A Guide to Hong Kong: Everything You Need To Know Before Visiting Hong Kong

Despite being the most populated city in the world, Hong Kong also happens to be the most visited travel destination in the world. Hong Kong is home to colossal skyscrapers, a legacy of cuisines and preserved nature. Hong Kong is officially known as Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. From an infinite range of shopping options to stunning nightlife spots, Hong Kong ensures to make your visit worth it. The best time to visit Hong Kong is from mid-October to February. Moreover, during the International New Year in January and Chinese New Year in February, visitors flock to Hong Kong. It is the same time of the year when the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Hong Kong International Film Festival is organized here.

  • 03-Dec-2019
  • Written By: Vartika Srivastava

Travel Tips: Things You Should Know Before You Head to Hong Kong

-Learn a few local (Cantonese) phrases

-Download popular Taxi apps like Uber, Fly Taxi, MTR, and HK Taxi to make your ride easy

-Get an Octopus Card to have a hassle-free transport and dining experience. The Octopus card is a reusable stored value smart card used for making electronic payments in online/offline systems in Hong Kong.

-Keep your Passport and documents at safe places

-Make sure to arrange a sim card as soon as you arrive in Hong Kong

-Learn to eat with chopsticks to relish the authenticity of Hong Kong

-Prefer taking the Airport Express Train for a quick and easy ride

-Relish the authentic local cuisine at some of the best places in Hong Kong

-Tipping helpers is deemed as an important part of etiquette in Hong Kong and is appreciated in hotels

Hong Kong

How to reach?

By Air: The main airport is the Hong Kong International Airport in Chek Lap Kok. It is well connected to several other countries with frequent airline services.

By Road: Hong Kong is known for its quick rail system which keeps the country and the most popular places connected. It has express bus services along with air buses which makes it a feasible mode of public transport. Cabs are easily available at any point in time.

Where to stay?

The Peninsula

Located in Kowloon, The Peninsula is one of the world’s remarkable hotels. It was called ‘The Finest Hotel East of Suez’ for its classic yet modern Chinese influenced rooms. The Peninsula was established in 1928 and offers world-class service on the edge of Victoria Harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui. The grand setup allows you to either land on the rooftop helipad that The Peninsula has or opt for the fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms.

The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

In case you wish to opt for a more traditional setup in Central Hong Kong, you cannot miss The Mandarin Oriental. The exquisite Oriental style, vintage Chinese artworks, and suites overlooking Victorian Harbour, The Mandarin Oriental give a perfect taste of luxury and tradition under one roof.

Hotel Indigo

It is known for its exquisite interior, state-of-the-art facilities, and commendable service which accounts for its popularity as one of the best hotels in Hong Kong. Hotel Indigo is located at the Queens’ Road and gives a panoramic view of Wan Chai. The most favorite spot of the guests is the rooftop which has a petite pool and a quiet bar.

99 Bonham

It features a slender glass tower which gives a magnificent view of the city from every suite. The 99 Bonham is a stylish yet serene property which is ideal for both, business and leisure purpose. Located in the Sheung Wan district of Hong Kong, it gives exclusive access to the shopping center, business center, dining area and entertainment destinations of Central.

Things to do

Sightseeing: At a height of 552 meters, Victoria Peak gives the best bird’s eye view of the city. Victoria Peak is considered as the biggest tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It is also famous for the Peak Tram which is 125 years old railway and tallest funicular railway in the world. Other major tourist attractions include Avenue of Stars, Kowloon Park, Soho, Ocean Park, etc. The tourists visiting Hong Kong Island never fall short of sightseeing options available to them.

High Street Shopping: Some of the famous street markets in Hong Kong are Temple Street Night Market, Causeway Bay, Cat Street, Mong Kok, Apliu Street Fa Yeun Street, and Sneakers Street. Street shopping is one of the most liked routines for people in Hong Kong. Moreover, the street food is also a special attraction for the tourists, especially dim sum.

Ngong Ping 360 On Lantau Island: It is a popular tourist spot in Hong Kong. Situated on the Lantau Island, the gondola ride gives you a panoramic view of Ngong Ping village underneath. It gives a soul-soothing view from the cable ride.

