“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 along 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.
1. What is A Symphony of Lights
2. Understanding of A Symphony of Lights
3. Best viewing locations along Victoria Harbour with Music
4. Watch with Harbour Tours on the harbour
5. Watch from the Peak, Rooftop Bars as well as Hotel Rooms
6. Secret Tips for you
What is A Symphony of Lights?
Every evening 8:00pm, over 40 key buildings and skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria Harbour (Kowloon side and Hong Kong Island side) will start to dance with lights on and off, along with exclusively composed music. The 13-minute interactive light show paired with musical effects bans thousands of visitors every single night in Hong Kong.
All major buildings will shut down or dim their lights and illuminations several minutes prior to A Symphony of Light Show to get ready. At exactly 8:00pm the show starts with a short introduction. The narrators will read out each building and skyscraper’s name in an east-to-west order. The first mentioned building is the one on the very east, namely E-Max. While the name of every building is mentioned, the building illumination and lights will flash up and/or change colors to greet the watching audience.
The Symphony of Lights music and narration is broadcasted in three different languages and depending which weekday you choose.
- English – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
- Mandarin – Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
- Cantonese – Sunday
Looking from TST, the nightly show starts from the Wan Chai area and spreads to the western district. They are introduced from your left to right side. The participating buildings are listed below.
Participating buildings on Hong Kong Island:
1. Sun Hung Kai Centre
2. Central Plaza
3. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
4. Hopewell Centre
5. Harcourt house
6. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
7. MassMutual Tower
8. CITIC Tower
9. Queensway Government Offices
10. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building (Under refurbishment)
11. Bank of America Tower
12. Bank of China Tower
13. AIA Central
14. CCB Central
15. Cheung Kong Center
16. HSBC Main Building
17. Hong Kong City Hall
18. Standard Chartered Bank Building
19. Jardine House
20. One Exchange Square
21. Two Exchange Square
22. Two International Finance Centre
23. One International Finance Centre
24. The Center
Looking from Hong Kong Island, the nightly show starts from the east Kowloon area and spreads to International Commerce Center, the highest building of Hong Kong. They are introduced from your right to left side. The participating buildings are listed below.
25. International Commerce Center (the highest building in Hong Kong)
26. Ocean Terminal – Harbour City
27. Star House
28. The Gateway – Harbour City
29. Hong Kong Cultural Centre
30. One Peking
31. Hong Kong Museum of Art (Under refurbishment)
32. The Peninsula Hong Kong
33. Cordis Hong Kong
34. Avenue of Stars (Under refurbishment)
35. 26 Nathan Road
37. Hotel Panorama
38. New World Centre (Under development)
39. Tsim Sha Tsui Centre
40. Empire Centre
41. InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong
42. Hong Kong Coliseum
43. Harbourview Horizon All-suite Hotel
44. Harbourfront Horizon All-suite Hotel
47. Kai Tak Terminal
Better Understanding of A Symphony of Lights – Five Themes of Laser Show and Music
A 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. However, as a first-time audience, you may not be able to hear the differences and breaks of the five themes.
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 may 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.
Where are best viewing locations to enjoy the Symphony of Lights Show?
1. Watch from waterfronts along Victoria Harbour with Music
Since both sides of Victoria Harbour have landmark buildings involved in the laser show. It can be watched on the waterfronts of both Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui. But there are only few locations having speakers installed and you can enjoy the laser show along with the beautiful selected music.
- On Hong Kong Island: the best location is at Golden Bauhinia Square；
- In Tsim Sha Tsui (recommended): the best location is between Hong Kong Art Museum (under renovation) and Clock Tower.
Hong Kong’s most condensed skyscrapers are on Hong Kong Island. Thus, comparing these two waterfronts, we would recommend to watch along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, from where you can have a fabulous view to the Hong Kong Island side. Furthermore, the TST waterfront promenade is quite long and there is enough space for everyone to enjoy the “A Symphony of Lights” Show. Between the Hong Kong Art Museum 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 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.
