scenic spots, a beautiful lake, opportunities to meet costumed characters and calmer rides for children.
For a longer day trip that lets you leave Hong Kong altogether, consider venturing across the border into China. Guangzhou (once Known as Canton) is just two hours away by train, making it accessible enough for a day trip. The enormous city, the third largest in China, is home to several historic Buddhist temples. The eighth century Dafo Temple is one of the oldest and most historically significant. Guangzhou is also known for its many green spaces and public parks. Yuexiu Park is the largest urban park in all of China, and it boasts a series of sculptures and statues, several lakes, rolling green hills and the Ming Dynasty Zhenhai Tower, which is now home to a wonderful museum.
A little off the beaten track is the New Territories, a large region that is less densely populated than Hong Kong. Sai Kung is a peninsula in the New Territories that is popular with travelers and locals alike who want to escape the crowds and enjoy spectacular scenery. Hiking is a big reason to visit Sai Kung, and the Maclehose Trail is a challenging way to explore the landscape. May visitors also opt to take a junk trip from Hong Kong, which lets you sightsee through Sai Kung from the water. Most junk trips can recommend spots where you can head straight for a secluded beach and enjoy a dip in the water.
Millions of commuters travel between Shenzhen, in China, and Hong Kong each day. The train journey is under an hour, but it can be busy during peak rush hours. However, heading to Shenzhen for a day can be a fantastic experience. The number one reason that Hong Kong locals head to Shenzhen is for the low shopping prices. In particular, Shenzhen is known for cheap clothing. There are large shopping malls in Shenzhen packed with tailors and seamstresses, and you can have custom suits or dressed made at very reasonable prices. While you’re in Shenzhen, you may also want to check out the Splendid China & Chinese Folk Culture Village, which allows you to experience the varying cultures of China in a single day.
One of the most incredible day trips from Hong Kong is to Lantau Island. Start in Tung Chung, where you can catch a cable car ride on the Ngong Ping 360 up the mountains. Then, you’ll arrive at the Po Lin Monastery. Built in 1906, the monastery features three famed brass sculptures of Buddha. There are several hikes in and around the monastery, and the green mountain views are spectacular. However, the main attraction is outside of the monastery itself. The Giant Buddha is hard to miss, and it is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. Hike up the steps to see it up close.
Macau is just across the Pearl River Estuary from Hong Kong, making it an easily accessible day trip. There are many reasons to head to Macau, but most visitors are interested in the casinos or the Portuguese cultural influences. Macau generates more gambling revenue annually than Las Vegas, and its shopping malls and casinos are among the best in the world. At the same time, Macau is home to a number of fascinating historic landmarks. Start your day trip by exploring the Rua da Tercena, a charming outdoor market, and then shop for antiques at the stores near the São Paulo Cathedral. Colonial era architecture and tasty Portuguese cuisine make parts of Macau feel more like Europe than Asia.