“Hong Kong cinema is something you can't duplicate anyway.” - Martin Scorcese
Nicknamed The Pearl of the Orient, Hong Kong is the larger of China’s Special Administrative Regions. According to the Hong Kong Tourist Board, there were 56 million international visitors in 2019.
With so many people deciding to visit Hong Kong, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. Hong Kong is often thought of as the gate to Asia but with so much to do, you’d be forgiven for just visiting Hong Kong.
With 7 million inhabitants, the city has a lot to see and do, especially for tourists. Hong Kong could also be part of a longer trip to China.
So what can you do in Hong Kong? What should you see and do while you’re there? What activities have to be on your itinerary?
Here are the answers you’ve been looking for.
Hong Kong: A Green City
Despite what you may think, Hong Kong is more than a concrete jungle.
Did you know that its 24 natural parks make up around 40% of the territory?
Hong Kong is made up of 260 islands, but most of them are uninhabited, which means that you can easily travel from the city centre to nature in less than half an hour.
You can also enjoy hiking along the MacLehose Trail or the Hong Kong Trail with breathtaking views. You can also enjoy Hong Kong’s florae and faunae. For those who enjoy walking, there are plenty of walking and hiking tours and a great way to experience the destination on foot.
There are also places like Lamma Island and Cheung Chau, a couple of great islands for fishers. These are great places to enjoy some quiet away from the city and all these spots also offer some excellent views.
Once you get back to town, you might be feeling a bit peckish, which is good because Hong Kong is home to some amazing food. There are over 11,000 restaurants. Hong Kong is home to local cuisines and a plethora of international food including Chinese, Japanese, and British cuisine!
There’s also street food where you can get plenty of local delicacies and when you visit, you have to experience it. You won’t leave hungry, that’s for sure!
Furthermore, the city celebrates food and drinks every year with Wine & Dine Month. Plenty of the city’s restaurants take part with stands and food trucks.
If you’re interested in local produce, there are plenty of markets and Hong Kong is famous for them. Those at Victoria Peak and Kowloon are particularly noteworthy.
This city has quite a few tricks up its sleeves. For one, the views from the tops of the city’s skyscrapers are incredible. You can look out across the bay and get some excellent holiday photos.
If you’re interested in a trip across the harbour, the Star Ferry will take you where you need to travel to.
Hong Kong is also famous for its lights. A Symphony of Lights is a light and sound show that takes place daily. Much like the Holiday Walk of Fame, the Avenue of Stars pays tribute to the stars of the Hong Kong film industry.
Many agree that the Avenue of Stars is probably the best place to view A Symphony of Lights, too. In either case, you need to check it out.
Hong Kong is technically a Chinese city, but it has its own financial system, its own currency (the Hong Kong Dollar), and its own border force. It has all this as well as its own culture and its history.
For a long time, Hong Kong was a British colony and English is still taught in every school in Hong Kong, often alongside Cantonese, a Chinese language spoken in southeastern parts of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
In 1997, the UK transferred the sovereignty of Hong Kong to China. However, Hong Kong is classed as a special administrative region in China, which is why it can have its systems, currency, and border force.
You can see a lot of evidence of its past as a British colony including St. John’s Cathedral and the Peninsula Hotel, but what gives it away are the trams, the English street names, and aspects of the region's infrastructure that look quintessentially British.
However, Hong Kong is still very much in Asia and there’s plenty to see and do.
When you travel to Hong Kong, you can experience things that are British, Chinese, and native to Hong Kong all in one trip and the destination that feels like it's at the crossroads between Western and Chinese culture.
The second you leave the airport, you’ll quickly realise that Hong Kong is a shopper’s paradise. This is one of the best destinations for shopping in the world and while you can buy local produce in the markets, there are also plenty of big stores that shopaholics will love. Similarly, the cost of shopping in Hong Kong tends to be cheaper than shopping in London!
There are plenty of shopping centres in the city centre and also popular markets like Ladies’ Market, Flower Market, Bird Market, Yau Ma Tei, and Mong Kok.
Check for the QTS (Quality Tourism Service) label on anything you buy. Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan city where the West and East come together. Enjoy your shopping!
Hong Kong has something for everyone, which is the real reason for visiting. You can enjoy everything a big city has to offer while also being able to get out in nature.
If you'd like to learn more about Chinese languages and Cantonese, in particular, consider getting help from one of the many experienced and talented tutors available on Superprof. When learning languages, no two students are the same and there are different types of private tutorials for every type of learner, budget, and level.
One-on-one tutorials are an excellent way to learn a foreign language as you're the only student in the class and will enjoy plenty of opportunities to practise, ask questions, and converse with your private tutor. Similarly, the tutor will tailor the sessions to you, what you want to learn, and how you like to learn. Generally, these types of tutorials are the most costly, but they're also the most cost-effective since every minute of the lesson is spent helping you to get better at your new language.
If you can't find any local private tutors, you can always look for online tutoring. With an online tutor, you can be taught by people all over the world, including those from places like Hong Kong and other areas where Cantonese is spoken. Much like with face-to-face tutorials, you can get one-on-one online tutorials and spend a lot of time practising your language skills with your private tutor. However, since the tutor doesn't need to travel to their students, they can charge less than their face-to-face counterparts.
Group tutorials are probably the best option for those on a tight budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time with the other students in the lesson. While you won't get as much time to practise your Cantonese with the tutor, you will have other students to practise with and this can be better for students who'd be nervous practising their Cantonese with somebody who's already mastered the language.
If you're not sure which type of tutoring is right for you, don't forget that a lot of the tutors on the Superprof website offer the first session for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different private tutors before deciding on which one is right for you and your budget.
Before you start getting in touch with tutors, we recommend putting together a list of requirements. From there, you can find the tutors that might be what you're looking for and then start contacting them.
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