Hong Kong’s history is tied to the sea. Made up of 236 islands, it is surrounded and defined by water. The urban centers of Kowloon and Central radiate back from Victoria Harbour, and the tradition of feng shui (literally, “wind and water”) decrees that harmonious residences should face the sea.
So, naturally, the best way to discover Hong Kong’s hidden treasures is by boat. The most visible option is the Star Ferry, which runs between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, and also offers harbor tours and charter vessels for evening parties. For a more upscale experience, the Agua Luna, an 80-year-old junk, has been restored in style, with scarlet sails, for cocktails-and-canapés harbor parties
Lamma Island’s rising contours, lush vegetation, and excellent seafood restaurants make for an alluring day-trip by boat. A scenic hike across from Yung Shue Wan to Sok Kwu Wan takes about 2 hours. From Sok Kwu Wan catch a 35-minute ferry back to Central. Another getaway option is Cheung Chau, a picturesque island with beaches, markets, and great seafood. A ferry from the Central Ferry Terminal takes 45–55 minutes
Evenings in Hong Kong tend to revolve around eating, drinking, and conviviality – with some snaps of the dazzling night-time skyline thrown in for good measure. Yet after-dark Hong Kong affords just as much diversity as during the day. Floodlit horse-racing at the Happy Valley Racecourse is a time-honored night out for locals, who take their racing and their betting extremely seriously, and great fun for visitors. Located in an urban bowl and surrounded by high-rise buildings, the racecourse itself is a spectacular sight. Be sure to study the form carefully before betting.
Visitors who prefer to play a sport rather than watch one can fine-tune their golf swing into the night at the City Golf Club. Located close to Tsim Sha Tsui, the upper level of the two-story driving range affords fine views over the harbor. Fast ferries, operating around the clock between Central and Macau, mean that a high-rolling evening in Macau’s bars and glitzy super-casinos is relatively straightforward – provided you don’t stake your return fare on the baccarat tables.
For a romantic and nostalgic trip, the venerable Hong Kong Tram plies a meandering route between Causeway Bay and Western via the Central Business District and Downtown. Jump on and off en route (there’s a stop roughly every 275 yards/250 m), or just sit and snuggle up as your wooden carriage trundles through the heart of Hong Kong