Hong Kong Travel Guide
- Everything you need to know for your trip to Hong Kong-
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan and special administrative region in the People Republic of Chine, located on the eastern Pearl River Delta in South China, with over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities. Hong Kong is a much easier destination for western visitors than the Mainland China. Therefore, it’s a great idea to put this area on your bucket list.
Why Visiting Hong Kong?
When it comes to Hong Kong, most people think that this destination is limited to shopping lovers. However, it’s much more to offer in this Special Administrative Region, from the high altitude views, local foods, festivals, etc. So, let’s take a look at the major reasons for you to visit Hong Kong at least once in your life.
When you visit Hong Kong, you visit a multicultural society since it has a sophisticated fusion of east and west. In other words, travelers can experience western life along with Chinese customs. For instance, you can have a coffee in a high-altitude café on the top of a sky scrapper just before visiting a lovely Chinese temple. This feature makes traveling to Hong Kong easier than China since you can find English-speaking people easily.
Food is another important reason for visiting Hong Kong since you can try various mouth-watering dishes from all over the world. Local foods in Hong Kong are not limited to the famous dim sum or seafood, and travelers can enjoy multicultural dishes during their trip. The advantage of Hong Kong dishes is that, unlike Chinese food, they don’t have a strong taste or strange ingredients. Besides the local foods, travelers can enjoy authentic cuisine from Japan, Korea, India, Thailand, or even Africa.
As mentioned earlier, Hong Kong is a paradise for shopping lovers, and it offers a unique shopping experience. From modern malls with international brands to small and traditional stores, as well as various street markets, these are instances of what you can experience in Hong Kong. Many believe that Hong Kong is the best place for buying fashion clothes, electronic goods, watches, cosmetics, and ornaments.
One of the most popular things about Hong Kong is its skyline and Harbor views. If you reach the summit of Victoria Peak, you can experience a lovely view of Hong Kong, which you can see in most photos of Hong Kong views. You don’t need to climb up. Just ride an antique tram, which is also more popular.
Hong Kong Top Destinations
Best Time to Visit Hong Kong
Temperature: 28 °C (82 °F) – 32 °C (90 °F)
The weather in summer is extremely hot and humid. Besides, there will be frequent thunderstorms and occasional typhoons. Make sure to bring frequent thunderstorms and occasional typhoons. Also, ensure to check the weather forecast. Aquatic activities in Ocean Park and Disneyland are the best in summer.
Autumn (September – November)
Temperature: 18 °C (64 °F) – 29 °C (84 °F)
The weather in autumn is dry and cool. It’s the best season for enjoying lovely Victoria Harbour, Lamma Island, or Lantau Island. As for the dress, wear short-sleeved shirts/T-shirts plus a thin overcoat (for nights)
Winter (December – February)
Temperature: 10 °C (50 °F) – 20 °C (68 °F)
The weather in winter is also dry and cool. It’s the best time for shopping since most stores, malls, and markets offer sales promotions. Make sure to bring a wool sweater and heavy coat this time.
Things to Do in Hong Kong
Amazing things to do in Hong Kong are limitless, and most of them are known these days. But there is always more to discover about this city. Some activities may not be as famous as the others, but they are just as fun, and all of them are worth a try. Read below and discover some exotic ways to have fun and if you have any suggestions, let us know about your experiences and recommendations.
Enjoy a Legendary Hike at The Dragon’s Back Trail
There are a lot of things to do in Hong Kong, but perhaps hiking at the Dragon’s Back trail can be a good start. One of the reasons is that this is a healthy activity and not particular to a specific group. Anyone can enjoy the Dragon’s Back Trail if they can navigate the path. Besides, the Dragon’s Back Trail is also dubbed as the best urban hike in Asia. Just keep in mind that Dragon’s Back is part of a much larger trial, and if you are new, it might be best to take a tour or a really good guide to navigate the path and show you all the best spots.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
After naming an exciting and adventurous physical activity, it is best to recommend a top spiritual experience as well, that is known as the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Call it a pilgrimage, a spiritual journey, sightseeing, or whatever you want, but be sure to check this place out and meditate. The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a complex located on a hill and has a nine-story pagoda with numerous other buildings. But the major attraction of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is the countless Buddha statues that are all over the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery complex. It is quite the journey to the top, but the visit is worth the climb.
