A Guide to Hong Kong

City of the future, boasting an astonishing blend of beautiful mountain parks and vibrant modern architecture. Crowded, chaotic, but always charismatic, Hong Kong remains Asia’s ultimate city sensation.

By the numbers

Population: 7,374,900

Elevation: 0 meters – 957 meters / 0 feet – 3140 feet

Time Zone: GMT +8; Hong Kong Time (HKT)

Weather

Average Annual Rainfall: 239.8 centimetres / 94.4 inches

Average January Temperature: 16.3ºC / 61.3ºF

Average July Temperature: 28.8ºC / 83.3ºF

Did you know?

The large bronze Buddha on Lantau Island is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world, at 34 meters (111.5 feet) tall.

Though most people may think of Hong Kong as just Hong Kong Island, there are actually 263 islands in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Hong Kong is located in southeastern China, right on the South China Sea and Kowloon Bay. Hong Kong is about 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) south of Shenzhen and 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of Macau.

District Guide

More than seven million people are crammed into the mere 1,100 square kilometres (425 square miles) that make up the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR). Not just a city of skyscrapers, there is also lush countryside, glorious national parks, and small rural communities to be found here.
Tourist peak tram in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Island
Victoria Peak is the highest point on the island with world-famous views north over the city as well as over the greener southern slopes down to the South China Sea. Clinging onto the northern slopes of the peak are the prestigious Mid-levels, full of tightly packed, towering blocks of flats. The Mid-levels’ steep slopes are best negotiated using the Peak Tram or the Mid-levels Escalator.

Colonial history and modern architecture vie for attention in Central, the city’s vibrant financial hub. At the end of the business day, offices empty as the multitude of international eateries and bars in Lan Kwai Fong and Soho fill with revellers. Almost an extension of Central, Admiralty plays host to the glitzy Pacific Place shopping and hotel complex. For a little rest, Hong Kong Park is a must.

The old districts of Western and Sheung Wan, with Des Voeux Road West and Western Market in their midst, portray a more traditional scene with shops selling anything and everything Chinese.

Wanchai is busy, even after the demise of Suzie Wong. The restaurant and club scene centres around Lockhart Road. The Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts caters to more cerebral entertainment while the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the site of the 1997 handover ceremony of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China, sees more trade fairs and rock concerts.

Happy Valley is home to the Happy Valley Racecourse, with the Queen Elizabeth Stadium nearby. Just across Leighton Hill there is the Hong Kong Stadium, venue of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens and other sporting events. Causeway Bay is where Hong Kongers go to shop. Beyond the shopping malls there is Victoria Park, the Tin Hau Temple, and the daily boom of the Noon Day Gun. Further along the coast is the Eastern District. Although largely residential, it holds a few surprises.

The south side of Hong Kong Island is a complete contrast to the concrete jungle of the northern shores. Country parks, fishing villages, markets and beaches offer an altogether more relaxed atmosphere. Hong Kong’s colonial past can be explored at Murray House in Stanley, while the city’s sleepy harbour comes alive in a flurry of activity during the annual Dragon Boat Racing festival held here.

Kowloon
Kowloon is flanked to the north by verdant hills forming nine peaks, hence its name, which literally means “nine dragons”. At the very tip of the Kowloon peninsula lies Tsim Sha Tsui, a tourist magnet with Nathan Road as its focal point. Running between the Clock Tower and Tsim Sha Tsui East is the Waterfront Promenade, with views of Victoria Harbor and Hong Kong Island that are every photographer’s dream.

Yaumatei’s rural heritage is still evident in its name, which means “place of sesame plants.” Although sesame plants are scarce here these days, Yaumatei, with its old Tin Hau Temple and Jade Market, is still steeped in tradition. Famous for being one of the world’s most densely populated urban areas, Mongkok is also the place for markets of all sorts. The streets are packed with locals and tourists alike, buying everything from clothes and computer goods to flowers and birds.

