The region of southern China known fondly as ‘Honkers’ has an intriguing history and a blindingly bright future – this global powerhouse shows no signs of slowing down! ‘Multiple personalities’ is a phrase often used to describe Hong Kong. A British colony for close to 150 years, Hong Kong is a perfect example of ‘east meets west’.
More than seven million people pack the harbour city, from the populous peninsula of Kowloon to the rugged New Territories perched above. Markets and malls aplenty mean you’ll have no trouble laying down your Hong Kong dollar, but there are temples and shrines galore too if you’re more in the mood for cultural riches.
Hit the beach at...
- Tai Long Wan – for spectacular scenery
- South Bay Beach – a secluded sanctuary
- Big Wave Bay – for a spot of surfing
Hong Kong's shopping and restaurant scenes are world renowned, but there's more to do in this eclectic city than simply get your fill. If you only tick off one top attraction in Hong Kong, it should be "the Peak".
Catch the Peak Tram (running since 1888) up to the highest point on Hong Kong Island to admire the stunning view across the harbour, all the way out to Kowloon and the New Territories.
For colour, bustle and bargain, go to the Ladies' Market on Tung Choi Street to peruse the many market stalls. Hong Kong Disneyland is a family adventure waiting to happen on Lantau Island. While here, you can enjoy an experience at the other end of the spectrum, by visiting the Po Lin Monastery and 'big Buddha'.
Enjoy spectacular views from...
- The Peak Tram on Victoria Peak
- Sweeping Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
- ICC Tower's Sky100 observation deck
Looking for inspiration for a stopover in Hong Kong? Follow Flight Centre Travel Expert Greer Gardiner as she spends 48 hours exploring the city and beyond.
You could easily get to know Hong Kong one bite at a time. Dim sum means 'touch your heart', and with about 2,000 of these snack-sized (mainly steamed but some fried or baked) morsels in the full range, you'll surely find something to love.
Seafood fans are rewarded with fresh catches, while carnivores should try seasoned meats spit-roasted at Chinese barbecue restaurants. Hong Kong restaurants also excel at fusion food – east-meets-west means the flavours here collide as well. Look out for Hong Kong-style tea houses too, known for serving up Chinese and localised Western dishes in mere minutes.
Explore the culinary delights of...
- Central, for ultimate dim sum
- Kowloon's Temple Street cheap eats
- Causeway Bay, for upmarket dining
From historic quarters and commanding waterfront positions to rooms tucked away in the Outlying Islands, Hong Kong accommodation spans more than 200+ hotels, guesthouses and hostels. Hong Kong does luxury particularly well and 'budget' here does not translate in the same way as in some other Asian countries.
Major international chains represented here include The Peninsula, Four Seasons, W, InterContinental, Ritz Carlton and Shangri-La. If you're looking for a hostel, it's a good idea to check if it's part of the Hong Kong Youth Hostel Association; they run seven across the region.
Happy hour with a view at...
- SEVVA Taste Bar at Prince's Building
- Sugar bar at the EAST hotel
- Armani/Prive club at Chater House
Having been at the crossroads of trade for centuries, Hong Kong shopping is a treat. Antiques hunters will enjoy Cat Street and Hollywood Road on Hong Kong Island, for silk garments, porcelain, seals and handicrafts, check Chinese department stores such as China Arts and Crafts.
Electronics and communications technology trends can be seen and purchased around Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha and Mong Kok. You'll find fashion and beauty products everywhere from towering malls to market stalls. Locals are in the know about what to find and where, so don't hesitate to ask.
Hand over your HK dollar at...
- Mong Kok – the neon neighbourhood
- Causeway Bay – for serious shoppers
- Cat Street – antiques markets ahoy!
Hong Kong like a Local
There's more to this vibrant city than meets the eye! Did you know that Hong Kong hosts one of the most popular stops on the International Rugby Sevens tour? Or that it's home to some of the best beaches in Asia?
Many locals like to get out of town on the weekend. Silver Mine Bay Beach on Lantau Island is an urban escapee haunt; on the same island, hike two hours to Lantau Peak pre-dawn so you catch the sunrise at the top; take a Northeast New Territories Geopark tour to see the remote, curious landforms.
If you don't have time to get out of the bustle but still need some 'green time', Hong Kong Island's Victoria Park is a popular spot for locals – there are even tai chi sessions in the mornings.
Take a hike on...
- The Dragon’s Back, found south in Shek O
- Lantau Peak – HK’s second highest summit
- Fanling’s Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail