Long considered a bridge between East and West, Hong Kong is a great starting point for Western travelers beginning an Asian journey, or Asian travelers who’d like a taste of Europe before purchasing a long-haul flight ticket. At once bustling and laid back, crowded and charming, Hong Kong is more than just high streets and skyscrapers, especially once you begin to explore the outer islands.
For the shop-till-you dropper: If you’re someone who can’t resist a good deal, don’t come to Hong Kong without an extra suitcase. In fact, plan on buying another one here. The Hong Kong dollar has maintained a favorable exchange rate against the US dollar and the Euro, even as the Chinese yuan has become stronger, making Hong Kong a shopping paradise for travelers coming from far away—and from just over the border with China. Explore one of the shiny, air-conditioned shopping malls or browse through local streets and markets for souvenirs, keepsakes and real treasures.
For the foodie: Because of its history and location, Hong Kong has attracted residents from all parts of the globe. With them, they’ve brought all the varieties of Chinese and East Asian cuisine as well as traditional English and Irish eats; and Indian, Pakistani and other South Asian cuisines. Local food is part of the Cantonese style of cooking, home of wonton soup, dim sum, and clay pot rice.
For the historian: From villages of indigenous salt- and pearl-gatherers to clans of Chinese fleeing the Mongols to the outpost of European colonists—and pirates—hoping to make their fortune in the high seas to occupation during World War II, each group of inhabitants has left its mark on Hong Kong. Discover their stories at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Sam Tung Uk Museum, the Wan Chai Livelihood Museum, Cheung Po Tsai Cave and many other sites.
For the nature-lover: Hong Kong has an amazing amount of green space for a city that has such a famously dense population. The Hong Kong Tourism Information Office (There’s one at the Star Ferry terminal on Kowloon side) publishes a free brochure of nature walks, complete with maps and difficulty levels. Also, don’t miss a chance to explore the city’s outlying suburb-islands, such as Cheung Chau.
Hi! I’m Beth. Thanks for visiting Everyday Travel Stories, a site that celebrates all of the glorious travel opportunities on our planet.