Get your bearings
The South China Sea divides the city into Hong Kong Island
, on the southern coast of mainland China. The hub of the city is Hong Kong Island, which stretches from the traditional stores of Kennedy Town
in the west, past Central
’s glistening towers and colonial landmarks to the neon-lit streets of Wan Chai
and Causeway Bay.
Kowloon’s main artery Nathan Road
runs north from hotel-hub Tsim Sha Tsui
and Mong Kok
, loved for their famous street markets. Further north are the New Territories
’ jagged peaks and ancestral homes, remnants of an ancient Chinese clan system. Outlying islands like Lantau
are scattered to the east and west.
Markets and malls
Locals look for everything from birds and goldfish to bargain clothes in the street markets around Jordan
and Mong Kok
in Kowloon. Over in Hong Kong Island’s Central
you’ll find souvenirs in The Lanes
street market, international designerwear in glossy malls, and quirky boutiques around Hollywood Road
. Landmark department stores like chic Japanese Seibu and good-value Sogo dot Causeway Bay
Temples and monasteries
Tiny incense-filled Man Mo Temple
hides among Hollywood Road’s antiques shops in Central, and vast Wong Tai Sin Temple
draws worshippers and sightseers to northern Kowloon. Further north in the New Territories, towards the border with China, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
’s steep steps are lined with icons, near Hong Kong Heritage Museum
, the place to watch Cantonese Opera. The hilltop Big Buddha
statue at Po Lin Monastery watches over Lantau
Local tasty treats
In top Hong Kong hotels around Central
, it can be hard to choose between spicy Sichuan and classic French restaurants – Hong Kong’s dining scene is famed for its diversity. Sample top local Cantonese treats at street stalls or flavours from all over South East Asia and beyond at tempting restaurants. Locals lunch on dim sum, tiny dumplings or parcels of pork, seafood or vegetables, at city-wide restaurants catering for all budgets. Thai restaurants fill with office workers at lunchtimes in the pedestrian walkways of Wan Chai
. Over the water on the Kowloon side, the aroma of spicy Indian food wafts from Tsim Sha Tsui
’s good-value little restaurants.
Hong Kong nights
Hong Kong buzzes after dark. The bar and club scene centres on cobbled Lan Kwai Fong
in Central, with bijoux bars and lively nightclubs. Nearby SoHo
is where the jetset gather in hidden-away cocktail bars. Soak up neon-lit harbour views at top-floor bars along Tsim Sha Tsui
. Temple Street Night Market
is a unique Hong Kong experience, with food stalls, souvenir hunting and Cantonese Opera until midnight.
A trip over Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry
, shuttling between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central,
is one of Hong Kong’s great bargains. Or take a top-deck seat on the rumbling tram across Hong Kong Island for street scenes without aching feet. Beaches fringe outlying islands Lantau
for sunny picnics and country walks.