Hong Kong Travel Guide
Table of Contents
Welcome to Hong Kong!
If you’re considering a trip to Hong Kong, there’s a good chance you have some questions. Whether it’s a business trip or for educational purposes, or even just to have a great vacation. There are many reasons to visit our beautiful city.
One of the reasons so many people want to visit is because of the rich history that Hong Kong has. From opium wars to invading pirates, there are so many stories that helped develop Hong Kong as we know it now. We mainly know HK for the building-laced skylines and delicious dining.
While Hong Kong is presently a part of China, it wasn’t always. Hong Kong was actually a part of the British Empire after the first opium war in 1839-1842. Then from 1941 to 1945 it was actually occupied by Japan. After the second opium war, the UK made a lease agreement with the Chinese government over the Kowloon Peninsula for 99 years. In December 1984, UK Prime Minister agreed to return Kowloon as well as Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of Chinese once the lease agreement expires. Thus Hong Kong became a part of China on July 1, 1997.
Interestingly enough, Hong Kong maintains their own government. There is a vastly different system than the one in other parts of China. In fact, government isn’t the only way Hong Kong is vastly different. Most of the citizens in Hong Kong have no religious affiliation. Those who do practice any sort of Religion actually practice Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Hong Kong is a laid back place to visit. So laid back, in fact, that the crime rate is one of the lowest in the world. Especially in regard to violent crimes.
When you consider that Hong Kong is one of the most financial forward places in Asia, it’s hard to believe the lack of violence. But it’s encouraging to anyone considering a visit. Hong Kong also allows free trade as well as keeps the taxes low. Their currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the 8th most traded currency world wide. Hong Kong gets 90% of their food supplies from imports. This is because there are little natural resources in the area. Where they lack farming areas, they make up for in cloud-reaching sky-scrappers. This is the Hong Kong you see on postcards.
Geographically speaking, Hong Kong is an ideal place for tourists because of the climate. There may be the occasional storm when the weather differs. Otherwise, the climate is ideal year round. The summers are warm and humid and the winters are cool and dry. The average temperature in the summer days is between 28 and 32 degrees Celsius. The winter has an average temperature of 17 degrees Celsius, although the temperature can drop below 10 as well. It’s important that while you’re in Hong Kong, you make sure to keep track of the weather predictions. It can tend to rain suddenly, even on a nice day. You want to make sure you’re prepared!
The culture in Hong Kong is the fascinating. It has elements of the East, including traditional behaviors. These can range from ceremonies to construction of buildings to beliefs. But, Hong Kong also has many elements of the West, having been owned by the British Empire for as long as it was. This means that while you can experience the traditional East, you will also see the modern Western world. They co-exist in Hong Kong in such a beautiful way.
While on the subject of beauty, there is no doubt about the architecture! There are more than 1,200 sky-scrappers in the nation. If that isn’t enough to drop your jaw, Hong Kong has more high-rise buildings than any other city. The buildings are 500 feet! They also hold claim for the tallest residential buildings. Or at least 39/100 of them. Hong Kong is considered the most vertical city in the world. Most working residents live above the 14th floor. But don’t worry if you’re afraid of heights. Because many of the shops and restaurants are on ground level.
Hong Kong Visa
Now, when it comes to visiting Hong Kong you might have to consider a Visa permit. If you’re a resident of the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom you don’t need to worry about a Visa. You’re allowed to be in Hong Kong for up to 180 days before you’ll get any complaints. Citizens from most of the developed countries can stay up to 90 days. For other countries like Thailand gets a 30 days permit while the Indians get to stay 14 days with an on arrival stamp. Citizens of certain countries need to apply for Visa from their home country before they arrive. You can see the full list of countries who require visa here (part 2). Permits are fairly easy to get as long as you have a valid passport and meet the standard criteria. The Visa permit laws are good to know when you’re travelling. Especially if you’re travelling for business purpose.
What to See in Hong Kong
Once you’re in Hong Kong, you’ll want to know what there is to do and see. Even if your trip is for business purposes, you’ll probably want to sight see a little bit. Here are 10 main points of interest in Hong Kong:
Top 10 Hong Kong attractions
1. Disney Land
1. Disney Land
This theme park is located in Penny’s Bay (which is actually reclaimed land). The park has many standard traits of other Disneyland theme parks, but incorporates Chinese culture as well.
Everyone loves Disney Land. It’s the mystical land we all loved as kids. If you are going to Hong Kong with children, this is a must see.
2. Victoria Peak
This is actually a beautiful mountain in the West of Hong Kong. You can overlook the entire city from up on the mountain, also known as Mount Austin.
3. Ngong Ping 360 and Tian Tan Buddha
The Ngong Ping is actually an aerial tramway. This means little sky transportation, essentially. The Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronzed statue of Buddha Shakyamuni. It’s located at the top of the Ngong Ping tramway.
4. Ocean Park
This is an ocean themed amusement park. It’s in the South of Hong Kong and has many features that are fun for the whole family! It even has a giant panda habitat.
5. Symphony of Lights
This is a daily light and sound show. It got ranked by Guinness World Records as the largest of it’s kind that was a permanent installment.
The laser show starts everyday night at 8:00pm, provided the weather is good.
6. Avenue of Stars
This is similar to the Hollywood walk of fame. But it honors those famous in the Hong Kong film industry. It’s located on the Victoria Harbor water front, which adds to the beauty of the area.
The Bruce Lee statue is really popular among youngsters as well as people who love martial arts.
7. Aberdeen Harbour & Jumbo Kingdom
The Jumbo Kingdom is a floating restaurant located in the Aberdeen Harbor. It is one of the most renowned attractions. There are even different sections to the restaurant, which include the Dragon Court for fine dining.
8. Hong Kong Clock Tower
This is a landmark in Hong Kong on the South shore of Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s actually a piece left over from the Kowloon Station, which was a railway.
9. Ladies Market
This is a collection of vendors and street shops. Though titled the Ladies market, it’s suitable for anyone. You’re bound to find something at a good bargain for someone in your life. Go here for your souvenir shopping.
10. Lantau Island
This is Hong Kongs largest island. There’s a hiking trail called the Lantau Trail. At the peak of the trail is the Po Lin Monastery. Here, you would find the Tian Tan Buddha, standing at 112 ft (34 Meters).
While visiting Hong Kong, you’re likely to find there are many other things to do and see. It has something for everyone. Be it the numerous tourist attractions for travelers, theme parks for the kids, shopping places for the ladies and lots of business opportunities for the entrepreneurs. And let’s not forget the blooming art scene. Hong Kong is a very rich place when it comes to culture and tourist activities. Once you’ve been, you’ll want to visit again and again.