A secular tradition in the heart of Hong KongToday, the island of Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. But this rocky island was actually a colony of the British Empire from 1841 until 1997, the date of its handover. Before your trip, immerse yourself in the atmosphere of 1960s Hong Kong by watching the film 2046, from director Wong Kar-Wai. It will give you a deeper understanding of the double identity of this exuberant city.
Once you arrive, for a glimpse of traditional Hong Kong, take a walk through Old Town Central to see what the city once looked like. You can also visit the Wong Tai Sin temple and the Clock Tower. You can even hop aboard an old tram before enjoying an evening in a traditional Chinese theatre.
Various incredible cultural events also offer the chance to celebrate the city’s past. The Chinese New Year is one of the most famous, along with the Dragon Boat Festival, a high-speed demonstration by beautifully-decorated boats.Breathtaking modern architectureThis city’s energy level can only be rivalled by the height of its skyscrapers. The tall buildings and neon lights will blow you away. Take a walk along the seaside near Tsim Sha Tsui to discover a different, very modern face of the city.
If you’re a fan of architecture, you’ll want to take a few photos of the HKCEC, Hong Kong’s Convention and Exhibition Centre, whose metallic architecture has something of the Sydney Opera House in its style! Next, head to the Sky100 Hong Kong observation deck to enjoy a 360° view of this amazing megalopolis. In the evening, try out the city’s many rooftop bars before finishing your night in one of a multitude available in the Lan Kwai Fong neighbourhood.A breath of fresh air: Hong Kong’s natural sitesFeel like getting out into nature, far from the crowd and the busy atmosphere of the city? Take the funicular railway to reach Victoria Peak, where you’ll have a splendid view of the city and its bay. Once you’ve come back down, enjoy the refreshing sea air of Victoria Harbour from aboard the Star Ferry. Discover the marine parks of nearby islands or head to Lantau Island, home to some of Hong Kong’s most spectacular landscapes. You can take the Ngong Ping 360 gondola lift for a better view. You can also visit the Big Buddha while you’re here.
If you’re visiting Hong Kong with children, take them to Ocean Park where they can enjoy an aquarium, a zoo and many other attractions. Of course, you mustn’t forget Hong Kong Disneyland which entertains adults and children alike.Hong Kong-style shopping in markets and shopping centresHong Kong is also a major shopping capital! From the traditional markets to the large, ultra-modern shopping centres, there’s something for everyone. Start at Ladies Market, a lively street market in the Mong Kok area. Next, head to Nathan Road and the Temple Street Night Market to find amazing deals in an atmosphere that feels like something straight off a film set! You can also stop by Stanley Market or Sheung Wan, two areas filled with traditional shops.
In terms of shopping centres, you have plenty of options: Soho, Central, Admiralty and Causeway Bay are all very popular at the weekend.
With all of your shopping, you are sure to have worked up an appetite. It’s time to try out the city’s restaurants. You’re in luck! Hong Kong is home to the best Chinese and fusion cuisine! Try dim sum (steamed dumplings), snake soup and Chinese barbecue in Kowloon City.
For information on all your tourism needs, such as visas, healthcare and useful numbers, make sure to read our Practical Information guide before you go on holiday.Discover our practical information