Day 1-2: US. - Hong Kong
Depart from the USA on your flight to Hong Kong. Cross the International Date Line and arrive on the following day. Meet your local guide and check into your hotel. The evening is at your leisure.
- Accommodations: Regal Kowloon Hotel (6 nights)
- Meals Included: Meals Aloft
Day 3: Hong Kong
Tour Sheung Wan Dried Food & Herbal Market. Hong Kong remains very traditional when it comes to health and beauty aids. Ginseng, deer horn, sea horses and other exotic resources are staples of many Chinese households. Wonder through the herbal markets and learn about traditional healing and age old practices as shopkeepers and herbal practitioners introduce you to their abundant herbs and medicines.
Tour Hong Kong’s most famous landmark, Victoria Peak. Take in the panoramic views of Kowloon and the surrounding islands. Hong Kong is rightly famed all over the world for the stunning views from Victoria Peak – a sight that never fails to amaze. Neatly bisecting the near and far land masses is Victoria Harbor, its waters constantly being traversed by all manner of craft ranging from stately passenger liners and plodding freighters to sprightly Star Ferries and darting jetfoils.
Tour the Aberdeen Floating Community with Sampan ride. This used to be small fishing village with a couple centuries of history. In the past decades as Hong Kong is modernizing and developing, Aberdeen has become a vibrant waterfront resort for the locals. Still traditional fishing life style is carried on here. Hundreds of junks and sampans, the old-fashioned boats, serve as floating homes for thousands of people. They crowd in the narrow harbor, dramatically juxtaposed against the modern high-rise buildings spreading up the nearby hillsides.
Enjoy Dim Sum Lunch on the famed Jumbo Floating Restaurant.
Next, explore Hollywood Road with hundreds of antique shops of various sizes, filled with furniture, Ming Dynasty vases, and Jade. Stop by Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road, a place of worship for the civil and literature god Man Tai and the martial god Mo Tai. The two gods were popularly patronized by scholars and students seeking progress in their study or ranking in the civil examinations in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Next, make your way down the Central Mid-Level Escalator. This outdoor escalator is the longest one in the world covering 2,600 feet. It was constructed to connect the byzantine streets and neighborhoods built into the hillside. It is a fantastic people watching experience and you can get off at multiple points to explore the surrounding areas. The neighborhood is now a contemporary, hip scene with lots of international restaurants and stores!
In time allows, enjoy a walking culinary tour of Hong Kong where you will experience local produce markets and enjoy local street foods like Won Ton Noodles, custard tarts, and sugar cane juice.
Dinner is at Kuk Yu Tea House where locals eat sweet and sour pork made with hawthorn berries.
In the evening, stroll the Temple Street night market.
- Meals Included: B,L
Day 4: Hong Kong
This morning, visit Sam Tung Uk Hakka Village, an 18th century walled village built by the Chan Clan. Sam Tung Uk means “three beam dwelling”, as originally three rows of houses were erected with supporting beams called “Tang”. The central ancestral hall is decorative while the rustic design of the houses reflects the lifestyle of the Hakka farmers of the time.
Stop at Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree and Old Tin Hau Temple, a large Banyan tree at Lam Tsuen in Tai Po, where you can find colorful clothes and plastic streamers hanging from the branches with prayers and wishes of the local people.
Lunch is at Spring Deer Restaurant.
In the afternoon visit Chi Lin Nunnery & Nan Lian Garden. Chi Lin Nunnery is a large Buddhist temple complex located in Diamond Hill, Kowloon. Covering a space of more than 33,000 square meters, the temple complex includes a nunnery, temple halls, Chinese gardens, visitor’s hostels and a vegetarian restaurant. The Chi Lin Nunnery was founded in 1934 and was rebuilt in the 1990s following the style of Tang Dynasty traditional Chinese architecture. The present-day buildings are wood framed without a single nail. The construction is based on traditional Chinese architectural techniques dating from the Tang Dynasty that uses special interlocking system to hold wood together. The Chi Lin Nunnery complex is the only one in this style in modern day Hong Kong.
