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HongKong Travel Guide

HongKong Overview

Hong Kong is located on south coast of China, 60 km (37 mi) east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta, north to Shengzhen. It boards Guangdong city of Shenzhen to the north over the Shenzhen River, Wanshan Islands of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province to the south. It consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and other 262 small islands.

Originally Hong Kong was a small fishing village. Today, it is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities where the East truly meets the West. On 1 July 1997, Hong Kong became a Special Administrative Region of China in an arrangement that would last for 50 years. Operating under the 'one country, two systems policy', Hong Kong maintains its own political, social and economic systems. English remains an official language and Hong Kong's border with China still exists. Now reunited with the mainland, visually stunning Hong Kong offers a warp-speed 'shop till you drop' lifestyle combined with enclaves of tradition.

Hong Kong is a highly prosperous international metropolis now, and one of the third largest financial centers in the world. Hong Kong is Asia's leading financial, services and shipping center. It is famous for clean government, good law and order, free economy and sound legal system. It is known as the "Pearl of the Orient", "Gourmet Paradise" and "Shopping Paradise".

Hong Kong Facts
Hong Kong History
Hong Kong Geography
Hong Kong Climate & Weather
Hong Kong Transportation
Best Time for HongKong Travel
Best Places for HongKong Travel

Chinese name: 香港
Location: southern China
Dialing code: +852
Zip code: 999077
Official languages: Chinese, English
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HK$)
Main attractions in Hong Kong: Victoria Harbour, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Hong Kong Madame Tussaud's, etc

Administrative Distribution

Since July 1, 1997, the Chinese government resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, and established Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR). HKSAR set up 18 districts: Middle Western District, Eastern District, Kowloon, Kwun Tong District, South District, Sham Shui Po District, Wong Tai Sin District, Wan Chai District, Yau Tsim Mong District, Outlying Islands District, Kwai Tsing District, North District, Sai Kung District, Sha Tin District, Tuen Mun District, Tai Po District, Tsuen Wan District and Yuen Long District.

In Hong Kong Island: Middle Western District, Eastern District, Wan Chai District, South District

In Kowloon Island: Yau Tsim Mong District, Sham Shui Po District, Wong Tai Sin District, Kwun Tong District

In New Territories: North District, Tai Po District, Sha Tin District, Sai Kung District, Tsuen Wan District, Yuen Long District, Kwai Tsing District, Outlying Islands District

Archaeological findings date the first human settlements in this place back to more than 30,000 years ago. It was first incorporated into China during the Qin Dynasty and mostly remained under Chinese rule until 1841 during the Qing Dynasty, with a brief interruption at the end of the Qin Dynasty, when a Qin official established the kingdom of Nam Yuet, which later fell into the Han Dynasty.

In January 1841, as a result of the defeat of the Qing Dynasty of China in the First Opium War, Chinese government was force into ceding Hong Kong Island in perpetuity to the British Crown under the Convention of Chuanpee, which was the beginning of British administration of Hong Kong. Since the 1842-1898, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories have been ceded out in succession in two opium wars and the Sino-Japanese War. When peace terms were drawn up in 1841, the Emperor of China agreed that Hong Kong Island should be ceded to Britain and five other ports licensed for foreign trade. The British controlled Hong Kong from then on, apart from a four-year period during World War II when the territory was occupied by the Japanese. During the 1950s to 1990s, the city-state developed rapidly, becoming the first of the "Four Asian Tigers" through the development of a strong manufacturing base and later a financial sector.

Before the transfer of sovereignty to China in 1997, Hong Kong had been a British colony for nearly 150 years. As a result, most infrastructures inherits the design and standards of Britain. On 1 July 1997, under the principle "One Country, Two Systems", the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance.

And now, Hong Kong is famous for its transition port, transporting a significant volume of exports from China to the rest of the world, and it is also an important city for financial trade, tourism, fashion and entertainment. Hong Kong is a popular tourist destination as well as being one of the world's major business centres. It has over 260 outlying islands but only a few are inhabited. This means that Hong Kong offers a great range of contrasts, with numerous islands that provide a tranquil alternative to its frenetic energy elsewhere. Hong Kong Island is an eclectic mix of modern skyscrapers, colonial buildings and traditional temples.

