Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.
Hong Kong is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being Cantonese Chinese with a long-time British influence. Today, the former British colony is a major tourism destination for China’s increasingly affluent population. It is also an important hub in the Chinese diaspora with global connections to many of the world’s cities.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China is much more than a harbour city. The traveller weary of its crowded streets may be tempted to describe it as “Hong Kongcrete”. Yet, this SAR with its cloudy mountains and rocky islands is mostly a rural landscape. Much of the countryside is classified as Country Park and, although 7 million people are never far away, it is possible to find pockets of wilderness that will reward the more intrepid tourist.
Hong Kong has a subtropical climate with at least one season to match your comfort zone. Boasting one of the world’s best airports, it is the ideal stopover for those who wish to travel deeper into the Orient.
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All Festival in Hong Kong
Chinese (Lunar) New Year : Although this may seem like an ideal time to go to Hong Kong, many shops and restaurants close down during the Chinese New Year. However, unlike Christmas in Europe where you can hardly find shops open on this big day, you can still get food and daily products easily during the Lunar New Year period. The week or two leading up to the Chinese New Year as well as the period just after the third day up to the fifteenth day are good times to soak up the festive mood and listen to Chinese New Year songs being played in the shops.
Spring Lantern Festival (元宵節) If you go to Victoria Park in Causeway Bay, you will be able to experience this traditional Chinese festival. A number of beautiful lanterns can be found in the park at this time.
Ching Ming Festival (清明節) This festival in Spring is also known as grave sweeping day. To show respect to the deceased, family members go to the grave of their ancestors to sweep away leaves and remove weeds around the grave area. Paper offerings are also burned, such as fake money.
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Chung Yeung Festival (重陽節) Is a day also known as Autumn Remembrance, which is similar to Ching Ming in spring, where families visit the graves of their ancestors to perform cleansing rites and pay their respects. As the weather cools down during this part of the year, hiking is a good activity to do during this holiday.
Christmas (聖誕節) Christmas is celebrated Hong Kong style. The city is adorned using traditional Western Christmas decorations. Many shopping centres, such as Pacific Place, offer ample opportunities for children to meet Santa. Most shops and restaurants remain open throughout Christmas.
You should expect large crowds out shopping for the Christmas sales.
New Year's Eve (元旦除夕) New Year's Eve in Hong Kong is something to check out if you are seeking a carnival experience. Hundreds of thousands of people out on the streets to celebrate the New Year is truly an unforgettable time. There are all-night services on the MTR, night-buses, and of course, many taxis. Fireworks go off on the harbour front, which a lot of people attend to watch on both sides of the harbour: Tsim Sha Tsui (Kowloon side) and Central (Hong Kong Island). The young adults and older adults decide to party with the rest of Hong Kong at the hot-spots such as Causeway Bay, Lan Kwai Fong and Tsim Sha Tsui. Many people dress up and attend private parties and others flock to the streets to enjoy the atmosphere. Police patrol around popular areas to make sure the city is a safe party-zone. Hong Kong people are not great drinkers and most of them stay dry for the night. Drinking alcohol on the street is uncommon. So visitors who drink should moderate their behaviour or risk being screened out by the police as the only drunks in the crowd.
When you visit Hong Kong
Weather--For those who are seeking warm, dry and sunny weather, the ideal time is October to December. Those who are wanting to escape the humidity of tropical climates will appreciate the cooler months of January to March. The temperature ranges from 9°C to 24°C during winter, and from 26°C to 33°C during summer. The humidity is typically high in the spring and worse in the summer, when high temperatures (usual maximum of 32-34°C) are often recorded.
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Although Hong Kong prices are still expensive by regional standards, the choice and variety is a lot better than in most south-east Asian countries. Popular shopping items include consumer electronics, custom clothing, shoes, jewellery, expensive brand name goods, Chinese antiques, toys and Chinese herbs/medicine. There's also a wide choice of Japanese, Korean and European clothing and cosmetics, but prices can be high.
As a generalisation, Hong Kong Island and nearby Tsim Sha Tsui have the upmarket shopping malls (particularly near Central and Causeway Bay), while Kowloon is the place to go for cheap open markets. Causeway Bay is home to Hong Kong's youth fashion scene, and is a good place to look for the newest fashion trends. Kowloon's Nathan Road has many shops selling electronics, cameras and gadgets, mainly to tourists (not locals!), beware that some of the business practices there can be quite deceptive - see the section Tourist traps below.
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The Miss BD Hong Kong Pageant is a beauty pageant organized by Miss Beauty Doll Organization.
All participants must have a valid Hong Kong identity card or must be born in Hong Kong (with a valid birth certificate). Miss BD Hong Kong started in 2009--Lilian Kwan (2009), and now Christy Liew is Miss BD Hong Kong 2010.
Hong Kong has a vast number of shopping malls. While some people might prefer a certain building, the shops are similar, so just head to the mall closest to where you are staying. Such as IFC Mall, Pacific Place, Festival Walk, Cityplaza, Landmark, APM, Harbour City, Langham Place, Elements, Times Square, Citygate Outlet, Golden Computer Arcade, DFS, Laforet, etc. And many streetmarkets like Ladies Market, Flower Market, Goldfish Market, Seafood Street, etc.
