Why travel Hong Kong, China? Some scholars refer to Hong Kong as the Peral of the Orient, but that’s insufficient. Hong Kong, China is easily one of our favorite destinations in the world.
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Like Manhattan, in a Jungle
If you haven’t been to Hong Kong before, you may be surprised at just how challenging the topography is for one of the financial hubs of the world. Skyscrapers shoot like bamboo from an otherwise rocky and tropical island. Hong Kong is if anything, a vertical city in a hot environment nearly year-round.
The territory is split over three areas (just under 500 square miles): Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories. All are connected by excellent public transport options via its vast subway (MRT), one line of which runs to the Hong Kong-Mainland China land crossing. Hong Kong is a Special Autonomous Region of China with its own laws, Chief Executive (President), and currency. It operates under China’s “One China, Two Systems” approach.
Americans are permitted to visit Hong Kong without a visa, but for mainland Chinese visits, a visa is required in advance. During COVID-19, those coming from abroad face a compulsory quarantine of 14-days at a government hotel which even applies to Hong Kong residents when they enter Hong Kong. Unlike China, however, Hong Kong generally has easier entry requirements.
What Makes Hong Kong Great
For American visitors, Hong Kong is one of the easiest cities to visit due to its English heritage. There are two official languages of Hong Kong, English and Cantonese (a Chinese dialect.) Since transforming from a small port city in the 1800s to England’s doorway to China until its transition back to Chinese control in 1997, Hong Kong has become Asia’s world city with expatriates and visitors from all over the world touching down at Hong Kong International Airport (Cheplak.)
Hong Kong can be whatever you like. From street food (even the freshest seafood) to white-linen restaurants, from capsule hotels to bi-level penthouses, the city is what you make of it and everyone is welcome.
If you want chef-crafted meals, you can have some of the best food in the world, but the real treats are found in office buildings converted to mini-restaurants. Visitors must try the many delicacies that the smaller stalls have to offer. Contact us for the best possible culinary experience.
The Peak, Disneyland, Lady Markets
The city lights from The Peak is a must-do experience. A tram specifically designed to climb the challenging hills to a point overlooking the city dates back nearly a century. It’s perhaps the calmest way to see one of the busiest cities in the world.
Disneyland Hong Kong is near the airport and is perhaps the most manageable parks in the world. Near the airport in the New Territories, Disneyland resort is also close to a large Buddha statue and cablecar system that brings millions of tourists every year.
The Lady Markets (a few points throughout the city) offer informal markets selling everything from underwear to knockoff purses, oil paintings to custom chops. Chops or Chinese Seals are stone pieces with your name or that of your company that was used as a signature in ancient China. While companies no longer use the Chops to sign important contracts, “Chop Shops” will customize a stone for $15-50. My daughter loved it during our visit.
Like other major cities around the world, Hong Kong can be expensive. A five-star hotel will run between $300-900 USD nightly, but there are opportunities for every budget.
Hong Kong is home to truly stunning hotels. The highest hotel in the world, a Ritz-Carlton, welcomes guests over 90 floors above the harbor. After more than two dozen trips to “HK” my two favorite hotels are the very relaxing, disconnected, and affordable Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin in the New Territories or the white-glove luxury service of the Conrad Hong Kong (suite living room pictured below.)
Hot and Humid, lush and green, Hong Kong is a concrete jungle surrounded by palm trees and warm waters. During the winter months of December to February, nightly lows will drop into the mid-50s, highs remain close to 70 degrees. In the summers, daily highs approach 90 degrees.
Want to see a sample itinerary? Contact us and get a no-obligation itinerary customized for you. We can select dates that are convenient for you, flights to and from your home airport, hotel preferences, and even dining choices. Contact one of our concierges today!