The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the main form of currency in Hong Kong. It’s easy to take out cash at ATMs, which are located at all banks and in convenience stores. USD and CAD are easily exchangeable to HKD at most banks and exchange kiosks.
Cantonese is the main language spoken all across Hong Kong. English, another official language in Hong Kong, is spoken by 46% of the population.
Best Time to Go
The autumn season between October to early December is the best time to visit Hong Kong. During these months, it's sunny, cool, and pleasant. If you want to experience the country's spring and lantern festivals, January and February is the best time to visit.
For more information about the best time to go to Hong Kong, visit: https://www.goway.com/travel-information/asia/hong-kong/best-time-visit-hong-kong/
The climate in Hong Kong is subtropical, with very mild winters and hot, humid, and rainy summers, making it a great place to travel year-round. The average temperature in Hong Kong ranges from 17°C in January to around 30°C in July. Although the country has four seasons, the weather is strongly influenced by two monsoon seasons: the north-northeast monsoon from October to March and the south-southwest monsoon from April to September.
Hong Kong has something to appeal to a variety of travellers, from history buffs to nature lovers. However, with its luxury shopping and mouth-watering international dining, foodies and culture lovers will revel in the city lights.
Getting There From North America
Hong Kong’s main airport is the Hong Kong International Airport, located on Chek Kok Island.
Major Air Routes from the United States
In the United States, most major cities have direct flights to Hong Kong, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
Major Air Routes from Canada
In Canada, most direct routes go through Vancouver or Toronto Pearson.
Essential Sights in Hong Kong
Hong Kong Island
The highest hill on Hong Kong Island, also known as Mount Austin, offers some of the best views of the city skyline. Take a tram ride up to the top for stunning views of the skyscrapers, harbour, bustling city, and surrounding islands. Take a day to explore the hiking trails, shops, restaurants, and the large park surrounded by lush greenery.
Now a shopping, entertainment, and arts district, Kowloon used to be a separate city to Hong Kong. One of the most iconic places to visit in Kowloon is Victoria Harbour, a waterfront promenade with superb views of the Hong Kong skyline (especially at night) and with the Avenue of Stars, honouring famous stars of Southeast Asia with statues. Statues of popular stars like Jet Li, Bruce Lee, and Leslie Cheung can be found here.
Other Highlights of Hong Kong Off the Beaten Path
Located on the largest island in Hong Kong, nestled on the sweeping mountainside of Lantau, lies the picturesque Ngong Ping Village. Featuring traditional Chinese architecture, shops, restaurants, and tea houses, it’s the perfect place to drop by for a light bite of dim sum, or perhaps a souvenir or two. Take an early morning hike up Lantau Peak to see some of the most spectacular sunrises over the island from 934m above the city.
Also known as the “Vegas of China,” this destination sits within easy reach of Hong Kong. A high-speed ferry ride takes less than an hour. A Portuguese territory until 1999, Macau uniquely reflects the colourful mix of its cultural influences. It’s an interesting place to just walk around and explore Senado Square, or delve into the territory's historical culture at UNESCO’s Historic Centre of Macau. Spend a day or two exploring Buddhist temples, busy markets, hilltop forts, or one of the many fragrant Portugeuse cafes.
Top Activities and Experiences in Hong Kong
Sample local cuisine
With a long history of food cultures and traditions, Hong Kong is a dream for foodies. Spend the day exploring some of Hong Kong’s best independently-owned street cafes and open-air markets. Delving deeper into the country's delicacies, you’ll not only sample iconic dishes like dim sum, egg tarts, or Hong Kong French toast, but also learn about the deep history of the city.
Explore Lantau Island
Move off the beaten track and spend the day exploring Lantau Island’s pristine beaches, lush valleys, traditional fishing villages, and some of the best views from atop Lantau Peak. Travelling by cable car up to Ngong Ping Plateau, explore Po Lin Monastery and the Giant Buddha, which sits majestically nearby. While on the island be sure to visit historical Tai O, a fishing village where Tanka boat people who still live in stilt houses.