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The City of Hong Kong
Weather in Hong Kong
There are four distinct seasons in Hong Kong. Hong Kong can be a little chilly in the winter (10°C) and hot and humid in the summer (33°C). The best times of year to visit are thus, spring (March-May), when the average temperature is around 25°C and autumn (September-December). Christmas in Hong Kong can be a delight with a fair chance of mild sunny weather that will appeal to those coming from colder northern climates. Hotels experience peak occupancy in the months of April and October. Typhoons usually occur between June and September and can bring a halt to local business activities for a day or less. The weather in winter is usually caused by the winter monsoon which brings dry cold winds from the north. In winter the air can be cold but the sun can still burn. Expect winter temperatures to rise to 22°C on sunny days and fall to under 10°C at night, especially when in mountainous areas. Chinese New Year is notorious for cold wet weather and, since many businesses close, non-Chinese tourists will not see Hong Kong at its best. Should you find yourself in Hong Kong at Chinese New Year, you can make the best of the weather by going hiking if it is dry.
Although most buildings in Hong Kong have air-conditioning to cope with the summer weather, winter heating is something of a novelty. During the coldest days, the lack of heating and thermal insulation can be a challenge, especially at bath time. Curiously, buses and many restaurants will continue to use air-conditioning to freshen the air, even on the coldest days.
Hong Kong Night Life
Cheung Chau Bun Festival (長洲太平清醮) This is takes place on the tiny island of Cheung Chau. In the past the festival has involved competitions with people climbing bun towers to snatch buns. After the unfortunate collapse of a bun tower in 1978, due to an overload of people, the competition was abandoned. It was resumed again in 2005 with better safety measures.
Tuen Ng Festival (端午節) This is a festival in memory of a national hero from the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. Dragon boat races are typically held during this festival and glutinous rice dumplings, usually with pork fillings, are eaten by many.
Mid Autumn Festival / Moon Festival (中秋節) This festival is celebrated on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month. Moon cakes which contain lotus seed paste and duck egg yolks are a popular delicacy. Many Western people will find the traditional mooncake hard to appreciate, so you might like to try the ice-cream version as well. The festival is also known as the lantern festival and various parts of Hong Kong will be festooned with decorative lanterns which set the night scene ablaze with colour.
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Events--During Chinese New Year, whilst there are some extra celebratory events such as a lion dances, fireworks, and parades, many shops and restaurants are closed for three to five days. The official public holiday lasts three days.
Culture lovers will be able to feast on a multitude of cultural activities from February to April. The Hong Kong Arts Festival, a month-long festival of international performances, is held in February and March. The Man Literary Festival, a two-week English language festival with international writers as guests, is held in March. The Hong Kong International film festival, a three-week event, is held in late March to early April.
Rugby fans, and those wishing to party, should come during the weekend of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. There is a second round of cultural activities in the autumn lasting till the end of the year. Christmas is also a nice time to visit as many stores and shopping centres are nicely decorated and the festive mood is apparent across the city
Hong Kong maintains a separate and independent immigration system from that of mainland China. This means that unlike the mainland, most Western and Asian visitors do not need to obtain visas in advance. However, it also means that a visa is required to enter mainland China from Hong Kong. When entering Hong Kong, Macau residents may enter using their identity card while PRC citizens residing in China need to apply for a separate visit permit, except when transiting Hong Kong to a third country (or vice-versa) where a visa-free access is granted for up to 7 days. Holder of ROC passport, if having a "Taibaozheng" (Entry permit for ROC citizens to Mainland China), can be granted visa-free access for 7 days. Otherwise, a pre-arrival visa is required. Detailed visa requirements are available from the Immigration Department.
Those who require visas should apply for one at a Chinese embassy, but note that the Hong Kong visa has to be applied for separately from the mainland Chinese one. Anyone arriving at Hong Kong International Airport who requires an onward visa for mainland China, will find a kiosk in the foyer in the arrivals area that issues them. A photograph will be required and the staff will be happy to accommodate you.
Note that leaving the mainland for Hong Kong is considered to be leaving China, so you should apply for a multiple entry visa if you wish to enter Hong Kong, then re-enter mainland China.
Shopping in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is still known as an excellent destination for shopping, especially for goods from the mainland. Shopping in Hong Kong is just as good as, if not better than other well known shopping cities, such as London, Singapore and Tokyo. Prices can be cheaper than Europe, North America, or Japan, especially since Hong Kong has no sales tax (VAT/GST).
Hong Kong Night Life
Most shops in Hong Kong's urban areas open at about 10AM and stay open until midnight, even on weekends. However, there is no hard and fast rule and shops will typically stay open as long as there are customers, which makes Hong Kong a late night shopping paradise.
The Hong Kong dollar (港幣 or HKD) is the territory's official currency and is the unit of currency used throughout this travel guide. In Chinese, one dollar is known formally as the yuen and colloquially as the men in Cantonese.
The official exchange rate is fixed at 7.80 HKD to 1 USD, although bank rates may fluctuate slightly. When exchanging currency at a big bank, be prepared to pay a small fixed commission, usually about $40 per transaction. If exchanging large amounts, this commission will have a negligible impact on the transaction. If exchanging small amounts, it may be advantageous to exchange at one of many independent exchange shops found in tourist areas.
Although their exchange rates compared with big banks are slightly less favourable for you, most do not charge a commission. They may also be more convenient and faster ways to exchange (no queues, located in shopping centres, open 24 hours, etc.). However, be wary of using independent exchangers outside banking hours because, without competition from big banks, their rates may become very uncompetitive.
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Hong Kong have many museums, beautiful nature, and theme park like Hong Kong Disneyland.
Welcome to Hong Kong
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