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Hong Kong

HONG KONG TRAVEL GUIDE

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea.

 

Hong Kong is much more than a harbour city. The traveller weary of its crowded streets may be tempted to describe it as Hong Kongcrete. Yet, this territory with its cloudy mountains and rocky islands is mostly a rural landscape. Much of the countryside is classified as Country Park and, although 7 million people are never far away, it is possible to find pockets of wilderness that will reward the more intrepid tourist.

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  • Capital: Victoria (Central)
  • Currency: Hong Kong dollar ($, HKD)
  • Area: 1,092 km²
  • Population: 7,451 million (2018)
  • Language: Cantonese, English
  • Religion:mix of local religions (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism) ~84%, minority atheists and Christian
  • Electricity: 220V, 50Hz (UK plug)
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Best Time To Go

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Hong Kong

BEST TIME FOR

SNOW SPORT IN HONG KONG

HIKING & CYCLING IN HONG KONG

The best time for outdoor activities in Hong Kong is from October to April, with October to December being the most pleasant temperature wise and December to February being the coldest but clearest months.

BEACH OPTIONS IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong has some lovely beaches but be warned, they can get very crowded! The weather can be good from May to August, with June, July and August being the hottest months.

SURFING IN HONG KONG

You can find good surf in Hong Kong, but the conditions can also be dangerous, so take this into consideration. Sai Wan is the most accessible beach and probably also the most beginner friendly. Tai Wan has the most consistent surf break but is very isolated and can have strong rip tides. At Ham Tin the waves break closer to the shore.

KITESURF IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong has some great conditions for both kitesurfing and windsurfing from September to May when the east and northeast winds prevail. Shui Hau Bay is the hot spot for kitesurfing.

BEST TIME FOR

BEST TIME TO VISIT HONG KONG

Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with four distinct seasons. The seasons are:

  • Spring (March to May) - The weather is usually mild and it's a good time to enjoy the city's lush greenery and blooming flowers.
  • Summer (June to September) - Summer is hot and humid with occasional typhoons and heavy rain. It is not the best time to visit Hong Kong.
  • Autumn (October to December) - The weather is mild and comfortable, making it a popular time to visit. The autumn months are also a great time to see the city's festivals and events.
  • Winter (January to February) - Winter is cool and dry, making it the best time to visit for those who want to escape the cold weather.

 

The best time to visit Hong Kong is typically between October and December, when the weather is mild and comfortable, and the crowds are relatively light. Avoid visiting in the summer, as the weather is hot and humid, and there are many typhoons.

HONG KONG WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Subtropical Monsoon; Cool And Humid In Winter, Hot And Rainy From Spring Through Summer, Warm And Sunny In Fall

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HONG KONG TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Hong Kong can vary greatly depending on the time of year you visit, your travel style, and the type of accommodation you choose. Some general estimates for various expenses include:

  • Airfare: Round-trip flights from major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, or London can cost around $800 to $1,500 depending on the season and time of booking.
  • Accommodation: Prices for budget-friendly hotels or hostels in Hong Kong can start at around $20 to $30 per night. For a mid-range accommodation you can expect to pay around $70 to $100 per night. And for a luxury hotel, the prices could go up to $200 or more per night.
  • Food: A meal at a local restaurant can cost around $10 to $15, whereas a meal at a mid-range restaurant will be around $20 to $30. If you want to try fine dining, expect to pay around $50 to $100 or more per person.
  • Transportation: A single journey on the subway or bus will cost around $1.5 to $5, and an Octopus card (a rechargeable contactless smart card) can be used on all public transport and can save you money in the long run.
  • Sightseeing: Entrance to many of Hong Kong's top attractions such as Victoria Peak, Big Buddha, and the Hong Kong Museum of History are free. Entrance to some popular attractions like Disneyland or Ocean Park can cost around $60 to $80. Additional activities such as taking a boat trip around Victoria Harbour, visiting the Hong Kong Museum of History, or taking the famous tram to Victoria Peak, can cost around $20 to $30.

Overall, you should expect to spend around $1,500 to $2,500 per person for a week-long trip to Hong Kong, including airfare, accommodation, meals, transportation, and some activities. However, it can be much cheaper if you are on a budget or much more expensive if you are looking for luxury.

