Like London and New York, Hong Kong is a blockbuster of a town. Touted as Asia’s World City and rarely out of the headlines, visitors arrive expecting to be wowed, and Hong Kong doesn’t disappoint.
The tantalising neighbourhoods and curious islands that make up Hong Kong are a sensory delight awaiting exploration. You can find yourself swaying along on a double-decker tramcar one moment, then cheering with the hordes at the city-centre horse races, or simply gazing out at the magnificent harbour.
But over 70% of Hong Kong is mountains and sprawling country parks so escape the city limits on one of the world’s best transport systems and spend your day wandering in a Song-dynasty village or hiking surf-beaten beaches. Whatever your gastronomic preferences you will be sated in Hong Kong – over a bowl of noodles with beef brisket, a basket of vegetarian dim sum, your first-ever stinky tofu or a plate of freshly steamed prawns fragrant with garlic.
Complex and chaotic, the city’s energy and enthusiasm is relentless and infectious. And thanks to an excellent metro, bus, and ferry system, plus plentiful and inexpensive taxis, visitors can easily experience it all.
DELICIOUS CANTONESE CUISINE
ISLANDS & DAY TRIPS ISLANDS & DAY TRIPS
With over 200 islands to boast of spread around the South China Sea, getting out of Hong Kong city is easy. Most are uninhabited and only reached by private sampan, but are ideal beach bolt holes, with endless stretches of empty, golden sands. Hong Kong’s islands offer an easy escape from downtown claustrophobia: there are laid-back fishing villages and markets on Cheung Chau and Peng Chau, while Lantau has great hiking trails, seascapes, beaches, and even a cable-car ride from Tung Chung up to Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Peak.
Best Time to Visit Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s subtropical climate can make it a punishingly hot and humid destination during the summer months. June to mid-September is the hottest time when humidity soars. Summer is also typhoon season, when tropical storms sweep rain and high winds off the South China Sea.
Even in late spring and early autumn, wandering Hong Kong’s streets can be warm work. The best time to go climate-wise is in early spring (March and April) or late autumn (October and November), when the days are generally warm, fresh and (wind direction and mainland smoke stacks permitting) the air often clearer. Things can cool down a good deal in winter, when it can often be overcast (as opposed to merely smoggy) and temperatures may even feel chilly enough to don warmer layers.