Hong Kong Travel Guide and Itinerary

Hong Kong stock

We've got tips on how to eat, drink and be merry in the bustling Fragrant Harbour — and when you need a break, a peaceful day trip is only a ferry ride away.

About Hong Kong 

Mention Hong Kong to most travelers and they’ll almost definitely refer to the vibrant city’s longstanding reputation for being a food and shopping paradise. There’s never a dull moment here — the buzzing metropolis is home to nearly 7.5 million people, which means streets sometimes remain packed even after dark. The beckoning neon lights of shopping hubs Causeway Bay and Wan Chai will keep you on your toes all night long, and if you’re feeling peckish at 2am? There are plenty of 24-hour eateries that will whet your appetite.  

But if your impression of Hong Kong is just that of a concrete jungle, know that the city isn’t just a single island — it’s made up of more than 260 islands. The main regions include Hong Kong Island, New Territories and the Kowloon peninsula, but the city’s territory also spans a vast number of outlying islands such as Lantau (the largest in the area, and home to HK Disneyland) and tranquil Peng Chau. All it takes to cross over to some of the many islands is a ferry ride, usually up to an hour each way. It’s a great way to enjoy Hong Kong from a different point of view — far from the madding crowd, with the sea breeze in your hair.  

Before your trip, remember to pack a light waterproof jacket and good walking shoes; Hong Kong’s natural terrain is hilly, with the highest point peaking at 957m in Tai Mo Shan. Thanks to the city’s sub-tropical climate, the summer months of June to August may reach temperatures of 29°C but the hot weather is usually tempered by the annual monsoon season. Typhoons are a regular occurrence in this compact city of skyscrapers (the peak period lasts from July to September), so be sure to check local weather guides before booking flights. 

 

 

Highlights for the Traveler  
Hong Kong stock
Photos on this page via Shutterstock.com

One of the greater advantages of Hong Kong’s history as a bustling trading port is that the city is well-placed as a hub for cuisines around the world. And with food playing such an important role in Hong Kong’s collective identity it’s little surprise that between Michelin-starred restaurants and local cha chaan teng (casual-dining “tea restaurants”), there’s no room for culinary discrimination. The only important food in this city is good food. Be ready to eat like a hobbit during your trip, with multiple meals spread across a single day, for a full Hong Kong experience: Start the day with a milk tea at a cha chaan teng, tuck into world-famous Cantonese dimsum for lunch, snack on egg waffles from a streetside hawker, dinner on the top floor of a towering five-star hotel, and then come back down to earth for midnight supper at a 24-hour joint. 

Hong Kong’s shopping scene is famous enough to warrant its own outlandishly named Times Square, right in the heart of the shopping district of Causeway Bay. Luxury brands can be found left, right and center, but there are also plenty of local fashion retailers as well as mid-range brands from neighboring South Korea and Japan (both influential in fashion and entertainment here) dotting shopping strips around town. And for the brave-hearted: There’s always the infamous Ladies’ Market in Mongkok, where you can easily spend an entire day browsing through over 100 stalls selling everything from cosmetics to pajamas to (shh!) counterfeit branded goods. 

Can’t make it to Japan this year? You and the kids will love that there’s another Disneyland so close by. Hong Kong’s edition boasts a little over 27 hectares and is easy to get to, thanks to the dedicated MTR station that connects to Hong Kong International Airport Station. Or make a day trip to nearby Macau, connected to Hong Kong via the world’s longest sea-crossing bridge at 55km. 

Visit Hong Kong throughout the year for its varied arts calendar: March is unofficially known as Arts Month, featuring the long-established HK Arts Festival as well as Art Basel; the dragon-boat festivities begin in June on Victoria Harbour, and toward the end of the year, you can expect the HK Wine & Dine Festival in October, Winter Fest in December, and finally, the year-end extravaganza complete with fireworks over the harbour every December 31. 


Recommendations list to be updated.

Recommendations list to be updated.

Recommendations list to be updated.

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