With its turbulent past and myriad cultures, Hong Kong is a delectable blend of cultures and cuisines. In many ways, Hong Kong clings on to traditions that have formed its identity since the 1600s, yet it has also embraced the many influences of cultures that have passed through its ports in the last century and a half. The result is a vibrant city, simultaneously traditional and cosmopolitan, which offers something for all tastes. If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong, you will not be short of choices of things to eat, see and do.
Direct flights to Hong Kong will bring you to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), which offers an array of culture, shopping, accommodation and dining to in-bound and out-bound passengers.
Hong Kong’s sub-tropical climate has four distinct seasons, with high humidity and temperatures rising to the mid-thirties in summer and winter days cooling to as low as 12 degrees. Most tourists opt to take their trip to Hong Kong between November and January, when, despite high pollution levels, there is usually limited rainfall and the cooler temperatures are more conducive to days of sightseeing. However, those willing to brave the soaring temperatures and potential downpours in the hot summer months will find cheap flights to Hong Kong, as well as better deals. During the summer months, you will also experience idyllic, crisp summer days and reduced air pollution, thanks to the South-Westerly winds.
Due to its varied past, Hong Kong is a veritable kaleidoscope of cultures. East meets West, with palpable influences from British, Mandarin and Cantonese, as well as Fujian, Shanghainese and Hakka communities. Each culture is independently celebrated yet seamlessly fused in the vivid melting pot that is Honk Kong.
Prior to World War Two, South Asians and British formed the largest part of Hong Kong’s foreign population. There are still over 70,000 Indians and other South Asians living in Honk Kong, with particularly high numbers in certain areas. As a result, there is a broad array of South Asian shops and restaurants, particularly in Chung Kin and Mirador Mansion areas, where you can buy traditional food and merchandise and stay in hotels suffused with an Indian vibe.
Due to the British occupation in the mid-1800s, there is an unmistakably Western feel in some areas of Hong Kong and although the British population now forms a tiny minority, its legacy is seen in street names and public transport, as well as architecture. Hong Kong Park, which was the former military garrison buildings, still possesses the vestiges of the British Colonialists and offers a colonial oasis from its bustling surroundings, including tea rooms, lily ponds, playgrounds and restaurants.
The Chinese cultures evident in every sight, scent and sound of Hong Kong can be split into two categories. Hong Kong’s culture varies significantly from that of mainland China, and is more like traditional Cantonese culture. As a result, there is no shortage of Cantonese street food and restaurants that will offer you a Chinese dining experience like nothing you have ever encountered before. For a little bit of everything Cantonese, visit Temple Street, a predominantly tourist location that offers you a range of affordable food, stalls and entertainment.
Whether you are there for the nightlife, the shopping, or family fun, Hong Kong caters for children and adults alike. Families can enjoy the delights of Disneyland, explore the island’s origins in a fishing village tour, or take a tram up the 552-metre-high Victoria Peak, where you can take in Hong Kong’s remarkable skyline, with stunning views of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon.
Watch the sun set as you embark on a luxury night-time cruise from Victoria Harbour. Experience the vibrancy of Hong Kong at night, with a choice of exquisitely illuminated bars, nightclubs and restaurants. If you time your trip right, you can immerse yourself in Chinese culture with the splendour of ancient Chinese festivals, such as the Moon Festival in autumn, which celebrates the Moon Goddess of Immortality with moon cake and dazzling paper lanterns.
Of course, no trip to Hong Kong would be complete without taking advantage of incredible duty-free shopping! As a free port, shopping in Hong Kong doesn’t include taxes, which means that the savvy shopper can pick up fantastic bargains on traditional fare as well as designer brands. Seek a reprieve from hot days in the Landmark Central, Hong Kong’s iconic mall, which offers a selection of brands and designers that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, or while away a warm day meandering through the Ladies Market which, despite its name, is home to purveyors of clothes, trinkets and accessories for men, women and children alike.
It is fair to say that there is not just one Hong Kong. Every person will create a bespoke Hong Kong experience, formed from unforgettable memories created on an extraordinary island, where the past and the future blend seamlessly to create a friendly, vibrant and captivating welcome.
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