Introducing Hong Kong
This enigmatic city of soaring towers, ancient rituals and action movies is safe, friendly and wonderfully well organised.
Neighbourhoods & Islands
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. 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.
If there were a mosaic of all the smells and flavours of all the restaurants in Hong Kong, it would be close to a food nirvana. 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, French, Japanese or Italian. Whatever your preference, your gastronomic curiosities and desires will likely be sated in Hong Kong – over a bowl of noodles with beef brisket, a basket of vegetarian dim sum, your first-ever stinky tofu, a plate of freshly steamed prawns fragrant with garlic or the culinary creations of the latest celebrity chef.
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 wealthy hang out, chic street-level boutiques, bazaars flaunting garments or gadgetry, warehouses chock full of furniture, 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.
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 you are 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, an 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. Though even then it might be a sweet chaos – who knows? But for me, Hong Kong’s pretty darn perfect.
Best places to stay in Hong Kong
Hong Kong city guide
This city of soaring towers, ancient rituals and action movies has a vibrant cultural scene born from the eclectic influences of its Chinese roots, colonial connections, and home-grown talent.
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.
Hong Kong for kids
Shopping in Hong Kong
Pocket Hong Kong
Like love, Hong Kong is an enigma. The city of glass towers, stellar kitchens and award-winning gangster Triad films is also home to crumbling villages, a Late Jurassic volcano and idyllic beaches teeming with fish and luxury yachts. It’s a city full of pulse-quickening possibilities, yet solidly grounded by the rule of law and the world’s best transport system.
Ten of the world's best city hikes
Stretch your legs over hours or days, without leaving some of the world’s biggest cities. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Tijuca Forest, Rio de Janeiro Aerial shot of Rio de Janeiro surrounded by the Tijuca Forest. Image by Paddy Eckersley / Digital Vision / Getty Images.
Hong Kong's best nightlife
China - Hong Kong (Chapter)
Like a shot of adrenalin, Hong Kong quickens the pulse. Skyscrapers march up jungle-clad slopes by day and blaze neon by night across a harbour crisscrossed by freighters and motor junks. Streets teem with traffic, and five-star hotels sit alongside ageing tenement blocks.
Encounter the essence of China in all its wonderful diversity—climb the Great Wall and stare down the Terracotta Warriors before heading down south on this 3-week tour of China's cultural and natural highlights.
Lantau Island and Giant Buddha Day Trip from Hong Kong
Take a day trip to Lantau Island, Hong Kong's largest island, and discover pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages, lush valleys, soaring mountains and spiritual enlightenment. Your full day tour includes a guided visit to Po Lin Monastery, the Giant Buddha Exhibition Hall and a 5.
Qi Xi: a guide to China's Seven Sisters Festival
'Nathan road, Kowloon' by JoopDorresteijn. Creative Commons Attribution Location: Lovers’ Rock, Bowen Rd, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, China Date: seventh day of the seventh lunar month. 13 Aug 2013; 2 Aug 2014; 20 Aug 2015.