Skyline Harbour Views
High-density skyscrapers, caught between the mountains of Hong Kong island and Victoria Harbour, make for a picturesque backdrop in any insta-worthy photo. Spend the day going from place to place, viewing some of the most stunning skylines in the world. From high above the city, take the tram up to Victoria Peak or soar to the top to Eyebar to take in the bright lights and some of the best viewing points of the city below. If heights are not your thing, you can still enjoy the skyline views from Victoria Harbour and watch the colourful Symphony of Lights evening show involving over 40 buildings with flashy lights, lasers, and sounds.
If you're looking for high-quality, exquisitely-designed jewelry, designer clothes, delicious pastries, and tailored-made suits, Hong Kong has you covered. With some of the best shopping in the world in areas like Tsim Sha Tsui and MongKok in Kowloon and Centraland Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island, it's no wonder shopping has become a recreational part of daily life in Hong Kong.
Travel by Ferry
No matter where you are in Hong Kong, you’re never far from the sea. With over 200 outlying islands, the ferry is an important part of travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong, which are both seperated by stunning Victoria Harbour. Spend a leisurely day or evening cruising through the islands or simply take a ride and connect to other scenic harbour towns like Lantau and Cheung Chau.
Essential Hong Kong Foods to Try
One of the most popular Chinese dishes, you can enjoy these delicious morsels for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether steamed with shrimp or pork, you can also enjoy this dish at many upmarket restaurants.
If you're looking for cheap food options, check out one of the city’s many popular street stalls. Stalls serve up local specialties like curry fish balls, egg waffles, or adventurous dishes like intestines on a stick or fake shark fin soup.
A typical Hong Kong snack, you can find this popular cooked dish at any street food stall or cooked as an important ingredient in hotpot (a popular communal dish).
A popular Hong Kong-style tea, typically served as part of afternoon tea. Made with Ceylon black tea, evaporated milk, and sugar, it's become a symbol of Hong Kong culture. From Hong Kong-style Western restaurants to Dai Pai Dong, you will be able to indulge your taste buds with any lunch.
A staple in Hong Kong, this rice pastry dish is often filled with minced prawns or pork and is served with soup. You can find this in many restaurants or dai pai dong (traditional licensed food stalls).
Tips for Sustainable Travel
To lower your carbon footprint, walk or try using public transit to travel within the city, which is easy to navigate once you understand the system. Bring a refillable water bottle, if possible. Tap water is not safe to drink, but many places will have filtered water that you can fill your own bottle with rather than purchasing bottled water. Carry reusable or bamboo straws to avoid the use of plastic straws when ordering drinks. Saying no to plastic bags will help reduce waste. Instead, bring your own reusable one for things you buy.
Where to Go Next
With many airlines flying directly to and from Hong Kong, adding another destination during your travel is easy. If you’d like to experience more of Southeast Asia’s religious monuments and culture, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok are great options. Tokyo, Singapore, Jakarta, and Shanghai are also options to add on a city break.
Most Popular Itineraries for Hong Kong
Vibrant Hong Kong is the perfect stopover itinerary to add onto your trip, a fascinating mixture of the old and new with unmatched shopping opportunities. Spend 3 or 4 days exploring the rich culture and food experiences. Marvel at the panoramic views from Victoria Peak, take the tram to Wan Chai for some retail therapy, and partake in a traditional tea ceremony. Hong Kong and Exotic Macau is an interesting combination of British Colonial Hong Kong and Portuguese influenced Macau. Delving deeper in the “City of Life” this short 5-day trip takes you on a Living Cultural Experience to sites like Victoria Harbour, Clock Tower, and Macau World Heritage Sites, including Na Tcha Temple, St. Dominic’s Church, and Senado Square.
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