Hong Kong was originally established as a colony of the British Empire in 1841-42, with the Kowloon Peninsula being added in 1860, and then further extended when the United Kingdom obtained a 99 year lease in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory is now one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.
Cultural Exploration: Immerse yourself in Hong Kong's rich culture by visiting historic sites like Wong Tai Sin Temple, Chi Lin Nunnery, and Man Mo Temple. You can also explore the bustling street markets like Temple Street Night Market and Ladies' Market for shopping and a taste of local culture.
Lantau Island: Take a day trip to Lantau Island, home to the famous Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), Ngong Ping 360 cable car, and the serene Po Lin Monastery. You can enjoy a scenic cable car ride to the island and explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage it has to offer.
Street Food and Dim Sum: Hong Kong is a paradise for food lovers. You can explore the city's vibrant street food scene, sampling delicious snacks like egg waffles, fish balls, and siu mai dumplings. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a traditional dim sum meal, a unique culinary experience that's a must-try.
Victoria Harbour: The bustling Victoria Harbour is a central hub of activity in Hong Kong. It's a great place for a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade, where you can watch the famous Symphony of Lights show, which features a dazzling display of lights and lasers on the city's skyscrapers.
Victoria Peak: The iconic Victoria Peak offers breathtaking panoramic views of Hong Kong's skyline, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands. You can reach the peak by taking the historic Peak Tram, and once at the top, you'll be treated to stunning vistas, especially during the evening when the city lights up.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Hong Kong has a diverse climate throughout the year.
Autumn (October to November): This is often considered the best time to visit Hong Kong. The weather is mild and comfortable, with lower humidity and pleasant temperatures. You can enjoy outdoor activities without the scorching heat of summer or the occasional chill of winter.
Spring (March to April): Spring is another great time to visit, with mild temperatures and blooming flowers. It's an ideal time for hiking and exploring the city's outdoor attractions.
Winter (December to February): Winter in Hong Kong is generally cool and dry. While it's not as cold as some other destinations, it can get a bit chilly, especially in January and February. This is a good time for those who prefer cooler weather and fewer crowds.
Summer (June to August): Hong Kong's summer can be hot and humid, with occasional heavy rain and the possibility of typhoons. While it's not the most comfortable time for outdoor activities, it's a great time for beachgoers and water sports enthusiasts. Prices for accommodations may be lower during this season.
Currency: The currency of Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD.
Language: Both Chinese and English are official languages, reflecting its colonial history and the diversity of its population. Here are the primary languages spoken in Hong Kong:
Cantonese: The most widely spoken language in Hong Kong is Cantonese, a variety of Chinese. It is the primary language used in everyday life, by the local population, and in government and media. If you're visiting Hong Kong, it's useful to know some basic Cantonese phrases, but many people, especially in the service industry, also speak English.
English: English is also an official language in Hong Kong. It is used in business, government, education, and is widely spoken in the service industry. Most street signs, public transportation announcements, and official documents are available in both English and Chinese. You'll find that many Hong Kong residents are proficient in English, especially in more touristy areas.
Mandarin: With the influx of tourists from mainland China, Mandarin has become more common, particularly among visitors and in retail areas. However, it's not as prevalent as Cantonese and English in everyday communication in Hong Kong.
What makes it special: Hong Kong is a truly unique and special destination. Its history as a British colony and its location on the southern coast of China have created a fascinating blend of Eastern and Western cultures. This fusion is evident in its architecture, cuisine, festivals, and way of life, making it a place where traditions and modernity coexist. Hong Kong boasts one of the world's most iconic and breathtaking skylines. The juxtaposition of towering skyscrapers against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour creates a stunning visual experience, especially at night when the city lights up. Hong Kong is a paradise for food lovers. From street food stalls and local dim sum restaurants to high-end dining establishments, the city offers an incredible range of culinary experiences. You can savor authentic Cantonese, Hong Kong-style, and international cuisines. Hong Kong is home to numerous temples, monasteries, and historical sites, showcasing its rich cultural heritage. These include the Wong Tai Sin Temple, Man Mo Temple, and the Chi Lin Nunnery. It is also a shopper's paradise! From upscale malls and boutiques to bustling street markets like the Ladies' Market and Temple Street Night Market, there's a wide range of shopping opportunities. The unique combination of cultural diversity, stunning scenery, culinary excellence, and a modern yet historical ambiance makes Hong Kong a special and unforgettable destination for travelers.
Weather: Hong Kong has a subtropical climate, which means it experiences distinct seasons with varying weather conditions throughout the year. The weather can be unpredictable, and sudden changes in temperature or the occurrence of typhoons are possible, especially during the summer. It's a good idea to check the local weather forecast when planning your trip and to pack accordingly, taking into account the season of your visit.
Social customs: There are several social customs and etiquette practices to be aware of when visiting Hong Kong to ensure you have a respectful and enjoyable experience. Confucian values are influential in Hong Kong, and showing respect to older individuals is highly regarded. When offering or receiving something, use both hands, and let older people enter a room or a space first. When dining, there are some important table manners to observe. Keep your chopsticks away from your mouth when not in use, do not stick them vertically into a bowl of rice (as it resembles a funeral ritual), and it's customary to wait for the eldest person to start the meal. Tipping is common in restaurants, and a 10% service charge may be added to the bill. When giving or receiving gifts, it's customary to do so with both hands. Small gifts are appreciated as tokens of respect or appreciation. When entering someone's home, it is customary to remove your shoes. Look for a designated area near the entrance where shoes are placed. Bargaining is common in street markets, but it's generally not acceptable in retail stores or restaurants. Be respectful and good-natured when negotiating prices.