Derived from Chinese characters that mean ‘Fragrant Harbour’, Hong Kong is an enigmatic city of bright lights that never sleeps. Known for glittering skyscrapers, a prosperous economy and a mix of influences, this is a world city that brushes shoulders with the elite.
A state influenced by both British and Chinese history, it holds the story of colonisation and is a complex place that is entrancing to every visitor. A place of possibilities, beauty and lavish districts that tantalises the senses the minute you step off the plane.
With a deep natural port, the waterfront in Hong Kong is exceptional. But, you need to appreciate it from a wonderful vantage point, and there are many of those. The Star Ferry, which is a seven-minute crossing of the water, is a popular and enjoyable form of transport and gives you the chance to get some great snaps of the skyline from sea level.
Next, you can take a trip up to the Peak. A 120-year-old funicular tram heaves you up the almost 400 metres and from here you can look down at Victoria Harbour and the skyscrapers in the distance. Whilst up there, you can explore a nature trail and visit the iconic Madame Tussauds as well as entering the Peak tower. Many feel it is best seen at sundown when the city lights come on.
As with many affluent cities in the Far East, like Shanghai, there is plenty of shopping to be done. From the antiques of Hollywood Road to the plush malls to haggling markets, a trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without a little shopping.
Taking in a night market is a unique experience to be had in Hong Kong. It is great for a bargain or just to soak up the culture. A Chinatown movie scene at its finest, the most popular tends to be Temple Street where, under the lights, you can find anything from a fortune-teller to watches to a game of chess.
Out of the city
With so much going on in the city, it is easy to get tunnel vision but Hong Kong is an archipelago with so much to see. Almost three-quarters is mountains and country parks and you can escape the city with hiking trips, visiting Song-dynasty villages, picturesque fishing villages like Sai Kung and other curious islands.
Best of the bunch is Lantau Island, with the iconic Big Buddha monument. It is a great day trip, starting with a cable car with incredible views; you see rugged beauty here with the main event being the Big Buddha itself. Once you’ve explored this you can go dolphin and whale watching before heading back to the city.
Asia is known for being a hotbed of culinary delights and Hong Kong is no different. Whether you’re taking in the classically local dishes of wonton noodles, dim sum and prawns or something from the gastronomic influences of Europe, Japan, Vietnam and China there is plenty for the stomach to enjoy.
It is a city that doesn’t sleep so the nightlife is just as impressive as daytime pleasures. You can live the highlife on floor 118 of the Ritz-Carlton at the Ozone bar or head to the popular area of Lan Kwai Fong for its wonderful nightclubs and array of restaurants.
When to travel
From London, you can fly direct with a flight time just shy of 12 hours. Many flight options have a layover though and that can push travel time up to 14 hours. Hong Kong International airport is a vast, global transport hub with modern facilities great links to the city.
With a subtropical climate, Hong Kong gets cool, dry winters and hot, humid summers. The summer months run from June to September when it’s intensely warm, whilst also being typhoon season. The best travel months tend to be from October through December; at this time you get moderate temperatures to sightsee but are also treated to sunshine and blue sky.
A former colonial state, Hong Kong has many influences and is a thriving place with a spectacular skyline and a vibrant atmosphere. From a beautiful waterfront to rugged green hills to bustling markets, there are many treasures to discover with a trip here.
Awe at the skyline from the Star Ferry and Peak tower, do some shopping down the high streets, take a cable car to see the Big Buddha monument, relax in a sleepy fishing village and tantalise your taste buds with culinary delights. If you like your holidays to come with an eclectic mix then Hong Kong might well be your next destination.
Key Highlights of Hong Kong
Taken in by the bright lights? Hong Kong is a modern city complete with plenty of rugged beauty. Call today to see how we can help you schedule your next holiday!
If you are travelling in the springtime or the autumn remember it can get chilly, especially in the evening. T-shirts and short sleeves can be fine but a coat or jacket will be more suitable for later in the day.
In the summer the average temperatures sits at close to 30°C, it gets very humid and there can be a substantial amount of rain. Therefore, pack some lightweight linen clothes that allow you and your skin to breathe and do not forget to invest in some waterproof clothing to protect you from the tropical rainfall.
Mosquitoes can be a problem in summer, especially in the greener spaces such as Hong Kong Park, so make sure you pack some insect repellent.
Winter travellers should pack for colder temperatures so think long sleeved and probably leave the shorts at home. Shopaholics should think about bringing an extra bag as Hong Kong is the shopping capital of Asia and bargains are to be found at every turn.
Spring in Hong Kong tends to extend from March to mid May. The average temperature rises over this period from 19°C in March to 26°C in May. These temperatures are accompanied by occasional spells of high humidity as well as some fog and drizzle.
Summer takes hold of Hong Kong from mid May to September with average temperatures in the high 20s. This makes it very hot and, due to the subtropical nature of the climate, very humid with thunderstorms being relatively frequent. Occasional typhoons mean that you should always keep an eye on the weather forecast during summer.
The hot and humid summers give way to cool and relatively dry, but still sunny, autumns which last until the end of November. Average temperatures range from 25°C at the start to around 21°C by the end of the season.
Winter see average temperatures reach lows of around 17°C but also provides the driest months which might be of interest to those who cannot stand rain and humidity.
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