HONG KONG: BUSTLING, COSMOPOLITAN, FUSING EAST AND WEST
Published on 05/06/2017.
Bustling and cosmopolitan Hong Kong is renowned for its fusion of East and West, blending Cantonese culture and its British Colonial past, making it a city unlike any other in Asia. Hong Kong is not only a popular tourist destination, but also one of the world’s most important business centres. It is a city that never sleeps, and a foodie’s and shopper’s paradise. And while many know Hong Kong as an urban destination, it is also home to lush countryside, nature parks, mountains and idyllic beaches.
- With cultural influences of Cantonese, Mandarin, British, amongst others, Hong Kong is quintessentially cosmopolitan, perfectly blending East and West, modern and ancient, which is reflected across its many facets.
- Shopping and culinary heaven: a perfect retail destination with a plethora of shopping centres, mini-malls and street markets. And with over 12,000 restaurants to choose from, and many open-air food stalls, Hong Kong is essentially a foodie’s paradise.
- An excellent and efficient transport system, with most modes of transport interconnected, making Hong Kong’s network one of the most sophisticated in the world.
- A calendar jam-packed with cultural events and festivals.
- A vibrant nightlife, with pubs, bars, clubs, night cruises– Hong Kong knows how to party and it’s easy to join in.
- Over 260 outlying islands, most of which are uninhabited, offer you the chance to leave the city behind and explore their charm.
See & Do
Is there anything more iconic of Hong Kong than its spectacular skyline? With a mix of soaring skyscrapers and traditional low-rise buildings, this is one of Asia's most famous cityscapes and is definitely best appreciated from the water. Take the Star Ferry, one of Hong Kong’s institutions on its 60-minute route around the Victoria Harbour via Kowloon, which is dazzling as the sun goes down and hits the glass of Central’s skyscrapers. Or if you prefer, make sure you’re on board for the ‘Symphony of Lights’ light show, a blend of classical music with immense illumination, which takes over the skyline at exactly 8pm daily.
Those who prefer to stay in dry land, should clamber to the top of Victoria Peak on the old-style funicular, the Peak Tram for unrivalled views across the bay – The Peak Tower and The Peak Galleria have outstanding observation decks. Hong Kong’s highest point sits amid lush trees, with secluded pavilions and parks, and with the twinkling lights of the city spread below.
And if you simply love to wander, a walk around Old Town Central (an area covering the unique sites in Central and Sheung Wan) is the ideal way to enjoy the amazing diversity that Hong Kong has to offer. This compact area has everything from colonial features and historic architecture, to hip and modern restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Self-guided walks let you explore the heart of the neighbourhood – the history-steeped area outlined by Wyndham Street, Caine Road, Possession Street, and Queen's Road Central, with Hollywood Road, one of the first roads built in the colonial era, coursing through the middle. Alternatively, the Mid-Level Escalators allow you to take a leisurely climb up through this affluent district, home to a string of excellent bars, restaurants, and shops.
If you’re an intrepid shopper, start by visiting Central’s Li Yuen street or Causeway Bay’s Jardine’s Crescent. Or spend a day at Stanley Market before heading over to Kowloon and lose yourself among the stalls of the Temple Street Night Market, with its clothes, trinkets, and antiques all up for grabs. But if you prefer to shop in the world’s most prestigious designer stores, Tsim Sha Tsui’s Canton Rod Road or Hysan Avenue on Hong Kong Island are the city’s hottest spots for style and elegance.
And no matter what month you will visit, you’re guaranteed to find cultural events happening somewhere in the city - from a colourful Chinese New Year parade to an entire month dedicated to gourmet.
Eat & Drink
With over 12,000 restaurants to choose from, and many open-air food stalls, Hong Kong is essentially a foodie’s paradise. You can feast on world-class food and drink or eat like a local and dish out on Hong Kong’s many native flavours.
Hong Kong’s Dai Pai Dongs, open–air food stalls, are inescapable and serve the very best Cantonese food in the city. The narrow strip along Graham Street, running up to the Mid–Levels, is an essential stop off. Try the eggs with shrimp or beef and tomatoes. Across the water in Kowloon, Dai Pai Dongs run parallel to the Temple Street Night Market, serving even more Cantonese delicacies.
If you’d rather eat inside, then Maxim’s Palace City Hall is a true institution; its huge dining room is traversed by waiters pushing trolleys laden with steaming dumplings. Simply ask for what takes your fancy. But you can also experience a modern take on classic Cantonese food in one of Hong Kong’s many contemporary restaurants.
If you wish to leave the city pace behind, then strap on a backpack and explore the charm and tranquillity of Hong Kong’s outlying islands. In Lantau Island, you can visit The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, take a 25-minute cable car ride from Tung Chung, or check out the Ngong Ping Piazz - a Buddhist-themed Square that links Lantau Island’s spiritual attractions. In Lamma Island, visit the Kamikaze Cave, a secluded reminder of the dark days of the Second World War, or the Tin Hau Temple at Yung Shue Wan, and make sure to unwind at Hung Shing Yeh Beach, with its clean water and powdery sand. The small Cheung Chau Island has no motorised traffic, making it a welcome getaway for strollers - wander around the seafront and relax at Tung Wan and Kwun Yam beaches.
Flying with THAI
With two daily departures from London and 4 departures onwards from Bangkok, flying to Hong Kong with THAI has never been smoother. Fly on our state-of-the-art flagship A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft featuring the latest in design and technology, and experience our legendary Royal Orchid Service. THAI promises you a truly comfortable and pleasurable flying experience, with a distinctively serene Thai style.