Hong Kong City Guide
About Hong Kong
Hong Kong, the vibrant, pulsating city, which is located on China’s southern coast, is often referred to as ‘the New York of Asia’. This city whose name translates as ‘fragrant harbor’ was administered for over a century by the British. Today, this world renowned center of business and commerce is governed as a Special Administrative Region of China since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 under the stipulations of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.
As a result of its special position, Hong Kong is largely regarded as a gateway to the Chinese mainland and the city is also counted amongst the leading financial capitals of the world. It is visited by scores of business travelers as well as leisure travelers looking for some fun and excitement on their Hong Kong vacation.
Where to stay in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is made up of four main territories namely Kowloon and the New Territories, which are attached to the mainland, Hong Kong Island, which lies in Victoria Harbor and contains the main business hub of Hong Kong and the outlying islands approximately more than 260 in number.
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island hosts numerous hotels that cater to all travel budgets. Business hotels, extended-stay hotels, luxury hotels, budget hotels are all to be found on Hong Kong island, which is also home to the major commercial and business districts of Hong Kong like Central, Causeway Bay and Wan Chai . Additionally, Hong Kong Island also hosts the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center, which is an immensely popular destination for trade fairs, exhibitions and conventions. Further Hong Kong Island hosts some of Hong Kong’s most popular attractions like Hong Kong Park, Victoria Peak, Ocean Park and Stanley Market.
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowlooon
Located across Victoria Harbor at the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula is Tsim Sha Tsui, which is another major commercial district of Hong Kong and home to many attractions, shops and museums. Tsim Sha Tsui, like Hong Kong Island hosts many diverse hotels that range from opulent luxury and historic hotels to discount hotels and budget accommodation options.
Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei
These busy, crowded market areas of Hong Kong also host various hotels, which range from spanking new luxury hotels filled with a whole host of amenities to cheap hotels that cater to budget tourists.
Places to see in Hong Kong
The most famous attraction in Hong Kong is perhaps its towering hill, known as ‘the Peak’, which rises 396 above sea level and can be accessed by the truly charming and old world Peak tram. The Peak tram can be accessed at the base of the hill in the Central district of Hong Kong. The observation decks at the summit of the Peak offer stunning views of the skyscraper laden city of Hong Kong.
The Man Mo Temple
The Man Mo Temple is the oldest and most important Taoist temple that is located on Hong Kong Island. This temple dates back to the 1840’s and is named after its principal deities, Man the god of literature and Mo the god of war. The temple is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong for it is believed that visitors who seek fulfillment of their wishes should worship at the temple. Most visitors purchase and offer incense coils at the temple in the hope of getting their wishes granted.
Dr Sun Yat- Sen Museum
Dr Sun Yat-Sen was born in 1966 in the Guangdong province and was educated in Hong Kong. He is best known for his efforts to overthrow the corrupt Qing Dynasty which had been in power for 2000 years. He is a revered leader of the Chinese revolution and the museum, which commemorates his life, is housed in an imposing Edwardian Classical building; constructed as a private residence in 1914.
Hong Kong Disneyland
The Hong Kong outpost of Disneyland was opened in 2005. If you are in Hong Kong on vacation with your children, then a trip to Disneyland is definitely recommended. Located 10 minutes away from Hong Kong airport, the Hong Kong Disneyland recreates most of the features of the original Disneyland in California on a smaller scale.
Yet another extremely popular attraction for visitors on a vacation to Hong Kong with their children is the marine park called Ocean Park. Ocean Park offers an artificial wave cove that is home to sea lions, tanks with jelly fish, sharks and rays. The park also features an Ocean Theater that has shows that feature dolphins, sea lions and a killer whale and offers interactive attractions like swimming with the dolphins.
The Big Buddha statue is one of Hong Kong’s most famous attractions. This Big Buddha is officially known as the Tian Tan Buddha and is a 34 feet tall bronze statue of a seated Buddha that is contained within the Po Lin Monastery Complex on Lantau Island. This wondrous sight can be accessed by climbing 260 steps from the base of the statute. The way up to the summit is lined with six Bodhisattva statues and at the summit of the Buddha is a small exhibition that tells the story of the life of Buddha.
Best time to visit Hong Kong
The location of Hong Kong on China’s Southern coast has bestowed the city with a sub tropical climate that is characterized by a hot humid summers (April- July with a blustery typhoon season between August and October) and relatively cool and pleasant winters (November to March). In fact, most visitors aver that there is no one ideal season to plan a visit to Hong Kong, for it plays host to countless visitors all year long.