During the political turmoil of China’s history, there existed the Kowloon Walled City, a refugee population living in high-rise skyscrapers. With its own independent economy, this city was without a police force and stood as the epicenter of Hong Kong’s black market and criminal syndicates. Having been evacuated by the government after a fire tore through the buildings, the remains have been converted into a park where visitors can learn about Hong Kong’s past.
- Meals Included: B
Day 5: Lantau Island
This morning, transfer to Central outlying ferry pier and take a high speed ferry ride to Lantau Island. Upon arrival, transfer to private tour van to visit Cheung Sha beach and Tai O (stilt house village). Tai O, also known as the “Venice of the East”. It was once the largest inhabited settlement on Lantau Island. The village’s stilt houses on the waterfront offer a glimpse into Hong Kong’s past and provide a striking contrast with the modern city.
Today’s lunch is a special vegetarian meal served at Po Lin Monastery. The monastery resides in the beautiful plateau of Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. Nestled between the hills, this grand monastery built in 1927 is a major center of Buddhism in the region. The main temple houses 3 bronze statues of the Buddha representing his past, present and future lives as well as many Buddhist scriptures. The highlight of Po Lin Monastery is the Tian Tan Buddha, known as the Giant Buddha located on the hilltop, up a flight of 268 steps. The 112ft high sculpture weights 250 tons and is the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze statue of the Buddha.
Transfer back to Hong Kong in the evening. Dinner is at The Chairman, where seasonal dishes create a rotating the menu. (B,L,D)
- Meals Included: B,L,D
Day 6: Lamma Island
In the morning, depart for the Hong Kong harbor. Board a ferry to Lamma Island. Unlike the bustling city of Hong Kong, Lamma Island prides itself on tranquility with prohibitions on buildings larger than 3 stories and no vehicles other than emergency fire trucks and ambulances. This has made Lamma Island a haven for artists, expats, and travelers looking for a quiet corner.
Start with a walk down Yung Shue Wan street. This bustling thoroughfare is filled with handicrafts, cafes, and studios.
Stop by Tin Hau Temple. Tin Hau is the goddess of the sea and is revered by the local fishermen. The temple is still pilgrimaged by locals for good luck on the sea and you may notice uniquely western style lions guarding the temple entrance.
Next, take the Yung Shue Wan Family walk. This trail crosses the car-less island to various viewpoints across the island. Stop by the Lamma Winds field. Lamma island gets its power from a vast array of wind turbines that overlook Hong Kong island.
Continue to HungShingYeh Beach. With powdery sand and calm waters, this beach is the most popular destination for locals. For a more remote area, you may continue 15 minutes to Lo So Shing Beach. Spend the rest of the day relaxing from your hike.
In the early evening, take the ferry back to Hong Kong. (B,L)
- Meals Included: B,L
Day 7: Macau
In the morning, depart for the Hong Kong ferry terminal to take a boat to Macau (approximately 1 hour). This former Portuguese colony is now known as the Las Vegas of Asia and is the largest gambling site in the world.
Your first stop is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Macau’s most famous landmark, the Ruins of St. Paul’s. This 16th century facade left from a college and cathedral that had been destroyed in a typhoon is reinforced by steel and there’s a stairway for visitors to climb up and peek through the windows. Below is the historic Senado Square and the Rua da Tercena where locals go for art, antiques, and countless shops.
Next, stop by the Venetian Macao. As the largest casino in the world and the largest building in the world based on floor space, you can explore one of the three indoor canals via gondola.
Tour San Ma Lo. In less than a mile the street offers a capsule commentary on Macanese life. Stop at the Grand Prix Museum. The objective of the museum is not only to remember and to document the great moments in Grand Prix history, but also to build a stronger and closer relationship between the local population and this social and sports event.
End your day with a visit to the top of the Macau tower. Enjoy the Skywalk, an open-air platform 764 feet up where passengers wear harnesses to enjoy the 2-meter-wide walkway and panoramic views. Passengers may also partake in the 765 foot Bungee jump, the highest in the world!
Return to Hong Kong in the evening. (B,L)
- Meal Included: B,L
Day 8: Hong Kong - U.S.
In the morning transfer to the airport for your flight back to the USA.