Since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997, after 150-years as a British Colony, remarkably little has changed. China has been very keen not to meddle with Hong Kong’s phenomenal success. Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit; businesses, shops, bars and restaurants continue to flourish; and a melting pot of Eastern and Western influences ensure that Hong Kong remains one of the most sought after city-break destinations in the world.
Hong Kong conjures up a vision of the harbour-front sky line, spectacularly lit at night by thousands of lights and neon signs. The harbour front is certainly the focal point of Hong Kong and no visit is complete without a night-time ride across the harbour on The Star Ferry or a visit to Victoria Peak to take in one of the worlds truly iconic views.
There is however so much more to discover, and a two or three night stopover is likely to be crammed from dawn ‘til dusk (or much later) to see and experience as much as is possible. Most visitors will confine their first visit to the Kowloon peninsula and Hong Kong Island; both of which offer fantastic shopping streets and malls, night markets, cutting-edge bars and nightclubs, and a bewildering choice of options for dining. But we also recommend escaping the city to the outlying island of Lantau or into the picturesque New Territories that lie close to mainland China.
A modern, efficient and very cheap network of public transport makes getting around Hong Kong very easy indeed.
The Best of Hong Kong
Eat! Whether it is dim sum at a Chinese breakfast café, authentic or nouvelle Japanese cuisine using the freshest of ingredients, or three Michelin-starred Cantonese cuisine at Lung King Heen Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong has it all (and more!).
Use the MTR or Mass Transit Railway to get around; it is quick, cheap and easy to use. Signs and announcements are duplicated in Cantonese and English and with only a handful of lines it is virtually impossible to get lost. You will also be pleased to hear that spitting, smoking, and eating durian fruit are all now banned!
Be sure to take a refreshing stroll through the Botanical Gardens, parks and water-front areas on either side of the harbour. If your stay coincides with a Sunday you will get to witness and perhaps meet some of the thousands of Filipino workers (traditionally restaurant and hotel staff, construction workers, and domestic staff) who have their day- off on a Sunday, and gather together to socialise, chat and eat homemade delicacies.
For the adventurous in search of a fantastic curry, pop into to the ground floor of the famous Mirador Mansions or Chungking Mansions on Nathan Road. Look up at the list of trading establishments posted above each lift and select one such as ‘Nepali Officers Mess’ or ‘Dhaka Curry Mess’. Having made your selection take the lift to the relevant floor and you will be rewarded with possibly the best and most authentic curry you have ever experienced; normally only the locals and expats are in the know on this true gem.
Catch a ferry! There are literally hundreds of ferry journeys possible in Hong Kong; however, a journey on the Star Ferry is a must. For best effect take a ride after dark for a mesmerising view of the harbour lights. If time permits during your stay, take a ferry to one of Hong Kong’s many islands, such as Lamma Island for its fabulous beaches and seafood restaurants, or Cheung Chau Island where traditional Chinese village life has remained relatively undisturbed for centuries.
Shop till you drop! Chinese fish and bird markets, modern malls, electrical discount stores, high streets shops, and the famous Temple Night Markets make Hong Kong a great shopping destination..
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Selective Asia in Hong Kong
Whilst we certainly consider ourselves to be true Asia specialists we operate in some far more than others. Many of our Destination Specialists have spent time in Hong Kong, one has even lived there, however we do not have a local office or our own operations.
That said, along with the expert advice we can offer, we also arrange hotels, touring and transfer services through a very experienced and reliable local partner who has acted on our behalf for many years.
Flying via Hong Kong?
It is more than likely that you will be flying with Cathay Pacific or BA, both of whom who have excellent links across the Asia region. For most destinations they offer a good connection meaning you do not require an overnight stop, however there are exceptions.
Alternatively you may simply decide that you would like to take this opportunity to visit this vibrant city state, and with so much on offer who could blame you!