Best Of Chan May Cruise ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Hong Kong , China | Hue / Danang (Chan May) , Vietnam | Hong Kong , China

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DAY 1 - Departure Day

Hong Kong, China

DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

COASTAL SKYLINE

After you arrive at Hong Kong's airport on Lantau Island, see the enormous Tian Tan Buddha, measuring 112 feet tall and weighing over 200 tons. Then, take a harbor cruise to get your bearings and see Hong Kong's modern architecture. Later, slurp noodles at the Temple Street Night Market. If you have an extra day, head out to Dragon's Back portion of the Hong Kong Trail for some scenic hiking among mist-covered peaks.

A red bridge leading to a temple Chinese architecture in a garden in Hong Kong, China
Ferris wheel and skyscrapers during the day in Hong Kong, China
View from a mountain top looking down at the Hong Kong skyline

After you arrive at Hong Kong's airport on Lantau Island, see the enormous Tian Tan Buddha, measuring 112 feet tall and weighing over 200 tons. Then, take a harbor cruise to get your bearings and see Hong Kong's modern architecture. Later, slurp noodles at the Temple Street Night Market. If you have an extra day, head out to Dragon's Back portion of the Hong Kong Trail for some scenic hiking among mist-covered peaks.

A red bridge leading to a temple Chinese architecture in a garden in Hong Kong, China
Ferris wheel and skyscrapers during the day in Hong Kong, China
View from a mountain top looking down at the Hong Kong skyline
Things To Do

in Hong Kong

The Victoria peak tram arriving at a station overlooking the skyline in Hong Kong, China

Peek From the Peak

The Peak Tram takes you up to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's 1,800-foot-high mountain. Less expensive buses will get you there, too. Once you're up top, admire the views over the city from the hiking trails. The Peak also offers an escape from the subtropical climate below — the air here is cooler and less humid.

Boats out on the harbor alongside a rocky coast in Hong Kong

Scenic Ride to Stanley

Stanley Harbour, on the other side of Hong Kong Island, will give you a taste of a different Hong Kong. It's a fishing village on Repulse Bay with a lovely seaside walk (snap some photos of the fishing boats) as well as a famous street market. There's lots of British history, a boardwalk and even a few beaches. You can take the bus from Central for a scenic trip, though the express bus is faster.

Tourist sailboat crosses Victoria Harbour to the Hong Kong Island with skyscrapers in the background

Out on the Harbor

Use an Octopus card for a ride on Hong Kong's iconic Star Ferry for inexpensive views of Hong Kong's harbor. The tour makes a scenic circular route between Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island, stopping at three piers. Skyscrapers are everywhere, but look closely for the smaller Golden Bauhinia near the Wan Chai Pier, a golden flower statue where the handover of Hong Kong took place in 1997.

Delicious array of dim sum in bamboo steamers in Hong Kong, China

Local Cuisine

Hong Kong is famous for dim sum, a meal of bite-sized foods with various selections brought to your table. Traditionally eaten for brunch, you'll find it at other hours, too. Choose from steamed buns, dumplings or fried rolls filled with spinach, crab or chicken. You'll likely need to share a table — but then you'll have help deciding what to order. Restaurants with lots of locals are a sign of quality and good prices.

Traditional Jade necklaces sold in markets while souvenir shopping in Hong Kong, China

Shopping

Head to Causeway Bay for modern retail therapy: This stretch of Hong Kong is virtually covered in malls and shops. Central is the district to go to for upscale designer clothes, shoes and other items. But don't overlook the markets for local handicrafts during your Hong Kong cruise. Pick up an inexpensive but distinctive jade necklace or ornament, or look for poetry-inscribed paintings and bamboo handicrafts from the antique dealers on Cat Street.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Hue / Danang (Chan May), Vietnam

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

Imperial Vietnam

After you arrive at Chan May, take the one-hour drive south to Danang. Hike up verdant Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain — the world's tallest statue of the Goddess of Mercy lies at the top — and check out pink-hued Danang Cathedral. Or head north to Hue, less than 90 minutes from port: Here, you can see seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda (Vietnam's tallest religious building) and walk among imperial battlements at the Citadel.

Tall yellow columns at the entrance of the Thien Mu Pagoda in Vietnam
A yellow giant dragon bridge on a beautiful cloudy day in Vietnam
Ocean view from mountains overlooking the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam

After you arrive at Chan May, take the one-hour drive south to Danang. Hike up verdant Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain — the world's tallest statue of the Goddess of Mercy lies at the top — and check out pink-hued Danang Cathedral. Or head north to Hue, less than 90 minutes from port: Here, you can see seven-story Thien Mu Pagoda (Vietnam's tallest religious building) and walk among imperial battlements at the Citadel.

Tall yellow columns at the entrance of the Thien Mu Pagoda in Vietnam
A yellow giant dragon bridge on a beautiful cloudy day in Vietnam
Ocean view from mountains overlooking the Hai Van Pass in Vietnam
Things To Do

in Hue / Danang (Chan May)

Entrance of the citadel at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hue, Vietnam

City Citadel

The last emperor of Vietnam gave up his throne for Ho Chi Minh's communist government in 1945. Since 1802, his family ruled the country from Hue, and you can visit what remains of the Imperial Citadel. It's being restored after damage by the French in 1947 and the Americans in the 1968 Tet Offensive. The city's imposing gates, halls and moat give a peek into imperial life of old.

