Edited 08 February 2023 in Travel Wanderlust
Five reasons why you should say ‘Ni hao’ to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is renowned for housing the highest number of skyscrapers in the world. It was once under British rule, however, the city has now grown into one of the major financial hubs across the globe. Hong Kong is one of the major tourist destinations in the world because of its gastronomic affair, vibrant nightlife, beautiful temples, and spell-binding natural beauty.
Also, Hong Kong is known for being a paradise for shopaholics. Other than this, tourists love to visit Hong Kong for its attractions like Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Victoria Peak and Tian Tan Buddha. Tourists can enjoy Hong Kong’s annual festivals when in the city.
There is so much more to this city than its food and tourist attractions. Here are the top 5 reasons why one should visit Hong Kong:
1. A plethora of tourist attractions
- Hong Kong Disneyland: Disneyland is a dream of every child and some adults too. One should start his/her visit to Hong Kong with this place. At Disneyland, you can get a chance to see and meet your favourite character. One can also watch them perform live in various shows at Disneyland. Some of the other activities offered at the place are jungle river cruise, exciting rides, UFO zone and exploring Tarzan’s treehouse. Disneyland houses seven themed areas with a footfall of around 5.2 million tourists every year.
- Victoria Peak: If you want an exquisite view of Hong Kong, climb to Victoria Peak. As the peak is the highest in Hong Kong, one can see the entire city from there, from sparkling skyscrapers to the lush green hills. Visitors can reach the peak tower through Peak Tram. The Peak Tower houses a museum, a fine-dine restaurant and retail shops.
- Ocean Park: Ocean Park is a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong as it is a marine-life theme park sprawling over an area of 91 hectares. The main characteristics of this theme park are different varieties of animals, over 5000 fishes, shows and exciting rides. The main attractions of the Ocean Park are the Summit and the Waterfront. Tourists need to take a cable car or an Ocean Express cable railway train to reach the Summit. Do not miss the whale and dolphin shows at the park.
- The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery: The Big Buddha is also known as Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong. It is a massive bronze statue located near Po Lin Monastery. The structure stands tall with a height of 112 ft. Made from over 200 bronze pieces, it took a total of 12 yr to complete the statue. If you want to look closely at the statue of Big Buddha, you need to climb around 268 steps. While visiting the Big Buddha, tourists also visit Po Lin Monastery which is located opposite the statue. The monastery is a significant Buddhist centre and tourists do not miss it.
- Wong Tai Sin: It is a popular temple and houses three religions, namely Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Tourists can see the Chinese influence on its architecture. The design of the temple includes multi-coloured carvings, a golden roof and red pillars.
- Lantau Island: If you want to loosen up and have a relaxing time in or near Hong Kong, visit Lantau Island. It is nestled at the entry of Pearl River. Explore its sandy beaches, go fishing, enjoy the countryside and visit beautiful monasteries on this island. Mellow out and forget the chaos of the world at this place.
2. The culinary capital of Asia
Hong Kong offers memorable dining experiences. Being renowned as the culinary capital of Asia, Hong Kong has some of the best restaurants and chefs for a world-class dining experience. It is also famous for its gastronomic affair. Some of the local dishes to try in Hong Kong are:
- Sweet and Sour Pork: Sweet and Sour Pork is one of the popular dishes of Hong Kong. The dish has made its way into Chinese cuisine and is known in many major cities of the world. The delicious Sweet and Sour Pork is cooked in a yummy orange sauce.
- Wonton: Wonton is a popular snack in Hong Kong. It is a soup dish in which dim sum shaped Wontons, filled with meat, are dipped. The soup is made of duck, pork or chicken. Wontons are sometimes deep-fried. The dish is quite oily. The main ingredient of the dish is salted fish. In Hong Kong, Wonton is prepared without peppers. It is served with rice.
- Dim Sum: It is one of the favourite and common delicacies of Hong Kong. Different varieties of Dim Sums including chicken, vegetables, barbecued pork and steamed shrimp are available at every corner of Hong Kong. The dim sums are usually steamed in a bamboo steamer.
- Roast Goose: It is one of the famous dishes of Hong Kong and is prepared in the authentic Cantonese style. Chefs cook the goose till its skin gets tender and the flesh is moist. The recipe of this dish includes cutting the goose into pieces and cooking it with authentic Cantonese spices. People also prefer eating it with plum sauce.
- Fish Balls: It is one of the popular street foods in Hong Kong. The snack is a delicacy for non-vegetarians. There are different methods of preparing Fish Balls from being deep-fried to being boiled and then dipped in a curry or a broth. If you want to taste the perfect Fish Balls in Hong Kong, head to Nelson Street, Mong Kok.
- Egg Tart: Recognised as a staple food of Hong Kong, Egg Tarts are a delicacy for the locals and tourists too. The dish has a thick crust with a soft egg custard filling. There are two methods of preparing the crust of this dish. From a puffy pastry crust to a shortbread style crust, hot egg tarts are the best.
3. Be a part of Hong Kong’s amazing festivals
Hong Kong is a favourite tourist spot not just for its cuisine or for its tourist attractions, but for its festivals too. There are several festivals celebrated all year in Hong Kong that attract tourists in large numbers. Some of them are:
- Chinese New Year: Chinese New Year is celebrated in the month of February and is the biggest Chinese festival in Hong Kong. Tourists can see people dressed as dragons and lions dancing in the city. The dance is to ward off bad luck and evil spirits. Chinese celebrate the festival by a dance performed at their homes and shops. Streets and malls are decorated with red lanterns during the festival. In Chinese culture, the red colour symbolises good luck.
