Port Guide: Hong Kong
Port Guide: Hong Kong
1. Where exactly is Hong Kong?
Located at the south-eastern tip of China, Hong Kong is one of the busiest ports in the world. The port features two cruise terminals, each boasting an array of modern amenities and exciting attractions. Ocean Terminal is located in Victoria Harbour at the southwestern edge of the Kowloon Peninsula. Upon arrival, it’s just a short stroll to number of shops, restaurants, museums, markets and parks. The Kai Tak Cruise Terminal is newly refurbished and no less impressive with a chic café, gourmet restaurant, wine bar and scenic rooftop garden.
2. Official language (and will I need a translator?)
The official languages of Hong Kong are English and Chinese. However, Cantonese is the most common language for locals. The city is very tourist friendly with plenty of English signage pointing visitors in the right direction. Most shopkeepers, hotel, tourist and restaurant staff speak some English too.
3. Weather in Hong Kong
Hong Kong's climate is mild and sub-tropical. Temperatures can drop below 10⁰C in the dry winter season (December to March), while the mercury can rise to more than 31⁰C in the hot and rainy summertime (June to September).
4. Getting around
Hong Kong has one of the most efficient, safe and reliable public transportation systems in the world. Getting around is easy and all the main attractions are well serviced.
Hong Kong is a busy, bustling city with plenty of pedestrian and road traffic. However, getting around on foot is a great way to experience the city up close. Numerous walking tours and maps are available for those who want to explore on their own steam.
The fast and efficient Mass Transit Railway (MTR) system is easily one of the best ways to get around. It covers all major districts that run between Yuen Long and Tuen Mun in the New Territories, plus an inter-city train service to Mainland China. The Octopus Card is a smart and quick way to pay.
Buses and Mini Buses
Buses in Hong Kong are another fantastic transport option. Comfortable, air-conditioned and clean, many offer rooftop seating perfect for seeing the city. Smaller minibuses are also available. Green minibuses operate along specific routes at fixed prices. Red minibuses operate along more flexible routes and allow travellers to hop on and off at various stops along the way.
Despite the busy streets, cycling is a popular way to see the city. A network of cycling routes winds along leafy tracks with mountain and sea views.
Taxis are very easy to come by in Hong Kong. Hail a cab on the street or call ahead to have one collect you at a certain location and time. All taxis are metered, generally affordable and air-conditioned.
With such a great public transport system available, it’s best not to hire a car and navigate the traffic and busy roadways alone.
5. Eating out in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a paradise for diners of every kind. From Michelin-star cuisine to street-side stalls, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your appetite. Head to Kam’s Roast Goose for its famous plump and juicy goose dishes. Enjoy a delicious and affordable breakfast at the Australian Dairy Company. Dine on some of the best dim sum in the city at world-renowned Star Tim Ho Wan. For a quick snack on the go, grab a curry fish ball from a local street vendor. Man Fai serves an exotic selection of cuttlefish balls, baby squid, and octopus heads. The Chairman, one of the top restaurants in Asia, serves a signature dish of pigeon with “loongjing” tea and chrysanthemum. One of the oldest Cantonese restaurants in the city, Ser Wong Fun, serves up a mouth-watering menu of traditional cuisine and snake soup. And there's plenty more where that came from!
6. Bars & Cafes in Hong Kong
Bar and café option in Hong Kong are available in abundance. Try the famous crispy pineapple bun at Wah Café. Tucked away in a little-known alley, Lan Fong Yuen is popular for its smooth Stocking Milk Tea. Sip on innovative molecular mixology cocktails at Assembly. Or keep it low key at Bobby’s Rabble bar. Wine lovers should head to BarQ88, which offers 40 different wines by the glass and nearly 200 by the bottle. Second Draft is renowned for its curated selection of local craft beers and delicious snacks. Or sip on a traditional sake at Saké Beya Masu. Quinary, voted one of the world’s top bars, is also well worth a visit for its Asian-inspired cocktails.
7. Events in Hong Kong
Cultural celebrations, festivals, sports, entertainment and more, Asia has no shortage of exciting events year round. By far the biggest and most famous is Chinese New Year. Travellers who find themselves in the city over this period can look forward to a fabulous extravaganza of parade floats, star-studded performers and a spectacular fireworks display over the harbour. In March, the city celebrates the arts with Hong Kong Arts Month featuring local and international artists with exhibitions, dance, music and theatre. Savour a month of gourmet cuisine with the Great November Feast. Over Christmas and New Year, Hong Kong hosts its Winter Festival that lights up the city with colourful decorations, dazzling light shows, special restaurant menus, and the exciting Hong Kong New Year countdown party.
8. Activities in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a thriving hub of activity and entertainment. If there’s one thing not to be missed, it’s to take the Victoria Peak tram for sprawling views over Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Victoria Harbour and beyond. Buy anything you can think of at the Ladies’ Market, Apliu Street Market and Temple Night Street Market (to name a few). For mainstream shopping, head to huge Times Square and Causeway Bay shopping malls. Hop on a gondola and pay a visit to the massive Tian Tan Buddha statue on Lantau Island. Visit ancient Man Mo Temple and have your fortune told. And discover the millennia-long history of China at the fascinating Hong Kong Museum of History.
9. Hong Kong Beaches
Not far from the city you’ll find over 50 beautiful beaches and bays. Relax, windsurf or hike at laid-back Shek O Beach. Stroll along quiet Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau Island. Take a day trip to the colonial seaside town of Stanley Beach. Or soak up the scenery of pristine Tai Long Wan on the eastern coast of Sai Kung Peninsula – renowned as one of the most beautiful places in all of Hong Kong.
Experience the best of Asia on your cruise to Hong Kong!