Introducing Hong Kong
This enigmatic city of skyscrapers, ancient traditions and heavenly food will fascinate, whether it's your first visit or your 50th.
Beyond the glass and steel of Hong Kong’s commercial persona, the city also boasts a vibrant cultural scene that features the eclectic influences of its Chinese roots, colonial connections and a wondrous pool of homegrown talent. Here, you’re just as likely to find yourself applauding at Asia’s top film festival as joining in dawn taichi or reading the couplets of a local poet to the drumbeat of a dragon boat. Culture could also mean indie music under the stars, a classy art walk, your first Cantonese opera – not to mention the exhibitions and events staged year-round at the many museums and concert halls.
Why I Love Hong Kong
By Piera Chen, Author
I love Hong Kong because it has a complexity that eludes definition, sometimes even by its own people. I can be soul-searching near the Chinese border, lunching with Sikhs at a Sikh temple, splurging on a set of kitchen knives, arguing with bohos about the merits of a dress – all within five hours – followed by a night of Cantonese opera, tango or karaoke, anywhere I choose. Hong Kong is so intense and so full of possibilities that I’m glad there’s the Rule of Law (and an awesome transport system) to stop it from whirling into chaos. For me, that's pretty darn perfect.
Asia's top culinary capital, the city that lives to eat is home to many a demon in the kitchen, whether the deliciousness in the pot is Cantonese, Shanghainese, Vietnamese, Japanese or European. Whatever your gastronomic desires, they're likely be sated in Hong Kong – over a bowl of wonton noodles, freshly steamed dim sum, a pair of the sweetest prawns, your first-ever stinky tofu, or the culinary creations of the latest celebrity chef.
Neighbourhoods & Islands
The tantalising neighbourhoods and curious islands that make up Hong Kong are a sensory delight awaiting exploration. You may find yourself swaying along on a double-decker tramcar, cheering with the hordes at the city-centre horse races, or simply gazing out at the magnificent harbour. Over 70% of Hong Kong is mountains and sprawling country parks, some also home to geological gems. Escape the city limits on one of the world’s best transport systems and spend your day wandering in a Song-dynasty village, hiking surf-beaten beaches or scouring for sea shards on a deserted island.
From ready-to-wear Chinese jackets to bespoke kitchen knives, the sheer range and variety of products on Hong Kong’s shelves is mind-bending. Every whim, need and pocket is catered for in true enterprising spirit by an equally dazzling number of venues – swanky malls where the moneyed shop, chic side-street boutiques, antique stores, gadget bazaars, and a colourful mix of markets where you can haggle to your heart’s content. The city has no sales tax so prices are generally attractive to visitors.
Need to know
How to save cash in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is not exactly known for being cheap...
The Dragon's Back and beyond: the best hikes in Hong Kong
You’d be forgiven for thinking that hiking isn’t among the must-try activities in Hong Kong – that the only place you’ll cop an eyeful of green is in Yau Ma Tei’s Jade Market...