Cost & Spending
Travel Tips

TRAVEL TIPS FOR HONG KONG

HONG KONG TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some travel tips for visiting Hong Kong:

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes: Hong Kong is a very walkable city, and you will do a lot of walking to explore its streets and neighborhoods.
  • Pack light: Hong Kong's subway system is efficient, but it can get crowded during rush hour, so it's best to travel light.
  • Bring an umbrella: Hong Kong can be rainy, especially during the summer months, so it's best to bring an umbrella with you.
  • Get an Octopus Card: This is a rechargeable contactless smart card that can be used on all public transport in Hong Kong, including buses, trains, and ferries. It will save you time and money.
  • Plan ahead: Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination, so it's best to plan ahead and book popular attractions and activities in advance to avoid long lines and disappointment.
  • Learn some basic Cantonese: While English is widely spoken in Hong Kong, it can be helpful to know some basic Cantonese phrases.
  • Be aware of customs and etiquette: Hong Kong is a blend of Eastern and Western cultures, and it's important to be aware of local customs and etiquette when visiting temples, shrines, and other places of worship.
  • Be aware of the heat and humidity: Hong Kong can be very hot and humid in the summer, so it's best to stay hydrated and wear light, breathable clothing.
  • Be respectful of the local culture: Hong Kong is a melting pot of different cultures and religions, and it's important to be respectful of the local culture and customs when visiting.
  • Take advantage of the nightlife: Hong Kong is known for its vibrant nightlife and has a lot to offer, from rooftop bars to street markets, and it's worth staying up late to explore them.

Regions & Highlights

REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF HONG KONG

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF HONG KONG

Hong Kong is made up of several distinct regions, each with its own unique character and attractions. Here are some of the main regions of Hong Kong and the highlights of each:

  • Hong Kong Island: This is the city's main financial and business district, and it's home to some of the most iconic landmarks in Hong Kong, such as the Central-Mid-Levels Escalators, Victoria Peak, and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
  • Kowloon: This is the city's main shopping and entertainment district, and it's home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong, such as the Temple Street Night Market, the Ladies' Market, and the Hong Kong Museum of History.
  • New Territories: This is the rural area of Hong Kong and it's home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Hong Kong, such as the Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark, the Hong Kong Wetland Park, and the Hong Kong Science Park.
  • Lantau Island: This is the largest island in Hong Kong and it's home to some of the most popular tourist attractions in Hong Kong, such as the Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, and the Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Outlying Islands: This is a group of islands located off the coast of Hong Kong, such as Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau Island. These islands are perfect to escape the city, enjoy beautiful beaches and hike on the trails.
  • Stanley: This is a charming coastal town located on the south side of Hong Kong Island, it's known for its markets, seafood restaurants, and the famous Stanley Market.
  • Sai Kung: This is a charming fishing village located in the New Territories, it's known for its seafood restaurants, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches.
  • Causeway Bay: This is one of the most vibrant and bustling areas of Hong Kong Island, it's known for its shopping, street food and nightlife.

These are just a few examples of the many regions in Hong Kong, each with its own unique character and attractions. It's worth exploring as many as possible to get a sense of the diversity of this city.

What To See & Do
Travel Map

There are countless things to see and do when visiting Hong Kong, but some of the must-see attractions include:

  • Victoria Peak: This is the most popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong, and it offers incredible views of the city. Take the Peak Tram to the top and enjoy the panoramic view of the city's skyline.
  • Big Buddha: This is one of the most iconic and largest outdoor statues of Buddha in the world and it is located on Lantau Island. Take the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car to reach the site.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland: This is a popular attraction for families and children, and it offers a variety of Disney-themed rides and shows.
  • The Hong Kong Museum of History: This is a great place to learn about the history of Hong Kong and its culture.
  • The Hong Kong Museum of Art: This is a great place to see the art and culture of Hong Kong.
  • Victoria Harbour: This is a great place to take a boat trip and enjoy the beautiful views of the city.
  • The Temple Street Night Market: This is a popular night market in Kowloon and it offers a wide variety of goods and street food.
  • The Ladies' Market: This is a popular market in Kowloon and it offers a wide variety of goods and souvenirs.
  • The Hong Kong UNESCO Global Geopark: This is a great place to see the natural beauty of Hong Kong and it offers hiking trails and beautiful beaches.
  • The Hong Kong Wetland Park: This is a great place to see the wildlife of Hong Kong and it offers hiking trails and beautiful beaches.
  • Stanley Market: This is a popular market located in Stanley on the south side of Hong Kong Island and it offers a wide variety of goods and souvenirs.
  • Take a trip to the outlying islands: these are a group of islands located off the coast of Hong Kong such as Cheung Chau, Lamma and Lantau Island. These islands are perfect to escape the city, enjoy beautiful beaches and hike on the trails.

