Asia, China, Hongkong ,

Hong Kong Travel Guide – Deals

Quick Links:

A – Overview

B – City information

C – Attractions & Things To Do

D – Family Fun Attractions

E – Events & Entertainments

F – Hong Kong Travel Deals 

A – Overview

Whether flying over the city or navigating into the port via the temperamental South China Sea, the magnificent islands suddenly take form as if in a mirage, enticing the traveler to a closer look at this oasis of ancient tradition commingled with sleek, corporate towers . 

 Hong kong overview

Hong Kong Island, (originally named Victoria Island in honor of the queen), covers only 30 square miles and has a population of 7 million.  Its two islands, Hong Kong and Kowloon are separated by Victoria Harbor.  Most of the cultural attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas are located along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island and at Kowloon’s southern tip.  Between Hong Kong and the border with the rest of China are the New Territories which provide a mountainous scenic backdrop to a number of modern suburban towns.    The other major islands in the area are Lamma, Cheung, Chau, and Lantau (site of Hong Kong’s vast and impressive airport as well as Hong Kong Disneyland.  Beyond these is Macau.  There are actually more than 266 islands in all. 

 

With 150 years of British colonial influence woven into 5,000 years of Chinese culture, Hong Kong is a city of contrasts. From the ancient Chinese temples, to an upbeat entertainment district with its karaoke bars, Hong Kong truly enchants visitors with everything from food, art, architecture, to the traditional festivals. Since reunification with China, Hong Kong has been classified as a Special Zone operated by China under a “one country, two systems policy.”  This has eased the transition and has kept the economy thriving. 

 

The Central District of Hong Kong is a glittering, modern business center.   It features the stock exchange, deluxe hotels, and up market shops. The Western District is filled with visitor delights such as bountiful markets, shopping, restaurants, and traditional shop houses.

 

Rising high above downtown is Victoria Peak, an exclusive residential area located on the highest (1,805 feet) range of hills on the island. The Peak offers visitors a varied selection of restaurants and spectacular views. Ride the 1888 tram to the summit.  Located east of the Central district is the Wanchai District, famed for its nightlife and the perfect place for a night on the town.

 

The city is built on steep terrain offering many outstanding views as well as walking challenges.    One of the city’s most unusual commuter routes is a half-mile series of escalators known as the Mid-Levels Escalator Link which brings workers from he Mid-Levels district to the Central district in the morning and back at night.  The route passes the green Jaima Mosque and fashionable Staunton Street.

 

The Hong Kong Museum of Art displays a fine collection of Chinese art and Man Mo Temple is a classic Taoist temple dedicated to Man, a god of literature and Mo, a god of war.  Located on the northeast corner of the island, the area offers a wide range of markets, cafes, and a ferry pier. While visiting Hong Kong, make an escape to the beaches of Shek O. Shek O, a pleasant seaside village, offers hiking excursions on hilly trails and a stunning view of the coast.

 

There is simply is no other place quite like Hong Kong! The sounds, scents, and excitement will leave a vivid impression. Hong Kong has a reputation as one of the world’s greatest shopping cities and is an amazing urban bazaar and  a shopper’s paradise. Hong Kong offers a rich nightlife, diverse sightseeing, and a tradition of cultural heritage.

 

Experience a journey to Hong Kong, and be sure to plan to spend at least a week to explore its wonders.  You will partake of a mosaic of thrilling experiences, memorable adventures, and pure serenity

B – City information

Population: 7 million

Time Zone:  Hong Kong is 13 hours ahead of New York City and 16 hours ahead of Los Angeles.  When it is 12:00 noon in New York City, it is 1:00AM the following day in Hong Kong. 

 

Average Temperatures:

 

 Average Temperatures:

Month

High

Low

January

64F

56F

February

63F

55F

March

67F

60F

April

75F

67F

May

82F

74F

June

85F

78F

July

87F

78F

August

87F

78F

September

87F

78F

October

81F

73F

November

74F

65F

December

68F

59F

 

When to Visit

From October to mid-December, the days are warm and the nights are cool and comfortable.  From June to September the weather is very hot and humid, and typhoons sometimes develop from July-September. There s an average of nearly 16 inches of rain during this time. January- March brings pleasant, slightly cooler weather with occasional cold spells.  From March-June the weather is warm, but it is often rainy. 

