More than 260 offshore islands with beautiful beaches, green oases and gentle hills offer pure nature – for example on Lantau , Lamma and Cheung Chau .
Asia’s longest cable car, the Ngong Ping 360 (website: www.np360.com.hk ), connects Hong Kong Island to Lantau Island. During the nearly half-hour cable car ride, the gondola offers a constantly changing panorama of the South China Sea, Hong Kong International Airport, the mountainous terrain of Lantau Island and the Tian Tan Buddha statue. The bronze Giant Buddha watches over the picturesque Po Lin Monastery.
Fun-seekers can also visit Lantau Island at Hong Kong Disneyland (website: http://park.hongkongdisneyland.com ), which is about a 30-minute drive from downtown and 10 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. In addition to the “Magic Kingdom” theme park, the Disney Park has two Disney hotels with 1000 beds.
Hong Kong is one of the largest business centers in the world and has a very busy duty-free port. In the 7 million metropolis there is a large number of luxury hotels, but also accommodations in lower price ranges, which can be used as a starting point to get to know Hong Kong, the New Territories and the many small islands. The breathtaking skyline is best admired on a harbor cruise on a junk boat, or from Victoria Peak , the island’s highest mountain, which is reached by a historic cable car. Every evening, the Symphony of Lights, a laser show on the roofs of 33 skyscrapers, lights up the skyline. Particularly interesting are the districts of Tsimshatsui with shops, restaurants and museums, Central and Western District with its mixture of East and West, modern and traditional and Mong Kok with colorful temples and markets day and night. Repulse Bay on Hong Kong Island offers a beautiful sandy beach and temple stopover on the way to the picturesque fishing village of Stanley with its colorful market, open-air restaurants and Maritime Museum. Countless bars and restaurants complete the atmosphere. Between the skyscrapers there are numerous well-kept green oases and amusement parks. The Ocean Park (Web: http://www.oceanpark.com ) offers fun for young and old on the south coast of the island of Hong Kong and in the northwest of the New Territories is Hong Kong Wetland Park (website: http://www.wetlandpark.com ).
The range of goods in Hong Kong is enormous; You can find nice souvenirs in the traditional street markets as well as in the air-conditioned shopping galleries. Many of the internationally renowned chain stores have branches in Hong Kong. Shops displaying the Hong Kong Tourism Board sign are subject to the association’s guidelines and offer quality goods. Bargaining is common in smaller shops and markets. If you don’t always want to wear off-the-rack clothes, you can have a suit or costume made to measure in Hong Kong. With the exception of some items (e.g. perfume, tobacco or spirits), the goods are duty-free. Shop Hours: Hong Kong Island (Central and West): Mon-Sat 10am-6pm (10am-8pm) 00am along Queen’s Road), Hong Kong Island (Causeway Bay and Wan Chai): Mon-Sat 10am-9:30pm, Kowloon (Tsim Shat Sui & Yau Ma Tei): Mon-Sat 10am-10pm. Many shops are also open on Sundays.
There are numerous nightclubs, discotheques, theaters and cinemas. Hong Kong’s cultural center offers a 2100-seat concert hall, a 1750-seat large theater and a 300-500-seat small studio theater, several restaurants and bars. Chinese operas, theater performances, song recitals and concerts are held here. Various cultural events are also held at the Hong Kong City Hall (dining hall, ballroom and cocktail lounge). American, European, Chinese and Japanese films are shown with subtitles in air-conditioned cinemas. Two of the daily newspapers, the Hong Kong Standard and the South China Morning Post, publish a calendar of events.
