Months to Visit
best time to visit Hong Kong is between October and December. This period
boasts comfortable temperatures and reasonable room rates. After New Years,
tourism picks up significantly, despite the lower temps, and leads to higher
hotel prices and more crowds. Another sweet spot for affordable travel is the
short spring. And while summer remains a popular time for tourists, the weather
can be stiflingly hot and humid. To protect your wallet, avoid Chinese national
holidays and large conventions, when hotel prices soar. Check out the Hong Kong
Tourism Board’s city calendar for updated information.
You Need to Know
just a city
Kong is, in fact, a territory made of numerous islands and a peninsula. You’ll
spend most of your time on Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula and Lantau
out of town
most people only picture Hong Kong as an urban destination, there are gorgeous
seaside parks to explore. And with Hong Kong’s sophisticated public transit
system, you can get out of the city in no time.
is your new BFF
stands for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, an invaluable resource for before and
after you’ve arrived. Stop by the HKTB centers in the airport or in the Tsim
Sha Tsui Star Ferry concourse for free information and helpful tips.
to Save Money in Hong Kong
the tram Public transportation is cheap, only costing HK$2.30 (less than $0.30 USD). Keep in mind, though,
the trams only accept exact change and are only on Hong Kong Island.
your room early While Hong Kong’s attractions and transportation are
affordable, the hotel room rates can be exorbitant. Book early and don’t be
afraid to stay a little farther from downtown, as long as you’re near an MRT
to the food court Sit-down meals can cost you a pretty penny in tourist areas,
but you can usually find inexpensive options in nearby food courts.
its reunification in 1997, Hong Kong maintains a complex relationship with
mother China. The former British colony continues to operate under a capitalist
economy (despite China’s communist ways), has its own currency (the Hong Kong
Dollar), and creates its own laws. And due to Hong Kong’s multicultural
population and heritage, the official languages here are Chinese and English,
not Mandarin. American travelers who have visited other Chinese cities like
Beijing will notice a much stronger Western influence in the urban landscape,
array of food choices, social practices (like greeting with a handshake) and
more English speakers.
there’s one word to summarize Hong Kong’s dining scene it’s this: vast. Hong
Kong boasts more than 12,000 restaurants throughout the city, making it easy to
find a place to eat (and a really good one at that). Alongside foodie hubs like
Paris, Tokyo and New York, Hong Kong has the most Michelin-starred restaurants
in the world. But if your pockets aren’t deep enough to treat yourself to a
fine dining experience or two, you’ll find the city’s foodie scene caters to
all kinds of budgets without skimping on quality. If you’re unsure where to
begin, start with the basics.
Around Hong Kong
best way to get around Hong Kong is the Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Ideally,
you’ll use a combination of the MTR and your own two feet to get places quickly
and cheaply. If you take a bus or minibus, you run the risk of missing your
intended destination as these two options are difficult for visitors who do not
speak Cantonese, especially if you take a minibus. The ferries and the trams
offer scenic routes, which you should take when you have time to absorb Hong
Kong’s bustling environment.
visitors arrive through Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), located just off
Lantau Island. While many visitors simply hop in a taxi and zoom off to
downtown, you can avoid the cab fare by using the MTR’s high-speed Airport
Express. This train takes only 24 minutes to reach the city, and a
complimentary shuttle bus will pick up passengers at the Hong Kong and Kowloon
stations and transport them to popular hotels nearby.
Flights to Hong Kong
for the best flight deals across Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak and more.
& Exit Requirements
other areas of China, Hong Kong does not require visitors to obtain a tourist
visa. You will, however, need a passport that is valid for at least one month
beyond your intended return date, sufficient proof of a later departure (a return
airline ticket will do) and adequate funds to support your visit. These
requirements are noticeably less strict than those at other Chinese points of
entry. If you venture into one of China’s more restricted areas without the
proper visa or the prescribed passport expiration date, you will be in
violation of Chinese immigration laws. Check the U.S. Department of State’s
website before leaving for Hong Kong.