Hong Kong is a big, bustling, modern metropolis in the heart of Asia. A former British colony and home to some 7 million people, it is a city combining the old with the new. From towering skyscrapers, traditional markets, extravagant shopping malls, temples to theme parks and beaches, there is much to see, taste and do.
With 9 direct flights a day from London, Hong Kong is a popular stopover for those traveling on to Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Asia. It is a good place to start if you have never visited Asia before. As a city it is very westernised with signs displayed in both English and Cantonese, making it easy for visitors to navigate and explore. The Hong Kong Subway, the MTR, is cheap, easy to use and spans vast areas of the city. The London Transport Oyster card is modelled on Hong Kong’s own version, the Octopus card, which is just as easy to use and can even be used to pay for things in certain shops, restaurants and cinemas.
Here are our top tips for things to see and do when visiting Hong Kong:
Visit the Big Buddha
No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to the Big Buddha statue. Take the Ngong Ping cable car up into the hills to the village and enjoy the spectacular views on the way. In the village you will find numerous tourist focused restaurants and souvenir shops, but bypass these and head to the foot of the Big Buddha statue. The Buddha itself is best photographed from the foot of the steps but it’s worth climbing the 268 steps to the top to admire the stunning views of the city and surrounding countryside.
Temple Street Night Market
Asia is famous for its fantastic, vibrant night markets and Hong Kong is no exception. Take the subway to Yau Ma Tei or Jordan stations and from there, Temple street night market is just a few minutes walk. It is open from 4pm until midnight. Make an evening of it and head there for dinner too. There are plenty of cheap restaurants and cafes that spill out onto the streets. Live seafood displayed by the bucket load and you can ensure your food is fresh as you can pick it yourself, there and then. It is a great place to sample traditional dishes and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this lively and colourful area.
For the best views of the city, a visit to the Peak (as it is known locally) is hard to beat. Take the tram to the view point at the top where you can take photo’s of the surrounding skyscrapers and impressive city skyline. Be sure to check the weather forecast beforehand. Hong Kong is notorious for hazy polluted skies so choose a clear day or night for the best views.
Vaccinations for Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a very modern city and access to good medical care should not be difficult to find. However it is vital to take precautions with food and water, as contamination can cause stomach bugs. Stick to bottled water and ensure all food is fresh and piping hot.
All visitors should ensure their Hepatitis A vaccination is up to date. If you need a Hepatitis A vaccine for your trip to Hong Kong it is best to have this booked in at least 2 weeks before travel. Read more on this here what is Hepatitis A?
If you are travelling around this great country then read of destination guide which outlines the vaccinations advised when visiting China . Whilst Hong Kong is malaria free, there are still plenty of mosquitoes there so be sure to pack a strong DEET based mosquito repellent and reapply it regularly. Contact London Travel Clinic today to book an appointment with one of our specialist travel nurses to best protect yourself before your travel.