Locations all over Hong Kong offer amazing skyline views day to night. // © 2013 Gary Bowerman
Hong Kong proudly promotes itself as “Asia’s World City,” and its spectacular cityscape certainly fits the bill. From Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, the combination of Victoria Harbor flanked by soaring skyscrapers, gently curving hills and the outlying islands creates stunning scenery that entices visitors from across the globe. Knowing the best spots for enjoying Hong Kong’s urban-meets-ocean landscapes adds extra enjoyment for visitors to this destination.
Clients with a passion for photography will want to ride the historic Peak Tram. Opened in 1888 as Asia’s first cable funicular, the popular wooden tram ascends a steep gradient through lush greenery to the summit of Victoria Peak. The Peak Tower Sky Terrace sits on top of the hill, 1,404 feet above sea level, and is visible from across Hong Kong Island. On a clear day, the views from the peak — which look over the harbor, skyline and hills beyond — are truly magnificent. Advise clients to visit in the early morning, when the cloud cover is light, and in the evening, when Hong Kong’s famous neon lights add an extra element of visual drama.
On the opposite side of Victoria Harbor, the International Commerce Center in West Kowloon is easily visible from Peak Tower. This landmark tower is Hong Kong’s tallest building, and its 102nd to 118th floors are home to the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. A few floors down, the Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck offers some of the best views in the city. Perhaps best avoided by vertigo sufferers, this 100th-floor viewing platform offers photogenic 360-degree panoramas from 1,607 feet up in the sky.
If neither of those venues provides enough scenic drama, the best recourse is to take to the skies. Clients can take an elevator to the helipad atop the historic hotel, The Peninsula, in Kowloon. From here, HeliServices operates twin-engine helicopter trips for up to five people. Ranging from 15 to 45 minutes, these unique sightseeing tours offer cloud-level vistas of Victoria Harbor and the central skyline. Clients can then choose to either head toward the southern bays and beaches of Hong Kong Island, or to fly over the rugged coast of the New Territories and along the border of Mainland China.
The iconic Star Ferry, meanwhile, offers genteel sightseeing from the water. These popular green-and-white ferries have meandered leisurely back and forth across Victoria Harbor, between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, since 1880. Seeing the city skyline rise up overhead from the harbor is a truly unique experience, with beautiful views day and night.
For dramatic nighttime views, sophisticated cocktails and a cool vibe all in one, Aqua Spirit is the complete package. Located on the 30th floor of the One Peking tower on the Kowloon harborside, this hip lounge features angled floor-to-ceiling windows that perfectly frame Hong Kong’s evening cityscape. After a day of sightseeing, Aqua is a great spot to kick back with a drink in hand and watch the twice-nightly Symphony of Lights multimedia show, when 44 of the harbor-front skytowers are illuminated in a choreographed kaleidoscope of lasers and neon lights.