 

Holidays

 

January 1                      New Year’s Day

January/February:          Chinese Lunar New Year

Spring                          Good Friday; Easter Monday

April or Early May:         Birthday of Lord Buddha

Early April                     Ching Ming Festival

1 May:                          Labor Day

Mid-Late June               Dragon Boat Festival

1 July                           Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) Establishment Day

Early-mid August           Sino Japanese War Victory Day

Late Sept./early Oct.      Mid-Autumn Festival

1 and 2 October            China National Day

Mid-late October           Cheung Yeung Festival

25 and 26 December     Christmas Day and Boxing Day

 

Opening Hours:  Offices are open Monday-Friday from 9-5 and on Saturday 9-1.

Banks are open Mon.-Fri. 9-4:30 and Sat. 9-12:30.

Post Offices Mon-Fri. 8-6; Saturday 8-2.

Stores:  Daily 10-6 and often 10-9 in tourist areas

 

Currency

The unit of currency is the Hong Kong dollar and comes in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000.  Coins are in 10, 20, and 50 cents. 

hong-kong-currency

Electricity

The current is 200/220.  US appliances require a converter and a plug adapter.

 

Emergencies:  Call 999

Language:  Hong Kong has two official languages:  Cantonese and English.  While English is spoken widely in business and in tourist areas, it is not always understood by taxi drivers, bus drivers, or when asking directions.  It is advisable to ask the hotel receptionist or concierge to write out your destination in Chinese. 

 

Getting There

By Air

All flights land at Chek Lap Kok Airport on Lantau Island, 24 miles west of Hong Kong City.  The ultra modern facility consists of eight floors and includes three banks, a money changing facility, several ATMs, a tourist information office, and literally acres of restaurants, shops, and bars.

Airport Express

The Airport Express train (2881 8888) is an efficient and pleasant way of getting into the city.  Trains depart every 10 minutes from 5:50AM to 12:50AM for a low fare.  A same day return costs  the same as a one-way fare. 

By Bus

There is bus service to and from Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, and the New Territories.

By Cruise Ship

Cruise ships dock in Victoria Harbor on the island of Kowloon near the Star Ferry Pier and the Ocean Terminal. 

By Train

High-speed trains travel from Hung Hom station to Guangzhou several times a day.  There are also rail links to Shanghai and Beijing.  Tickets can be booked up to 60 days in advance from the station in Hung Hom or by phone.

 

Getting Around    

MTR Train

The MTR train network is fast and easy to use.  Stations have instructions in English and Chinese.  MTR maps are readily available at hotels, the airport, and at the cruise teminal.

 

Star Ferry:  Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon).  Edinburgh Place, Central (Hong Kong Island).  Sea Front Road, Wan Chai.  The ferry has operated since 1898 and can travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island in less than 10 minutes.  The views of the city are spectacular.  Daily 6:30AM-11:30PM.

 

Trams

Trams run only on Hong Kong Island’s north side.  Destinations are marked on the front in English as well as in Chinese.

 

Buses

Traveling on buses is not recommended as MTR and Ferry service are said to be more efficient and safer.  If a bus is taken, be sure to have correct fare as change is not given.

C – Attractions & Things To Do

Victoria Harbor

+852 2807 6543

One of Hong Kong’s star attractions and one of the deepest container ports in the world, the harbor is shielded on both sides by stunning skyline:  by skyscrapers and Victoria Peak on one side, and the Tsim Sha Tsui shoreline on the other. Everyday, hundreds of ferries, tugs, junks, speedboats, cruise ships, and barges pass up and down the shore, carrying people and cargo and only pausing briefly for typhoons. Each evening the harbor is the vantage point for an 18 minute (8PM-8:18PM) Symphony of Lights.  The exteriors of 18 buildings along the waterfront glow with a wide range of colors from architectural lights designed to draw the eye along the waterfront.  A narration and music accompany the display.  The narration is in English on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Fireworks sometimes accompany the show.

 hong-kong-harbor

Victoria Peak  (Che Kei Shan)

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

All visitors to Hong Kong usually go to the Peak for panoramic views of the city, which are among the most spectacular in the world, especially at night. A walk around the Peak reveals further scenic vistas over the greener western parts of Hong Kong Island, and the viewing platforms on top of the Peak Tower and Peak Galleria are a must. A tram takes you to the top. The prices depend  on the kind of ticket purchased.

 

Peak Tram

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

The Peak Tram (funicular) ascends the steep incline of Victoria Peak, offering visitors a convenient way of getting to the peak and all its sightseeing amenities. The Tram, which is itself an attraction, dates back to 1888.  New, larger cars were installed in 1989. Passengers sit back for a literally vertical ride enjoying panoramic views as the car steadily makes its way to the top. Trams leave every 10-15 minutes from the Peak Tram Station between 7am and midnight. Admission charged.

