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China

Hong Kong

About

It's easy to describe Hong Kong as simply a bustling metropolis, especially since the population numbers more than seven million people. But the outlying islands and surrounding rural areas provide peace and serenity. Hong Kong travel should be fairly easy for English-speaking tourists. Major signage is posted in English and most residents speak the language, as well as Cantonese. And since the city is so compact, all the things to do in Hong Kong are close to one another. The opportunity to experience Cantonese cuisine should not be missed. Choices for eating range from upscale restaurants to basic food stalls, and the chance to try specialties like salted fish and snake is unforgettable. Drinking tea is a time-honored tradition in Hong Kong. For turn-of-the-century hospitality, try the most famous teahouse in Hong Kong, Luk Yu Teahouse. Shopping is a favorite pastime for tourists as well as locals, and high-end designer clothes can be found in the Central district. And, since many labels have production companies in town, factory outlet stores give even the most budget-minded travelers the opportunity to purchase a few souvenirs. If the noisy streets and busy markets become too much, serenity is easy to find. Head up to The Peak for a bird's-eye view of the city skyline, then pay a visit to the tallest outdoor seated Buddha on the Ngong Ping plateau. There are more than 600 Chinese temples, too, where you can pause to reflect. With air service from providers like Cathay Pacific, Northwest, and Singapore Airlines, finding flights to Hong Kong should be a breeze.

When To Go

Hong Kong attracts visitors with its year-round warm weather. However, rain storms and high prices may dissuade some tourists. The most popular time to go is during national holiday times in January, May, and October, when people come from all over to celebrate festivals, causing an increase in visitors and rates. Summers are hot and humid, and while hotel prices drop, airfare prices are still fairly high. During winter, the weather is cool and dry, and there are discounts on lodging and airfare.

high season: October to November, lateJanuary to February, April to May
low season: December to mid--January, June to August
shoulder season: March, September

Weather Information

With a subtropical climate, Hong Kong experiences wet (spring and summer) and dry (fall and winter) seasons. Fall brings pleasant conditions, with average highs of 87, while winter sees cooler temperatures, dropping to an average high of 76 degrees. Spring temperatures average 85 degrees, while summer reaches highs of 92 degrees with high humidity. Typhoon season begins in the summer and can last until early fall.

Crowd Information

Hong Kong gets very busy during its two major festivals, Chinese New Year (falling in late January to mid-February) and Golden Weeks in May and October. Chinese New Year is a major holiday for the city and many people come to celebrate. The Golden Weeks attract mostly local travelers, and hotels are usually around 80 percent full.

Closure Information

Most hotels, shops, and attractions remain open throughout the year. However, many establishments close for Chinese New Year and the following two days, as many families take time off to celebrate together.

When to Save

The most expensive time to visit is during the Chinese New Year and Golden Weeks. Visitors can save money from late November through January, especially during the Hong Kong WinterFest when many shopping and dining promotions are available.

Information provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board