Hong Kong Travel Guide & Information
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was a British Crown colony which became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in 1997. Hong Kong has evolved into one of the world's top financial centers; renowned for its expansive skyline and natural harbor, its identity as a cosmopolitan center where east meets west, is reflected in its cuisine, cinema, music and traditions.
Travel to Hong Kong, a city that proudly presents itself as an efficient and peaceful city. Despite its British colonial past, Hong Kong has always stuck to its roots and strongly embraced their Chinese culture. Flights to Hong Kong, gives you exclusive access to breathtaking greenery, along with prized hiking trails to ancient temples and centuries old landmarks. The open countryside, fishing villages and monasteries are great reminders of a bygone era and the city's ancient history.
Hong Kong, the Oriental Pearl, is set among beautiful natural surroundings and has all the benefits of a thriving and vibrant commercial center. Whether you intend to see the highlights, like the stunning Ocean Park, the fantastic Victoria Peak or the beautiful Repulse Bay, Hong Kong will surrass your expectations.
Things to do in Hong Kong
There are a variety of museums in Hong Kong, all unique and well worth the visit, each gives an excellent overview of Hong Kong's fascinating past.
Hong Kong Museum of History:The Hong Kong Museum of History preserves Hong Kong's historical and cultural heritage. The museum was established by the Urban Council in July 1975 when the City Museum and Art Gallery was split into the Hong Kong Museum of History and Hong Kong Museum of Art. The collections of the museum include natural history, archaeology, ethnography and local history.
Hong Kong Museum of Art:The Hong Kong Museum of Art is a museum in Hong Kong for Chinese cultural heritage, as well as local and international art. The museum changes its displays regularly. The exhibits in the museum are mainly of paintings, calligraphy and sculpture from Hong Kong, throughout China and other parts of the world.
Hong Kong Maritime Museum: The museum is a non-profit educational institution funded by Hong Kong's international shipping community, and is located on the ground floor of Murray House in Stanley. The museum illustrates how China, Asia and the West have contributed through the ages to the development of boats, ships, maritime exploration and trade, as well as naval warfare. The museum includes semi-permanent and special exhibits, dynamic displays, educational events and a museum shop.
The city of Hong Kong has so many world class landmarks that are a “Must See”.
Ocean Park: Ocean Park is a marine-themed amusement park situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. Founded in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose, and Ocean Park has grown to include 35 attractions and rides. The park has won several awards, including The World's Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park and 33rd Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the World by Forbes.
Victoria Peak: Victoria Peak, locally known as the Peak, has some seven million visitors every year and is a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong. The Peak offers spectacular views of the city and its harbors. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centers, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.
Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery: Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery is a Buddhist temple in Sha Tin. The monastery, which occupies over 8 hectares, is made up of 2 groups of architectural structures at lower and higher levels respectively. There is a pagoda, a hall, 2 pavilions and a tower in the architectural structure at the lower level. There are four halls in another structure at the higher level. The five halls in the monastery are used to house the statues of Buddha.
Where to Stay in Hong Kong:
Though hotels can be on the expensive side, there are several cheap hotels and 4 star hotels under $99 in the area to choose from.
Tsim Sha Tsui : This well-known tourist area at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula is overflowing with hotels, and there are many swanky five-star establishments in the area. Visitors can choose from the more internationally recognized hotels or more budget conscious hotels. The area offes views across the bustling Victoria Harbor and also features huge shopping complexes. Tsim Sha Tsui is also jam-packed with restaurants offering Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Italian cuisine.
Causeway Bay : The hotels in this area are within a few minutes walking distance to the Causeway Bay MTR station. Causeway Bay is popular with locals for its Japanese department stores, trendy shopping centers and the wide range of restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. The area offers some great value hotels.
Passport & Visa Requirements
As per the latest travel information to Hong Kong, here are the guidelines for visitors.
For US Citizens:
* A passport with a minimum of one-month validity after the period of intended stay, adequate funds to cover stay without working and evidence of onward/return transportation are required.
* A visa is not required for tourist visits of up to 90 days by U.S. citizens. An extension of stay may be granted upon application to the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department.
* Visit Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department or the Embassy of the People's Republic of China website for the most current visa information.
For Canadian Citizens:
* A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit Hong Kong. The passport must be valid for at least one month beyond the date of your expected departure from Hong Kong.
* Travelers entering Hong Kong from mainland China and then leaving Hong Kong via the mainland should have a visa for that re-entry.
* Canadians are advised to visit the Hong Kong SAR Immigration Department for more information regarding travel to Hong Kong.
This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.
We recommend that you check out the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Hong Kong.
*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.
When to visit Hong Kong
Hong Kong attracts visitors year round because of its warm weather and beautiful attractions. The most expensive time to visit, is during the Chinese New Year and Golden Weeks.
Budget travelers can save money by traveling to Hong Kong from late November through January, especially during the Hong Kong WinterFest when many shopping and dining promotions are available. Summers are hot and humid and experience a drop in holiday prices. However, the airfares remain pretty much the same.
During winter, the weather is cool and dry and there are discounts on both - lodging and airfare.
Planning your Visit:
High season: (October to November, Late January to February, April to May)
Low season: (December to mid-January, June to August)
Hong Kong Weather
Hong Kong's climate is sub-tropical. Summers are very hot, with the rainy season running from June to August.
* Spring and autumn are warm with occasional rain and cooler evenings. Winter can be cold, but most days are mild.
* There is a risk of typhoons and tropical storms from April to October.
Currency and Language:
The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar or HKD.
ATMs are available in many parts of Hong Kong. Be sure to let your bank know that you’ll be traveling to Hong Kong before departure and find out about the cost for ATM cash withdraws while in Hong Kong.
* English and Chinese are Hong Kong's two official languages.
* The Cantonese dialect is the most commonly spoken language in Hong Kong, though English is a second language, commonly spoken in business and service industries; hotel employees, among many urban Hong Kong residents, mostly young people and shop and service personnel understand and speak it.