 

Disneyland Hong Kong

Lantau Island

+852 1 830 830

Located on Lantau Island (as is the airport), Disneyland Hong Kong opened  for business in the Fall of 2005. Mickey Mouse, along with his friends Donald Duck, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Buzz Lightyear, offer something different for travelers in Hong Kong: a Disneyland theme park.  Rides include Space Mountain, Jungle River Cruise, and the twirling Tea Cups . A Magic kingdom with an  Eastern flair,  the park is designed with the principles of feng shui in mind and  is filled with waterfalls and fountains. Experience the magic of Disneyland, Hong Kong.

 hong-kong-disneyland

Star Ferry

+852 2366 2576

The Star Ferry takes just ten minute to cross Victoria Harbor, either to the Kowloon or Central side. Enjoy Hong Kong’s majestic skyline as you travel.   The nighttime views, when Hong Kong glitters, are dramatic

 

Nathan Road

+852 2807 6543

Nathan Road, named after governor Sir Matthew Nathan, runs directly up to Boundary Street, the northern limit of the British colony prior to the leasing of the New Territories in 1898.  Nathan Road was once known as “Nathan’s Folly.”  Today, it is one of the busiest commercial roads in Hong Kong.  The lower end of the road is known as the Golden Mile because of the many storefront neon signs. A walk along Nathan Road leads to many boutiques, camera shops, street markets and restaurants side-by-side, occupying every inch of available space.

 

Mid-levels Escalator

+852 2807 6543

This 800-metre hillside escalator starts from Connaught Road Central, runs to the Hang Seng Bank Building on Des Voeux Road Central, then passes through the Central Market and continues to climb past Hollywood Road to the prime Mid-levels residential district. The free ride from Central to Conduit Road takes about 20 minutes and is much faster than walking and climbing.  This is the longest covered outdoor escalator system in the world, and it took two and a half years and more than HKD205 million to build.

 

Stanley Street

+852 2508 1234

Home to Stanley Market, famous for the wide variety of relatively inexpensive goods such as Chinese souvenirs, rattan products, handicrafts and designer labels,  Stanley offers more than just shopping. It also has a relaxing beach, numerous waterfront restaurants and bars, and the 18th century Tin Hau Temple. Stanley Prison, which is still in use today, is also historically important, as this is where Hong Kong civilians were held during the Second World War.

 

Mongkok

+852 2508 1234

No matter what the time of day, this marketplace is always full of people. It is the center of bargain shopping and trendy products. Bargains to be had include electronic appliances, CDs and DVDs, backpacks, travel gear and sports shoes. There is also a Tung Choi Street Ladies’ Market and other specialty shops selling all the latest fashion in town. The Bird, Goldfish and Flower Markets are also in this area.

 

Lan Kwai Fong

+852 2807 6543

Lan Kwai Fong was once an “expatriate hangout” but locals have gradually joined in the party fun. Centered around an L-shaped cobble-stoned lane just above the Central business area, Lan Kwai Fong houses some of the trendiest pubs and entertainment hangouts in town. Every year, during Christmas, New Years, and Halloween, many people dress in costume and parade through the streets, but whatever time of year, Lan Kwai Fong is definitely a  place to see and to be seen.

 

Sam Tung UK Museum

2 Kwu UK Lane

New Territories

Tseun Wan, New Territories

 

Wong Tai Sin Temple

+852 2320 2883

Probably the best known and busiest temple in the city, Wong Tai Sin was built in 1973 on the site of a previous temple dating back to 1921. The current temple is an excellent example of a traditional Chinese temple. Wong Tai Sin himself was a shepherd boy from Zhejiang province in China, who was thought to have mystical healing powers. Most people visiting the temple come to assess their fortune by using fortune sticks, and there are even some English speaking “seers” who can help visitors interpret the fortune sticks. Admission: Free (donations welcome).

 

Po Lin Buddha

Lantau Island

Temple and Museum open daily 10:30-5.

Monastery open daily 9-6

Ferry from Queen’s Pier (45 minutes)

+852 2805 1234

Although this is some distance from central Hong Kong (a ferry trip and a long, at times frightening, bus ride), it is well worth the excursion. A taxi could be considered for the journey. If the goal is to view the Buddha and the monastery without climbing the 288 steps, it would be worthwhile to hire a taxi and have the driver wait while the Buddha is viewed and photos are taken. Envisioned by the community of monks on Lantau Island, it took more than ten years to build. It is 112 feet tall, made entirely of metal and consists of a steel framework covered by a steel and bronze skin, as well as over one ton of gold amalgam. It weighs 250 tons.  Note, however,  that there are 268 steps to get to the Buddha.

