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Welcome to Hong Kong

Hong Kong welcomes with an iconic skyline, a legendary kitchen, and lush, protected nature where rare birds and colorful traditions thrive.

Situated at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta on the south-western coast of China, Hong Kong is an amalgam of East and West, a unique mix on many fronts. On the one hand, it is modern, sleek and businesslike, with an impressive reputation for international trade, transacting its affairs in English and drawing tourists from the Chinese mainland and across the world.

On the other hand, it is fiercely traditional, with many of its seven million people deeply and conventionally Chinese, albeit in a peculiarly Hong Kong style.

The handover by the British in 1997 may have seen Hong Kong revert to Chinese control to become a Special Administrative Region of China, but this arrangement lasts for 50 years, guaranteeing the region its own political, social and economic systems and creating the unique mix of cultures that so appeals to visitors.

Hong Kong is the perfect destination for Westerners planning to gain their first impression of the East – a halfway house between Western society and the communism of neighboring China and other areas of Southeast Asia. Seek and you will soon discover a capitalist world of teeming streets with traditional markets, temples, and Chinese herbal medicine shops.

However, Hong Kong is not simply a commercial jungle. Remarkably, almost 40 percent of Hong Territory is a designated nature reserve or country park, with mountains, secluded small islands, pristine beaches, and isolated walking trails. The country consists of four sections: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, the New Territories, and the Outlying Islands. But it is Hong Kong Island where the population is squeezed, cajoled, and squashed into just 1,110sq km of the concrete jungle. It’s hectic, hot and irresistible.

So much confronts the visitor that an initial visit will keep anyone busy, whether sightseeing, shopping, eating out or escaping to the countryside. To see the island stretched before them most people take the Peak Tram to the tower at the top of Victoria Hill. And to get under the city’s skin many visit a temple, such as Man Mo, and check out old colonial buildings, a vestige of the British presence, such as Government House or Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware in Hong Kong Park. For more great views they head for Central Plaza’s Sky Lobby or 2 IFC, Hong Kong’s highest building. Other places that fascinate are Mong Kok –  arguably the world’s most densely populated urban area – with its markets and bird garden, and nunneries, monasteries, pagodas, and the world’s longest outdoor escalator.

Popular out of the city is Ngong Ping 360 cable car, which carries visitors to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island, and the old Star Ferry to Kowloon. And for a really peaceful experience, everyone finds there is nothing better than a trip to Lamma Island.

Of course, other highlights include superb shopping – for everything from designer labels and watches (both real and fake) to Chinese herbs – at high-class malls, the buzzing Western Market, and traditional shops. To top it all there is a myriad of eateries to try.

Hong Kong’s currency is the Hong Kong dollar. It is advisable to take traveler’s cheques in pounds sterling, US dollars or Euros. All major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs can be easily found throughout Hong Kong Island.


Hong Kong has a sub-tropical climate with four distinct seasons. The climate is defined by hot, humid summers and cool, dry winters. Winter lasts from January to March with strong cold winds blowing from the north. Summer winds blow in from the south bringing warm humid air and a rainy season from June to August. The weather at this time is extremely sticky. Spring and autumn are warm with occasional rain and cooler evenings. There is a risk of typhoons from April to October but direct hits are rare. The best time to visit is October through to December.

The average monthly temperatures for Hong Kong are:










































You will find it all in Hong Kong – everything from ultra-trendy fashions, contemporary design and the latest in electronic technology to traditional Chinese clothing, medicines, jewelry and handicrafts.

Worthwhile souvenirs and best buys to bring home include Chinese and Asian handicrafts and textiles, jade carvings, Chinese clothing such as Mandarin-style jackets, silk bathrobes and cheongsam dresses, Chinese teas, Chinese decorative cakes, gold jewelry and Chinese tableware

There are countless places to shop, including shopping malls (such as Cityplaza) and department stores to themed shopping streets and markets such as Jade Street or Goldfish Market. Other markets include the Flower Market at Mong Kok and Ap Liu Street Flea Market at Sham Shui Po. Temple Street Night Market is a great place to browse,  the Ladies’ Market, Mong Kok, is great for clothes and accessories, Stanley Market in the fishing village of Stanley is hugely atmospheric, and  Li Yuen Street East and West is the place for ready-to-wear and made-to-measure clothes for men and women. (Tailoring is of a high standard in Hong Kong). Nathan Road, with its glare of neon signs, is also a popular shopping street.

When shopping always take care. Check for the quality and compare prices, beware of fakes, and be cautious if approached in the street to buy. Shops displaying the QTS (Quality Tourism Services Scheme) sign are shops you can trust. 

Food & Drink

  • Jade Garden

  • Cheena Elite Restaurant

  • Hunan Garden Restaurant

  • Sichuan Garden Restaurant

  • Lei Garden Restaurant

  • Tsui Hang Village Restaurant

  • Wu Kong Shanghai Restaurant

  • Man Fung Seafood Restaurant

  • Nang Kee Goose Restaurant



The buzz never stops in Hong Kong and the choice of entertainment is almost overwhelming. Whatever your mood you will find something to suit – nightclubs, bars, karaoke, sophisticated wine bars or neighbourhood pubs. Get in the swing with happy hour between 6 and 9pm and enjoy a visit to the cinema, theatre, concerts, Chinese opera, puppet shows and, of course, horseracing. Hong Kong Cultural Centre is a major performance venue with a concert hall, theatres and bars. Check out the English-language newspapers for lists of events.

Notable areas for nightlife include the cobblestone streets of Lan Kwai Fong, the SoHo neighbourhood, Causeway Bay; Wan Chai district (particularly Lockhart, Luard and Jaffe Roads), Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East.

Night cruising on the Star Ferry is a great way to see Hong Kong and its lights. Alternatively, dine on a floating restaurant or go shopping at Temple Street Night Market.


Explore beyond the concrete jungle and seething crowds of central Hong Kong with a trip into the countryside or a cruise on the water. Leave retail and partying behind and do some serious hiking or sightseeing. Check out the See & Do section for ideas.

Health & Safety

Check with your doctor for vaccinations that might be needed for entry into Hong Kong. Inoculations may be required and if you are traveling on to the Chinese mainland you may need to take other precautions. Always have full medical insurance as charges are made. The level of care is high.

Tap water is considered safe but many visitors prefer bottled water. Be selective when eating food from street stalls.

Mosquitoes are prevalent so take the usual precautions. There are some snakes on Lamma and Lantau islands so take care when walking cross-country. Go to a public hospital if you are bitten as they keep the relevant antidote.

Hong Kong is extremely crowded but is considered a relatively safe destination. However:

  • Always look after belongings and beware of pickpockets
  • Avoid the garden paths on the Peak at night
  • Avoid unlit areas at night
  • Take care when crossing roads – do not jaywalk
  • Be wary of touts offering to sell you cheap goods
  • Police who speak English have a red shoulder badge

Passport & Visa

Before travelling to Hong Kong please check the Visa and Passport requirements at