Hong Kong is a fantastic city that gets nowhere near as much attention from the global tourist trade as it deserves. Favourable comparisons can be made with other global metropolises such as London or New York although, crucially, Hong Kong has a much more individual character than both of those. The following is a list of some tip tips for those lucky visitors that have made it to ‘the Pearl of the Orient’.
Photo by Alfonso Jiménez
Would-be visitors should know that between June and September Hong Kong is often struck by ferocious cyclone storms which are sure to ruin any holiday. The city basically shuts down when these strike as anyone out on the streets is in serious danger. Visitors are advised to avoid this time of year for their visit and maybe instead aim for October to December as this has mild temperatures and below average rainfall. Chinese New Year is a fascinating time to visit although the weather is usually pretty miserable.
China’s Hong Kong International Airport or Chek Lap Kok has been consistently voted the best airport in the world since it opened in 1998. Visitors passing through can take a few moments to appreciate this before boarding their flight. Any British visitors going to or from Heathrow Airport will find this highly educational. The airport’s connections to Hong Kong are also fast, efficient and affordable.
Visitors are advised to get themselves an Octopus Card soon after arrival as this is a quick and easy way of paying for the public transport system as well as various other convenience goods in shops across the city. There are various deals available that will be of varying benefit depending on how much travelling you are planning on doing while in the city. Check out the useful website before you arrive to get the best deal for you.
One of the most breathtaking sights of Hong Kong is the skyline, especially at night. However, visitors soon realise that this is something that you cannot see in a satisfactory way from the city itself. A good idea is to take a boat ride in the harbour as this gives you a fantastic view looking up at the imposing skyscrapers all around you. Alternatively, look down on the city from Victoria Peak which is easy to access and allows visitors to walk through a relaxing wooded hillside. This can be a welcome break after the mania of the city streets.
In 2005, Disneyland came to Hong Kong. Depending on your personal feelings and the size and age of your family this tip will take two forms. For those whom the magic is little more than a cynical marketing ploy: Disneyland is located on Lantau Island relatively close to the airport, making it quite easy to avoid. For those whom the magic is real and a serious addition to the charms of Hong Kong, Disneyland is located on Lantau Island relatively close to the airport, making it very easy to get to.
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