Country: China
Currency: Dollar (HKD)
Peak Season: April-May, October-February
Shoulder Season: March, September
Median Temperature: 22.70 C / 72.86 F
Main Languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Metro, tram, funicular, bus, ferry, taxi
Recommended Duration of Stay: 3 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $120.00/day
Tourist Passes: Octopus Card
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Despite the heat, the tourism in Hong Kong is hustle and bustle year-long, primarily because of the man-made attractions and shopping experience the city has which no other competing Asian city can surmount—which, as a consequence—vastly overshadowed the region’s cultural importance. With the city’s strong ties to the mainland, expect low prices for mass-produced goods: electronics, kitchenware, furniture, etc. Hong Kong is also just a train away from manufacturing depots in the Pearl River Delta, with Shenzhen and Guangzhou being its closest partners.

The region doesn’t get called the “Culinary Capital of Asia” for nothing. Dim sums, fresh and cooked seafood, Japanese cuisine, and other Western-inspired dishes will drive your taste buds crazy. And, as the government’s assurance of a great-tasting meal for connoisseurs, look for the Quality Tourism Services (QTS) portrait displayed on the wall of accredited restaurants and eateries. Heavily reliant of the mainland mantra, Hong Kong always assures its transient tourists of the best possible value for their money.

Packing List

  • Seasonal apparel to brace for the heat and frequent drizzles; a compact umbrella, jacket and denim pants are indispensable at any time of the year, as well as sunglasses to keep you stylish as well
  • A decent camera and some gadgets to keep you company, electronic devices are sold ubiquitously at very cheap prices; internet connectivity is blazing fast here, so bring your laptop as well
  • Essential medication and toiletries, especially those that prevent/treat bacteria; although some international brands are sold here, you’ll be greeted by knock-offs first, so be discerning
  • Some extra luggage bags/credit cards for your extensive purchases; almost everything is cheap in Hong Kong, and consider buying stuff to sell back home to offset to your own purchases
  • Travel gear, guidebooks, maps and a GPS device if you intend to explore outlying islands; bottled water is crucial—you wouldn’t want to drink the tap water there

Things to Do

  • Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland; having opened in 2005, the 55-acre theme park consistently draws millions of visitors annually, with many rides and attractions having a dash of oriental influence
  • Going to Ocean Park and peering at shark tanks at the indoor aquarium or gasping in amazement at the outdoor performances by resident dolphins and seals; there are resident pandas here too
  • Travelling across Victoria Harbour aboard the Star Ferry, the chief cruise company in the city; both the affordable fares and the attractions along the skyline entice tourists to board both day and night
  • Exploring Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s largest island and a sanctuary of simple villages and fishing settlements; it is known for Po Lin Monastery, home to the massive 112 ft Tian Tan Buddha
  • Hitting the shores of Repulse Bay and relaxing in its surrounding entertainment and sporting venues; the bay is inherently small and was extended to contain increasing tenancy and tourism

DON'T

  • Make fun of the people’s religious beliefs/superstitions, always listen attentively if the locals have feng shui advice; talking about politics is discouraged, as it always leads to dissociable arguments
  • Disregard formality, academic title and decorum when engaging in business affairs; Hong Kongers; never cause any embarrassment or it will likely spell the last of your dealings with that associate
  • Be too formal inside eating establishments; eating voraciously is a sign that you’re enjoying the food; unless you’re in a Michelin-class restaurant, be as casual and complimenting as possible
  • Take photos of everything you see, be informed of what sacred/common places are deemed unfit for photography; also, don’t cause a ruckus or argue in public places, it’s very appalling to locals
  • Wear/do anything you want, because despite cosmopolitanism, expatriates and naturalized citizens strictly observe the limits of public attire; revealing dresses and smoking in public are prohibited