If you’ve never visit Hong Kong now’s the time to do it: this breathtaking, busy and brilliant city is guaranteed to give you the trip of a lifetime! With its Chinese roots, history as a British colony and subsequent return as a Special Administration Region of China, you’ll find that Hong Kong isn’t really like any other place in the world. You’ll find plenty to love in this city, from the food to the fashion to the friendly locals. Here are ten reasons why you should drop everything and start planning your trip now:
Visit Hong Kong Now
Hong Kong Museums are some of the best in all of China.
It’s well worth visiting at least a couple museums while you’re in Hong Kong, time permitting. You have plenty of great options to choose from, including the Museum of History, the Museum of Art, the Racing Museum (where you can learn about the history of horse-racing in this former British colony), the Space Museum, the International Hobby and Toy Museum… Well, you get the picture: there are a lot of great places to check out! Best of all, many museums offer free admission on Wednesdays.
Hong Kong skyline is epic.
Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers of any city in the world—more than 1,200! This means that you can get some amazing metropolis views, with layers upon layers of buildings. Best places to check out are the Peak or the view from the Star Ferry as you cross Victoria Harbor. Or if you’re looking for a backdrop to your evening, check out one of the amazing rooftop bars; Hong Kong really does these better than anywhere else in the world!
At night, Victoria Harbor comes to life with the Symphony of Lights show.
The waterfront Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong’s version of Hollywood’s iconic Walk of Fame, will have you oohing and ahhing at the views even during the day, but it really gets magical at 8:00 p.m. every night, when the whole harbor is lit up with a beautiful lightshow called the Symphony of Lights. You’ll be able to hear the show’s narration via loudspeakers spread along the Avenue of Stars, so it’s a great place to watch from.
There are plenty of neat temples.
Although much of Hong Kong’s population isn’t particularly religious, you’ll find no shortage of temples, which can be fascinating to explore due to their architecture and unique iconography. Po Lin Monastery is one of the most-visited of Hong Kong’s temples, or check out the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Visiting temples can be great for someone on a budget, as many offer free or cheap admittance, but they’ll still give you a good look into the culture of the area.
Hong Kong’s food is amazing.
Whatever cuisine you’re after, you’ll find it here. Hong Kong has a huge array of restaurants specializing in dim sum and other Asian or world cuisines; there are plenty of special dishes that are native to Hong Kong as well. There are tons of things you should try during your visit. Know that markets can be a great place to sample local foods—don’t avoid the street food, just look for clean places with plenty of customers and freshly-cooked food.
Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise.
Speaking of markets, you can’t go to Hong Kong and not see the markets. Mong Kok is one of the most-populous neighborhoods in the world, and it’s got some great shops for everything from food to souvenirs. Check out the Ladies’ Market or the Temple Street Night Market, and you’ll find yourself lost in the scents, sounds and colors of these vibrant streets. Even if you’re not much of a shopper, you may want to remember that Hong Kong doesn’t charge sales or import taxes, meaning that prices, for everything from electronics to shoes, are often cheaper on the island than they are anywhere else in the world!
Hong Kong brings together all the best of urban and outdoors.
No matter how active you are, you’ll find something fun to do outdoors in Hong Kong. From tai chi lessons in Victoria Park to a cruise on Victoria Harbor to hiking the iconic Dragon’s Back or some of the other great trails in the area, there are plenty of great options—so get out and explore!
It’s easy to get around from place to place.
Hong Kong has one of the best transit systems in the world, meaning that wherever you want to get to, you can likely find a way to get there. Check out the extensive network of buses and trams, and make sure to pick up an Octopus card—no only is this card helpful in paying for various public transportation, but you can also use it at various shops and restaurants around the city to really simplify things.
You don’t have to worry about being trapped behind the Great Firewall of China.
Unlike mainland China, you won’t need to install a VPN to access your social media or email accounts. Of course, you may want one anyway so you can stream Netflix on those rainy days (believe it or not, your account will be blocked when you try to access it from overseas), and a VPN will also protect your personal information when you’re accessing public WiFi networks (no one wants their identity stolen while they’re traveling abroad, which unfortunately happens pretty frequently!). That said, Hong Kong actually has some of the least-intrusive government internet censorship policies in the world.
It’s easy to get to Hong Kong
Forget that complicated Chinese visa process; Hong Kong handles its own visas, and many visitors (including those from the EU, Canada and the United States) aren’t required to get visas unless they intend to stay longer than 90 days on the island. And there are plenty of airlines that fly into Hong Kong International Airport as well. So really, you have no excuse not to book your trip there right now!
Have you been to Hong Kong? What were some of your favorite parts of your trip? Do you have any tips for others who are planning a trip there? Please tell us about them in the comments!