Go on a Traditional Boat Ride in a Chinese Junk Boat
Riding on a Chinese Junk Boat in Hong Kong is one of the fun things that many travelers do not try. It is not the number one best thing to do, but the Junk Boat is a fun activity that offers a great and beautiful view of everything. Other than the view, it can also have a unique vibe due to its traditional nature. Junk Boats have been around for centuries and have barely been upgraded, but they all come with different facilities. Find the best prices and make sure to rent a ride.
Try the Lan Kwai Fong Nightlife
The best and most charming nightlife experience is found in the Lan Kwai Fong neighborhood of Hong Kong, which is perhaps the best in all of China. It is filled with all kinds of different bars and clubs that will be the most fun place to be at night. If you want to party and have the wildest night during your trip to this city, be sure to visit Lan Kwai Fong and spend one night there. Partying all night does not sound very exciting; visit during a holiday or an event when Lan Kwai Fong is even better.
Go Fun Yourself at the Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Disneyland is a different kind of fun than the Lan Kwai Fong, but still one of the best places to go in the city. It may be a little smaller than the other Disneyland resorts but still as much fun as the others. The Disneyland theme park in this city is a place for all ages and preferences with a little touch of Chinese culture. Pick your favorite among the rides, exhibits, shows, and all the things in Disneyland. It is best to travel to this place with family or a group to have even more fun.
Find Your Favorite Beach
Whatever kind of Water or Beach activity you are looking for can be found on the numerous beaches of Hong Kong. There are a lot of great beaches around the city and the surrounding islands, which makes it a bit difficult to say which one is the best. Just keep exploring until you find your preferred beach in the city and enjoy. Maybe deciding on what you desire the most can be helpful in finding a better spot. Each beach has its activities, just determine if you want watersports, sand and sunbathing, or a calm and relaxing beach.
Enjoy the Culture & the Environment of Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
While exploring and enjoying all the beautiful parts of the city, be sure to visit Yuen Po and its gardens. It is the best opportunity to see some great gardens and see songbirds of Hong Kong all in one visit. It is a cultural visit, along with a touch of the beauties of nature accompanying exotic birds at Yuen Po. And to make it even more memorable, you can also go to the souvenir shop and buy traditional items to remember the day.
Enjoy a Breathtaking View from Atop Victoria Peak
Find the best view of the city on top of the tallest maintain of Hong Kong at Victoria Peak, AKA “The Peak” of Hong Kong. This trip to Victoria Peak can be a bit exhausting, but it is still available for all as there are some rides to the top. One of the best things to do in the city is going to Victoria Peak for its 360-degree view of the city that is like none other. The view of the city in a Junk Boat is something special, but Victoria Peak is also an amazing experience for all travelers, especially first-timers.
Enjoy a Ride on the Star Ferry
Star Ferry started as a means of transportation near the end of the 19th century in Hong Kong, but now it is a fun ride across Victoria Harbor. Although there are now a lot of more efficient means of transportation, the Star Ferry has remained active. More than that, it is still a reasonably priced boat ride. Most people just take the Star Ferry for fun rather than moving around the city, which is why you should also give it a try. Despite being a budget activity, it is still very much fun after so many years.
Walk & Explore the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
If you are up for a little walk to see the beautiful city of Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade is ideal for a stroll. The area is full of shops and restaurants, with several of the city highlights nearby. Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade alone can be a good place to spend the evening, but there is always more to this place than meets the eye if you want more. Be sure to stroll around and explore Tsim Sha Tsui to find all the fun things in the district. Also, keep in mind that Tsim Sha Tsui is a good place to try some new Chinese food while traveling.