Star Ferry Pier: With a history of 100 years, Star Ferry is deemed as a convenient way to get around the city in Hong Kong. It owns 12 double-deck ferries and their names have the word ‘star’ in it, like Morning Star, Night Star, Gold Star, etc.

big buddha

Places to visit

The Big Buddha

The Tian Tan Buddha, popularly known as the Big Buddha, is one of the must place to visit for tourists holidaying in Hong Kong. The 34 meters tall statue of Buddha Shakyamuni is nearly 250 metric tons in weight and is made of bronze. It is located on the Ngong Ping Lantau Island and is connected to the mainland via Big Buddha Hong Kong Cable Cars.

Hong Kong Disneyland Tour

The Hong Kong Disneyland is located at Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island. Disneyland is a dreamland for every kid and teenager. The place has numerous cartoon characters and amusement themes. It is divided into seven parts namely Fantasyland, Adventureland, Main Street, U.S.A, Mystic Point, Toy Storyland, Tomorrowland, and Grizzly Gulch.  

Lantau Island Tour

It is the biggest island in Hong Kong. The island is a great getaway from the bustling city life. There are several sightseeing places, theme parks, seashores and beaches that tourists go to enjoy the beautiful setup. Buddhist architecture adds to the beauty of this place.

The Venetian Macao

The Venetian is a popular casino resort that offers several ways to enjoy yourself. It offers premium hospitality to its guests. It has six high-end restaurants for visitors and a grand casino which measures up to 546,000 square feet. Tourists may take a Gondola ride in the canals of Venetian or rent a cabana or even enjoy the Playboy Club here. The Venetian is considered as the most happening places in Hong Kong. Several popular restaurants in Hong Kong offer you multi-cuisine with authentic taste.

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is situated in the Victoria Peak. It was opened in 2000 and is the first Madame Tussauds of Asia. It is a popular tourist attraction and has over 100 wax statutes.

Victoria Peak

Also known as Mount Austin, Victoria Peak is located in the western half of Hong Kong. At an elevation of 552 meters, it offers a panoramic view of the city from the vantage point called Sky Terrace. It is a must-visit tourist spot in Hong Kong. There’s a tram that can be taken from Central Hong Kong, close to the American Consulate and Cheung Kong Center. Alternatively, you can hike it which is best later in the day when it’s cooler, although our tip is to get there before sunset.

The Hong Kong Park

The Hong Kong Park is deemed as a green amongst the skyscrapers. This place is adored for its serenity away from the hustle-bustle of the tech cities. The artificial lake situated in the center of the park with a waterfall adds to the beauty of this park. The natural surroundings and beautiful landscape makes the place quite picturesque. Close by, on the lower ground of Pacific Place is a food court, where you can get a variety of Eastern and Western lunches for a reasonable price ($50-$100HKD) that you can take away to eat in the park.

Historical Places in Hong Kong

Wong Tai Sin Temple: Located in the north Kowloon, the Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most renowned tourist places in Hong Kong. The temple is devoted to the Wong Tai Sin or Great the Immortal Wong. It is a popular belief that all your prayers are answered in this temple.

Che Kung Temple: It is located in the Tai Wai area of Sha Tin. The temple was built in the honor of Che Kung who was a military commander of the Southern Song Dynasty. The temple was originally built 300 years ago to end the epidemic affecting that area. However, the present structure was erected in the year 1993.

Best Places to Eat in Hong Kong

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan’s out-of-the-world dim sums are said to be the best dim sum in Hong Kong. Tim Ho Wan despite being a small setup has earned one Michelin star and is believed to be worth trying. It is usually crowded because of being high in demand but it certainly won’t disappoint you with their fresh made dim sums.

RyuGin Hong Kong

Located on the 101st floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building Landmark ICC, RyuGin offers stunning views of Hong Kong’s Skylines and West Kowloon’s Harbour. RyuGin is known for its authentic Japanese taste in the heart of Hong Kong. The Michelin Star Chef Seiji Yamamoto serves ten-course Kaiseki Meal.