 

Ngong Ping Tea Gardens

Located above Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island

This is Hong Kong’s only tea plantation. It’s on top of a mountain with only one road up and down. It offers horseback riding, barbecue pits and a roller-skating rink. The ferry for Lantau Island leaves from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier, west of the Star Ferry terminal in Central. On the island, directions to the Tea Gardens are available at the ferry pier.

 

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

+852 2530 0154

Located near the Old Government House, the Zoological and Botanical Gardens is a popular place for parents to bring their children on the weekends. The gardens are divided into two main areas: plants and aviaries in one area and animals in the other. Although the zoo is not large, it is one of the world’s leading centers for careful breeding and nurturing of endangered species.  It is also a great place to take pictures of the family with the various animals on display.

Family Attractions

 

Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village

+852 2568 7455

The first holiday village in an urban area, Lei Yue Mun Park offers both day and overnight accommodation for campers. It provides a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, such as soccer, gate ball, basketball, tennis, archery, indoor bowls, a swimming pool, climbing, and badminton, plus barbecue sites. There is also a horse-riding school.

 

Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Gardens

+852 2488 1317

Set at the foot of Tai Mo Shan this farm consists of more than just a few fields and some livestock. In the late 1940s, brothers Sir Horace and Lord Lawrence Kadoorie, set up what was to become the current farm and botanical gardens. As well as helping with local and international aid projects, the organization is involved in pioneering organic farming and educating about the environment. A multitude of displays and refreshment areas, as well as a beautiful location, make this worth a visit for kids and adults alike.

 

Mai Po Marshes

Shenzen

+852 2471 8272

Open daily 9-6

Make a reservation in advance as numbers are limited. 

The marsh, on the edge of Deep Bay, in the northwest of the New Territories covers about 3,706 acres of wetlands.  A 939 acre nature reserve attracts as many as 300 species of migratory birds.  The visitor center provides a tour and maps explaining he ecology and history of the site.

 

Bird Market

Hong Lok St, Mongkok, Kowloon

This street market specializing in birds, singing crickets and intricate cages gives a glimpse into the traditional Chinese way of life. Note: Visits to the Bird Market are not recommended at this time due to the possible threat of Avian Flu.

 

Cheung Chau Island

Cheung Chau

This little island offers walks, temples and traditional fishing villages, as well as markets and seafront, seafood restaurants.

 

Museum of Art:  Hong Kong Cultural Centre

10 Salisbury Rd, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

Art Museum featuring Calligraphy, scrolls and colonial-era art, as well as an excellent, well-presented collection of Chinese antiquities.

 

Wong Tai Sin Temple:  Taoist temple

Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon

Huge, colorful Taoist temple dedicated to a god of healing. A constant throng of petitioners and fortunetellers.

 

Ocean Park

On the south side of Hong Kong Island, near Aberdeen.

Ocean Park Road

2552-0291

Open daily 10-6

An amusement park where a cable car takes you to the best rides: the Dragon roller coaster, the Octopus and the Crazy Galleon. Or you may enjoy the Raging River, a lovely cruise on a sturdy boat. Ocean Park also contains the Shark Aquarium, the Japanese Garden for relaxing and the Ocean Theatre, where killer whales, seals and dolphins act out high-quality drama.

 

Space Museum

10 Salisbury Road

Hong Kong

2734-2722

Open Mon, Wed-Fri 1-8 (longer on Fri.) and Sat,Sun 10-9.

This museum has one of the largest and most advanced planetariums in the world.  It has many hands-on exhibits including the actual Mercury space capsule piloted by Scott Carpenter in 1962.  The Space Museum is the massive white dome in Tsim Sha Tsui, a short walk

from the Star Ferry. It’s in three parts: Planetarium, Exhibition Hall and Hall of Solar Sciences. Short films run in the theater.

 

Government House

Central, on Upper Albert Road

The Government House is the official residence of the governor of Hong Kong under British rule. The tower was added during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War II. The Chief Executive of the SAR (Special Administrative Region) has elected not to live in the building.

 

Hong Kong Museum of History

100 Chatham Road South

Kowloon Park, Tsim Sha Tsui,

2367-1124

Open Mon-Wed. 10-6; Sunday 10-7

This museum set in a park includes a replica of a sampan, the interior of a Hakka home, and a full scale replica of a street in the City of Victoria (as Central was once called).  The exhibits bring history to life.  Also an excellent collection of local photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

Botanical Gardens

Albany Road

Hong Kong

2530-0154.

The Botanic Gardens are also above Central, but to the west. Lively monkeys and

orangutans enjoy watching their visitors.

 

 

Middle Kingdom

2555-3554

Middle Kingdom offers replicas of temples, pagodas and street scenes, as well as exhibits and demonstration stalls. Get your name written in Chinese characters and see the Lion Dance in front of you!

