Answers from Our Experts (3)
One of the many things I love about Hong Kong is the fact that no two views of the city are quite the same. Arguably the most popular place to snap postcard-worthy pictures of this diverse city is Victoria Peak. A public observation deck provides plenty of jaw-dropping views, but for the best experience, you'll have to ascend to the top of Sky Terrace 428. This ticketed attraction puts you high above other spectators (428 metres above sea level, to be exact) and provides 360° views of the surrounding city in all its splendor.
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront is another place you'll want to visit with your camera. Arrive early for the nightly Symphony of Lights, which starts promptly at 8 p.m., and watch as the skyline across Victoria Harbor lights up with a dazzling display of color and sound.
When I was in Hong Kong, one of my absolute favorite places to take in the skyline view with friends was the roof of the IFC Mall in Central. The rooftop is open to the public, which means you're allowed to bring your own food and beverages (yes, including alcohol) with you. If you'd prefer to let someone else serve you, Red Bar + Restaurant should do the trick.
Another idea is to take one of the ferries from Central to the outlying islands for a day. Upon your departure and return, keep the camera handy to capture the city from a multitude of vantage points and distances.
In daylight hours, head up to Victoria Peak for panoramic views over the north and south sides of Hong Kong Island, the outlying islands and across the harbor to Kowloon and the hills beyond. For the highest vantage point, visit the Sky Terrace 428, the viewing platform atop the wok-shaped Peak Tower.
After dark, a trip across the harbor on the Star Ferry affords a sweeping view of Hong Kong’s famous skyline.
If you have more time on your hands (and don’t mind working up a sweat), hit one of Hong Kong’s many trails for something a little different. A trek up to Lion Rock will be rewarded with views down over the density of Kowloon and beyond. And Dragon’s Back shows off HK’s quieter south side.
For a decidedly more relaxed approach to collecting vistas, consider one of the city's rooftop bars.
All of this comes with one caveat: The Hong Kong sky is sometimes heavy with haze that severely restricts visibility, even on sunny days.
Hong Kong is well-known for many things — shopping, dining and nightlife, for instance — but the one activity you definitely shouldn't miss out on is taking in the city view. Fortunately, this can be done in a multitude of ways:
Visit one of the city's main attractions, Victoria Peak — also known as merely the Peak — and get a ticket to gain entry to the Sky Terrace 428. While the Peak has other terraces where entry is free, those lack the spectacular 360° views of the Sky Terrace. You'll also get to experience the funicular railway on the ride up, which was originally built in the 19th century.
Make a reservation at one of the many rooftop bars around the city and take in the views over a cocktail or three. Ozone, on the 118th floor of Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is a good choice, offering sky-high views of the Victoria Harbour and beyond.
You can get gorgeous views on a number of hiking trails, too. Dragon's Back and certain sections of the sprawling MacLehose Trail are two popular choices. Be advised that the MacLehose Trail can be challenging, so it might be best to attempt it if you're a more experienced hiker.
For a truly memorable experience, take a helicopter ride over the harbour through Five-Star The Peninsula Hong Kong. You can even combine your flight with a meal or a spa experience if you really want to class it up.
Finally, you can take in the rolling hillside views while riding a cable car. There's the Ngong Ping 360 in Lantau Island, which is close to a number of other attractions including the Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery and the themed Ngong Ping Village. There's also the original cable car in Ocean Park in Aberdeen, but you'll need a ticket for the amusement park proper to ride it.