Amber, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental

At Amber, you experience Parisian interior with a twist of Asian taste. It is owned by the Dutch chef Richard Ekkebus who is known for his contemporary French cuisine. Ekkebus’s approach of adding Asian taste to classic French cuisine has earned him two Michelin stars. Amber also owns a respectable position in the Elite Travelers Top 100 Restaurants in the World.   

8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana

It is the only Italian restaurant outside of Italy to be graced with three Michelin Stars. 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo is owned by the most premier Italian chef in Asia, Umberto Bombana. With an elegant and traditional setting, the restaurant is located in the upscale shopping center-The Landmark. It serves authentic Italian cuisine and is known for its contemporary twist to the classic dishes.

Lei Garden

Located at Times Square, Causeway Bay, one of the most popular destinations in Hong Kong, Lei Garden is known for its contemporary twist to the traditional and authentic taste of dim sums. Lei Garden is known to have invented several popular desserts like sticky rice date dessert, pomelo, and mango dessert. 

Tim Lung Heen

The restaurant is located on the 102nd floor of Landmark ICC which makes Tim Lung Heen the highest Chinese restaurant in the city. Some of the bestselling dishes of Tim Lung Heen are baked abalone puff with roasted goose and dried bonito, pan-fried turnip cake, and baked oyster tart with black pepper and onion.

Summer Palace at Island Shangri La

The two Michelin Star property Summer Palace is located on the fifth floor of Shangri La. It serves authentic Cantonese cuisine in a beautiful traditional Chinese setting. Summer Palace is adored for its beautiful oriental interior and authentic Chinese creation like steamed crab claw, crystal ham, and baked king prawn.

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, The Landmark

Located in the luxury shopping center, The Landmark, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is owned by the legendary chef Joel Robuchon. Robuchon is a celebrity chef and holds the most number of Michelin Stars in the world. L’Atelier owns the most vibrant atmosphere and serves French cuisine in small portions inspired by Japanese cuisine. The setup of the bar allows you to witness the preparation of your food using ingredients from around the world.  

The Lobby at The Peninsula Hotel

In the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, The Lobby is styled in the bygone era of the 1930s. The Lobby is adored for its rich interior, exquisite ceiling details, and fancy porcelain crockery. It is said to be a perfect spot to experience the afternoon tea culture of traditional Hong Kong.

Indonesian Restaurant 1968

Located at the upscale area of Queens Road, Central in Hong Kong, Indonesian Restaurant 1968 offers authentic Indonesian cuisine. Nasi Goreng is said to be their specialty. It gives you the joy of rare to find authentic Indonesian cuisine in the heart of Hong Kong.

Yue Kee Roast Goose, Sham Tseng

The Yue Kee Roast Goose restaurant in Sham Tseng is a family run business since the 1950s. The restaurant owns a goose farm in Guangdong and is a famous spot for the charcoal roasted goose. It’s a popular place, liked both by tourists and natives. The restaurant which opened in the 1950s is being run by the third generation of the owner’s family at present. 

What to Eat when in Hong Kong: 10 Best Food in Hong Kong

Dim Sum

Traditionally dim sums were associated with tea drinking culture in China. Dim sum is bite-size dishes which were believed to be served at teahouses and were to be had with hot tea. Dim sum is the most famous food in Hong Kong and every tourist relishes at them. Hong Kong restaurants have a great range of dim sum from porky Sui mai to braised chicken feet, to shrimp filled har gao.

Where to have: Tim Ho Wan

 Lin Heung Teahouse

 Sam Hui Yat

 

Beef Brisket

There are many places in Hong Kong which are famous for its delicious beef brisket. Beef brisket noodles are a hit amongst the tourist and natives alike here. The traditional recipe of slow cooking of beef in Chinese spices make the beef flesh tender and filled with a spicy tinge. This dish is particularly enjoyed in the winters by people in Hong Kong. Some of the best places to have a beef brisket in Hong Kong are enlisted below.

