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Hong Kong Travel Guide

About Hong Kong

At first glance, Hong Kong is nothing short of daunting: a thicket of skyscrapers perched on a South China Sea island. But the city can be one of the most engaging and unexpectedly beautiful urban spectacles on Earth.

Hong Kong explodes with life daily; every square inch occupied by someone selling, buying or simply taking in the view.

Yet behind the whirl of people and red and cream taxis, Hong Kong has a more reflective side, although you’re unlikely to find it atop the Peak.

Dominating the city skyline, Victoria Peak towers to 554m (1818 ft) and was once home to a sleepy neighbourhood of colonial villas occupied by the British officials that ran the metropolis until it was handed back to China in 1997.

Guarantees aimed at securing freedom of speech and elected political representation were enshrined in the treaty, although the latter remains elusive as the 2014 Umbrella Protests made only too clear. Don’t expect to be left in peace to enjoy the view at the Peak - it is no less bustling here than anywhere else.

Back down in the city, there’s no shortage of things to do. Explore the backstreets and unexpected traditional temples of Central, then step into the sensory overload of Mongkok where markets selling live birds sit side by side with medicine shops and hipster boutiques crammed with chic threads.

Causeway Bay, just across Victoria Harbour, is another shopping mecca and boasts stores and stalls selling a truly mindboggling array of wares.

The preponderance of buildings, shops and people can leave you thinking that Hong Kong is nothing more than a vast urban sprawl, but that’s not quite true. Quaint fishing villages, gorgeous beaches and a network of cycling and hiking trails are a short bus ride away.

Nowhere is lovelier than the Kadoorie Farm’s striking series of elegant gardens, but after just a little peace, you’ll soon miss the bustle and tussle of Hong Kong.

Key facts

7.547.652 (2020)

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Featured Hotels


Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

The Mandarin Oriental, which overlooks Victoria Harbour from its perch right in the middle of Central, is a Hong Kong institution. The 501 rooms are known for their elegance, and its tearooms and buffets also enjoy a loyal following. The lobby has style to spare with a somewhat recherché art deco flavour.

W Hong Kong

This design-led Hong Kong hotel offers incredible skyline views from all 393 rooms. The interior draws on inspiration from the environment with tree-like columns in the main entrance, and the rooftop swimming pool on the 76th floor is one of the highest in the world. Its plush lounge, the Living Room, is great too.

Hotel ICON

 This 4.5 star hotel is situated in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, offering a unique window on Hong Kong and the most vibrant and genuine experience of city life. It provides delicious local and international cuisine, cocktails on the club floor, a stylish pool and also spa floor.

J Plus Hotel by YOO

Meaning 'home' in Mandarin, JIA is the first boutique hotel in Asia designed by Philippe Starck. This Hong Kong hotel has 32 studios and 24 suites including two luxurious duplex penthouses, all of which include fully equipped kitchens, marble bathrooms and home theatre systems. Guests are also entitled to exclusive perks such as entry to slick private members clubs, complementary champagne in selected bars, and a free harbour cruise.

The Luxe Manor

The interior of this quirky Hong Kong hotel is a charming mix of grand old architecture fused with the surrealist art and design of the early 20th century. There are 153 rooms and 6 themed suites, each with marble bathrooms, and six themed suites ranging from Nordic to Safari. For Italian fine dining, head to the hotel's restaurant, Aspasia, or sip a cocktail in Dada bar.

The Upper House

Andre Fu, one of Asia’s most heralded designers, is the man behind this hip hotel, which has won awards and garnered much press in recent years. Rooms are located from the 38th floor upwards, with staggering views and decor to match (think: bamboo walls and limestone bathrooms). Facilities are first rate, with a lounge and gym, plus a garden for lolling in.