The harbor is quite beautiful and is worth seeing in a tour of Hong Kong. It is a strategic location and was an important part of the British Empire. Now it plays an important part in China's foreign trade and for Hong Kong's tourism.
Victoria Harbor features on our list of The Top 10 Attractions in China.
Four places to go for a special view of the harbor are the ICC Tower, the Avenue of Stars, Central Plaza, and Victoria Peak.
The Avenue of Stars is a special promenade with benches. Handprints of famous greats of the Hong Kong movie industry are inlaid. It fronts the harbor between the Star Ferry Terminal and the Hong Kong Museum of Art. It passes by the Hong Kong Cultural Center and the interesting egg-shaped dome of the Space Museum with a mockup of the front end of the Space Shuttle.
From the Avenue of Stars at dusk, you can watch the Symphony of Lights spectacle of the buildings lit up above the harbor in concert with the audio playing on the speakers behind you. No other city in the world is lit up in a concerted light and sound spectacle almost every night with lasers and skylights playing on the bottom of the clouds and colors reflecting off the wavy water.
Central Plaza is the third-tallest building in the city at 374 meters (1,227 feet) tall with 78 stories. The Hong Kong City Church meets at the top. It is known as the highest church in the world located inside a skyscraper. The chapel at the top of the building has glass walls on all sides and during services in the mornings, visitors can admire the view of both Victoria Peak and the ships passing below their feet accompanied by the great music for free.
Victoria Peak may be the most memorable place to view the harbor, especially after a half hour or hour walk through the city park above Mid-levels. If you are thirsty or hungry there is a big mall with restaurants, refreshment places and a Starbucks. The Peak Tram also goes up there, as do city buses.
The natural harbor is quite big and long and is divided into three parts. The part most visitors see includes the area between Tsim Sha Tsui and Hong Kong Island.
The Star Ferry Terminal is located on the Tsim Sha Tsui side next to the promenade called the Avenue of Stars. Tall buildings are clustered around this part of the Harbor. The Star Ferry’s pier is only about a kilometer away from Hong Kong Island.
Two miles east of this area will be a US$14,000,000,000 cruise terminal and residential and shopping complex called the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The first portion of this complex that is set to open in 2013 will accommodate the world's largest cruise vessels.
To the west is a large, impressive, and busy container port. The Kwai Tsing Container Port is the world's 3rd busiest container port and is in the northwestern part of the harbor. That is where much of the export wealth of Hong Kong is funneled through, and it is one of the most important ports for China.
The container port area is amazing to see if you haven't seen big ports before. See it by riding the double-decker buses along West Kowloon Highway. You can see the view better from the upper deck of these buses.
The Treaty of Nanking between China and Britain in 1843 stipulated that Hong Kong was a part of the British Empire. Victoria Harbor gradually became a major port because it was close to Canton and along the major shipping lines between Japan and Singapore.
Reclamation projects have changed the look of the harbor. Now there is a major reclamation and construction project going on in Central next to the ferry piers. Tourist attractions are planned for the new venue beside the IFC Towers.
Victoria Harbor is a major visitor attraction for millions of people from all over the world who visit Hong Kong each year.
Both sides of Victoria Harbor have interesting tourist attractions. Enjoy the sea breeze and tour the attractions around the harbor including great museums, free public parks, zoos and amusement areas, outstanding architecture, hiking and beautiful scenery.
Most of the favorite tourist sites are around the harbor in the Kowloon area, Hong Kong Island and Lantau. Tsim Sha Tsui has four good museums and the Hong Kong Cultural Center and can be toured in a day's tour with a guide map.
Maps and tourist information are available for free at the Star Ferry Hong Kong Tourism Board’s office at the Star Ferry in TST. Without a map, the area is confusing to walk around in.