Victoria Harbor

Hong Kong Island View From Kowloon

Hong Kong Island View From Kowloon by C.K. Koay. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License.

Victoria Harbour is the natural strip of sheltered water that lies between Hong Kong island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It has long been regarded as one of the best natural harbours in the world. Surrounded on each side by the high skyscrapers of Hong Kong, and still as busy with shipping today as in the past, Victoria Harbour is one of the highlight views in Hong Kong. For the tourist, there is a range of options for viewing the Harbour. You can walk by the shore, take a boat trip across the water, or get a birds eye view from one of the neighbouring mountains or skyscrapers. 

Probably my favourite location to enjoy the views of Hong Kong harbour is at the Avenue of the Stars waterfront. This is on the Kowloon side of the harbour, near to Tsim Sha Tsui East MTR station. Walk along the promenade or site at one of the waterfront cafes and enjoy the view.

If you want to get out onto the water, the cheapest option by far is the Star ferry. These ply regularly and frequently between either Wan Chai or Central on Hong Kong island to Tsim Sha Tsi or Hung Hom on the Kowloon side. Tickets cost from 2 HKD to 6.5 HKD. First Ferry also run a route from Hung Hom to North Point which costs 4.5 HKD. First Ferry also runs route from Central to some of the outer islands. All there ferries offer good views of the harbour and surroundings and even several ferry crossings is cheaper than most other cruse options.

Many tourists get sold a harbour cruse. These vary in length. Some of the more expensive offer dining onboard. The cheaper ones simply run up and down the water for 30 minutes or so. The best time to go on one of these is around 8pm when you'll be able to enjoy the full illumination of the Symphony of Lights display on the buildings of Central Hong Kong. Tickets for cruses before an after this time are cheaper, but the 8pm cruse is worth the extra money. Harbour cruses can be bought at the waterfront near Tsim Sha Tsi or Hung Hom in Kowloon or at Wan Chai on Hong Kong island. At peak times/season, you should purchase your ticket in advance to ensure you get onboard. Expect to pay between 120 HKD for a 30 minute cruse with no extras, to 300 HKD for a 2 hour cruse including drinks and entertainment. 

Views looking north from Hong Kong island towards Kowloon can be found from any part of the waterfront from Central through Wan Chai to North Point. The best vantage point is probably round the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai district.

For high altitude views of the harbour, head for The Peak on Victoria Mountain. From here you can get panoramic views of all of Hong Kong island, the harbour and Kowloon on the opposite side. The Peak can be accessed either by bus via Happy Valley or by the Peak Tram from Central. 

Map showing location of Victoria Harbor

Above: Location of Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China