At the surface, Hong Kong may seem like a modern metropolis but when you explore its heart, you will realize that the fascinating city has still kept the traditions of the yesteryears alive. When you look beyond the tall skyscrapers and the shimmering maze of roads, you will find ancient monasteries, bustling markets, and medieval architecture adorning the landscape. Here are some of the ways in which you can witness the traditional side of Hong Kong at close quarters and can experience its diverse and colorful culture.
Visit Historic Temples
Be it the stunning sculptures that embellish the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery or the majestic red and gold architecture of the Wong Tai Sin Temple, the temples of Hong Kong are the best places to admire the craftsmanship of the locals and to immerse in a peaceful and surreal atmosphere. The smoke and the fragrance of the incense sticks create a mystical environment at the Man Mo Temple while the colorful adornments of the Pak Tai Temple add to the beauty of the Cheung Chau Island. A visit to all these ancient temples is a must to understand better the intriguing traditions of the locals.
Have Breakfast At A Dai Pai Dong
There is no better way to comprehend the local culture than to dine like the locals. Head over to a Dai Pai Dong early in the morning for a traditional breakfast. Dai Pai Dongs are alfresco eateries where you can find authentic local dishes such as steaming Dim Sums, spicy fried rice, and juicy sandwiches. The best part about eating at a Dai Pai Dong is that you will get to share a table with the locals as well as other travelers, which will allow you to observe the local lifestyle and to interact with others to learn more about the culture of the region.
Visit Lantau Island And See The Big Buddha
Head over to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island to admire one of the largest sculptures of the seated Buddha in the world. Known as the Big Buddha or the Tian Tan Buddha, this magnificent bronze statue is 34 meters tall and weighs more than 250 metric tons. Surrounding the statue are 6 smaller sculptures, collectively known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”. These statues symbolize the virtues needed for enlightenment and hold offerings for the central statue of Lord Buddha. There are also three floors beneath the sculpture, one of which is believed to hold the remains of Gautam Buddha.
Pamper Yourself At A Traditional Spa
Catch a glimpse of ancient Chinese medicine in action at a traditional spa where you can enjoy a relaxing massage. The traditional Hong Kong massage therapy is believed to restore a balanced flow of energy through the body and is also known to cure various ailments. A session at a local spa will help you get rid of any accumulated stress in your body and will leave you feeling thoroughly refreshed and rejuvenated. This is the best way to pamper yourself after a long day of exploration.
These are some of the activities that will allow you to experience the traditional aspects of Hong Kong and to immerse in the rustic culture of the region. So if you want to explore the historical heritage of this enchanting city then make sure to add these items to your list!