Statues of warriors in Imperial Khai Dinh Tomb in Hue, Vietnam

Emperors of Old

In Hue, you can find the ancient tombs of the emperors along the Perfume River. The tomb of Tu Duc was designed to be used by the emperor when he was still alive, as well as after death. You'll see pavilions, elephant statues, thrones and other royal artifacts. Or head to Khai Dinh Tomb, with its European-influenced design inspired by Khai Dinh's travels to France.

A majestic giant white buddha at Danang, Vietnam

Guardians of Danang

In Danang, visit China Beach for a swim or a walk. You'll see Lady Buddha, Vietnam's tallest statue, guarding over the city and its fishermen at the Son Tra Linh Ungh pagoda. Cruise to Vietnam to get up close to Danang's guardian dragon by walking across the Dragon Bridge — it breathes fire and water on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Vietnamese Pho with spicy Sriracha and chopsticks

Local Cuisine

Banh beo is a traditional dish in both Danang and Hue — these steamed rice cakes are served in small bowls and topped with shrimp, mung bean paste and scallions. Dip them in salty fish sauce. Or seek out banh khaoi, a crispy crepe stuffed with savory pork belly and shrimp.

Traditional bamboo hats are common souvenirs while shopping in Vietnam

Shopping

Conical Vietnamese hats, called non bai tho, are available all over Vietnam. In Hue, hat makers often put poems and drawings of the city inside the hat. Hold the hat up to the light to see it. You might wear the hat while on holiday; it makes a nice wall-hanging at home.

INSIDER TIP

Look for fair-trade shops, where sales help families in need and nonprofit charities.

DAY 4 - AT SEA

CRUISING

DAY 5 - Arrival Day

Hong Kong, China

ARRIVES:
6:00 AM

ASIA'S URBAN HEARTBEAT

Before leaving Hong Kong, pop over to the island of Macau — you'll need to bring your passport but not a Chinese visa. Check out the island's Vegas-style casinos like the Grand Lisboa, one of the oldest. Inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino, see singing gondoliers and do some shopping. Stroll through Senado Square and the narrow surrounding streets and grab a Portuguese egg tart, the iconic Macau brunch food.

The Giant Buddha Monastery in Hong Kong, Lantau Island
The Golden Pagoda of Nan Lian garden in Hong Kong
Lanterns hanging at the Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong

Before leaving Hong Kong, pop over to the island of Macau — you'll need to bring your passport but not a Chinese visa. Check out the island's Vegas-style casinos like the Grand Lisboa, one of the oldest. Inside the Venetian Hotel and Casino, see singing gondoliers and do some shopping. Stroll through Senado Square and the narrow surrounding streets and grab a Portuguese egg tart, the iconic Macau brunch food.

The Giant Buddha Monastery in Hong Kong, Lantau Island
The Golden Pagoda of Nan Lian garden in Hong Kong
Lanterns hanging at the Wong Tai Sin temple in Hong Kong
Things To Do

in Hong Kong

The Victoria peak tram arriving at a station overlooking the skyline in Hong Kong, China

Peek From the Peak

The Peak Tram takes you up to Victoria Peak, Hong Kong's 1,800-foot-high mountain. Less expensive buses will get you there, too. Once you're up top, admire the views over the city from the hiking trails. The Peak also offers an escape from the subtropical climate below — the air here is cooler and less humid.

Boats out on the harbor alongside a rocky coast in Hong Kong

Scenic Ride to Stanley

Stanley Harbour, on the other side of Hong Kong Island, will give you a taste of a different Hong Kong. It's a fishing village on Repulse Bay with a lovely seaside walk (snap some photos of the fishing boats) as well as a famous street market. There's lots of British history, a boardwalk and even a few beaches. You can take the bus from Central for a scenic trip, though the express bus is faster.

Tourist sailboat crosses Victoria Harbour to the Hong Kong Island with skyscrapers in the background

Out on the Harbor

Use an Octopus card for a ride on Hong Kong's iconic Star Ferry for inexpensive views of Hong Kong's harbor. The tour makes a scenic circular route between Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island, stopping at three piers. Skyscrapers are everywhere, but look closely for the smaller Golden Bauhinia near the Wan Chai Pier, a golden flower statue where the handover of Hong Kong took place in 1997.

Delicious array of dim sum in bamboo steamers in Hong Kong, China

Local Cuisine

Hong Kong is famous for dim sum, a meal of bite-sized foods with various selections brought to your table. Traditionally eaten for brunch, you'll find it at other hours, too. Choose from steamed buns, dumplings or fried rolls filled with spinach, crab or chicken. You'll likely need to share a table — but then you'll have help deciding what to order. Restaurants with lots of locals are a sign of quality and good prices.

Traditional Jade necklaces sold in markets while souvenir shopping in Hong Kong, China

Shopping

Head to Causeway Bay for modern retail therapy: This stretch of Hong Kong is virtually covered in malls and shops. Central is the district to go to for upscale designer clothes, shoes and other items. But don't overlook the markets for local handicrafts during your Hong Kong cruise. Pick up an inexpensive but distinctive jade necklace or ornament, or look for poetry-inscribed paintings and bamboo handicrafts from the antique dealers on Cat Street.

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