Where is Hong Kong?

Hong Kong, as one of the main ports in the world, locates in the north coast line of China. With is unique location, the geography of Hong Kong is consisted of some islands and peninsula area.

Hong Kong can be divided into three distinct areas:

► Hong Kong Island (Victoria)
► Kowloon
► New Territories (including inland area, Lantau Island and outflying islands)

Downtown New Territories
Hong Kong Island West Kowloon East Kowloon New Territories East New Territories West
Central and Western District
Eastern District
Southern District
Wan Chai District
Kowloon City District
Sham Shui Po District
Yau Tsim Mong District
Wong Tai Sin District
Kwun Tong District
Northern District
Sai Kung District
Sha Tin District
Tai Po District
Islands District
Kwai Tsing District
Tsuen Wan District
Tuen Mun District
Yuen Long District

Hong Kong Island 香港岛

Hong Kong Island, with area about 78.4 square meters, is one of the main parts of Hong Kong. Following the area of Lantau Island, it is the second largest island in Hong Kong Special Administration Region.

Hong Kong Island is the earliest developing area since 1842 (the year became a British colony). Before the launching of Victoria Area, Stanley was the political center of Hong Kong Island. And during the early British colonial period, the main dwelling area was Hong Kong Central and Sheung Wan area, this area was also called Victoria area. And the highest peak of Hong Kong Island is Victoria Peak with about 554 meters above the sea level.

Victoria Harbour was the natural boundary between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula. And the port was once the trade port for this world’s largest trade fair hub.

► Hong Kong Island mainly areas
Sheung Wan Area
Central Area
Wanchai Area
Causeway Bay Area
Victoria Peak·Repulse Bay Area

Kowloon Peninsula 九龙半岛

Kowloon, geographical named Kowloon Peninsula, is the other main part of Hong Kong municipal area (the other part is Hong Kong Island). Surrounded by Victoria Harbour in east, south, and west directions, it was once divided into two parts namely “Kowloon” (the south part of Jiexian Street) and “New Kowloon” (the north of Jiexian Street and south of Shizi Mountain). Till now, the New Kowloon word is meaningless because there is no need to have a specified colonic boundary nowadays.

As another important commercial part of Hong Kong, the most prosperous areas will be Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok. The snacks streets, shopping centers, as well as luxury hotels are all can be found in Kowloon.
► Kowloon Peninsula mainly areas
Tsim Sha Tsui area
Jotun·Yau Ma Tei area
Mongkok·Sham Shui Po area
Wong Tai Sin Temple·Hung Hom area

New Territories 新界

New Territories is one of the three parts of Hong Kong. The name of this area comes from the Terms in British colonic period. Since 1898 Jun 9th, a term between British and Qing Dynasty governments was signed with a content that the north part from Kowloon boundary to the north part of Shenzhen River would be rented by British government for 99 years. During that moment, this part of area had no name thus British people called it New Territories which meaned new land. New Territories is located in the northern Hong Kong. It is the largest area part with about 975.1 square kilometers, covering a proportion of 92%.
► New Territories mainly area
Outlying Islands·Tsuen Wan·Kwai Tsing
Sha Tin·Sai Kung

Hong Kong is a comfortable place with pleasant sub-tropical climate, meaning that it can be temperate for almost half of the year; even during November and December there can be a pleasant breeze, some sunshine and comfortable temperatures. Many people regard these two months as the best time to visit Hong Kong, however, Hong Kong weather is famous for its unpredictability, and rain can turn to shine in a matter of seconds. The city also hosts some of the world's more extreme weather. In no particular order, Hong Kong weather warnings can be issued for; black rain, direct-hit typhoons, extreme heat, thunderstorms and landslides, but don't be put off, as the city is also blessed with plenty of sunshine for most of the year.

