Asia is a very large continent with lots of exotic locations to see Hong Kong is one of them. Hong Kong is situated on the southeastern coast of China. It is also an important hub in East Asia with global connections to many of the world’s cities. Hong Kong is proclaimed as Asia’s world city because of its absorption of people from various and even opposite cultures. According to Wikitravel, Hong Kong is a place with multiple personalities, because it has an influence of both, its ex-britishness and natural Chinese existence. Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with at least one season to match your comfort zone.
Hong Kong is overwhelming, delightful and safe, it nudges you out of your comfort zone but reward you too for that. Hong Kong Island is the island that gives the territory ‘Hong Kong’ its name. Although it is not the largest part of the territory, it is the place that many tourists regard as the main focus.
Attractions of Hong Kong
Victoria Peak: It is one of the biggest assets of Hong Kong from the tourism point of view. From the top of Wok-shaped Peak Tower, stunning view of Hong Kong Island. The Peak Tower serves not only as an observation platform; it also doubles as a shopping mall offering shops, fine dining and museums. The Peak Tram runs from Central to the bottom of the Peak Tower. This place is a jewel that people marvel at, no matter how many times they visit the city. People come from all over the world to see and admire it.
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort: This place was inaugurated in September 2005. Situated on Lantau Island this resort also features a Disneyland park, two resort hotels and a lake recreation center. Although it is not that big that you can spend a day or more to view it fully but still it offers you a lot fun that you will find even a day small.
Lantau Island: Finding some natural peace around Hong Kong. This is the place to check out; Lantau Island is twice as bigger as Hong Kong Island away from the funky lights & crowdie streets of Hong Kong. Here you can do everything that you can do around a beach, like hiking, camping, fishing.
Traditional heritage: Being in China and missing a visit at its traditional heritage sights in Hong Kong…… Bad idea!! Traditional heritages of Hong Kong are a must watch. These sights describe the history of this place. In the New Territories you’ll see ancient sights like ‘Ping Shan Heritage Trail’ number of ancient villages and temples like Tsang Tai Uk, Fu Shin Street Traditional Bazaar and Che Kung Temple, Man Mo Temple. In Kowloon you will find the ‘Kowloon Walled City Park’ at the location of the former Kowloon walled city.
Ngong Ping 360: A Buddhist themed park on Lantau Island, which features Imperial Chinese architecture, interactive shows demonstrations, restaurants and coffee shops. The main thing about this park is the longest cable car ride in Hong Kong which offers scenic locations and to view the largest outdoor seated Buddha.
Thrills & Fun
Festivals: There are a number of fests celebrated in Hong Kong and you can become a part of them:
- Chinese New Year
- Spring Lantern Festival
- Ching Ming Festival
- Cheung Chau Bun Festival
- Tuen Ng Festival
- Hungry Ghost Festival
- Mid Autumn Festival / Moon Festival
- Chung Yeung Festival
- New Year’s Eve
The people of Hong Kong celebrate these festivals at their best and its worth watching, some of these are traditional festivals of China and every festival has an ancient story behind it.
Music: Music is a big industry in China, and Hong Kong is one of the main centers of Chinese pop culture. It’s the home of many popular Chinese artists like Jackie Chan, Andy Lau, and Wong Ka Kui (Beyond), Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and locally Eason Chan. Music concerts are often a sellout affair in Hong Kong, many popular singers and foreign bands perform in the city.
Beaches: Beaching in Hong Kong is not a big deal, you are never far away from the sea and a good beach is always at a stone’s through distance. Beaches are managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, shark nets and life guards are present. Although more than 200 outlying islands, as well as an extensive coastline that is jam-packed with impressive bays and beaches are there in Hong Kong,
But we advise you to visit these:
Shek O: Very popular among the young generation of Hong Kong. Although it is a distance from the city but yet quite good services available like restaurants and bus services from the north side of the island. Do try the Thai restaurant close to the beach.
Big Wave Bay: One more stunning location in Hong Kong. The area of beach is small but good services are available here also. You’ll find a good line of cafes to relax and have your cup of coffee. As the name states ‘Big Wave Bay’ this beach offer a sort of big waves appealing to the surfers to do surfing, which is quite common at this beach.
