The cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong is a mecca for food, business and shopping, but if you look a little closer, you can find its older self behind the modern façade, and truly get to know this melting pot of eastern and western culture.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Though Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) is located 34km outside of the downtown area, the efficient mass transit systems within the city make getting to and from this airport very simple. HKG itself has two terminals, both of which offer state-of-the-art amenities, from designer fashion shops to electrical goods, children’s toys, travel accessories, pharmaceutical and beauty stores, fast food outlets and fine restaurants, free WiFi access, and even an IMAX theatre.
Airlines that fly to Hong Kong
All the major international airlines fly to Hong Kong as it is one of the busiest transport hubs in the world. Carriers that fly direct from Australia are Qantas and Cathay Pacific, but indirect carriers include: Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Air China, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Jetstar, United and Air Canada.
Getting into Hong Kong
Taxis are the most expensive way to get into town and can cost anywhere from 190-390HKD ($35-70) to get into the city.
By public transportation
The Airport Express service runs every 12 minutes, and is a quick 25 minute train journey into the centre of Hong Kong, and costs 100HKD (around $18). If you’re on a budget, the city buses will run you to downtown for around half the of the price of the train. A top tip is to buy an Octopus card at the airport, a transport smart-card, which you can use for most public transport in Hong Kong.
Renting a car is expensive, and for the most part, unnecessary. The local transportation is excellent, and driving in this busy city can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you’re keen to have the flexibility, check out our car hire page to book your vehicle before you land.
What can you do in Hong Kong?
There are enough malls and markets here to test the mettle of even the most hardened shopaholic. From the luxurious malls of Pacific Place and IFC, to the ramshackle quirkiness of the Chungking Mansions, and the bargain hunting at the Temple Street Night Market, there are enough wares to suit every taste, style and budget.
However, the shopping in Hong Kong comes second only to its food, with so many nationalities making up this cosmopolitan city, you can find almost any cuisine from all over the world. Head to Mong Kok to try the local fare, like wontons – Asian steamed dumplings served in a clear soup, sweet and sour pork, rickshaw noodles or the hundreds of other specialty dishes this city is famous for.
Sightsee in Hong Kong
Heading to Victoria Peak up the old funicular railway is a must in Hong Kong, make the trip at dusk and you will be rewarded with one of the best views in the city as the skyscrapers light up for the evening. Spend an afternoon exploring Man Mo Temple, a house of worship to the God of Literature and the God of War, a brilliant place to find a little tranquillity in the midst of the fast-paced city. Or take a boat out to Lantau and hop on the Ngong Ping 360, a gondola lift that shows you the best aspects of the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, the centre of Buddhism in this region of the world.
When should you go?
The months of October and December are the most temperate time to visit the city, when the average highs are between 24-28°C. June through to September are only for the hardy, as the weather in the city becomes humid, and averages around 33°C with high chances of rain and storms.
What do you need to know?
Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Visa: Many travellers flying to Hong Kong will not need a visa, as they can be issued a leave of stay from 7-90 days. However, it is important that you check your individual national requirements on the government’s immigration website, to ensure you do not need to apply for a visa in advance of your flight.
Please note all information is current as of September 2015.
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