About Hong Kong
Steamy and gargantuan, Hong Kong has evolved into one of Asia’s most lovable cities. Its incredible skyline – part neon, part steel-and-glass, part towering hills – is one of the most majestic in the world, but it’s a mere backdrop to the 24-hour flurry of activity that makes Hong Kong what it is.
From its boat-buzzed waterfront to its packed dim sum restaurants, its incense-smoked temples to its clattering teahouses, its street markets to its old-world hotels, Hong Kong is a destination teeming with energy. For travellers, the best advice is to go with the flow.
Situated at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta on China’s southwestern coast, Hong Kong is a city that has a remarkable mix of Eastern and Western influences. The handover of this territory from Britain to China was back in 1997, but the centuries of British rule still have a lasting legacy, tangible in everything from the grand period architecture to the local passion for horse-racing.
Even the name of Hong Kong’s centrepiece – the iconic Victoria Harbour – harks back to another era, and today there’s an international flavour to the destination that sets it apart from other Chinese cities. The gastronomy, nightlife and shopping are all world-class.
Hong Kong Island, with its glistening skyscrapers and high-end shopping malls, is in many ways the heartbeat of the city. Get down to street level, however, and the laneways, wet markets and traditional Chinese haunts are a reminder that beyond the city lies a working class populace still making ends meet the old fashioned way – and often the hard way.
It’s also worth remembering, of course, that there’s far more to Hong Kong than the city itself. Its natural attractions include hiker-friendly ranges, volcanic landscapes, pristine woodlands, sleepy islands, protected marine parks and miles of golden beaches.
1,104 sq km (426 sq miles).
7,346,248 (UN estimate 2016).
Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.
Head of state:
President of China Xi Jinping since 2013.
Head of government:
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying since 2012.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. British-style plugs with three square pins are used.
Last updated: 13 March 2017
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
The level of violent crime is very low but pick pocketing and other street crime can occur. You should take extra care of passports, credit cards and money in crowded areas and when checking in and out of hotels. There have been some isolated incidents of robberies in Hong Kong’s Country Parks; these incidents have been reduced following a crime prevention operation by the Hong Kong Police. Nevertheless, if you intend to hike in Hong Kong’s Country Parks you should stick to marked trails and avoid carrying valuables.
Make sure anything you drink can’t be tampered with. Be wary of accepting drinks from strangers and always have a trusted friend to keep an eye on any unfinished drink if you need to leave it for a period of time.
Hong Kong is generally a stable society underpinned by the rule of law. While demonstrations are usually conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner, some have been more volatile in nature, resulting in confrontations between police and protesters.
On 6 November 2016 a large protest related to the recent Legislative Council elections resulted in clashes between police and protesters into the early hours of the morning of 7 November 2016. There is an increased risk of further protests and public gatherings.
You should monitor and follow the instructions of local authorities, avoid areas where protests and unplanned public gatherings are taking place if possible, follow the instructions of the local authorities and take sensible precautions against petty crime if you are nearby.