 

St. John’s Cathedral

On Garden Road

Central, Hong Kong

St. John’s Cathedral is a handsome building, the oldest Anglican church in East Asia. It was constructed in1849.

 

Tsui Museum of Art

2A Des Voeux Rd.

Central, Hong Kong

2868-2688.

Rotating exhibitions drawn from its collection of more than 3,000 Chinese antiquities, predominantly Chinese ceramics.

 

Water World

Ocean Park Road

Aberdeen, Hong Kong

2555-6055

Contains water slides (you plunge down at 28 mph/45 kph), a wave pool, the Lazy River and a children’s area for those under age 6.

 

Hong Kong Science Museum

2 Science Museum Rd

Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon

2732-3232.

Hands-on exhibits that will interest adults as well as children.

 

Temple of 10,000 Buddhas

Close to Tai Pau Street, New Territories

Above Shatin railway station (go by Kowloon Canton Railway). 30 minutes outside Hong Kong

Open daily 8-6

To reach the Temple there is a climb of 431 steps.  Known locally as “Man Fat Sze  Temple”, this Buddhist shrine was built in the 1950s.  Grateful worshippers have donated thousands of small statues over the years.  Each shows the Buddha in a different pose.  From the edge of the courtyard there are magnificent views over Sha Tin.  The courtyard contains a beautiful tiered pagoda. Higher up is a set of four temples.  One contains Hong Kong’s second tallest Buddha statue; another the embalmed remains of Yuet Kai who founded the monastery.

 

University Museum and Art Gallery

University of Hong Kong,

94 Bonham Road Hong Kong Island

+852 2859-2114.

Open Mon-Sat 9:30-6; Sunday 1:30-5:30.  Closed on public holidays.

Large collection of bronze ware from the Yuan Dynasty as well as artifacts from the Warring States Period and Indian Buddhist sculpture. The museum houses an enormous collection of ceramics dating back as far as Neolithic times. 

 

Kat Hing Wai

Kam Tin

Kat Hing Wai also known as Kam Tin Walled Village is the original 10th-century homestead of the Tang clan, the first of the Cantonese “Five Great Clans” to migrate to the New Territories from China. The village may be modern inside, but it’s still surrounded by a moat and walls with four corner guardhouse towers. Contributions to the donations box are expected, as are handouts to the costumed Hake women before camera shutters can be pressed.

 

Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries

2 Harbour Rd.

Wanchai

2582-0200

Hong Kong Arts Centre Pao Galleries showcase for contemporary art, with major international and local exhibitions of paintings, photography, crafts and design staged regularly.

Flagstaff House, Museum of Tea Ware

 

Lei Cheng UK Branch Museum

41 Tonkin St., Sham Shui Po,

Kowloon

2386-2863

Lei Cheng UK Branch Museum is the Han Dynasty tomb dating back some 2,000 years, the oldest historical monument in Hong Kong. Also a Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) exhibition of dress

D – Family Fun Attractions

Peak Tram

+852 2849 7654

Peak Tram runs 7:00AM-Midnight

The Peak Tram (funicular) ascends the steep incline of Victoria Peak, offering visitors a convenient way of getting to the peak and all its sightseeing amenities. The Tram, which is itself an attraction, dates back to 1888.  New, larger cars were installed in 1989. Passengers sit back for a literally vertical ride enjoying panoramic views as the car steadily makes its way to the top. Trams leave every 10-15 minutes from the Peak Tram Station between 7am and midnight. Admission charged.

 

Bird Market

Hong Lok St, Mongkok, Kowloon.

This street market specializing in birds, singing crickets and intricate cages gives a glimpse into the traditional Chinese way of life. Visits to the Bird Market are not recommended at the present time, due to bird flu concerns.

 hongkong-bird-market

Botanical Gardens

Albany Road

Hong Kong

2530-0154

The Botanic Gardens are also above Central, but to the west. Lively monkeys and

orangutans enjoy watching their visitors.

 

Space Museum

10 Salisbury Road

Hong Kong

2734-2722

Open Mon, Wed-Fri 1-8 (longer on Fri.) and Sat,Sun 10-9.

This museum has one of the largest and most advanced planetariums in the world.  It has many hands-on exhibits including the actual Mercury space capsule piloted by Scott Carpenter in 1962.  The Space Museum is the massive white dome in Tsim Sha Tsui, a short walk

from the Star Ferry. It’s in three parts: Planetarium, Exhibition Hall and Hall of Solar Sciences. Short films run in the theater.

 

Hong Kong Science Museum

2 Science Museum Rd

Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon

2732-3232

Hands-on exhibits that will interest adults as well as children.