- The Dragon Boat Festival: The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated every year in the fifth lunar month on its fifth day. It is celebrated near Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. The festival attracts tourists in large numbers. Competitors are not just from Hong Kong but from other nations like Singapore. The festival gives a unique experience to the tourists and visitors. If you are in Hong Kong during the festival, do not miss celebrating this festival with the locals for this lifetime memory.
4. Paradise for Shopaholics
Hong Kong is a paradise for every kind of shopper. It houses some of the biggest brands’ stores, shopping malls, and street markets for every kind of budget shopper.
Hong Kong’s luxury malls are for high-end fashion brands like Gucci or Chanel. Some of the famous luxury malls are IFC Mall, Pacific Place and Elements amongst others.
Some of the things to bring back home from Hong Kong are electronic items, antiques, and souvenirs. Head to the Mong Kok area of Hong Kong for bargaining. Explore myriad local shops in the area. Some of the markets for these items are Temple Street Night Market and Ladies’ Market in Hong Kong.
- Ladies' Market: Tung Choi Street's 1-km-long stretch is a shopping paradise for females. It sells nearly anything, including cosmetics, watches, apparel, purses, novelties and home goods.
- Temple Street Night Market: As the sun sets, fortune tellers, opera singers and shopkeepers set up their goods in this street market. The Temple Street Night Market, named after Tin Hau Temple, is a great spot to get a feel for the local vibe.
- Goldfish Street: This street is a visual delight, with stores and kiosks on both sides of the road selling all kinds of goldfish. Besides, there is a variety of colourful exotic species to be found.
- Stanley Market: This open-air market is known for silk textiles, Chinese-style jewellery, home furnishings, clothing and unique gifts. If you are weary of shopping, enjoy some excellent food at one of Stanley Market's restaurants.
5. Vibrant nightlife
Hong Kong is known for its vibrant nightlife and being a party hub. To explore Hong Kong’s nightlife, start with a popular place, Lan Kwai Fong. This area houses several vibrant and expensive clubs and restaurants. In fact, Lan Kwai Fong is renowned for being home to some of the swanky bars and hosting the best parties in the whole of continent Asia.
There are several other party areas in Hong Kong for enjoying a perfect nightlife like Knutsford Terrace and Wanchai in Tsim Tsa Tsui. Also, there are comedy clubs available in the area known as TakeOut Comedy and The Punchline.
Here are some of the favourite night-time destinations to visit, each with its own distinct personality.
- Lan Kwai Fong: Lan Kwai Fong is one of Hong Kong's most popular nightlife areas, with over 90 pubs and restaurants. You may order a wide variety of food, as well as wine and wild jelly shots.
- Knutsford Terrace: This area has a lengthy stretch of lively eateries, open-air locations, bars and lively after-hour clubs. The Assembly for cocktails and appetisers and The China Bar for live music, are two of the most popular places to enjoy your evening.
- SoHo: SoHo is a great spot to visit throughout the day for intriguing antique shops, art galleries, and fashion boutiques. Then, once the sun sets, the little strip of SoHo comes alive with glitzy bars and fancy restaurants.
- Tung Choi Street: A favourite local hangout spot, Tung Choi Street is lined with Chinese-style bars with dice games and buckets of bottled beer. It is a terrific area to mingle with locals while sipping on the best value cocktails.
Travel tips for Hong Kong
- Carry your international debit and credit cards while travelling to Hong Kong.
- It is advisable to exchange currency from banks in Hong Kong for availing better exchange rates.
- If you have booking shuttle service for your transfers, be on time. The service is very strict about its timing and will not wait for you for more than 10 minutes.
- Carry all your documents in a bag with an extra set of passport size photographs. You never know which document will require your photos.
- While shopping in Hong Kong, always check for the prices of a product in 2-3 stores before buying it.
How to reach Hong Kong?
- By air: Hong Kong is connected to all the major cities of China and other parts of the world via air. Hong Kong International Airport is the major international airport in Hong Kong that caters to several domestic and international flights. The airport is located within a distance of 31 km from the city centre. IndiGo offers a direct flight from Hong Kong to Bengaluru and vice-versa. The IndiGo flight to Hong Kong from Bengaluru takes around 5 hr. You can take a round trip ticket from IndiGo for availing many benefits.
How to get around in Hong Kong
There are city buses, subways, taxis and other public means of transportations available in Hong Kong. Getting around in the city is easy with these modes of transportations.
There are several public buses that ply through some of the most common tourist attractions. Taxis are also available for getting around the city. Tourists can also use tram services and metro trains to explore the culture of Hong Kong. Tourists can take private cars for city tours.
Hong Kong experiences a sub-tropical climate. The summer season is extremely hot, rainy and humid in Hong Kong while winters are mild with comfortable temperatures. The maximum temperatures from December to February go up to 20°C and the minimum temperature to 15°C.
Best time to visit Hong Kong
- In summers, when the subtropical climate is at its worst and most humid, is the off-season for tourism in Hong Kong. Because it is also typhoon season in Hong Kong, this time sees a lot of rain. As a result, this is not the best time to visit Hong Kong.
- Spring is also a fantastic season to visit the region at a reasonable price. Because of its subtropical position, Hong Kong's weather provides ideal year-round travel opportunities, making it one of Asia's most popular holiday destinations.
- The most fantastic time to visit Hong Kong, with temperatures ranging from 21°C to 27°C. Unlike the hot and humid summers or the dry winters, the temperature is exceptionally comfortable throughout this period. As a result, the optimum time to visit is after the summer and before the winter.
From beautiful tourist places to vibrant nightlife, Hong Kong has everything for a perfect vacation. With so much to explore in Hong Kong, we advise you to plan your trip in advance and accordingly.
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