Where to have: Kau Kee, Central

                        On Lee Noodle Shop, Shau Kei Wan

                        Supreme Beef Brisket Soup, Yau Ma Tei

 

Eggettes

Eggettes or gai daan zai is popular street food in Hong Kong. Although the classic eggettes would never lose its charm, the popular spots keep coming with an unconventional twist in the flavor to keep it in demand always.

Where to have: Goodest Snack

                           McQ

                           More Eggettes (said to be the best)

                          

Curry Fishballs

The curry fish balls cooked in Hong Kong style are known for their delicious and tempting smell. If you stroll around the street food market in Hong Kong, you would see fish balls of all sorts placed in metal heated trays and dipped in red and yellow curry sauces.

Where to have: Brother Ja, Causeway Bay

                           Wong Lam Kee Chiu Chow, Shau Kei Wan

Roast Pigeon

Roasted pigeon is mostly liked by tourists and natives in Hong Kong. Most restaurants serving roasted meat would offer some pigeons too. Pigeon is known to have dark succulent meat and rich flavor. Sha Tin is a popular area to be known for this.  

Where to have: Lung Wah Hotel

                           Tai Ping Koon

Claypot Rice

Claypot rice is known for its delicious taste which is because of its intense recipe. Rice is cooked in the claypot and extra ingredients like chicken, mushroom, pork, and sausages are added to it. The sauces used over it add a more refined taste to it.

Where to have: Four Seasons Claypot Rice

                           Casserole Buddies

                            Hing Kee Restaurant

Tong Yuen

Tong Yuen are glutinous rice balls dipped in sugar syrup. It is customary to make this dish on ‘Dong Zhi’ festival and it symbolizes reunion.

Where to have: Kai Kai Dessert

                           Tong Yuen Food & Dessert

Tofu Pudding

To prepare tofu pudding, soybean milk is blended with a powdery concoction to give it a perfectly smooth texture like an ideal tofu pudding has. It occupies an important place in traditional Chinese recipes.

Where to have: Yan Wo Dou Bun Chong

    Auntie Sweet

                           Tai Po Dessert Shop

Egg Tarts

Egg tarts are the Hong Kong version of British custard tarts. The major egg tarts available in Hong Kong are Portuguese egg tart, shortcrust egg tart, and puff pastry egg tarts.

Where to have: Lord Stow’s Bakery

                           Door Door Bakery

                            Sai Kung Café & Bakery

 

Stir-Fried Beef Noodles

Stir-fried beef noodles are cooked in soy sauce which gives it a delicious aroma. Stir fried noodles are liked by the most number of people in Hong Kong.

Where to have: Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop

                           Mrs. P’s Kitchen

Hong Kong

Nightlife in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is known to have a vibrant and exciting nightlife culture. With several options for partying and clubbing at night, Hong Kong is an ideal spot to be at for experiencing a happening nightlife. The three best places to experience nightlife in Hong Kong are Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo, and Wan Chai. Apart from these, Tsim Sha Tsui is also known to have several clubs and pubs which can give you an exciting nightlife experience.

Lan Kwai Fong is the L-shaped lane in the Central which has over 100 bars, restaurants and clubs. It is said to make your stay in Hong Kong even more exciting with its upmarket drinking spots, chic wine bars, and exotic restaurants. Some of the best places to party or hangout in Lan Kwai Fong are Ce La VI, Fringe Club, Insomnia, Volar, and Tazmania Ballroom.

SoHo refers to the southern area of Hollywood Road, it has several high-end bars and pubs and is known for its sophisticated culture. It creates a more cosmopolitan atmosphere with a blend of Chinese culture and colonial architecture. SoHo is popular amongst young professionals. The most popular places here are Shady Oaks, Drop, Quinary, and Varga Lounge.

Wan Chai happens to have many clubs and bars to experience a happening nightlife. It has lately emerged to be known for Hong Kong’s premium nightlife district. You can experience the best nightlife at places like The Optimist, Carnegie’s, and Dusk Till Dawn.

Tsim Sha Tsui is located just across the river from Victoria Harbor. It is considered as the happiest neighborhood. Some of the popular bars here are Butler, Assembly, and Gulu Gulu.