Hong Kong isn’t so much a city as it is an experience. One that has to be lived over and over again. What used to be a farming and fishing village in another lifetime is now a glittering expanse of buildings and is now considered to be one of the world’s most important financial centres. Hong Kong perpetually surprises and delights you with its many facets. A fashion-forward city with a strong sense of community and a pulsating heart at its centre, Hong Kong is the kind of city that many people want to make into their forever home.
Since we can’t all live there, we can visit as often as we can. The dizzying array of buildings in Kowloon and Hong Kong and the fast-paced frenetic energy of Tsim Sha Tsui or the slower and richer lifestyle of nearby islands like Lantau and New Territories are all representative of Hong Kong in one way or the other. Hong Kong resides in the many hardworking residents who go about their work every day and those who have made it what it is today. With its bright skies, awe-inspiring skyscrapers, blue waters and the dark mountains that encircle it, Hong Kong continues to remain one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
Hong Kong tourism is extensive and brilliant. From amusement parks to natural wonders, let’s take a look at this multihued Asian miracle.
|Hong Kong Tourism: A Quick Overview|
|Official Language||Chinese, English|
|Currency||Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)|
|Area||1,108 sq. km.|
Sights Unseen - Even a cynic will not be able to remain unmoved by the sight of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour on the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. At night, the broad expanse of dark water lights up as a brilliant laser show cuts through the dark skies and people gasp in wonder. If that fails to enthuse you, head over to Victoria Peak on the fascinating tram that offers some wonderful sights along the way as you climb up the peak. The Peak as it’s commonly known has brilliant sights of a beautifully lit up Hong Kong down below. Lantau Island that has to be approached by ferry is also quite famous for its huge Buddha statue near the Po Lin monastery. The Tian Tan Buddha is 34 metres tall and is at the hilltop which has to be accessed by a long stairway. If you want to truly enjoy nature in all its glory, then don’t miss the Ngong Ping cable car ride. If you want to enjoy a bit of culture, then there are temples like Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin temple which is a well-known Taoist temple in Hong Kong. For those in the mood for something lighter, a simple stroll into Kowloon Park itself is quite calming as you see children frolic around, or simply linger in the beautifully sculpted Chinese garden which has a lotus pond and a rock cascade. There’s never a boring moment in Hong Kong and you’ll find that true, no matter how many times you return.
Adventure Activities - Not everyone comes to Hong Kong for the shopping or the sights of brilliantly lit up skyscrapers. Many come there to indulge in the numerous adventure activities that they can enjoy. Lantau Island is quite famous among enthusiastic trekkers. Hong Kong’s second highest mountain, Lantau Peak is quite strenuous but every bit worth it. There’s a well-marked trail which makes it easy for climbers and the sights of the Big Buddha or the greenery in Lantau are refreshing. Another item that adventure lovers can mark off is to go canyoning in the New Territories, which can be quite the exhilarating adventure. Keen surfers can also enjoy a bit of action at the Big Wave Bay in To Tei Wan. Fishing villages near Lantau Island are also great for paddling around in boats or simply enjoying a swim in the waters. Guided tours can take you on hikes and there’s a chance to have a refreshing dip in a cool waterfall as well. Another thing that one shouldn’t miss while in Hong Kong is the chance to go on the historic Star Ferry. Amusement Park enthusiasts will love the magnificent Ocean Park or Disneyland here which also makes it the perfect spot for kids.
Shopping - Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. From high-end pricey designer items straight from the shiny boutiques to cheap and satisfying shopping in the night markets, Hong Kong has it all. Shopping can be quite the fun activity in Hong Kong and you should come fully prepared to expect the unexpected. The Ladies Market in Mong Kok or any of the night markets is unapologetically Asian in the many colourful varieties of items that it offers or the controlled but chaotic atmosphere. Another famous market is the Stanley Market where you can find a number of fun and interesting souvenirs to take back home. Hong Kong is also home to some of the most amazing malls which often are built with interesting backdrops, such as the IFC or Harbour City Mall that looks out over the harbour. From several coffee shops and boutique restaurants here, it’s easy to spot the waters outside and it’s quite the enchanting sight.
Cuisine - Foodies will easily find themselves eating their way through the many streets of Hong Kong and that’s one of the things that makes this multi-cultural city so memorable. There are all sorts of cuisines available here, from the local favourites such as dim sum to delicious classics such as beef brisket with yellow egg noodles. As one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Hong Kong has some enchanting fine dining restaurants as well as deceptively simple noodle bars and you will be hard pressed to choose your favourites here. Many people swear by the dim sums in Hong Kong and these succulent morsels that you can eat by the dozen can be found in many places but there are dedicated dim sum restaurants where you can eat all sorts of varieties. Seafood is also quite popular here and most places will give you the option to choose your fish and have it prepared in the way you want it. While there are several Indian restaurants here too, if you miss the uncomplicated taste of Indian food, don’t miss out on a little adventure as you enjoy dishes such as roast goose, fish balls or sweet and sour pork.
Hong Kong is located on the southern coast of China on the east side of the Pearl River estuary. It is surrounded by the South China Sea on three sides and has the Chinese city of Shenzhen at its north.
Hong Kong is one of the cities that can be visited throughout the year. Although weather is not prone to extremes, Hong Kong does see its share of typhoons which can be quite scary at times. Hong Kong’s four seasons are each unique and since the social calendar of this city is almost always full, there’s much to see and enjoy, no matter when you go. Many people consider winter to be the best time to visit Hong Kong.
