The sight of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline is something very unique and special that never fails to convey the essence of the city: exciting, glamorous, sparkling, stylish...
It just blows you away the first time you see it, and every time after that...
Victoria Harbor is always bustling with activity whether day or night: the ferries that shuttle back and forth the Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island sides,
the cruise ships entering and leaving port, the freighters and barges carrying their cargo and materials in and out one of the world's busiest ports, and
then, there's the colorful sampans, junks and harbour cruisers that have been delighting sightseers for years.
All that framed by striking architecture on both
sides of the Harbour as Hong Kong is home to some of the world's coolest buildings.
Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights
As if that wasn't enough, the Harbour serves as the backstage of one of Hong Kong's most popular attractions, the Symphony of Lights.
Every night, the Hong Kong skyline lits up and comes alive with beams and sparkles of light splashing and dancing all around the harbour.
This wonderful spectacle synchronized to lively music and a narration is a tribute to the energy and vitality of the city and its people.
The 15-minute spectacle starts at 8:00 p.m. and can be
freely enjoyed from just about anywhere in the area along the water as there are more than 40 buildings involved in the production on both sides of the Harbour.
Where to enjoy the best views of the Harbour?
Victoria Harbor is a feast to the senses, whether by day or night. During the day, getting a clear view of the bay is a bit of a hit or miss.
Levels of pollution are high in Hong Kong, some days worst than others so it might be a matter of luck.
If you have a nice clear day, grab the chance! On overcast and gray days you can do other activities, like visit the markets or museums.
And the views at night are quite something, a totally different experience, we recommend doing both.
There are of course many ways to experience this wonderful treat, and everyone will have his or her own preference, here are some of our favourites to get you started:
From Victoria Peak
The views of the Hong Kong Harbour from Victoria Peak are legendary and the backdrop of many postcards.
You can see the coastlines on both sides of the Harbour and the outlying islands beyond from Hong Kong's highest point.
Getting up to the Peak on the Peak Tram is of course part of the fun, but be aware that if you are going late in the afternoon or evening (or on weekends)
the lines could be long.
From a Victoria Harbour Cruise
What better way to see Victoria Harbor than being in the middle of it?
There are many companies offering different kinds of cruises, there are day harbour cruises, evening cocktail cruises, harbour cruises aboard a traditional junk,
Symphony of Lights cruises, dinner and cruise packages, and the no-frills Star Ferry Harbour Cruises.
Victoria Harbour Cruises leave from both the Kowloon and Hong Kong Island sides and they are quite easy to book.
From the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
On the Kowloon side, starting from the Star Ferry Terminal, you can walk along the water and over the Promenade which runs to the Avenue of Stars and all the way to the New World Center Shopping Center.
From here you get an uninterrupted view of the entire Hong Kong Island skyline, and is great place to go for a stroll, people watch, grab a bite, admire the views of the harbour, chill out at Starbucks...
The Avenue of the Stars is Hong Kong's version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, it's a tribute to the movie icons and comes together with hand-prints, sculptures, and the trigger-happy crowds snapping pictures away.
From the ICC's Sky100 Observation Deck
The Sky100 Observation Deck is at the International Commerce Center's 100th Floor. The ICC is the tallest building in Hong Kong, and one of the newest additions to the Kowloon skyline.
At 393 meters or 1,289 feet above sea level, Sky100 sits just opposite Victoria Peak, you could say they are standing almost eye to eye, and the views from here are just as spectacular.
From the Central Waterfront Promenade and the Observation Wheel
The Central Waterfront Promenade in the Hong Kong Island side extends from the Star Ferry Pier to Admiralty offering not only splendid views
of our breezy and effervescent Victoria Harbour but also a different vantage point for the towering skyline running all along next to it.
A relatively new area, it is breathing new life to the congested business district with the green areas and open spaces throughout. There are also
elevated viewing platforms along the walk, and by the time the project is completed, it should provide a link to the Wanchai promenade area all the way to
the Convention Centre and Bauhinia Square.
Along the promenade and not far from the Star Ferry Pier, the Observation Wheel provides incredible panoramic views from
one of its 42 gondolas that reach their highest point at 60 meters.
Bars and Restaurants With Fantastic Harbour Views
I will never forget the first time I stepped into the atrium at the Intercontinental Hotel...
a definite WOW moment...
Stunning views of the Harbour accross floor to ceiling windows... cocktail in hand... a fantastic sunset... one of the most memorable experiences for sure...
Yes, it might comes with a price but worth every penny of it! Definitely a great way to unwind and relax after a busy day in the city.
Hong Kong Harbour from the Air: A Helicopter Tour
A Helicopter Tour over Victoria Harbour is such an exciting ride, one minute you are flying over the skyscrapers of Central and the next
you are taking in the lovely tranquil beaches on the back side of the island, it is fun to see the contrasting views and it is such an entire different perspective seeing it all from the air.
Flightseeing tours are also convenient. One of the easiest take-off points is from the Helipads on top of the Peninsula Hotel, right in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui.
How much is a helicopter tour over Victoria Harbour? A fifteen minute scenic flight that takes you over
the skyscrapers of the wonderful skyline to the
beaches and bays along the coastline costs HK1,899 or US$242 per person.
Flights are limited and booking ahead is highly recommended.
Because a Helicopter Tour is so much a weather-dependent activity, I suggest you schedule this early on your itinerary,
you can always try later if the
weather does not cooperate right away. In the event that your helicopter flight is cancelled due to weather, you are given the choice to reschedule or a full refund.
Victoria Harbour Tips
- You need to see Victoria Harbour during the day as well as at night
- Take advantage of the first clear day you get. Go up the peak, really worth it!
- Don't miss all the action around the Harbour, the people watching is just as interesting as the Harbour itself
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