A Junk Boat Tour of Victoria Harbour

Every night thousands of people gather along Victoria Harbour to watch the hottest show in all of Hong Kong – The Symphony of Lights.

This dazzling laser and light show has earned itself several titles, including “the world’s largest permanent light and sound show” according to Guinness World Records. The spectacle involves 44 buildings which light up the Hong Kong skyline every evening when the clock strikes 8:00 pm. And the best part: it’s absolutely free!

While we were in Hong Kong, Sam and I decided to hit up the show twice! Once aboard a junk boat and the second time from the waterfront on Kowloon; I have to say I really enjoyed both!

An Evening Junk Cruise of the Harbour

My first experience watching the Symphony of Lights was during an evening tour of Victoria Harbour aboard a junk.

The Aqua Luna during our evening cruise of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

A junk is an ancient sailing vessel of Chinese origin, and a few ships in this style can still be seen in the harbour today. A typical cruise will take you out for about an hour where you’ll be able to enjoy the scenic views with a drink in hand.

Sam and I took an evening cruise with Aqua Luna, and we loved every minute of it.

The red sails of the Aqua Luna during our evening cruise of Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

The ship picked up passengers from Tsim Sha Tshui at 7:30 pm, and then came over to the Central Pier at 7:45 pm. The junk already had several passengers aboard by the time we got on at the second pick-up point, but we still managed to get seats with a great view.

We opted to sit outside so that we could really enjoy the lights, but they also had seating in the covered upper deck where you could lounge on cozy couches with pillows while you sipped on your cocktail.

A beverage was included with the tour, so I went for a glass of white wine – not a bad way to end the evening after a long day of sightseeing around Hong Kong.

Viewing the light show from Avenue of Stars

Victoria Harbour with the buildings lit up at night.

The best view from the mainland, in my opinion, is from the Avenue of Stars on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Hong Kong Island has the superior skyline, so if you’re wondering what side to enjoy it from, it’s best to be on the Kowloon side of the harbour.

Blurred lights in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

It was fun to arrive at the Avenue of Stars early because the place was buzzing with activity in anticipation of the light show. People were posing with the famous Bruce Lee statue, trying to match the palms of their hands on the concrete engravings of their favourite movie stars, and there were also a few different garage bands playing for a growing crowd.

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There were oohs and ahhs as the light show began and green lazers shot into the sky, and of course, many photos were snapped using phones and iPads.

I am now convinced that Hong Kong has the best skyline!

Which would you prefer? From the waterfront or aboard the junk?

Join the Conversation

28 Comments

  1. I watched the light show from Kowloon, and I loved it… despite being maybe a bit overcrowded. The funny part was that it started pouring rain on us the second the show started… and you guessed it, the rain stopped as soon as the show stopped. 😐 Haha.. but seriously, I loved this show, and I loved the view of Hong Kong! Definitely a must-do.

    1. says: Audrey

      Haha, of course it would. 😉 It actually rained non-stop the first few days I was there so quite a bit of the sightseeing was done with an umbrella in hand.

  2. says: Angela

    I love when cities do light up events. Pittsburgh, PA does one every year, but it is normally insanely cold and for one night. I will definitely have to keep this in mind if I find myself in Hong Kong!

    1. says: Audrey

      Haha, thanks! I read an article about bokeh photography purely by chance a while back. That’s the only reason I know what it means. 😉

  3. says: Maria

    Magnificent photos Audrey. The first two especially. Wow! I spent time just scrolling through and round again before I realized I hadn’t read a word. Now that I have read the text as well, once again I find a great resource in this post. Love the tips, even where to find the best vantage point. Thnx

  4. says: CurlyTraveller

    Great pictures! We can see the lightshow from our hotel room window; cool! We did not go on a junk yet, but after reading your post, maybe we will one of the next days;-). At the moment there is the Mid Autumn Fest in Hong Kong, which is interesting.

    1. says: Audrey

      That’s so cool that you can see the light show from your hotel room! And yes, if you get a chance to take a tour on one of the junk boats, go for it. It’s so nice to enjoy the lights out in the water with a cocktail in hand. 😉 Enjoy the rest of your time in Hong Kong!

  5. says: Apol | WanderfulTogether.com

    I missed Avenue of the Stars and The Symphony of Lights in my first trip to HongKong.
    Should go see them both in February, on the Kowloon side. 😀

  6. says: Sarah

    I stumbled upon your website the day before I left for Hong Kong while planning. Your articles about tea at The Peninsula and the junk boat were awesome and so helpful. I even booked our tour through Aqua Luna. Like you said… we (my husband and I) loved it. Totally amazing seeing the show from the boat. Thanks for the tip to sit outside for the unobstructed views of the show.

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