A traveler's guide to Hong Kong

A traveler’s guide to Hong Kong

Caught up between History and modernity, Hong Kong offers extreme contrasts to the eyes of avid travelers. While the city prides itself in its modern skyscrapers, Hong Kong also treasures its historical temples.

An unmissable attraction in Hong Kong is watching the sunset from Victoria Peak, the highest region on the island. In colonial times, the area was an exclusive neighborhood for the rich to come and escape the heat and smog of the city in a cooler temperate. Despite the invention of the air conditioner, nowadays the view keeps attracting both tourists and locals to this spot. People gather in the area to enjoy the last glimpse of the day before the sky is painted by an array of pinks and oranges.

A Grade 1 historical building and temple, Lo Pan Temple, can be found at the western end of Hong Kong Island. This is the only temple dedicated to the patron saint of Chinese builders and carpenters in Hong Kong. Although it is a square and mainly grey building surrounded by other plain properties, it is attractively decorated with gold Chinese symbols of poems praising Lo Pan's contribution to architecture above the entrance. On the outside, ornate red decoration on the roof makes the temple stand out; inside, murals bring the walls to life.

Right in the middle of the city, there's Nan Lian Park in Diamond Hill. Built in the classical style of Tang Dynasty, this oasis boasts traditional pagoda buildings overlooking large lakes, rocky waterfalls and landscaped gardens dotted with tree. The scenery creates a peaceful getaway from the madness of the city. Locals and tourists alike come here to relax while they listen to tricking water.

The Buddhist temple of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin is brightly decorated on the outside with colorful symbols. Its name translate into ‘make every wish come true' which probably has something to do with its popularity, although it remains an important religious place. Although the temple was built to commemorate Wong Tai Sin - a famous monk from the 4th century, it's actually home to three religions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The influence of feng shui is also palpable in the design of the building, even in the colorful gardens.

After relaxing at the park and indulging your curiosity at the temples, it might be time for an adventure and Dragon's Back hike is just what you need. The hike is an incredible way to see great views with the advantage of fresh air. The trail resembles the shape of a dragon's back bone, hence the name, and it leads walkers through hill tops. Some of the great views you will spot are those of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanely, Tai Tan and the South Chine Sea.