Skyscrapers form a glistening forest of steel and glass, junks and sampans ply the busy harbor waters, and the green, dragon-crested hills of Kowloon beckon. Welcome to Hong Kong, one of the world’s great travel destinations. Now a semi-autonomous region of China, Hong Kong – literally “Fragrant Harbor” – has lost none of its charm, excitement or exoticism. Modern skyscrapers and luxury hotels climb the slopes of
Hong Kong Island. Narrow streets are crammed with noodle vendors, fortunetellers, and bonesetters. The endless array of shops offers the visitor everything from hand-tailored suits and ancient porcelain to the latest consumer electronics. And everywhere more than seven million people are moving at a breathtaking pace in one of the world’s great monuments to capitalism, commerce, and enterprise.
The former Crown Colony has enough attractions to last a lifetime. To take in the entire spectacle, head to Victoria Peak for panoramic views. Enjoy lunch on one of the city’s floating restaurants. Walk down one of the crowded streets to take the city’s rapid pulse. And whether you think you are in the mood or not – shop. After all, you are in the duty-free capital of the world.
On most rankings, such as Buzzfeed’s, Hong Kong makes it into the top ten of the world’s most beautiful cities.
It is the jagged urban skyline of 300 skyscrapers, more than even New York, with the green Victoria Peak backdrop and the clean blue Victoria Harbor that is most memorable for tourists. The daily Symphony of Lights show also stands out.
Countryside: But the large green undeveloped country parks, islands, many white public beaches, and quaint Chinese villages also makes Hong Kong stand out as a beautiful metropolitan area. For example, Time Magazine ranked the Dragon’s Back as Asia’s best urban hike.
The best time climate-wise extends from the end of April when it turns warmer and drier until the middle of December when it is cooler and usually dry.
Severe weather: From May to September, there are occasional typhoons and violent thunderstorms. When typhoons approach, warnings are broadcast on TV and radio. Try to plan your trip around these.
The golden fall: For people from colder climates, the warm, dry, and often sunny days from October to the end of December will seem like a refreshing breeze. This is the best time for touring and sightseeing outdoors.
The best shopping season extends from the run-up to Christmas and the after-Christmas sales to Chinese New Year.
Avoid the major holidays such as Chinese New Year, May 1 holidays, and the October 1 National Day holidays to avoid huge crowds and high prices.