Cloudy January and February are comparatively colder with temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius. The lowest temperature recorded at the Observatory is 0 C, although sub-zero temperatures and frost do occur at times on high ground and in the New Territories.

Spring time is pleasant beginning from March, though like any typical sub-tropical climate, weather in March and April is foggy, when sleet can be particularly troublesome on high ground which is exposed to the south-easterly winds, and air traffic and ferry services are occasionally disrupted because of reduced visibility.

Changeable weather is common from May to August. In this hot and humid season, occasional showers and thunderstorms may refresh the city in the morning,; and while it will be hot in the night, temperatures generally remain around 26 degree Celsius with high humidity. There is usually a fine dry spell in July which can last for one to two weeks or even longer in some years.

Hong Kong is most likely to be affected by tropical cyclones during July to September, although gales are not unusual at any time between May and November. On average, about 31 tropical cyclones form in the western North Pacific or China Seas every year, and about half of them reach typhoon strength (maximum winds of 118 kilometres per hour or more).

When a tropical cyclone is about 700 to 1000 kilometres southeast of Hong Kong, the weather is usually fine and exceptionally hot, but isolated thunderstorms sometimes occur in the evenings. If the centre comes closer to Hong Kong, winds will increase and rain can become heavy and widespread. Heavy rain from tropical cyclones may last for a few days and subsequent landslips and flooding sometimes cause considerably more damage than the winds.

Characters of the four season in Hong Kong

Spring brings warmer and more humid weather. There is a sharp increase in rainfall around April.

Summer weather is hot, humid and unstable. Thunderstorms and brief showers are common, interspersed with sunny conditions.

Autumn is generally considered as the most pleasant season. Temperatures are still high (20-27°C) while humidity and rainfall are considerably lower.

Winter, the weather is generally cool by local standards, with temperatures hovering between 15°C and 20°C.

The mean annual rainfall ranges from around 1300 millimetres at Waglan Island to more than 3000 millimetres in the vicinity of Tai Mo Shan. About 80 percent of the rain falls between May and September. The wettest month is August, when rain occurs about four days out of seven and the average monthly rainfall at the Observatory is 391.4 millimetres. The driest month is January, when the monthly average is only 23.4 millimetres and rain falls only about six days a month.

Severe weather phenomena that can affect Hong Kong include tropical cyclones, strong winter monsoon winds, and thunderstorms with associated squalls that are most frequent from April to September. Waterspouts and hailstorms occur infrequently, while snow and typhoons are rare.

Climate Data Table for Hong Kong

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
23.42 24.54 27.11 29.69 31.92 32.98 33.33 33.33 32.94 30.84 27.98 24.75
8.14 8.28 11.18 15.31 20.04 22.65 23.55 23.66 22.31 18.49 13.24 9.27
Rainfall (mm) 39 49 83 221 232 555 350 485 407 117 34 42
Days of rainfall 5.60 9.47 10.47 11.67 15.47 18.77 17.77 17.43 14.80 8.10 5.67 4.27

Traffic in Hong Kong is very developed. It can reach most of countries all over the world by air, rail or ship. And it is quite convenient to travel from mainland of China by air, rail or ship. Air travelers will be treated to Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong's giant greenhouse of an airport. By land, the only way to Hong Kong is from China mainland: you can choose either bus or train. Water is perhaps the most picturesque way to arrive in Hong Kong; there are boats that take you between Hong Kong and destinations in Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces, as well as Macau.

Internal public transport of Hong Kong is also very convenient and various as well, including MTR (subway), bus or minibus (public bus), tram, taxi, the Peak Tram, ferries, light rail, etc.

