English and Chinese
Hong Kong is the 'World’s Great Dining Capital', where you'll find an incredible range of Asian and western cuisines from Cantonese and Szechuan to French, Italian and even McDonalds. Apparently if you were to eat out three times a day, seven days a week, it would take about five years to try each restaurant.
The best buy is clothing - tailors can make something in 24 hours but the longer you give them, the better quality the work. Browse bargain clothes in factory outlets, Chinese stores and markets, and designer labels in high fashion stores. For added protection, stick to shops displaying the HKTA’s red-and-white logo.
This cosmopolitan city acts as a gateway to parts of mainland China and is a convenient stopover destination for much of Asia. There is so much to see and do here, and everything is wonderfully close, making this the ideal place to extend your journey.
Hong Kong Island
When people envisage Hong Kong with its impressive skyline dominated by the glittering glass of soaring buildings, backed by green peaks, it is most likely Hong Kong Island that they see. Home to the economic, historical and political centre, this is the city’s heart where you will discover the shopping, entertainment and commercial centres overlooking Victoria Harbour.
Marvel at the blend of man-made and natural landscapes from Victoria Peak above the central region of Hong Kong Island, overlooking the streets, skyscrapers, harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula below. Wander through the neon city and savour an array of peculiar delicacies such as shredded jellyfish or snake soup, before signing up for a t’ai chi session at dawn.
The region of Kowloon is situated on a peninsula on the northern shore of Victoria Harbour. The main tourist area is around Tsim Sha Tsui which is located at the tip of the peninsula. It’s here where visitors flock to shop, drink and dine. The Kowloon Walled City Park was once the site of a Qing Dynasty military station which grew to become a large sprawling city during the 20th Century. In the early 1990s the chaotic buildings were demolished and replaced with a park. To this day you can still see a number of structures and relics from the city as well as the beautiful Qing Dynasty garden.
For those who want to escape the hustle of the modern city, we recommend wandering the charming Ping Shan Heritage Trail in the New Territories. At just under one mile long, the trail passes through villages and past a number of historic Chinese buildings including pagodas, temples and a walled village, as well as historic ancestral study halls.
What to do
If you can tear yourself away from the shopping and dining, Hong Kong also has plenty of other experiences available. One of the most popular is getting the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, a nostalgic and good-value journey that’s a real must-do. If you want a break from the business of city life, head out to the outlying islands, famed for their hiking and beaches. Hong Kong also has its own Disneyland, making it a perfect destination if you’re travelling with kids.
An Octopus card, a card similar to London’s Oyster card, is essential if you plan on exploring the city via public transport. Cards can be bought either at the airport or from one of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) stations. Once you have your card it can be topped up either at MTR stations or select shops and they can also be used to purchase things such as food and coffee in various chain stores. The MTR itself is clean, quick and safe, with air-conditioning in the summer and mobile signal throughout.
A 10% service charge is usually added to the bill. If the service has been good, add a little extra. Tip hotel porters 1US$ for 2 bags. Taxi drivers expect at least 10%.