 

The Ngong Ping Tea Gardens

Located above Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island

This is Hong Kong’s only tea plantation. It’s on top of a mountain with only one road up and down. It offers horseback riding, barbecue pits and a roller-skating rink. The ferry for Lantau Island leaves from the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier, west of the Star Ferry terminal in Central. On the island, directions to the Tea Gardens are available at the ferry pier.

Lantau Island

 

Disneyland Hong Kong

+852 1 830 830

Located on Lantau Island (as is the airport), Disneyland Hong Kong opened  for business in the Fall of 2005. Mickey Mouse, along with his friends Donald Duck, Aladdin, Peter Pan, and Buzz Lightyear, offer something different for travelers in Hong Kong: a Disneyland theme park.  Rides include Space Mountain, Jungle River Cruise, and the twirling Tea Cups . A Magic kingdom with an  Eastern flair,  the park is designed with the principles of feng shui in mind and  is filled with waterfalls and fountains. Experience the magic of Disneyland, Hong Kong.

E – Events & Entertainments

Late Jan

Chinese New Year Parade in Hong Kong

One of the best places in the world to celebrate Chinese New Year has to be the island of Hong Kong. Dragon dancers are the star attraction, as the annual Chinese New Year Parade hits Wan Chai Harborfront with a cavalcade of colorful floats, accompanied by performers from all over the world.

Decorated floats, performers, street entertainers, music and dance take over the picturesque harborfront, spilling out into the streets throughout the city.  Fireworks over Victoria Harbor mark the end of the parade.

There are also amazing flower displays all over the city, with other parades and markets taking place in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island and Fahui Park in Mong Kok on Kowloon.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early Feb

Spring Lantern Festival (Yuen Siu)

The people of Hong Kong believe that during Full Moon in February (the first of the Chinese New Year) various spirits swoop above the ground. To avoid being snatched by the ghosts, hundreds of locals take to the streets with lanterns, representing everything from dragons to Michael Jackson. 

Many believe that the lanterns help guide the spirits back to the world of the dead safely, while a separate tradition tells of the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven), who wanted to exact revenge on a man who had killed his precious goose. The Emperor planned to torch the man’s property but a good spirit warned the man, telling him to hang lanterns out at the first full moon of the year: the Emperor thought the place was already on fire and left it alone.

All of these traditions celebrate good fortune, and the self-made lanterns often come with riddles attached.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early Feb-Early Mar

Hong Kong Arts Festival

The Hong Kong Arts Festival – first held in 1973 – is the premier arts event of the year, featuring dance, visual art, theatre and music. Each spring a wealth of international artists, as well as the best Asian and local performers, makes this one of the most vibrant and exciting festivals in the world.

Highlights for 2006 include a nod in the direction of Mozart’s 250th birthday. Iván Fischer brings the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for two mostly Mozart concerts (3 & 4 March), while

+852 2734 9011

 

Late March-Early Apr

Hong Kong Sevens.

International Sevens was born in 1975 as a result of an idea of the then-chairman of the HKRFU and an imaginative marketing executive – with the first game actually taking place on 28 March 1976. Initially the Twickenham-based RFU were dismissive of the tournament, so it began life as a club competition, but was soon legitimized as a national tour and has grown in stature ever since. Hong Kong’s glamorous surroundings only add to the excitement of the event.

+852 2504 8311

 

Early April

Tomb Sweeping Day

China’s Tomb Sweeping Day, every year in April, is a day for worshipping ancestors; people visit the graves of their departed relatives and burn “ghost money” (money for use in the afterworld) in their honor.

Also called Qingming Day, this tradition is observed by millions of Chinese all across the world. It has its roots partly in the half-legendary huge resettlements that were ordered during the Ming Dynasty, when thousands of families were ordered first to Konglong county before being sent to their final destinations.

Thus, to this day, many Chinese believe their ancestors came from that county. The event also appeals to many overseas Chinese who identify their own diaspora with that of the people who suffered under the Ming rulers.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early April

The Clear and Bright Festival (Ching Ming)

This ancient Chinese festival takes place 106 days after the Winter Solstice in the cemeteries of Hong Kong, where families pay respect to their ancestors with various offerings.

One of the most important parts of Chinese culture (and one which has been all but forgotten in Western society) is the veneration and honoring of the dead. To honor your dead you must provide a long line of family, hence the importance of the family in Chinese culture. Among the offerings, “spirit money” (paper money) is often burnt, and it is said that during Ching Ming some true devotees actually scrub the bones of their loved ones.

