No longer just the ‘barren rock’ occupied by the British two centuries ago, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong – which includes the eponymous island, the Kowloon Peninsula and extensive New Territories as well as outlying islands – is an Asian powerhouse, punching well above its weight and size. Hong Kong attracts a deluge of domestic and international travelers, ideally placed as a launchpad for exploring southern China and South-East Asia, and a riveting destination in its own right. Don't be misled by the gleaming glass towers, Hong Kong is a unique synthesis of ancient traditions. Push past the lingering evidence of British and Portuguese colonies, past the modern-day icons of Hello Kitty and fast food chains and you'll discover the conservative culture that underpins Hong Kong. In the shadows of skyscrapers, traditional fishing settlements and Taoist temples thick with sandalwood thrive, while scrummy noodle shops and vibrant street markets enjoy the daily grind.
Hong Kong has something for every traveler: the view of the city's night-time neon-rainbows, delicious array of noodle soups, bite-sized dim sum and Chinese black tea are worth the flight alone. To others, nothing beats hiking, brid watching and climbing in the region's beautiful and mountainous countryside.
Hong Kong Island has the Peak Tram, lifting you to lofty vistas of the city's lambent skyline; the Star Ferry, criss-crossing the harbour for a bargain historic ride; and the bars and restaurants of Central, Lan Kwai Fong and Soho. Kowloon is home to Hong Kong’s best shopping, with up-to-the-minute shops and quirky markets, while the New Territories harbour wildlife, traditional villages and trekking.
“Home is where your bag is”
We are travellers that like to experience everything a country has to offer. In every country we visit there are also a few basics we value and that is comfortable sleeping and good food. Of course this has to fit within our budget, which isn't a backpacker budget, but we also don't have unlimited financial resources.
What we usually strive for:
Local food which is cheap and most of the time the best food you ever had.
Value for money accommodation where we focus on cleanliness and a comfortable bed.
A mix of must sees which are almost for nothing as it is a hard to reach place or yet unknown and must sees which are pricy as it is very touristy.
To travel through Hong Kong you can use the numbers below to set up your daily budget. Keep in mind that Hong Kong isn't cheap when it comes down to food and drinking and also accomodation.
FOOD & DRINKS
EUR 99,04 per day per person
on the basis of 5 days and excl. fly ticket
A valid passport is required. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months on arrival. Children must have their own passport. A visa for a stay ranging from 7 to 180 days is granted according to nationality. People from those Hong Kong visa free countries, however, need to get a HK visa if they intend to work, study, establish or join in a business there or if their tour is beyond the granted visa-free stay length.
Hong Kong has a lot to offer. But before you go you need to know what the hotspots of the country are. Beneath, we have selected a few of our finest moments. Of course there is much more to explore and if you want to see more, please click on the button below. You will not only find our highlights, but also from fellow travellers. Are you also one of these travellers that takes the unbeaten path, leave us a message.
DRINKS & BITS
Though small, Ding Dim 1968 offers a comforting and intimate Dim Sum experience. The chef remains anonymous, going under the mysterious pseudonym “Master Black”, with a background of preparing dim sum in the most renowned restaurants in HK.
One of the hippest rooftop bars in Hong Kong is Cé La Vi in the Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district. Are you a pub tiger and you like to go out late you want to visit this district in Hong Kong anyway after 22 hours. For the best places, it is best to reserve a table in advance! 25 / F California Tower, 36, 30 D'Aguilar St, Central, Hong Kong - hk.celavi.com
Kennedy Town: This district is located west of Sai Ying pun and is also very popular. The locals are also called craft beer town this week. Yes, even in Hong Kong craft beers are very popular and in Kennedy Town you can find breweries and tasting rooms.
Fortunately, in Hong Kong there are places like 18 Grams Specialty Coffee Bar where you can have breakfast all day long while enjoying your ice-cold soya latte in a Mason glass. The cakes looked so delicious, but I decided to go for the classic cream cheese bagel;). A nice counterpart to all my noodle dishes during the rest of my days in Hong Kong.
SoHo is the multicultural side of Central. Here you will find bars, restaurants, fashion, art, antiques and music. The name refers to the area south of Hollywood Road. The better bars and the exotic restaurants can be found here. During the day you can visit attractive fashion boutiques, art galleries and antique shops in this district. Soho really comes into its own at night. Go and have a drink here or go out to eat here, you know what I mean. #Hipster #Cozy
Hong knows one of the most beautiful skylines in the world: that of Hong Kong Island. The place to view this is from Kowloon, for example from the Avenue of Stars.