Air: Hong Kong International Airport is one of the top ten airports in the world. The passenger Terminal 1: it is the base of all aircraft, arrival hall, and counters of most airlines. Terminal 2 is counters of a small number of airlines, departure station of hotel bus and long-distance bus to China mainland.
♦ Website: www.hongkongairport.com
♦ Tel: +852 2181 8888

Rail: Kowloon Railway Station (also known as the Hung Hom Railway Station) in Hong Kong has three train lines to mainland China, Kowloon-Beijing, Kowloon-Shanghai and Kowlong-Guangdong. The trains between Beijing and Hong Kong depart every other day. It takes 23 hours and 30 minutes for one-way journey. And it would take about one and a half hour to deal with customs formalities before departure, so make sure you arrive at the station more than 2-3 hours in advance.
Address: Chang Thing, Yau Tsim Mong District, Kowloon

Bus: There are direct buses traveling between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, Dongguan, Shenzhen and other cities in Guangdong province. The most convenient way is to take bus from Shenzhen airport to directly arrive at Hong Kong downtown. Visitors can choose from Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay, Wan Chai Pier, Central, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Tong, Mong Kok, Tai Wai, and Disneland, etc.

Ship: Tourists can take ships or cruise to reach or leave Hong Kong. And the common way to travel between HK and Macau is by ferry from Hong Kong China Ferry Terminal or Hong Kong-Mauca Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan.

MTR: It is a subway system that covers most places of Hong Kong, in which the Lo Wu Station and Lok Ma Chau Station connecting the mainland China’s ports of entry. MTR has Airport Express Line and other nine routes, namely: Hong Kong Island, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Tseung Kwan O, Tung Chung, West Rail, East Rail, Ma On Shan and Disneyland. In addition, MTR has operations in Hong Kong Light Rail train service and rail routes to mainland China. Taking MTR to major attractions Hong Kong is a convenient and quick way.

Best Time to Visit Hong Kong

Hong Kong is suitable for visiting all year around. If you must point out the best time to visit, it should be from September through to Christmas.

October-November: weather is cool with less rain, quite comfortable.

December-next March: it is discount season in Hong Kong, starting from the first weekend in December. The closer to Christmas, the more discounts you can enjoy. Shopping districts are mainly located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Central and Causeway Bay and other places.

Dressing Tips

The temperature of Hong Kong is not less than 10℃. The hottest can reach 37℃. Perennial temperature is between 23-27℃.

Spring (March to mid-May): a light jacket or sweater is needed.

Summer (late May to mid-September): short-sleeved shirt and cool pants or dress would be enough.

Autumn (late September to early December): weather is sunny and dry. Shirt, sweater and light jacket would be fine. May to November is the typhoon season, remember to bring rain gear.

Winter (mid-December to next late February): cool weather. Thick coat and thin sweaters is needed. If you go to the beach, you should bring more clothes.

Hong Kong Disneyland – it is the first in China, second in Asia and the 5th Disneyland in the world. There are some unique attractions, two Disney themed hotels, and the colorful shopping, eating and entertainment facilities in the park. If you travel with kids and you have never been to a Disneyland, it is suggested to spend a whole day there.

Ocean Park- it is one of the most popular park in the world. You can not only see a variety of animals there, but also enjoy a lot of there are wonderful shows and have fun with exciting entertainment facilities.

The Victoria Peak - Victoria peak is the highest point in Hong Kong, with an elevation of 554 meters, which make the best site to over view Hong Kong. It is located in the northwest of Hong Kong Island, and has been regarded as the symbol of Hong Kong. It is Hong Kong's most prestigious luxury senior housing area. No matter you are a romantic person or not, be sure to arrange the night tour on the Peak with a cable car travel, it will impress you a lot.

Victoria Harbor - Victoria Harbour is the largest harbor in the Asia and the third largest in the world. The harbor is sited between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Island. The Victoria harbor has been affecting Hong Kong's history and culture for a long time, leading Hong Kong's economic and tourism development. It is one of the critical factors for Hong Kong to being an international metropolis.

Other attractions like Lantau Island, Aberdeen, Repulse Bay, Hong Kong Wetland Park, Stanley Market, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong Ngong Ping 360, Po Lin Monastery, Chi Lin Nunnery, Tai O Fishing Village,etc. are worth visiting as well.

HongKong Tours & Tings to Do