Local Transportation in Hong Kong
Tramway is one of the oldest public transport in Hong Kong. Almost all routes of the tramway in Hong Kong pass the city center.
MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is the most popular means of transportation in Hong Kong since it’s very convenient and connects Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and Lantau Island. There are more than 70 stations in 10 lines, including Island Line, Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O, Ma on Shan, East Rail, West Rail, the Airport Express, Disneyland Resort.
Star Ferry is an old and very popular mode of transportation in Hong Kong, connecting this area to the Kowloon Peninsula. Star Ferry is the best way to view the panorama of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong skyscrapers.
Taxi in Hong Kong is a very convenient and easy-to-find means of transportation. There are three taxi types, including red taxis operate in urban areas (if you prefer a taxi, then most of your trips will be on red taxis), green taxis serve the New Territories, and blue taxis operate only on Lantau Island.
Flight Deals to Hong Kong
Hong Kong Travel Costs
|Accommodation (daily on average)|
|Budget||$26 – $51|
|Mid-Range||$62 – $123|
|Luxury||$138 – $276|
|Food (daily on average)|
|Transportation (daily on average)|
|Intercity Transportation (daily on average)|
|Entertainment (daily on average)|
|Alcohol (daily on average)|
|Daily Costs On Average|
Best Hotels in Hong Kong
Find the best hotels in Hong Kong using our best price search engine, or go with one of our All-inclusive tours with 4 Star hotels included. You can book our guaranteed hotels for your extra accommodation; before or after your tour days.
Hong Kong Travel Tips
People in Hong Kong mostly speak Cantonese. However, Mandarin and English are also spoken very well. Therefore, if you are an English native speaker, it’s not so hard to find someone who communicates in English
Make sure to have Octopus Card since it’s the best way to use Hong Kong’s super-efficient MTR system. It’s a kind of prepaid card for the entrance of MTR rather than paying for each ride.
For having an amazing skyline view of the city, Ozone Bar at the top of the Ritz Carlton on the Kowloon side (you don’t have to be a guest to visit) and Victoria Peak are the best.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, and there are many rainy days during the year. Therefore, the best idea is to check the forecast before departure and booking.
Getting to Hong Kong from the airport and vice versa is very easy if you take Airport Express. It will help you to reach the city in under 24 minutes.
WI-Fi is widely available in Hong Kong, especially in most tourist spots and MTR stations. However, it’s better to have SIM cards to be always connected.
Tap water is mostly safe in Hong Kong. However, it’s always recommended to have bottled water since there is no risk in drinking that.
Like other Asian countries, bargaining works efficiently! Also, make sure to compare prices with nearby stores.
Smoking in almost all places in Hong Kong, including streets, shops, malls, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and public vehicles such as buses, the MTR, and ferries, is forbidden.
|Emergency services (police, fire, ambulance)||999|
|Police Hotline||+852 2527 7177|
|Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong||+852 2807 0707|
|Consumer Council||+852 2929 2222|
|Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Hotline||+852 2508 1234|
|Hong Kong International Airport||+852 2181 8888|
|Customs and Excise Department 24 Hour Hotline||+852 2815 7711|
|Hong Kong Immigration Department||+852 2824 6111|
|Hongkong Post||+852 2921 2222|
|Department of Health||+852 2961 8989|
|Hong Kong Observatory (for weather information)||+852 1878 200|
|Telephone directory enquiries||+852 1081|
Currency & Money Tips
The official currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar (HKD), and it does not use the same currency as Mainland China. The currency denominations are $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000, like US dollars, without $5 HKD and $1 HKD notes. Also, there are coins of 2 HKD, 5 HKD, and 10 HKD.
It’s easy to find ATMs in Hong Kong, except for very remote areas. They can be found in almost every city street, at bank offices, by supermarkets, next to many convenience stores, and in metro stations. They operate 24/7, accepting international cards. People can withdraw in amounts of 300 USD or 400 USD (4,000 HKD).
