“A Symphony of Lights” is one of Hong Kong’s top sightseeing attractions and should definitely be standing on top on your to-do-list in Hong Kong. The Show is a daily light, laser and sound spectacle taking place in Victoria Harbour. Organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, “A Symphony of Lights” has been awarded as the largest permanent light and sound show by the Guinness World Records and enlightens visitors and locals alike.
In the nightly spectacle are over 40 key buildings and skyscrapers involved on both sides of Hong Kong (Kowloon side and Hong Kong Island side). The interactive light show paired with musical effects bans thousands of visitors every single night in Hong Kong.
The idea behind the Symphony of Lights Show
The Symphony of Lights show consists of five major themes or scenes which showcases and highlights Hong Kong’s diversity and glamorous night views of Victoria Harbour. The five themes are “Awakening”, “Energy”, “Heritage”, “Partnership” and “Celebration”. Each theme takes the spectator on a unique journey and emphasizes on Hong Kong’s vibrant energy, history, spirit, diversity and power.
All major buildings and skyscrapers will shut down or dim their lights and illuminations before the Symphony of Light Show starts. At exactly 8:00pm the show starts with an introduction of all participating buildings. Each building and skyscraper will be pointed out by the narrator and while the name and location of the buildings is mentioned, the buildings illumination and lights will flash up and/or change colors to greet the watching audience.
Flashes beam through the night along with the music opens up the Symphony of Lights Show. The buildings along Victoria Harbour shoot their laser beams in the sky, sweeping the dark night away. The rising color effects and restless lights and laser beams represent Hong Kong’s vibrant energy. The third part “Heritage” can easily be identified from the Chinese musical instruments. In case you enjoy the show at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade you should turn around and take a closer look at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Hong Kong Museum of Art. Both buildings are beautiful lit by different spotlights during this scene. The fourth part “Partnership” is rather striking and you maybe will recall scenes of the batman movie “the Dark Knight”, especially with the laser beams sweeping and scanning across Hong Kong’s skyline and the IFC Two Tower. However, the scanning and sweeping should represent a connection with the opposite side of Hong Kong’s harbor and how this one has been developed into a unified partnership. The big finale “Celebration” is the last and best chance to get your camera out and take some pictures. All buildings in the show are illuminated with dancing laser beams, rhythmic patterns of lights and kaleidoscopic light projections together.
The Symphony of Lights music and narration is broadcasted in three different languages and depending which weekday you choose you can enjoy the show in either English, Putonghua or Cantonese.
English – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Putonghua – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
Cantonese – Sunday
Participating buildings in the Symphony of Lights Show
Looking from TST, the nightly show starts from the Wan Chai area and spreads to the western district. The participating buildings are listed below.
Participating buildings on Hong Kong Island:
1.Sun Hung Kai Centre
3.Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
6.The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
9.Queensway Government Offices
10.The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building
11.Bank of America Tower
12.Bank of China Tower
14.Cheung Kong Center
15.HSBC Main Building
16.Hong Kong City Hall
17.Standard Chartered Bank Building
19.One Exchange Square
20.Two Exchange Square
21.Two International Finance Centre
22.One International Finance Centre
Participating buildings on the Kowloon side:
24.Ocean Terminal – Harbour City
26.The Gateway – Harbour Cit
27.Hong Kong Cultural Centre
29.Hong Kong Museum of Art
30.The Peninsula Hong Kong
32.Avenue of Stars
33.26 Nathan Road
36.New World Centre (currently not participating due to renovations)
37.Tsim Sha Tsui Centre
39.InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
40.Hong Kong Coliseum
41.Harbourview Horizon All-suite Hotel
42.Harbourfront Horizon All-suite Hotel
When does the Symphony of Lights Show start?
The Symphony of Lights show starts every night at 8:00pm and is admission free.
Where is best place to enjoy the Symphony of Lights Show?
The Symphony of Lights can be enjoyed along the Tsim Sha TSui waterfront promenade (the area between Avenue of Stars and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre) as well as at the Golden Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai. In addition, there are additional pyrotechnic displays along the Symphony of Lights Show on special occasions (e.g. New Year Celebrations).
However the best spot to our opinion should be along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, from where you can have not only a fabulous view to the Hong Kong Island side, but also a chance to enjoy the beautiful selected music with goes hand-in-hand with the lights effects. Furthermore, the TST waterfront promenade is quite long and there is enough space for everyone to enjoy the Symphony of Lights Show. Between the Avenue of Stars and the Hong Kong Cultural Centre are several options to enjoy this nightly spectacle. Try your luck and grab one of the seats on viewing platform which is located just right next to the Clock Tower and adjacent to the TST Star Ferry Terminal. Make sure to come ahead of time. Usually, seats are occupied within half an hour prior to show begin.
Another option to watch the Symphony of Lights Show is from sightseeing ferries or typical Chinese junk boats. Please refer to our article about Victoria Harbour for more information about these options.
Alternatively, you can even enjoy the Symphony of Lights Show from e.g. the Peak. Having said this you should be aware that you are not the only one with that idea. At night the Peak is usually quite crowded. In addition, there is usually some haze at Hong Kong’s sky at night which can influence the visibility. Often the light effects such as the laser cannot be clearly seen from the Peak or other higher observation spots. Last but least, the show, feeling and experience is simply incomplete without the music.
Insider Tip: In case you decide to watch the Symphony of Lights from another spot in Hong Kong, you still can enjoy the music and narration by either turning your radio to the frequency FM 103.4 MHZ (English), FM 106.8 MHZ (Cantonese) or FM 107.9 MHZ (Putonghua). Since hardly anybody carries a radio around or not every mobile phone has a built-in radio tuner, you also have the option to use your mobile phones by simply dialing 35-665-665 (English) or 35-665-668 (Putonghua). Please note that this service is not free and service charges apply.
Please note: The Symphony of Lights Show is suspended if the red/black rainstorm warning is issued on or after 3:00pm. In addition, on Earth Hour Night, the Symphony of Lights is also suspended (please refer to our related article to know more about Earth Hour and Hong Kong’s participation).
The visibility in Hong Kong will always change. Please be aware that when the visibility is very low, you can hardly see the lights or the laser beams. If you have a choice, do come to watch Symphony of Lights in a clear weather.
How to Get to Watch A Symphony of Lights:
To Tsim Sha TSui waterfront promenade: Either take the MTR or East Railline to East Tsim Sha Tsui or Tsim Sha Tsui station, or take the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier.
To Golden Bauhinia Square: Either take the MTR subway to Wan Chai station, or take the ferry to Wan Chai Star Ferry Pier.
Map and Locations of Enjoying A Symphony of Lights Spots