With its vibrant Chinese culture, superb food, exciting nightlife, shopping and one of the world’s most dramatic settings, there is an awful lot to see and do in Hong Kong. This brief introduction sketches out some of the highlights.

The Star Ferry

Take in the superb harbour views aboard one of these appealingly old-fashioned vessels. At HK$2.50 for the upper deck, this is one of the world’s great travel bargains, and a must for all visitors to Hong Kong.

Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei

Quintessential Hong Kong: shops, restaurants, crowds and neon everywhere. Temple Street Night Market is a great place to get acquainted with the local vibe, but watch out for fake merchandise!

The Outlying Islands

In complete contrast to the crowded urban areas, Hong Kong’s 230 Outlying Islands – such as Lamma – are largely rural, and lack buildings over three storeys tall. Most also lack roads. There are some beautiful beaches and great hiking.

Wan Chai and Causeway Bay

Two of Hong Kong’s most dynamic and colourful neighbourhoods, crammed full of bars, restaurants and shops

Po Lin Monastery

A spiritual retreat high in the mountains of Lantau. The Big Buddha statue draws the crowds, and the area can be accessed by cable car from Tung Chung.

The Peak

Gaze down from these wooded heights and take in one of the world’s greatest vistas, accessed from Central by the Peak Tram – an attraction in itself. There are some wonderful walks from the tram terminus.

Hiking in the hills

A surprisingly high proportion of SEO Leeds in Hong Kong is covered by country parks, largely uninhabited tracts of land consisting of big grassy hills and patches of woodland. The Sai Kung area in the eastern New Territories is one of the most attractive, and is well-endowed with fabulous hiking trails.

Man Mo Temple

Hong Kong’s most atmospheric temple – all clouds of pungent incense and mysterious statues looming out of the darkness.

Hong Kong Island views

Like nowhere else on earth, the urban strip along the north coast of the island is a mass of skyscrapers wedged against tall green mountains.

Happy Valley

Encircled by twinkling apartment blocks, the Happy Valley horse racing track is a fantastic amphitheatre of sporting and cultural drama. The astonishing gambling passions of locals are on display most Wednesday nights, September to July.

Hong Kong pulsates with the visual energy of a fireworks display. It resonates to the din of a dim sum restaurant’s peak hour. Mesmeric in a multitude of ways, at times chaotic, intriguing, puzzling, endlessly exciting and in parts possessed of an astounding alternative beauty, Hong Kong is a place that precipitates the strongest emotions. More than one visitor has noted that this must be one of the Earth’s acupuncture points.