The Ten Thousand buddha's monastery is located in Sha Tin New Territories on the hill which is a little bit of the beaten tourist path. Along the climb-up you will be accompanied by dozen of lifed size golden painted buddhas statues which lead you up the mountain towards the hall with the ten thousand buddhas
The Temple Street night market is one of Hong Kong's busiest attractions. The stalls open at five o'clock in the afternoon. The best thing is after sunset when the local people visit the many eateries on the market. The market stalls at Temple Street offer all kinds of products. The offer is mainly aimed at tourists. The souvenirs that are offered vary from the most kitschy stuff that you can imagine to images, clothing and painting that you really can come home with.
TIPS & TRICKS
Not everyone is served to be photographed, so ask permission first if you want to put someone on the photo.
TAKE THE AIRPORT EXPRESS
Getting to and from the Hong Kong International airport couldn’t be any easier. The Airport Express connects the airport Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in under 24 minutes. Get on the train right at the airport after you pass customs & immigration. Tickets are available at the airport, but can also be obtained at tickets online at Klook not only will you avoid that line, but they are 30% cheaper.
First train: 5:53 am
Last train: 0:52 am
Frequency: 12 min
Duration: 22 min
One way EUR 6,5 Round Trip EUR 12
GET AN OCTOPUS CARD
The Octopus card is a contactless smart card, and is mostly used to pay for rides on the MTR, buses, minibuses, ferries, trams and on a few taxis equipped with Octopus readers.With an octopus card, you just scan your card over the reader and the payment is deducted from your prepaid stored value. It can be bought at any Airport Express Customer Service Centre, any MTR Customer Service Centre (except Racecourse station) and also at other Customer Service Centres of public transportation companies.
Octopus cards can be used at:
All MTR stations
The best octopus card for a tourist is the “On-Loan Octopus” which requires you to pay a $50HK refundable deposit that covers the card cost. Octopus cards can be purchased at all MTR stations, we suggest buying one at the Airport Express station at the Hong Kong airport before you even head into the city.
VICTORIA PEAK TRAM | SKIP THE LINE TAKE A TAXI
The line just to purchase a ticket to ride the Victoria Peak tram can be over 2 hours long. We had one good look at the line and realized there had to be a faster way to Victoria Peak. We looked it up on Uber Hong Kong but they were having surge pricing so we hopped in a cab. Within 15 minutes we were at Victoria Peak and the taxi bill was only $65 HKD. The Victoria Peak tram price is $88HK round trip but this includes admission to Sky Terrace 428. If you take a taxi up to Victoria Peak you can almost have the same view at The Peak Galleria for FREE, just follow the signs Victoria Harbour view. The view at Sky Terrace is slightly better and another floor up, the price for a ticket to Sky Terrace 428 is $48 HKD. There is a taxi stand at the ground level of The Peak Galleria so getting back down the peak is no problem.
Victoria Peak Tram Cost: $88HKD (Round Trip and includes access to Sky Terrace)
Victoria Peak average wait time: 1-2 hours (significantly longer on the weekends and during peak tourist seasons)
Taxi cost to Victoria Peak: $60-80HKD (depending on Traffic and pick up point) Transport only
If you prefer to book in advance Viator sells Victoria Peak tram tickets, click here for prices.
BEST HONG KONG SKYLINE AT VICTORIA HARBOUR
The best Hong Kong tip for taking a picture of the Hong Kong Skyline is to view it from Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side. Jump on the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island and it’ll drop you off right at Victoria Harbour in less than 10 minutes. Right in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Center is a prime spot, the area closes at 11 p.m. The nearest MRT station is Tsim Sha Tsui only a ten-minute walk away.
BEST TIME TO GO
The subtropical climate of Hong Kong has mild and fairly dry winters, where the sun does not show as much as visitors would want to Hong, many days there is (low-lying) clouds or even fog. It is only in April that the amount of sun increases, but the rain probability is already greater. From mid-May the rainy season starts in Hong Kong. The thermometer shoots almost daily to tropical values and the chance of a rain shower is increasing. June through September are tropical months full of high temperatures, rain but also bright periods with sun. In the autumn the mercury gradually drops and becomes drier. Because the sun shines pretty much in the period from mid-October to the end of November in summer temperatures, many see this period as the most pleasant to visit Hong Kong.
Rainfall (mm) Temperature (°C)
The 29th to the 31th of January Chinese New Year, 1st of October National Day.
A positive travel advice applies to Hong Kong. Check the current travel advice for Hong Kong before departure.
It is important that you are vaccinated with Hepatitis B. Beside that, it is not advisable to drink water from the tap. You can buy mineral water in the store. Make sure that the bottles are sealed. Also look out for raw, uncooked or partially cooked food, vegetables (salads) and unwashed fruit (washing in mineral water or boiled water).
We advise you to consult your doctor or the National Coordination Center for Travelers Advice (www.lcr.nl) in good time before departure.