Hung Shing Yeh Beach: If you are still not able to find the most amazing beach in Hong Kong then let us help you. Situated at the Lamma Island and highly regarded as the most popular beach. Lamma beach is a paradise with fine sand as well as clear water. A changing room, barbecue area and a refreshment kiosk you’ll find everything on this A-Grade beach. A 20 minutes walk from the ferry terminal to the beach. Buses and taxis are not an option on Lamma.
Camping: There are a lot of campsites in Hong Kong and all are free of charge. Some sites have running water and sinks for washing dishes. A few campsites have places to buy drinking water and food. A lot of Hong Kong people like to camp in large groups, talk loudly and stay awake until very late, so if you don’t like these things then try to keep your temper, or else find a remote campsite.
Gambling: Horse racing is quite a popular game of gambling in Hong Kong. But Mahjong is an integral part of Hong Kong’s gambling culture. Gambling is a culture in Hong Kong, which is played like a game, be a part of it but don’t make it a habit yours.
How to reach there?
Hong Kong is an easy access by air from any part of the world. Hong Kong international airport which is also known as Chek Lap Kok is the port for those who are visiting by air. There are many direct flights to Hong Kong from every continent in the world. Most of the major cities in Oceania, Europe and North America are all served with at least one daily flight, and flights between Hong Kong and other major Asian cities are also frequent. Cathay Pacific operates one of the longest air routes in the world, linking Hong Kong and New York (JFK).
Hong Kong to the mainland China is considered as an international flight; flying around mainland China using Shenzhen Airport is often significantly cheaper, it is often cheaper to fly out of ‘Macau International Airport’, because of higher fees at Hong Kong International Airport. Macau International Airport is easily reached by ferry from Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Hong Kong International Airport.
The Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the hubs of Star Cruises. Cruise ships leave from here for various cities in Vietnam, mainland China and Taiwan. There are also long haul services all the way to Singapore via ports in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.
How to roam around?
Octopus card is mainly a smart debit card, which provides instant electronic access to Hong Kong’s public transport system. As the world’s first contactless smart debit card, it can be tapped onto a reader to transfer fare from the passenger to the carrier. This card is also acceptable in restaurants, many vending machines, all roadside parking and some car parks. Basic Octopus cards cost $150, with $100 face value plus $50 refundable deposit. A $7 service charge applies if the card is returned in less than three months for the refundable deposit. The maximum value an Octopus card can carry is $1,000.
Buses are pretty much your only option for travelling around the south side of the island and Lantau. There are three types of buses operated by a multitude of companies available in Hong Kong. If paying in cash, the exact fare is required and no change can be given. Paying by Octopus is much more convenient. But it is not acceptable in the red minibuses which usually does not have a route number.
You’ll find neat & clean, efficient and plenty of taxis or cabs in Hong Kong. They are also cheaper then taxi in other major cities and divided in three different groups of colours: Red, Green and Blue. The red one is a bit expensive. The meters start running at $20.00 for the first 2 kilometers, and a further $1.50 for every 200m thereafter. Green ones are cheaper than the red ones and fundamentally confined to rural areas in the New Territories. Blue taxis are the cheapest of three and runs only on Lantau Island.
It is the cheapest mode of transport in Hong Kong. It is slow, non AC and bumpier yet a good mode of transport for tourists. It passes through the routes along the length of Hong Kong Island’s centre covers many places tourists would want to see. With a flat fare of only $2.3, it’s the cheapest sightseeing tour around.
Don’t extend your stay, without granting an appropriate visa. If you visit Hong Kong as a tourist then you cannot work, study or establish a business there. For overstaying you can be fined up to $50,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 3 years.
Meat, animal products, fish, rice, ozone depleting substances, items with forged trademarks and radio communication transmitting apparatus are banned goods and must be declared. If you carrying any banned or dutiable item and you failed to declare it at the Red Channel when you enter Hong Kong, you can be fined up to $1,000,000 and/or face a prison sentence of up to 2 years.
Carrying drugs is a very serious offence, for this crime the fine is $5,000,000 and facing up to life imprisonment.
Government of Hong Kong advice the tourists to carry their passports but unless you think you are highly likely to stopped by the police there is no great need; most visitors choose to keep their passport in a safe place. But if it happens you are expected to cooperate during their investigations.
People with a good educational background and reputable jobs are usually better treated by the police, while young people, those from developing countries and western countries with loose regulations on drugs may experience more frequent checks.