East meets West in south-east Asia’s spectacular melting pot
Hong Kong is a vibrant, bustling city on the south coast of China, with healthy doses of Chinese culture and Western influence forging a unique blend of East and West. While Hong Kong is actually made up of over 200 islands, the city is concentrated around Victoria Harbour, with Hong Kong Island on one side, and Kowloon on the other. Countess skyscrapers pierce the skies on each side of the bay, while at night a mass of neon illuminates the water creating a dramatic vista of colour and light.
Hong Kong may be a playground for the rich, but a stroll around its local markets and street food vendors will bring cheap alternatives to the city’s designer shops and exclusive restaurants. Kowloon offers the vivacious Temple Street Night Market, while Hong Kong Island is home to the central business district, Happy Valley Racecourse and Victoria Peak.
With its sub-tropical climate, high-class shopping, fine dining and luxury hotels, Hong Kong has obvious appeal, but with English widely spoken, no other city offers a taste of China while retaining such obvious Western influence. Macau, the Las Vegas of the East, is just a one hour boat ride away.
How to get there
Flight times to Hong Kong from the UK are around 12 hours, with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific offering direct flights from London. A ride on the Airport Express train will take you from Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island to the heart of the city in under 25 minutes.
When to go
Hong Kong’s sub-tropical climate means summers can be incredibly hot and humid, while winters remain mild. Temperatures rise to an average 30-35°C between June and September, and fall to around 15-20°C between November and March. Thunderstorms are common in summer, while typhoons can occur towards autumn.
A historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak will open up the most spectacular panoramic views of the city, while the stunning daily music and light show featuring many of the city’s skyscrapers is best viewed across the bay from the Kowloon side. Take the Star Ferry between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon to get a true flavour of local life in Hong Kong, or visit one of Hong Kong’s major sporting events such as the horse racing at Happy Valley or Rugby Sevens for top-class sporting action and high-end hospitality.