These are just a few examples of the many things to see and do in Hong Kong. It is a city with a lot of variety and options, you can find something that fits your interest and budget.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong
What To Eat

WHAT TO EAT IN HONG KONG

WHAT TO EAT IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong is known for its delicious food, and there are many different types of cuisine to try when visiting. Here are some popular dishes to try when visiting Hong Kong:

  • Dim Sum: This is a traditional Chinese dish that consists of small steamed or fried dumplings filled with meat or vegetables. It's usually served in small steamer baskets and typically eaten for breakfast or brunch.
  • Roast meat: Roast pork, roast goose, and roast duck are popular dishes in Hong Kong. They are typically served with rice and vegetables.
  • Seafood: Hong Kong is known for its delicious seafood, and it's definitely worth trying some of the local seafood dishes such as steamed fish, stir-fried crab, and seafood hotpot.
  • Wonton Noodles: This is a popular dish consisting of thin egg noodles served in a savory broth with shrimp dumplings.
  • Congee: This is a type of rice porridge that is popular in Hong Kong, it can be served plain or with various toppings such as meat, seafood or vegetables.
  • Egg tarts: This is a popular Cantonese-style dessert that consists of a flaky pastry shell filled with a custard filling.
  • Milk Tea: This is a popular drink in Hong Kong, it's a black tea mixed with evaporated or condensed milk.
  • Street food: Hong Kong has a wide variety of street food options, from egg waffles to fish balls, to skewers and more.
  • Desserts: Hong Kong has a wide variety of delicious desserts such as egg tarts, mango pudding, and red bean soup.
  • Sushi and Ramen: Hong Kong has a growing number of Japanese restaurants, and it's worth trying some of the traditional sushi and ramen dishes.

These are just a few examples of the many delicious foods to try in Hong Kong. The city has a diverse culinary scene, and you'll find many other options to suit different tastes and dietary restrictions.

LGBTQ IN HONG KONG

Hong Kong

WHERE TO STAY IN HONG KONG

For a first-time visit to Hong Kong, choosing the right area or region to stay in depends on your preferences, whether you're interested in shopping, dining, sightseeing, or experiencing the local culture. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation options in different price ranges:


Where to stay on Hong Kong Island:

Hong Kong Island is the heart of the city, known for its iconic skyline, bustling streets, and vibrant nightlife, offering a mix of modern attractions and historical landmarks. Explore attractions like Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Park, and Man Mo Temple.

  • Budget: Ibis Hong Kong Central & Sheung Wan: This budget hotel offers comfortable accommodations in the Sheung Wan area of Hong Kong Island. The rooms are modern and well-equipped, and the hotel provides easy access to public transportation, making it convenient for exploring the city.

  • Mid-range: Butterfly on Wellington Boutique Hotel: Butterfly on Wellington is a mid-range boutique hotel located in the Central District. The hotel offers stylish and contemporary rooms with amenities such as free Wi-Fi and smartphone rentals. Guests appreciate its convenient location near shops, restaurants, and attractions.

  • Luxury: Island Shangri-La is a luxury hotel situated in the Central District, offering opulent accommodations with breathtaking views of Victoria Peak and the city skyline. The hotel features luxurious rooms and suites, a range of dining options, a swimming pool, and a spa.


Tip: Consider staying in the Central or Admiralty areas for easy access to public transportation and major attractions on Hong Kong Island.


Where to stay on Kowloon:

Kowloon is known for its vibrant street markets, shopping malls, and cultural attractions, offering a diverse mix of experiences and cuisine. Explore attractions like Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade, Temple Street Night Market, and Kowloon Park.

  • Budget: Hotel 108 provides budget-friendly accommodations in the heart of Kowloon. Guests can expect modern and compact rooms with essential amenities. The hotel's location offers easy access to popular attractions, dining options, and transportation hubs.

  • Mid-range: Cordis, Hong Kong: Formerly known as Langham Place Hotel, Cordis, Hong Kong, offers upscale mid-range accommodations in the Mong Kok area. The hotel features contemporary rooms with city views, multiple dining options, a rooftop pool, and a wellness center.

  • Luxury: The Peninsula Hong Kong is a legendary luxury hotel located in Tsim Sha Tsui. It offers luxurious rooms and suites with classic elegance, world-class dining options, a rooftop helipad, a fleet of Rolls-Royce cars, and a stunning indoor pool overlooking Victoria Harbour.


Tip: Look out for hotel deals and promotions during off-peak seasons (winter and summer) for better rates in Kowloon.


Where to stay on Lantau Island:

Lantau Island offers a more serene and natural environment compared to the urban areas, with attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland, Ngong Ping 360 cable car, and the Big Buddha. Explore picturesque beaches, hiking trails, and traditional fishing villages.

  • Budget: Silvermine Beach Resort: Located in Mui Wo, Silvermine Beach Resort offers budget-friendly accommodations near the beach. Guests can stay in simple rooms with basic amenities and enjoy access to the resort's outdoor swimming pool and nearby hiking trails.

  • Mid-range: Novotel Citygate Hong Kong offers mid-range accommodations near Hong Kong Disneyland and the airport. The hotel features modern rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, a fitness center, and dining options serving international cuisine.

  • Luxury: Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel offers luxury accommodations near Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Guests can stay in themed rooms and suites inspired by Disney characters, enjoy access to the hotel's swimming pools, restaurants, and spa, and take advantage of the convenient location for visiting the theme park.


Tip: Consider staying in Tung Chung or near Hong Kong Disneyland for convenient access to Lantau Island's attractions, and book accommodations with airport shuttle services for added convenience.


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