The former British Crown Colony of Hong Kong returned into the Chinese fold in 1997, under the one country two system formula, which gives Hong Kong a large amount of autonomy and freedom compared to the rest of China. Ever since the British decided to set up base here, the city has prospered from starting out as a simple fishing village into being one the world’s biggest financial and trading centres. British influence is seen everywhere from the quintessential red double decker buses to the language, but Hong Kong is still very much Chinese. One could say it is China with a thin British veneer.
The most striking feature of Hong Kong is its sky-line, which is world famous. At night the many skyscrapers light up the night, offering a mesmerising spectacle. Culinary Hong Kong has much to offer, with ubiquitous street markets a good place to sample the local cuisine. For those who like dim sum, this is dim sum heaven. But there is more to Hong Kong then glitz and food. The many tiny islands offer a relaxing retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the New Territories hold an unexpected amount of green and nature.
Take the peak tram up to Victoria peak and admire the famous sky-line, go shopping at Temple Street Night Market, eat your way through dim-sum, party in Lan Kwai Fong or SoHo, take a boat to one of the many islands, or hike the MacLehose Trail from Tuen Mun to the Sai Kung Peninsula.
Follow your nose and come to Hong Kong!
Highlights from Hong Kong
- Take the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island
- Ride the peak tram all the way up to Victoria Peak and take in the views
- Walk along the promande of Tsim Sha Tsui at night and catch the nightly Symphony of Lights show, a spectacular sound and light show involving numerous buildings on Hong Kong Island
- Take a boat to sleepy Lamma Island
- Visit the Temple Street Night Market, or go to Mong Kok and its Yuen Po Street Bird Garden
- The largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha statue is located on Lantau Island
- Hike the MacLehose Trail
- Watch birds in the Mai Po Marsh Nature Reserve and visit some of the historic walled villages while you are there
- Eat in SoHo, Lan Kwai Fong or Central, before taking in the nightlife
- Hop on the bus to Stanley, Repulse Bay or Aberdeen for some beach time and good food
Hints and Tips for Hong Kong
- Most countries won’t need a visa to visit Hong Kong.
- The Star Ferry is not only iconic, it is also a cheap way to cross from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.
- Due to its history, English is widely spoken and understood and the street signs are bilingual, so you should have no trouble finding your way around.
- The transport system in Hong Kong is fantastic, with the metro, trains, buses and ferries taking you wherever you want to go.
- Cheap accommodation can be found in Chungking Mansions in Kowloon, a crumbling high rise full of cheap hotels with pint-sized rooms.