By Air - The easiest and most convenient way of travelling to Hong Kong is by air. Chek Lap Kok Airport is located around 31kms away from the city. It is well-connected with almost all the important cities in the world and is counted as among the busiest airports in the world.
By Train - The railway station in Hong Kong is located on No.9 Cheung Wan Road. Numerous bullet trains from cities in China like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing come here regularly.
By Road - With superb roads and excellent road connectivity, travelling to Hong Kong from China can be convenient and easy.
By Boat - Hong Kong has international ports and you can travel from Macau to Hong Kong with ease.
The history of Hong Kong goes back 6000 years and over a tumultuous period of millennia, Hong Kong came into its own when the British colonised the island in 1898 for 99 years. Hong Kong rapidly became one of the key financial hubs of the world and is home to not just Chinese but immigrants from various countries from all over the world.
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar
Population: 7.347 million
Time Zone: UTC +08:00
Area: 2,754 km
Capital: Victoria City
Official Language: English& Chinese
Capital's calling code: +852
Hong Kong has four major districts out of which Hong Kong Island is the major tourist location and an integral part of the Hong Kong Tourism. The Hong Kong Island houses the majority of the skyscrapers and is called the financial center as well. The Peak is the highest point here and provides amazing views of the entire Hong Kong city. Major landmarks are the Centograph, City Hall, Central Plaza, and Statue Square are few of the best places to visit in Hong Kong. Exhibitions and museums are also a good way to spend a day on Hong Kong Island. The Trick Eye Museum houses optical illusion installations and paintings. The Medical Sciences museum and the Police Museum showcase the journey of the healthcare system and the forces.
All-in-all Hong Kong has a variety of things on offer and makes a vibrant and amazing destination location. Hence you must take help of the Hong Kong tourism Guide to make the best vacation plan. Hence choose the best Hong Kong tour packages here, at Thomas Cook. Either it is with your friends or family you will definitely love this place and enjoy the varied activities during your holiday. You can also check out more ways on How to reach Hong Kong
Hong Kong has an area of 2,754 sq. km. It has a striking geography with varied land and seascape. Apart from the concrete jungle of its skyrocketing buildings and bustling shopping and entertainment districts, the area is also rich with scintillating natural beauty. Hong Kong is the possessor of lush greenery, myriad marsh lands, rolling hills and mountain peaks and many natural reserves that are spread over its 260 islands. Sitting at the southern tip of Guangdong Province of China, Hong Kong is an autonomous territory located in Asia. It is divided into four major areas; Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, The New Territories and The Outlying Islands.
Hong Kong had been a British Colony for 150 years up till 1997 when the sovereignty was transferred to China. Hence most of the infrastructures around the city are influenced by the design standards of the British. Hong Kong started developing by creating a strong manufacturing base in Asia in the late 1900’s and now it has turned into a financial hub for the Asian market. Many local and multinational banks have made their presence in Hong Kong. Due to its proximity to the sea, Hong Kong is also a transition port from where a large number of Chinese goods are exported to the entire world. People also call Hong Kong as a harbor city.
Historically, the first human settlements happened in Hong Kong about 30,000 years ago under the Chinese Qin Dynasty. They ruled till 1841 but lost to the British in the First Opium War. An agreement called the Treaty of Nanking was signed in August 1842 that established Hong Kong with Victoria City. After China’s defeat in the Second Opium War, the British occupied the Kowloon Peninsula and expanded their presence on the Chinese land. In 1898 a 99-year lease was granted to the British that covered land on mainland and nearby islands for development and defence purposes. Even though attempts were made to capture Hong Kong back from the British in the Second World War, but they regained control quickly.
The major impact on Hong Kong post World War 2 was the lifting of economic and racist restrictions. This marks the beginning of the financial and economic development of Hong Kong. Even though a communist government took over China in 1949, Hong Kong saw very less impact and continuously moved towards growth and industrialization. It soon surpassed Britain’s GDP per capita to become the fourth largest financial center after New York, London, and Tokyo.
Majority of the population in Hong Kong are Han Chinese with Cantonese ancestry. Many other nationality people have also settled in Hong Kong. A large number of Indian, Nepalese, and Pakistani have been living here for several generations now. A significant number of Indonesians, Filipinos, and Thais are employed as domestic help here. Moreover, since Hong Kong is a financial hub, people from Australia, Japan, America, and Korea have also made it their home.
Hong Kong is a multi-faith region with its people practicing various religions and beliefs. However, due to their Chinese descent most of the population follows different religions belonging to the Chinese folk. This widely includes Confucian and Taoism. Some even follow Chinese variety of Buddhism.
Hong Kong Dollars ($) is the only currency accepted here. The prevailing exchange rate is approximately 8 Indian Rupees to 1 Hong Kong Dollar.
Basic: Those on a budget can travel Hong Kong with a daily estimated expenditure of approximately Rs. 600 which can include stay at guesthouses, visit to museums (Wednesdays free), night markets (free) and horse races, meals at food stalls and teahouses, and travelling via buses, ferries or trams.
Mid-range: With a daily budget of approximately Rs. 600 to Rs. 15,000 you can stay at hotels or budget hotels, have Chinese dinners that include three dishes and also enjoy drinks and live music; besides travelling around via the local public transport.
Luxury: With a daily budget of more than Rs. 15,000 approximately you can stay at a boutique hotel, dine at top-end Chinese restaurants, attend Cantonese opera and travel via rented cars.
ATMs can be found at all places and Credit cards are accepted at all major restaurants, hotels and big retail shops, with some budget shops only accepting cash.