Hong Kong, meaning Fragrant Harbor, is also known as Asia’s World City and it truly matches up to that tag. It was officially decreed as a Special Administrative Region on July 1, 1997 under the rule of “One Country, Two Systems”. This has allowed it to hold autonomy letting it to have its own capitalist system, free trade and freedom of speech.
Hong Kong has a bit of everything and then some. This place has many facets all coexisting in harmony with each other. The modernization has had no impact on the cultural side of it and that reflects in the architecture, culture and the people of Hong Kong. The people here are very rooted in their culture and are quite spiritual. The architectural style ranges from the skyscrapers on one side, and the old buildings and heritage sites on the other.
You are in for a treat once in Hong Kong since there is always something happening all around the year. Tourism in Hong Kong has increased manifold over the period and the location has played an important role. Located on the south east coast of China, it has had an advantage in being the hub for International trade. With the development, the place and its people have lot of opportunities to make the best of, and offer only the best to the tourists anytime of the year.
It is home to a lot of attractions – from natural reserves and parks; from museums to temples; from colonial architecture to modern skyline; from upscale restaurants to the street side food stalls, from the enormous and glorious shopping malls to the street markets; etc. And if you are feeling adventurous, even then Hong Kong is sure not to disappoint you. The art and the culture of Hong Kong are preserved well, utmost care has been taken to preserve and maintain its heritage. That’s why, a lot of buildings and structures has been declared as monuments.
As far as language is concerned, Mandarin and English are most spoken in Hong Kong. Traditionally, the official language was Chinese and Cantonese and it would do well for the tourists to learn few words.
Asia’s ‘world city’ is well connected to the rest of the world. It has daily and regular flights to the major cities helping it to promote, develop and maintain the economic growth and the booming tourism.
It has very efficient public transportation system in the City as well, connecting the North to the South and East to the West. Hong Kong is divided into four parts – Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, New Territories and the Outlying Islands.
Hong Kong Island is the most happening of all, and is the center of all the activities; be it economic, political, tourism, shopping and entertainment. Northern part is the main commercial area; East comprises of the residential area and the Southern boasts of the picturesque shores and bays. Kowloon is flourishing fast and if you would like to get away from the hustle bustle of the civilization for a while then head to the New Territories and the Outlying Islands.
There are Visitor Information Centers at airport, to help you with any enquiry or any help with the City.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Hong Kong experiences sub-tropical climate with four distinguished seasons - humid spring, rainy summer, dry winter and sunny autumn. The overall weather of the country makes Hong Kong an all the year around destination for vacation. The best time to visit Hong Kong is from October through December when the temperature has started to cool down, giving way to chilly weather in the winter. Other than this season, March to May is also considered as favorable time to visit Hong Kong.
Getting to Hong Kong is quite easy as it is well connected by all the modes of transport. All modes of transport are accessible by physically challenged.
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
On arrival, all the visitors are required to hold a valid passport that has an expiry date of at least a month from the date of the visit.
Tourists in Hong Kong do not need any visa for the stay ranging from 7 days up to 180 days. Do check with Chinese Embassy or Consulate with the Immigration Department for further information and clarification.
Octopus card: It is reusable smart card for making payments. Initially launched to collect fares for the MTR (Mass Transit System), it is now also used in making payments at convenience stores, restaurants, for car parks; etc. it is the first thing one should after landing at the airport.
WHAT TO SEE
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Hong Kong celebrates festivals throughout the year. Some of the popular ones are Spring Lantern Festival, cultural celebrations in Spring, Hong Kong Winter fest and many more. For visitors, Hong Kong is a all round destination.