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Hong Kong's best attractions, restaurants, nightlife and shopping

Barbara Fernandes/Getty Images/iStockphoto
A cable car offers a scenic view of Hong Kong.

USA TODAY 10BEST

July 28, 2014

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24 hours to climb a mountain and dine on dim sum

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The view across the harbor In Hong Kong

ATTRACTIONS

Victoria Peak: The 552-meter mountain has that classic Hong Kong view. Near the summit at 396 meters high there is an entertainment and viewing complex called Peak Tower where travelers can snap that perfect souvenir photo.Go on a nice day, and you can also make out the outlying islands scattered over the South China Sea. Various modes of transport reach the top, but the 1,350-meter-long peak tram is most popular. The Peak Tower also houses a view-fantastic Cantonese restaurant and a Madame Tussaud's Museum featuring Jackie Chan and Jet Li.

Garden Road
Hong Kong
thepeak.com.hk

Symphony of Lights: The 15-minute light and sound show is the top free activity in Hong Kong. Every night at 8 p.m., spectacular lights, lasers and digital fireworks shoot out from 45 buildings beside Victoria Harbour on both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon side. The $5.7 million project is dubbed by Guinness World Records as the "world's largest permanent light and sound show." The best places to enjoy the show are around the Avenue of Stars on Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai or, better yet, from any cruise boat on the harbor.

Victoria Harbour
Hong Kong
tourism.gov.hk

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A tram climbs toward the summit of Victoria Peak above Hong Kong.

Ocean Park: This massive Chinese wonderland is a combination of amusement park, aquarium and zoo. It has enough activity to keep everyone in the family busy for an entire day. Built around several hills near the South China Sea, the 780,000-square-meter park is divided into two sections: The Headland and The Lowland. They are connected by a 1,400-meter-long cable car system as well. The Lowland houses giant pandas, a variety of fun animal shows and Dolphin Encounter, 90 minutes of up-close-and-personal time in a pool with the friendly cetaceans. The Headland section is equipped with several thrilling ocean-side scream machines (roller coasters, water rides, etc.), a vast aviary with more than 1,000 birds and Marine World, a massive aquarium with a fabulous jellyfish exhibit, a shark tunnel and a gigantic reef tank with some 2,000 fish.

Ocean Park Road
Hong Kong
oceanpark.com.hk


RESTAURANTS

Lung King Heen: Cantonese food reaches its finest and most creative on the fourth floor of Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong. Lung King Heen, whose name means "dragon's view room," was the first Chinese restaurant to receive three Michelin stars in 2008. Formidable chef Chan Yan Tak went above and beyond to rejuvenate traditional dim sum menus. Ingenious creations, such as steamed Shanghai dumplings with scallops, have become the new objects of worship among serious local diners. Although the dim sum lunch is highly popular, the 128-seat fine-dining establishment also serves exotic seafood dishes and glazed Cantonese barbecued meat.

8 Finance St.
Hong Kong
fourseasons.com

Fook Lam Moon: Don't be surprised if you are eating next to a celebrity or your waiter is good friends with Hong Kong's richest men. Fook Lam Moon, a family-run restaurant, has satisfied some of the most demanding taste buds over more than six decades. Food is expensive (an average bill stands around $150 per head) but it's divine. All the Hong Kong seafood staples are on the menu: abalone, bird's nest and lobster. Roast suckling pig is a must-try, which consists of melt-in-your-mouth crispy skin and savory juicy meat. The dainty lau sa bao is another signature, which is a soft steamed bun filled with hot, liquid custard made with egg yolk, butter and sugar.

55 Kimberley Rd
Hong Kong

Yung Kee: Founded in 1942, Yung Kee grew from a dai pai dong food stall to a lavishly decorated Hong Kong icon by one dish: its legendary roasted goose ($19 for a quarter). The fowl is slow cooked in a coal-fire oven till reddish brown, and is served in chops together with the restaurant's sweet, sour and fruity dipping sauce. The goose meat is juicy and tender while the skin is crispy. In comparison, the restaurant's other signature dish is more challenging for Western diners: preserved eggs ($1.30 per portion) with marinated ginger slices as the side. Yung Kee's menu also includes various Hong Kong classics, such as fried noodles, soup noodles and congee.

32-40 Wellington St.
Hong Kong
yungkee.com.hk


NIGHTLIFE

Ozone: Perching on the highest floor of the world's highest hotel overlooking a skyscraper city, Ozone is an experience not to be found elsewhere. Occupying the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, the sleek and futuristic space is connected to the real world by a lift that moves as fast as nine meters a second. Try the martinis; they are some of the best in town. Of course, the view is the jewel on the crown. On a good day, visitors can have a near bird's-eye-view of Victoria Harbour, Kowloon, New Territories and outlying islands. Head to the bar's roofless semi-outdoor seating area that lets you see and breathe above the city.

1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong

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Banners hanging over downtown street in Hong Kong.

Felix: Situated on the 28th floor of the five-star Peninsula Hotel, the bar is part of a fine-dining restaurant of the same name. The sophisticated space contains four sections, from a wine bar to a soundproof dance floor. The artistic and abstract interior was created by French celebrity designer Philippe Starck, whose naughty-but-wonderful concept is still cutting-edge almost 20 years later. Equally important to the cocktails and the view is a trip to the men's bathroom. Gents will find themselves standing in front of a floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking Kowloon streets while employing the urinals.

Peninsula Hotel
Salisbury Road
Hong Kong


SHOPPING

Wattis Fine: Surrounded by antique stores, this fine arts gallery features antique maps that harken back to the days of world exploration. You'll also find a good selection of architectural prints and watercolors, as well as some affordable Western fine art. Feel free to browse; there is a wealth of fine art on display here.

2/F 20 Hollywood Road
Hong Kong
wattis.com.hk

IFC Mall: Hong Kong is a shopper's paradise. IFC has a definite edge, though, with a variety of designer boutiques that should please even the most devoted fashionista, including A|X Armani Exchange, Tiffany & Co., Juicy Couture, Givenchy, Escada, Burberry, Bulgari and Kate Spade. Dining options range from casual to elegant and include Isola, Inagiku, Pret A Manger and Lei Garden. There's also a five-screen cinema and Hong Kong Station (linking directly to the airport). The flat roof of the mall is open to the public, and makes for a great picnic spot.

8 Finance St.
Hong Kong

This content originally appeared on 10Best.com, a division of USA TODAY.

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