In addition, there are additional pyrotechnic displays along the Symphony of Lights Show on special occasions (e.g. New Year Celebrations).
1. Free of charge;
2. Get to close proximity to the harbour view;
1. Always get crowded and need to get there ahead of time;
2. Can only see one side each time;
2. Watch on the Symphony of Lights Harbour Tours
Another option to watch the Symphony of Lights Show is from sightseeing ferries or typical Chinese junk boats. Watching on board gives you a chance to enjoy the “A Symphony of Lights” from both sides of Victoria Harbour.
1. With views of both sides of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon;
2. Less crowded;
1. Difficult to take clear night photos due to waves;
2. More expensive;
For the moment, there are several tour operators offer the night harbour tour during A Symphony of Lights.
DUK LING was once served as fishing boat in Hong Kong and it was restored to her original glory and re-sails on Victoria Harbour since 2005. It is considered as an icon of Hong Kong and “the only inheritant sailing junk in Hong Kong”. It represents Hong Kong’s glorious history as well as the impression of Hong Kong while Hong Kong was a fishing village.
Taking the DUK LING Chinese Junk Boat is not only a rare opportunity to ride aboard on the last authentic Chinese sailing junk in Hong Kong, but probably the most authentic and memorable way to enjoy Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong skyline. besides day harbour tour, DUK LING also offers Symphony of Lights Harbour Tour.
DUK LING Symphony of Lights Night Tour
45-min Night Tour with a free drink
Sail via TST, Central and Wanchai and watch A Symphony of Lights on board
19:30 (TST Pier No.3) / 19:45 (Central Pier No.9) (daily)
HK$ 280 for adult / HK$ 220 for child and senior
Check link to know more about all the tours offered by DUK LING and where to get tickets.
Taking Aqua Lana and sailing on Victoria Harbour is a unique experience. Aqua Luna junk is operated by the Aqua Restaurant Group and is one of the last remaining traditional red-sail junks still in operation in Hong Kong.
Although it is not the original fishing junk like DUK LING, you still can enjoy the impressive and stunning Hong Kong skyline in a sophisticated way with cocktails and nestle down in some stylish lounge beds.
Aqua Luna offers many different sails from Day Cruise to Evening Cruise. If you don’t have time for the Symphony of Lights Cruise, you can also check out their other options.
AquaLuna Evening Sail
45-min Night Tour with a free drink
Sail circuit via TST, Central, Wanchai and Hung Hom
Symphony of Lights Sail:
19:30 (at TST Pier No.2)
19:45 (at Central Pier No.9
HK$ 285 for adult
HK$ 220 for child (4-11 year old)
Discounted Evening Cruise
Off-Peak Sail (17:30/21:30/22:30)
Adult: HK$ 195 HK$ 149
Child: HK$ 155 HK$ 121
Evening Sail (18:30/20:30)
Adult: HK$ 195 HK$ 163
Child: HK$ 130 HK$ 128
Check link to know more about all the tours offered by Aqua Luna and where to get tickets.
Watertours Hong Kong belongs to one of Hong Kong’s most reputable travel agency. The Watertours Harbour Tours use a double-deck boat which is quite unique and easy recognizable. You easily can spot and identify it by its traditional Chinese theme when it crosses Victoria Harbour.
Watertours Symphony of Lights Cruise
1.5-hour Night Tour
(Unlimited drinks included (Whisky, Beer, Soft drinks, Cocktail))
Covers TST, Central, Wanchai (including A Symphony of Lights)
19:30 (Central Pier No.9)
19:45 (Kowloon Public Pier No.3)
HK$ 350 for adult
HK$ 260 for child (2-12 year old)
Discounted Symphony of Lights Cruise
HK$ 350 HK$ 269
HK$ 260 HK$ 206
Check link to know more about all the tours offered by Watertours and where to get tickets.
