The bustling metropolis of Hong Kong SAR is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Consisting of over 200 islands, the city is surrounded by the South China Sea and the Chinese province of Guangdong and the Pearl River Delta. Even before Hong Kong’s hand-over to China, the city was already a heavy weight in the finance and banking world, and with its proximity to one of China’s main economic regions, Hong Kong SAR remains a leading business market and transportation hub.
Hong Kong SAR is an exciting destination and one can’t help but fall in love with the city when surveying it from the shores of iconic Victoria Harbour, looking out over the impressive skyline that frames it. The lush mountains surrounding the city offers a contrast in landscape and to view the city and harbour from these mountainous vantage points makes for some of the most fantastic views of any city in the world. With many interesting sights, beautiful parks and nature areas and a mild climate, this city is always a joy to visit.
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Hong Kong is governed by a single local authority and as such there is no local government. There are however 18 geographic regions for administrative purposes, each being represented by a local council. Lantau Island, location of the international airport, is the largest of these regions and is by itself, region 1. Four of these districts or regions make up Hong Kong Island while a further 6 line the Harbour on its north side, Kowloon City being one of them. Districts are linked with motorways, ferries and the MTR (Mass Transit Railway).
Lantau Island is the largest of the islands making up Hong Kong. This mountainous region is mostly rural however development continues to make the island a more popular tourist destination. Home to the international airport, Big Buddha, Hong Kong Disney, and Ngong Ping 360 (a gondola which offers fantastic views of the island) this is always a fun place to explore when visiting Hong Kong.
A small region on Hong Kong Island, this district is the most densely populated region and also the most affluent. Busy harbour side streets line the financial district and are intersected by bustling pedestrian laneways and narrow streets filled with shops and markets. Being a popular home to expatriates, many places of worship from a diverse collection of religions can be found here as well as a multitude of foreign embassies. The best view of Hong Kong is also found here from atop Victoria Peak.
Located on the western shore of the Kowloon region, Yau Tsim Mong lies across Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island. This area is one of the most popular tourist destinations and where some of Hong Kong’s finest hotels, restaurants and shopping can be found. Nathan Road is the main thoroughfare and an excellent place to immerse yourself in the daily activity of Hong Kong.
This is a city filled with endless possibilities. The most popular activity for newcomers is a cruise on Victoria Harbour while beautiful mountain peak parks and scenic views beckon from Hong Kong Island. Remote hiking areas, fishing villages and hidden temples dot numerous other islands and offer a great cultural immersion. If the city is more to your liking take a walk through the markets, pop into a noodle bar for a great meal and visit one of Asia’s greatest shopping districts.
For first time visitors, the sheer size of the city and its skyline is breathtaking. The best way to bring the city into perspective while seeing some of its sites is to take a cruise around Victoria Harbour. Evening cruises are the most popular during the illuminating light and laser show, a fantastic skyline performance of lights and music.
The Victoria Peak Tramway is an historic tram that steadily climbs the steep mountain cliff top of Hong Kong Island on its way to Victoria Peak. Not only is the tram an interesting technological point of interest but it is also a fun, convenient and unique way to see the island and the way its residents live. Once at the top, the viewing area overlooks the entire city, offering a most impressive bird’s-eye view. Restaurants and shops can also be found here.
Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola line offering spectacular 360 degree views of Lantau Island with its beautiful mountains and valleys. The gondola line runs along airport island and continues its almost six kilometre journey up to Ngong Ping, Hong Kong’s second highest peak. Here you will find the popular tourist sites of the Po Lin Monastery and the famous Tian Tan Buddha.
This famous park opened its doors in 2005 and has since welcomed millions of visitors. Featuring the same loveable characters, the Cinderella castle as well as famous Disney attractions, this park is always a delight to visit and a hit with children.
Nathan Road is the main thoroughfare of Kowloon and is famous for its shopping, fine hotels and international restaurants. The famous Peninsula Hotel is located near the southern end of Nathan Road and Kowloon Park is a short distance away. Housed in an historic building in the park The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre houses an exhibition on Hong Kong’s architectural history.
As one would expect, hotel and accommodation choices in Hong Kong are as diverse as the international city is itself. Luxury high rise hotels line Victoria Harbour on both sides while intimate boutique hotels offer varying points of difference. Ample budget accommodation is also available throughout the city with modern, clean and comfortable amenities.
Kowloon City is a short drive away from the shopping district of Nathan Road. Situated along Victoria Harbour’s north eastern shore, this equally desirable but less busy area tends to offer more reasonable rates than the bustling Nathan Road area. There is a paved harbour walk along the shore which is lined with hotels and South-eastern restaurants. Some hotels offer free shuttle service to Nathan Road.
A wide array of hotels can be found on Nathan Road. From the high end Peninsula Hotel to a host of accommodation choices for the more budget conscious. This is a central location to stay and public transport from Nathan Road is plentiful.
High rise luxury and boutique accommodation dominates this part of the city. Close to the financial district, foreign embassies and corporate headquarters, this area is well suited for business travel. Of course there are many great sites to for tourists and public transport options are plentiful.
Average: 14°C - 18°C
Bring a light jacket or sweater for cold nights.
Average: 25°C - 29°C
Best time for sight-seeing.
Average: 23°C - 33°C
Sunglasses and an umbrella are advisable.
Average: 19°C - 30°C
Good time for walks.
Visit Best Time to Visit Kong Kong page for details.
Hong Kong Dollars (HKD)
Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism
Autumn and early winter (late September to late December) are great seasons for sightseeing in Hong Kong.
To travel between Hong Kong International Airport and the city center, you may either take Airport Express, city buses or taxis.
There are many different types of hotels along Nathan Road in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island, ranging from luxurious five-star hotels to many other options for travellers with a lower budget.