+852 2807 6543

 

Early–Mid April

Hong Kong International Film Festival

The Hong Kong International Film Festival is a large, non-competitive event playing over the Easter holidays at a number of venues. With over 200 films every year, the program is large enough to accommodate a focus on Hong Kong cinema as well as the usual international festival-circuit fare. It also includes retrospectives, an award for upcoming Asian directors and a number of themed exhibitions, gala presentations and other events. In 2006 there are special celebrations for the 30th festival.

The festival was founded in 1977 by the Hong Kong Urban Council and responsibility passed to the newly-formed Leisure and Cultural Services Department in 2000. As well as showcasing the astonishingly creative and energetic local cinema industry, the retrospective section brings out an annual themed program of treasures from the archives. The festival is non-competitive and is split into four main sections; Asian Cinema, Hong Kong Panorama, World Cinema and the archive section.

The mainstay of the festival consists of local and international premières, adhering to the trademark combination of Asian Vision and Global Vision as the twin strands. For the 30th festival, to encourage filmmaking at university, there is the Fresh Wave Joint-U Short Film Competition which, following workshops at the end of 2005, will see student films shown at the festival.

+852 2970 3300

 

Early May

Tin Hau Festival

Tin Hau is the Chinese goddess of the sea, making her particularly significant to the sea-dominated city of Hong Kong. The fishing town of Sai Kung is at the heart of the celebrations for the goddess’ birthday, although the festivities reverberate around the towns and villages of Hong Kong.

Every year traditional rites are observed at community temples, but more eye-catching are the colorful parades of floats, fireworks and lion dances and the sailing of hundreds of multicolored junks and sampans in Victoria Bay and beyond. Tin Hau’s birthday is celebrated to bring safety, fine weather and full nets to the fishermen, who adorn their boats with colorful ribbons, offerings and other symbols of devotion.

The boats, clad in gaily-colored decorations and streaming pennants, make their way toward the many Tin Hau temples. Most of the flotilla heads towards the biggest temple, Da Miao (the Great Temple) in Joss House Bay in the New Territories. There they make their offerings, pay their respects and pray for a bountiful and safe year ahead.

The origins of Tin Hau are diffuse but popular belief is that she was born the sixth and youngest daughter of a Sung dynasty (AD 960-1279) mandarin named Mo Niang, lived in a small fishing village called Pu Tien in the Fukien Province on the south-eastern coast of China and is supposed to have endeared herself to sailors from a very young age through an uncanny ability to predict the weather. Born in the eighth year of Emperor Yuen Yan’s reign (1098), it wasn’t until early days of the Ch’ng dynasty (1644-1912), about 600 years after her death, that the benevolent Emperor K’ang-hsi (1654-1722) canonized her with the title “Queen of Heaven” and mother of all boat people and sailors.

Tin Hau is supposed to quell the seas, allowing bountiful hauls for fishermen and keeping sickness away from all seafaring types. It is said that Mo Niang could walk on water if supplied with a straw mat, so elaborate mats are woven as offerings for this day.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid May

Bun Festival

Cheung Chau is Hong Kong’s largest fishing island and each May sees floating children and towers of lucky buns; the world’s only Bun Festival.

The origins of this Taoist rite can be traced back hundreds of years to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), when Cheung Chau was devastated by a storm, followed by an outbreak of the plague which claimed many lives. Believing the island to be haunted, the locals performed a sacrificial ceremony to placate the Gods and pray for their favor. The festival is now timed to coincide with Buddha’s birthday.

No Chinese festival is complete without lion and dragon dancers, but this island’s quirk is the children dressed as mythological and modern heroes suspended above the crowds on the tips of swords and paper fans. They form the float procession of Piaose and are all safely secured within steel frames, though they appear to glide through the air. The airborne children hardly move and their eyes can be half closed, not because they are in a state of Nirvana but because they are often drugged so as to endure the ceremonies. Though such treatment of children may be disturbing to a Western mindset it is such a unique festival that anthropologists are drawn to it every year and parents consider it a great honour for their offspring to be part of the procession.

At a quarter to midnight a paper effigy of the King of the Ghosts is set on fire, giant incense sticks are lit and the buns are harvested and distributed to the villagers, who, delighted to be sharing in this auspicious good fortune, celebrate late into the night.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid May

Birthday of Lord Buddha

Buddha’s birthday is celebrated throughout Hong Kong (and officially, since 1999), though prime sites are the Po Lin monastery on Lantau Island (home to the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha), the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin and the Miu Fat Monastery in Tuen Mun.

Worshippers show their devotion by bathing the Buddha statues and feasting on sumptuous vegetarian dishes. Though a day of great reverence, non-Buddhist visitors are welcome and it is an opportunity to visit Hong Kong’s Buddhist monks and monasteries.