Hong Kong is known for its international cuisine; there are also authentic dishes from all provinces of China. Dining options include Cantonese, Beijing, Chiu Chow (Swatow), Shanghai, Sezchuan and Hakka Chinese dishes. Cantonese cuisine relies on parboiling, stewing and sautéing to preserve natural flavor. The food is neither salty nor fatty. Seafood is particularly delicately prepared. Meals are usually served with steamed rice. Specialties include dim sum (steamed morsels in small bamboo baskets that are wheeled around the restaurant on tea trolleys for the customer to help themselves to). There’s Cha Siu Bao (pork dumplings), Har Gau (steamed shrimp dumplings) and Shiu Mai (steamed minced pork with shrimp). North China’s cuisine focuses on bread, noodles and spicy sauces; frying is the preferred cooking method. The most famous are Peking duck and hotpot (a type of stew served in a cast-iron pot). Dishes from Shanghai consist mainly of shredded ingredients that are braised in soy sauce or fried in sesame oil with lots of garlic and pepper. Chiu Chow is served with delicious sauces. The Hakka cuisine is mostly simple, chicken fried in salt tastes excellent. Sezchuan dishes are flavored with lots of chili; a specialty is grilled meat. Drinks: As a rule, the Chinese do not drink before meals. Popular Chinese wines and spirits include Zhian Jing (rice wine served hot, similar to Japanese sake), Liang Hua Pei (a strong plum brandy), Kaolian (whisky) and Mao Toi (liquor). The most popular beers are Hong Kong-brewed San Miguel and Tsingtao (from China). Imported drinks are widely available. Visitors can choose to dine on a sampan (Chinese houseboat) in Causeway Bay, a floating restaurant in Aberdeen, a restaurant in Kowloon or a luxury hotel, depending on their mood. Hotels serve both Chinese and European dishes. Some restaurants offer a very extensive selection of local cuisine. Coffee shops and takeaways serve smaller meals.
The range of hotels is excellent. It ranges from luxury hotels, including the big international chains, to simpler hotels, characterized by family hospitality and are usually a bit cheaper. There are a number of new hotels in the New Territories offering a wide range of leisure activities. Despite Hong Kong’s large number of available hotel rooms, advance bookings are strongly recommended. This is especially true in the high season (May to November). 10% service charge and 5% government tax will be added to the bill. Rooms can be booked through the Hotel Reservations Desk at Hong Kong International Airport (open 06:00-01:00). Further information is available from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (see addresses) and the Hong Kong Hotels Association, 508-511 Silvercord Tower II, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Shat Sui, Kowloon. (Tel: 23 75 38 38. Fax: 23 75 76 76. Email: [email protected]; Internet: www.discoverhongkong.com). Categories: Hotels in the HKTA are classified into the following four price groups: High Tariff A hotels (total 18); High Tariff B hotels (27); medium-rate hotels (34); Guesthouses/Hostels (12). Fax: 23 75 76 76. Email: [email protected]; Internet: www.discoverhongkong.com). Categories: Hotels in the HKTA are classified into the following four price groups: High Tariff A hotels (total 18); High Tariff B Hotels (27); medium-rate hotels (34); Guesthouses/Hostels (12). Fax: 23 75 76 76. Email: [email protected]; Internet: www.discoverhongkong.com). Categories: Hotels in the HKTA are classified into the following four price groups: High Tariff A hotels (total 18); High Tariff B hotels (27); medium-rate hotels (34); Guesthouses/Hostels (12).
Camping is permitted in rural areas. A permit is required in the Country Park Conservation Area.
Other accommodation options
There are numerous youth hostels in the outskirts of Hong Kong. Information is available from the Hong Kong Youth Hostels Association, Room 225-226, Block 19, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Shamshuipo, Kowloon. (Tel: 27 88 16 38. Fax: 27 88 31 05. Email: [email protected]; Internet: www.yha.org.hk).
Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism; Christian, Muslim and Hindu minorities.
Social Rules of Conduct
Manners: When greeting someone shakes hands. The family name is mentioned first, for example Wong Man Ying is addressed as Mister Wong. Social gatherings take place in restaurants, not in private homes. The usual rules of politeness should be observed when sending out invitations. It is customary to issue counter-invitations. During a meal people toast each other frequently and say Yum Sing with each new course. Up to 12 courses can be served. While it’s not considered an insult to eat little, it’s considered polite to try each course. Dress: Casual attire is perfectly acceptable. Smart attire is expected at some social events and in some restaurants. Smoking: Smoking is not permitted in all closed public places such as restaurants, karaoke bars, schools, government offices, museums, sports complexes and swimming pools. Smoking is also prohibited on beaches, Hong Kong Wetland Park and public transport. Tipping: Most hotels and restaurants charge a 10% service charge, but in better restaurants you can give an additional 5-10% tip if the service is good. Round up in taxis and give small extras to hotel and toilet staff.
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Subtropical climate. In winter the climate is influenced by the north/northeast monsoon and in summer by the south/southwest monsoon. The summer months are very hot and humid, the rainy season lasts from June to August. Spring and autumn are warm with some rain and cooler nights. Changeable winters. It can get cold in winter, but is mostly mild during the day. From May to November, especially in September, there is a risk of typhoons. The best time to travel to Hong Kong begins in mid-autumn and ends in late autumn.
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