Getting around in Hong Kong
The state of the art Hong Kong International airport is located on the reclaimed Chek Lap Kok Island in the north western part of Hong Kong. Hong Kong International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world that plays host to a numerous legacy and low cost carriers. These numerous air connections make Hong Kong easily accessible from all over the globe. Fare Buzz offers several attractive flight deals for Hong Kong throughout the year. Your cheap air ticket to Hong Kong then can easily help you access this invigorating city, which is a year round vacation destination.
Hong Kong’s airport is also well served by Hong Kong’s efficient and extensive public transport city system which is composed of metered taxis, double Decker buses,the MTR (subway system) and a high-speed express train called the Airport Express.
Actually Hong Kong’s fantastic public transport system also features old world electric trams and ferries in addition to modern modes of transport, which is an attraction in itself. During your stay in Hong Kong, you must make it a point to take a ride on the Star Ferry (a commuter ferry), which makes regular crossings in Victoria Harbor all day long and affords gorgeous views of Hong Kong’s awe-inspiring skyline from the water. Additionally, you should also ride the iconic Hong Kong tramways for a truly cheap price transport that will swiftly move you to various parts of Hong Kong Island.
If you feel the urge to drive during your visit to Hong Kong and have the need to rent a car then Fare Buzz can help at this instance as well, for Fare Buzz in fact offers various affordable car rentals for Hong Kong.
These Hong Kong car rentals are of two types, with or without a chauffeur and depending your preference; you can make the booking for your Hong Kong car rental at the same time that you make your other travel bookings with Fare Buzz.
Where to shop in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an immensely popular shopping destination. Tourists from all over the world flock to Hong Kong to take advantage of its numerous duty-free shopping options. Shopping is in fact a favored past-time of Hong Kongers, as a result this densely populated city, hosts numerous glitzy shopping malls like Hysan Place, I Square, K-11, the One, Harbor City, the Elements, IFC mall and Pacific Place which host countless outposts of the world’s leading fashion and lifestyle brands like Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Burberry, Longchamp, Bottega Veneta and many more. These luxury goods outlets are especially popular with tourists from Mainland China who find duty-free prices in Hong Kong far more reasonable than back home.
Aside from these high-end brands various mid-range brands like the Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, American Eagle, Massimo Dutti, Cos, Seed, J.Crew from the US, Europe and Australia have also set up shop in Hong Kong during recent years in order to gain access to the vast Chinese market.
However if you are looking for a unique shopping experience when visiting Hong Kong, you need to venture into its bustling local markets like Li Yuen Street East and Li Yuen Street West( located in Central on Hong Kong island and collectively called ‘the lanes’), the Temple street market (a night market which opens for business at 2pm and is located in a neighborhood called Yau Ma Tei), and the Ladies Market or Tung Choi Street ( another night market located in the Kowloon neighborhood, Mong Kok). These crowded markets offer a wide array of products like apparel, designer knock-offs accessories, toys, cosmetics, footwear and various other knick-knacks.
Yet another note-worthy shopping destination in Hong Kong is the city’s Western Market which is housed in a heritage Edwardian building in the rapidly gentrifying Hong Kong neighborhood, Sheung Wan. Located within the market are many vendors of traditional arts and crafts along with various merchants who sell rich Chinese silks and other fabrics.
If you enjoy browsing for ‘antiques’ then a stroll along Hong Kong’s Antiques Row along Hollywood Road should definitely be included in your Hong Kong shopping itinerary.
Hong Kong like various other cities in Asia is also known as the home of many bespoke tailoring businesses. So if you have always wanted have custom tailored clothes that fit perfectly, Hong Kong is the place for you to indulge in your passion. Most tailors in Hong Kong carry a wide-array of fabrics onsite and they can create garments to fit your taste and size, within a few days or even overnight, if you are truly pressed for time.
Where to eat in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a world-renowned gastronomic capital. Most Hong Kongers are passionate and knowledgeable about food and world-wide culinary trends. Almost every cuisine in the world has a representation in Hong Kong and moreover the many Hong Kong restaurants scattered all over the city aim to cater to every price point. Another unique aspect about Hong Kong restaurants is that most of them offer reasonable prix-fixe deals at lunch time; this feature makes it easy to eat at a high-end joint on the cheap. The ‘best’ restaurants in Hong Kong change all the time but there are a few Hong Kong establishments like Yung Kee (famous for roast goose), Luk Yu Tea House (old-world dim sum) and Fook Lam Moon (traditional Cantonese cuisine) which seem to be permanent fixtures on this list.
Nightlife in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is often touted to be the ‘NYC of Asia’ and like the Big Apple, this Asian world city also hosts a lively nightlife scene. Bars and nightclubs can be found all throughout Hong Kong but the city has two main nightlife enclaves, namely Lan Kwai Fong (including Wyndham Street and Soho) in Central and Wan Chai which host a raucous ‘party’ almost every night.