+852 807 6543

 

Mid May

Tam Kung Birthday Festival

Tam Kung is an important patron deity of seafarers. His birthday festival, which coincides with Buddha’s, is celebrated with considerable devotion and fanfare at the Tam Kung Temple, built in 1905 in the Shau Kei Wan district on Hong Kong Island. Shau Kei Wan is also known as Ah Kung Yam, or “Ancestor’s Rocky Hill”.

Tam Kung is a local Taoist boy-god said to control the weather. He can calm storms by throwing peas into the air, or cause them by throwing water. His cult is strong in coastal areas like Hong Kong and Macau. Little is known about this cryptic figure except that he was of human origin, born in Guangdong province during the Ching dynasty, and that he is the object of devotion and veneration for boatsmen and seafarers in the region, who invoke him for the protection of their livelihood.

+852 807 6543

 

Early June

Tuen Ng (Dragon Boat Festival)

These dragon boat races were first held in 1976 as part of the 2000-year-old Tuen Ng Festival and have now become an annual event. Over 100 teams from across the globe participate in the waters around Hong Kong and its islands. After the locals have raced, the event becomes an international open. The main competitions take place on Shing Mun River, at Sha Tin in the New Territories.

The teams race the elaborately-decorated boats to the beat of heavy drums. The boats, more than ten meters in length, have ornately-carved and painted dragon heads and tails.   Each carries a crew of 20-22 paddlers. Sitting two abreast, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers are urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.

The festival commemorates the death of a popular Chinese national hero, Qu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River during the 3rd century BC, in protest against a corrupt government. Legend has it that as locals attempted to rescue him, they beat drums to scare fish away and threw dumplings into the sea to keep the fish from eating his body. During the festival period, people eat rice-and-meat dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves and many look forward to swimming, or even simply dipping their hands in the water, to symbolize trying to save him.

There is also a  Bathtub Race:  one of the most fun-filled competitions of the day. Each bathtub can have two paddlers and handsome prizes are promised to the winners.

+852 2807 6543

 

Mid July

Hong Kong Book Fair

A high-profile event in the Hong Kong calendar, the annual Book Fair at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center goes well beyond books and into the realms of electronic publishing, educational software and audio-visual learning aids.  There are journals, newspapers and, of course, a variety of books from a wide range of Hong Kong publishers.

There are more than 350 exhibitors and visitor numbers reach an impressive 500,000 over the course of the event.  The festivities and reading materials are in Chinese.

+852 2582 8888

 

Mid August

Hong Kong Food Expo

Organized by the Trade Development Council at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, this annual expo celebrates and promotes the island’s food industry to both trade and consumers. Visitors get to enjoy entertainment, demonstrations, food sampling, and kitchen tips during this five-day event.

Over 200 suppliers from Australia, the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and the United States showcase their latest products. Included are gourmet and celebrity chefs’ cooking demonstrations.

+852 2582 8888

 

Mid September

Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Festival

An ancient Chinese tradition, the Mid-Autumn Moon Cake Festival a time in which families gather to relax, give thanks, celebrate family unity and view the full moon, and a celebratory banquet is typically held at midnight.

During the festival people eat special yuek beng (moon cakes) containing any ingredients from ground lotus and sesame to various sugary fillings. In Shanghai red bean paste has always been a favorite filling for revelers.

Another feature of the festival is  the colored Chinese paper lanterns, traditionally in the shapes of animals, which decorate almost every house. Festival altars are also adorned with five dishes of round fruits:  apples, peaches etc., as these symbolize the moon, as well as family unity.

+86 (0) 10 6520 1114

 

Early December

Hong Kong Open Golf Championships

Set amidst the stunning scenery of Fanling, the Hong Kong Open Golf Championship is the longest-running professional sporting event, with many great players waiting to take up the challenge.

+852 2807 6543

F – Melbourne Cheap Vacation Packages

We offer deeply discounted rates for Hong Kong travel vacation packages,
airline tickets, hotel rates and car rental services. Build your own trip now
through our travel products:

– Get cheap airline tickets from our “Seat Inventory” source, best price and
seats for your family.

– Find your cheap hotel rates from our “Best Rate Guarantee” at over 300000
global properties.

– Rent a car at the price you want to travel Hong Kong. We offer cheapest car
rental
service from wide selection of inventory rates

– Best travel deals for our cheap vacation packages or last minute travel
deals
. We offer best vacation package rates with deeply discounted prices (up to
70% of regular rates)

– Visit our home page for all travel deals such as:cheap airline tickets, hotel rates, car rental, vacation packages and tourist attractions. Why pay more? save your money now!