Credit Cards and Travelers’ Check
In Hong Kong, major credit cards like American Express, VISA, Diners Club, and MasterCard are generally accepted at bigger hotels, retail shops, and restaurants.
Exchanging money in Hong Kong is fairly easy. You can exchange your money at Hong Kong International Airport, Tsim Sha Tsui & Nathan Road (with the best rate), as well as Chungking Mansion.
Food & Drink (Hong Kong Food)
Prepare to meet some simple, traditional, and yet very delightful food and drinks in the city of Hong Kong. Some of these recipes are centuries old, with cultural stories and cooking methods of their own. Others are either newly invented dishes or brought from other countries. Either way, this place is a very good city to eat some tasty food and maybe even discover a little about culture.
The number one thing to eat in Hong Kong is Dim Sum, which is a popular and traditional Chinese food. There are various forms of Dim Sum, both in terms of material and cooking method, which means you should ask which kind of it you are ordering. Additionally, you have to order Dim Sum in a tea house since traditionally and culturally, Dim Sum is always consumed with tea. Be sure to try Dim Sum while in this city and preferably try this delicious traditional food for breakfast.
Clay Pot Rice
Clay Pot Rice is a very simple traditional dish: originally slow-cooked white rice in a clay pot. To make this dish the traditional way, the clap pot must be placed over a charcoal fire. The taste and texture of the rice in a Clay Pot Rice dish are a bit crunchy and very delicious due to the way of preparing it. Additionally, what makes this dish a really good recommendation is the choice of topping and sauce served with the Clay Pot Rice. There is no limit to what you can eat as the topping with basically any option between beef, pork, or chicken meat or a combination of vegetables.
The Egg Tarts are not an original recipe of Hong Kong, but they were modified here into something that is globally famous. It was actually the Portuguese people that first invented the Egg Tart. But the people of Hong Kong made it even better than the original. As one of the most popular pastries of the city, they should be tried. Either at a bakery or possibly at a tea house. Just like Dim Sum, the Egg Tarts are a staple thing for the locals to eat, better yet with some tea or some Dim Sum.
Having Roast Goose during your trip to Hong Kong has become a popular tourist activity as this traditional Cantonese recipe is just the ideal barbequed meat. The meat for this Roast Goose is marinated with various kinds of spices, adding an extraordinary taste and aroma. To cook the Roast Goose, it is roasted over charcoal until the exterior is golden and the meat is crispy. The meat will release its juices and just melt in your mouth, releasing all the flavors of the meat and spices in the Roast Goose. Roast Goose is definitely a must-try unless you do not like goose or meat in general.
Sweet and Sour Pork
Another popular part of Cantonese cuisine is the Sweet and Sour Pork. They are so loved and popular that they are well-known take-out restaurants all over the city offering fine Sweet and Sour Pork. Just keep in mind that not all Sweet and Sour Pork in Hong Kong can be to your liking. It is a bit difficult to make this amazing dish into a perfect meal. But when you find the right restaurant, it is quite the experience to try some Sweet and Sour Pork. They look like small pieces of meat with an orange sauce covering the exterior, making them seem mouthwatering.
Brisket Noodles or Beef Brisket Noodles are the names of a legendary dish in Hong Kong that is stewed into something very delicious with various herbs and spices. The main ingredient is belly beef for a dish of Brisket Noodles that is either stewed or braised. The combinations of herbs and spices and the cooking process are very important for a Brisket Noodles dish. That is why you have to look for the best restaurant with an expert chef. All the versions of Brisket Noodles are amazing, but in the right place, they can be unforgettable and completely irresistible.
Pork Chop Rice
As odd as it may sound, Pork Chop Rice is a simple street food that is very delicious in Hong Kong. Either in a restaurant or the street, be sure to try the Pork Chop Rice in this city, and try it as many times as possible. There are numerous types of Pork Chop Rice in Hong Kong, all of them are tasty, and some are great. It is not complicated food, but each version of it can be as good as the others with a few adjustments.