Harbour Cruise – Bauhinia is the only harbour tour that provides meal on board. If you would like to sail on Victoria Harbour while having dinner with the stunning Hong Kong skyline, it is your right option.
Like other harbour tour operators, they offers more other tours than Symphony of Lights Dinner Cruise.
“A Symphony of Lights” Dinner Cruise
2-hour Night Tour with Dinner Buffet
(live performance included)
Sail via TST, Central and Wanchai and watch A Symphony of Lights on board
19:30- 21:30 (from North Point Passenger Ferry Pier) / 20:00 – 22:00 (from Hung Hom Ferry Pier) (daily)
HK$ 470 for adult / HK$ 300 for child (2-10 year old) (plus 10% service charge)
Discounted “A Symphony of Lights” Dinner Cruise
HK$ 470 + 10% service HK$ 369
HK$300 + 10% service HK$ 263
Check link to know more about all the tours offered by Harbour Cruise – Bauhina and where to get tickets.
Taking the iconic Star Ferry is actually a no-brainer. It’s the most convenient and cheapest Harbour Tour available in Hong Kong. We highly recommend taking Star Ferry at least once to cross Victoria Harbour during your stay in Hong Kong.
Besides the daily transportation task, Star Ferry also offers different harbour tours, day and night, as well as Symphony of Lights Harbour Cruise.
A Symphony of Lights Harbour Cruise
40-min Night Tour
Sail via only TST and Central and watch A Symphony of Lights on board
HK$ 205 for adult / HK$ 185 for child (3-12) and senior (above 65)
Check link to know more about all the tours offered by Star Ferry Harbour Tour and where to get tickets.
3. Watch from the Peak, Rooftop Bars as well as Hotel Rooms
Alternatively, you can enjoy the Symphony of Lights Show from e.g. the Peak, stunning rooftop bars, even your hotel rooms. But you cannot enjoy the “A Symphony of Lights” with the synchronized music from these locations since there are no speakers. It is turned to boring lights on and off without the exclusive music. The show, feeling and experience is simply incomplete.
From The Peak:
The Peak is another popular location for viewing the laser show. You can overview Victoria Harbour as well as Hong Kong city from top. However, 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.
From Rooftop Bars and Hotel Rooms:
Same issue like from the Peak, from rooftop bars or hotels cannot hear the music which is an important part of A Symphony of Lights.
No matter from the Peak or other higher location or far distance, the light effects such as the laser beams are not strong enough to pass long distance. Thus they cannot be clearly seen from the Peak or other higher observation spots.
Insider Tip: In case you decide to watch the Symphony of Lights from locations without speakers, 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 the usual phone call charge shall apply.
1. Different views;
2. Form hotel room will not be crowded;
1. Cannot hear the music;
2. Affected by the distance and weather;
Special Arraignments for A Symphony of Lights
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).
Secrets for You
“If you decide to watch along the waterfronts, especially in Tsim Sha Tsui, get there at least 30 minutes ahead of time if you would like to have a nice spot on the viewing platform.”
“The performance of Symphony of Lights is synchronized with the composed music. Do watch the show with music.”
“If you watch from Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, DO NOT stand close the public piers where passengers hop on and off during the show. It will disturb your viewing experience.”
“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.”
Highlight: Laser beams on Cultural Center, IFC Tower 2 and ICC
Plan to Stay: 30 minutes
More Info and Details
Along Victoria Harbour (both Hong Kong Island and Kowloon)
English (Mon,Wed & Fri)/Mandarine (Tue,Thu & Sat)/Cantonese (Sun)
8:00pm and last 13 minutes (Daily)
How to get to watch A Symphony of Lights ?
By Subway: Take MTR Railway / East Railway to Tsim Sha Tsui (on Kowloon) or Central, Admiralty and Wanchai stations (on Hong Kong Island)
By Star Ferry: Or take Star Ferry to TST, Central or Wanchai Star Ferry Piers.
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