HELLO AND WELCOME TO HONG KONG
Hong Kong is a fusion of Asian and European cultures and offers singles, couples and families a unique and very cosmopolitan experience. From the mind-bending variety of shops and the gastronomic delights of their cuisine, to their vibrant night life and the magic of Disneyland, Hong Kong offers something for everyone.
About the Pacific Islands
Located in south eastern China, Hong Kong is a former British colony, offering a cauldron of Chinese, Cantonese and British influences. Hong Kong is comprised of 3 distinct areas - the New Territories to the north, which include Lantau Island (the largest of the islands) and more than 260 outlying islands, Kowloon to the south of the mainland and Hong Kong Island (the second largest island).
Hong Kong itself, covers 426 square miles with a population of more than 7 million, however, Hong Kong Island is only 30.34 square miles with a population of more than 1 million. This extreme density is the catalyst for an explosion of cultures, sights, sounds and aromas that result in a unique experience felt by all travellers to Hong Kong.
Total population of the Pacific Islands. Hong Kong: 7.19 million Hong Kong Island: 1.29 million
With its British Colonial heritage and a mixed population of Chinese, Filipinos, Indonesians and Caucasians, Hong Kong offers a medley of different languages. The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, however you can expect to hear both Cantonese and Mandarin spoken frequently as you travel around Hong Kong.
- Hello = Nay Ho
- Good morning = Joe Sarn
- Yes = Hai
- Don’t know = Mm Zhi Dough
- How much? = Gey Chin
- Thank you = Mm Goi
The Hong Kong Dollar ($HKD) is used throughout Hong Kong. This includes note denominations of $1,000, $500, $100, $50, $20 and $10 and coins of $10, $5, $2, $1, 50ȼ, 20ȼ and 10ȼ.
Food and Drink
The cuisine in Hong Kong offers a gastronomic diversity unseen in many other destinations - from the street food to some of the best restaurants in China. You can expect to see Cantonese, Sichuan, Teochew, Hokkien, Hakka, Jiangsu and Zhejiang cuisines, as well as Indian, Pakistani and Japanese foods.
Note: The legal drinking age throughout Hong Kong is 18 years.
- Local drinks: Milk Tea, Sugar Cane Juice, Herbal Teas, Coke Float with Chocolate Ice-Cream, Gin and Tonic and San Miguel Beer.
- Local foods: Cantonese dim sums, barbeque pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, Peking duck, roast goose, snake soup, fish balls, fried noodles, tofu pudding and egg tarts.
- Tipping: In Asia tipping is generally not expected however, due to its European heritage, tipping is accepted in Hong Kong. There are no established rules, but many European restaurants add a 10% service charge and you might add another 5-10% as a tip. Don’t worry about tipping a taxi driver, because they usually round the fare up to the nearest HKD and bellhops and housekeeping appreciate a few coins, but it is not expected.
Hong Kong is located on the southeast coast of China and is dominated by hills and mountains, which run in a northeast to southwest direction across the country. Due to the mountainous terrain, less than 25% of Hong Kong is developed with the majority of this development on the Kowloon Peninsula.
Highest peak in Hong Kong is Ta Mo Shan at 957 meters. Highest peak on Hong Kong Island is Victoria Peak at 552 meters.
Climate and seasons
Hong Kong has a sub-tropical, humid climate, which is highly influenced by monsoons, but stops short of being a true tropical monsoon climate. Even though it is sub-tropical, Hong Kong experiences 4 northern hemisphere seasons.
- Spring: March, April and May.
- Summer: June, July and August.
- Autumn: September, October and November.
- Winter: December, January and February.
- Peak season: October – December.
- Min 10C Max 24C
- Off-peak season: June – August.
- Min 26C – 31C
Note: Chinese New Year and Golden Weeks are also peak travel times.
Key Tourist Hotspots
- Hong Kong Disneyland: Located on Lantau Island, this is the first Disneyland in China and has three attractions that are exclusive to Hong Kong - Mystic Point, Grizzly Gulch and Toy Story Land. With a host of magical attractions, two Disney themed hotels, shopping, entertainment and eating, Hong Kong Disneyland offer lots of fun for the entire family.
- Victoria Peak: This is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and the views from the top are absolutely breath-taking. Located to the northwest of the Island, this is one of Hong Kong’s exclusive, wealthy housing areas. Enjoy a night time cable car to the top for a lovely romantic evening.
- Hong Kong’s Ladies Market: If you love bargain shopping, then you must head to the Ladies Market at Mong Kok in Kowloon. With an entire kilometre of clothing, accessory and souvenir shops you will be in credit card heaven. Don’t forget to brush up on your haggling skills before you arrive, so you can walk away with a few bargains.