Another simple yet delicious thing you must eat in Hong Kong is Wonton Noodles. They are basically thin egg noodles, with shrimp of pork-filled dumplings, broth, and topped with onions or garlic. Simple yet healthy and hearty. Wonton Noodles can be found in other places, perhaps even outside China, but the ones in this place are just unique.
The Fish Balls dish is very popular in Asia, but again the ones made in Hong Kong somehow taste better. It is a popular snack that is found in most streets that are either sold uncooked or with a hot pot dish or cooked with noodles, spices, and sauces. What is odd about Fish Balls is that you will either fall in love with the taste and texture or feel that it is just ok to eat. But be sure to try Fish Balls and see I they are to your liking.
A very great alternative for people who do not favor meat is the Tofu Pudding of Hong Kong, which is not the same as the rest of the world. It is famous as a dessert with various sweet toppings. The texture is very soft and sweet and nothing like what you find in other places. Therefore, it is a must-try.
Mobile & Internet
Where to buy SIM cards in Hong Kong?
You can buy SIM cards in all independent phone stores, 7-Eleven stores, 1010 stores, and telecom shops. Also, you can find them in commercial areas like Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok on the Kowloon side, and Sheung Wan, Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay on the island
There are 4 companies providing telecom services: China Mobile, Hong Kong Telecom / CSL, 3 Hong Kong, and SmarTone. The prices are different in each store, but generally, data is cheaper than the countries like the United States.
- CSL: 3GB & unlimited call for HKD$88 (USD$11); 8GB & unlimited local call card for HKD$118 (USD$15)
- 3 Hong Kong: 20GB plan for HKD$199 (USD$26)
- China Mobile: 3GB of data for HKD$68 (USD$9)
Holidays & Festivals
|Name||Date 2021||Date 2022|
|New Year’s Day||1-Jan||1-Jan|
|Chinese Lunar New Year’s Day||12-Feb||1-Feb|
|Second day of Chinese Lunar New Year||13-Feb||2-Feb|
|Fourth day of Chinese Lunar New Year||15-Feb||3-Feb|
|Tomb Sweeping Day||5-Apr||5-Apr|
|The Day Following Easter Monday||6-Apr||17-Apr|
|Dragon Boat Festival||14-Jun||3-Jun|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||1-Jul||1-Jul|
|Day after Mid-Autumn Festival||22-Sep||10-Sep|
|National Day of the People’s Republic of China||1-Oct||1-Oct|
|Chung Yeung Festival||14-Oct||4-Oct|
Shopping in Hong Kong
Makeup and cosmetics
Hong Kong is one of the best places in Asia for buying cosmetics, especially in The Tsim Sha Tsui. Travelers can find many local and international brands in the cosmetics industry. Among these brands, Korean and Japanese ones are the best, which can be found all over the city.
There is a street in Hong Kong dedicated to shoe shopping called Fa Yuen Street in the Mongkok area in which there are numerous local and international brands, from Nike and Adidas to Reebok and Timberland, find the trendiest shoes in the world in Hong Kong. New Balance is probably the most famous brand in the city.
You can find electronic stores all around the city. However, Sham Shui Po is the best one, especially in Sham Shui Po, selling various electronics, making any electronics lover fall in love with Hong Kong.
Jade has a very special place in Chinese tradition, and it’s linked to the positive energy and good health in Chinese culture. So, it’s a great idea to buy Jade ornaments from Hong Kong. Visiting Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei is highly recommended. Jade-fashioned items, like bracelets, necklaces, zodiac signs, and decorative pieces can be found around the region.
Various shops in Hong Kong sell packed snacks, ranging from bracelets, necklaces, zodiac signs, and decorative pieces, to name a few. Also, you can buy spices from local foods so that you can cook them back home.
It’s a lovely traditional biscuit in Hong Kong. You can buy them in some traditional bakeries like Wing Wah, Kee Wah and Hang Heung Cake Shops, which fortunately have many franchise outlets around Hong Kong.