HONG KONG HIGHLIGHTS
Did you know “Hong Kong” is one of the only destinations in the world you can pronounce without moving your mouth? Don’t believe me, try it now :). Not a city, state or country, Hong Kong is politically considered a Special Administrative Region. Rich in history, Hong Kong has strived to retain its’ independence from neighboring China throughout the years. For now, China has agreed to let Hong Kong remain as is until 2047, though Hong Kong people aren’t resting on their laurels.
Skyline from The Peak
IT FEELS GOOD TO BE LOST IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. – UNKNOWN
Hong Kong is a fascinating place. It is a true East meets West world, with traditional elements intertwined with modern feats. Check out our full guide to ensure you’re across the Hong Kong highlights!
HONG KONG VISA
While a number of countries do not require a visa, the duration of your stay does differ greatly depending on Nationality.
For the most up-to-date information be sure to check out the full list of visa requirements and visa-free periods, listed alphabetically by country.
The famous Skyline by day
HONG KONG WEATHER
Hong Kong has four distinguishable seasons:
- Spring: March – Mid-May (warm & humid, cooler at night)
- Summer: Mid-May – Mid-September – Month (hot, humid & wet)
- Autumn: Late-September – November (cool, dry & sunny)
- Winter: December – February (average temperature 17°C/63°F)
Getting lost in Hong Kong
SEE HONG KONG
Of course, Hong Kong is loaded with plenty of options for shopping and eating. However, if you want to tap into a few more of the cultural experiences the city has to offer (a number of which are FREE), be sure to check these out:
- Walking Tour: Free (plus tip). Sign up online to reserve your spot on one of the free walking tours held Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday at either 11am or 2pm (or show up at the Clock Tower a few minutes before). This young, passionate group of volunteers are keen to show you a closer look at their city, and will entertain you for 2 hours as they guide you around the highlights of Hong Kong. Ensure you wear comfortable shoes and carry along an umbrella to ward off the rain or heat.
New friends on walking tour
- Star Ferry: $0.50. For the price, you can’t beat the experience of crossing from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island or vice versa. Running since 1888, the iconic Star Ferry has also been rated by National Geographic as one of “50 Places of a Lifetime.” Star Ferry also offers a Harbour Tour, which can be taken day or night for a 1-hour look around the harbour. Services run regularly from morning to night.
- Victoria Harbour: Free. Sure, a city full of high rises may not sound that exciting, but Hong Kong will prove you wrong. As one of the most photographed skylines in the world, you could easily just hang out, taking in the epic skyline, day or night. With so many vantage points from both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, I guarantee you this will be one of your highlights of the city.
Hong Kong by night
- Symphony of Lights: Free. 8pm nightly (approximately 15 minutes). OK, while it wasn’t my “cup of tea,” it’s a site to check out nonetheless. Guinness World Records named it as the “World’s Largest Permanent Light & Sound Show” so it has some credentials behind it. Listen to the narration in English on Monday, Wednesday & Friday; Mandarin on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday; and Cantonese on Sunday. Take the time to check it out for yourself – after all, what do you have to lose?
- The Peak: $11/person for the Peak Tram SkyPass (which includes a round-trip tram ride, entrance to the Sky Terrace & an audio tour). Also known as Victoria Peak, your friends won’t believe you visited Hong Kong unless you snap a picture from the top. Learn about the history while taking in the incredible views. The experience is unforgettable and definitely one of the Hong Kong highlights not to be missed!
Historic Peak Tram
- Night Market: Personal shopping expenses only. Yes, there are a number of markets in Hong Kong, from the bird market to the seafood street market. However, to experience a different side of Hong Kong, you should definitely check out the Temple Street Night Market. With a variety of well-priced goods and the ability to negotiate, you’re bound to leave with something. If you don’t need anything, just go for a walk around and delight your senses with the open-air street stalls.
- Avenue of Stars: Free. Have you ever wanted to get your picture taken with Bruce Lee? Now’s your chance. A spin-off of the infamous Hollywood Walk of Fame, you’ll enjoy taking a stroll through the area, even if you’re not familiar. Make sure to say “hi” to McDull, Hong Kong’s famous pig too.
The amazing Bruce Lee
- Disneyland: 1-Day ticket $70 for Adults & $50 for Children. Whilst it’s probably not a true “cultural” experience, if you want to feel like a kid again, make sure you take the time to experience all the magic Disney has to offer.
- Nathan Road: Free. Experience all that the longest road in Hong Kong has in store for you. From shopping to dining, and parks to people watching, you’re sure to find it all on this main street in Hong Kong.
The infamous Nathan Road
EATING & DRINKING IN HONG KONG
Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city, so you’ll have no problems finding a variety of flavours to suit your palate. Plenty of fresh markets line the streets, ensuring you can stock up on fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts as required.
For a more traditional taste of Hong Kong, be sure to find a local tea shop and order a “pineapple bun” and “yuanyang.” The pineapple bun is a pastry served steaming hot with a slice of butter straight from the freezer. The combination of hot and cold make it a delectable treat. Since Hong Kong people often have trouble deciding what to drink, they have the best of both worlds. Yuanyang is a combination of milk tea and coffee – delicious!
You’ve probably heard of the well-known “dim sum” before (some countries refer to it as “yum cha”). With the strong Chinese influence, you can easily find it a number of places around Hong Kong.
Also, egg waffles, fish balls and a selection of mucchi’s, including mango & durian are popular on the streets of Hong Kong.
When toasting in Hong Kong, you can raise your glass and say Cheers! by saying “gom bui.” Afterwards, don’t expect to just sip your drink – it’s bottoms up, as the expression literally means “dry the cup.”
Variety of food in Hong Kong
HONG KONG BUDGET
We budgeted for $146.99 USD/day (for 2 people). Actual was $87.27/day x 3 days = $262 total.
- Accommodation – $95
- Beverages – $5
- Food – $55
- Transport – $25 *
- Entertainment – $95 **
- Miscellaneous – $16 ***
*excludes flight from Hanoi, Vietnam to Hong Kong & flight from Hong Kong to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
**includes $50 clothes shopping
***includes essentials (ie. mouthwash & tampons) & ATM fees
Hong Kong – Old clock tower
HONG KONG TIPS
- Be sure to get the Octopus card for easy travel on the buses, MRT (trains) & Star Ferry. They are easy to top up if need be, and you will get cash back for your deposit and any remaining balance at the end of your trip (less $9 HKD administrative fee), so you really can’t go wrong.
- Be sure to check out the Free Walking Tour – there are a number of paid Walking Tours as well, but this one is comprised of local volunteers working purely for tips, so they offer a great experience at an affordable price.
- Accommodation will likely be your largest expense in Hong Kong – be sure to check out AirBnB for some good options at a reasonable rate.
- If you’re planning to go to Disneyland, search for tickets online, where you will more than likely be able to find discounted rates.
- For a bit of fun, check out the history surrounding the infamous Peninsula Hotel.
Are we missing any of the Hong Kong highlights? Let us know your favourite thing about this multicultural city.