Beyond these districts Kowloon becomes more residential. Noteworthy are the Kowloon Walled City, the Festival Walk mega-shopping complex, the similarly mega Wong Tai Sin Temple and the fishing village at Lei Yue Mun.

New Territories
Although the New Territories actually account for almost three-fourths of the Hong Kong SAR region, only about a third of the population lives here, mainly in high-rise new-towns.

Once a small village famous for incense cultivation, Shatin is now a prime example of such a new-town. Aside from rather dull architecture, Shatin is home to the Shatin Racecourse. The Tsang Tai Uk walled village, Che Kung Temple and Man Fat Monastery also ensure that Shatin is far from becoming a cultural desert. Lion Rock provides panoramic views over both Shatin and Kowloon, while Amah Rock is a popular picnicking spot. Tai Po still has a thriving market area with the much-loved Man Mo Temple in its midst. Not far away in Lam Tsuen is the Wishing Tree, its branches heavy with wishes written on colourful paper. Fanling is where the last governor of Hong Kong had his country residence and also where the last tiger of Hong Kong was sighted in the 1950s. There is also the Fung Ying Sin Koon. Also in the area are the ancestral halls of Tang Chung Ling and Liu Man Shek Tong, as well as the Lok Ma Chau Lookout Point with its views across into mainland China.

Yuen Long is close to the Tai Fu Tai Mansion, the walled villages of Kat Hing Wai and Shui Tau, and the Mai Po Marshes. At the foot of Tai Mo Shan lies Tsuen Wan, the springboard to the western New Territories.

Outlying Islands
More than 200 outlying islands belong to the Hong Kong SAR, but only a small number are inhabited. Amongst the forested hills and hiking trails of Lantau, the territory’s biggest island, there is the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. Lamma, Hong Kong’s third largest island, is home to a large western population. The two main villages are filled with cafes and seafood restaurants. Cheung Chau still has a lively Chinese community with many traditions. Trails cover the island and seafood restaurants line the pier. Peng Chau is small and peaceful. Dining at one of the Western-style open-air restaurants with views over to Lantau is very popular, especially among tourists.

Dining and drinking

Need a place to impress a business client? Fancy a drink after a tough day at the office? Need a romantic spot to share with someone special? Well, look no further. Here is the comprehensive guide to what is cooking and brewing in Hong Kong.

Young Asian woman sitting at a table by the window enjoying the warmth of sunlight and having meal joyfully in a restaurant

Lan Kwai Fong
As the local saying goes, “Bankers drink in Lankers.” Where else? Also known as LKF, the Fong, or as an expensive but popular place to titillate the tastebuds, this is where trendy restaurants and chic bars unite in a bustling bonanza under a common theme: indulgence.

Elite crowds recline elegantly outside La Dolce Vita, while Portuguese delights await at the Casa Lisboa Portuguese Restaurant & Bar.

From Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mediterranean, German, American to even a dressed-up version of British cuisine, from the outrageously expensive to the moderately inexpensive, populated by glamorous starlets and grungy students, Lan Kwai Fong has it all.

Wanchai
Weekend Wanchai warriors are spoiled for choice in this down-to-earth, rowdy part of town. Delaney’s warms a warrior’s heart with creamy real ales and wholesome Irish stews, and Dusk till Dawn allows the local knights and damsels to turn entertainment into an all-night vigil.

If further investigations of Wanchai are required, our sources tell us a trip to Grissini is never disappointing. Victoria City serves classic seafood platters that do not require as stringent a dress code.

Bars like the Devil’s Advocate spring up regularly and chaotic nightclubs slither to the hypnotic twists and spins of the house DJ. Nevertheless, the history of Wanchai remains untouched by trends and passing fads, a story as established as the Old China Hand, where the saintly Suzie Wong dreamed away her future, or as timeless as the Bell Inn, run by the oldest bartenders in town.

Tsim Sha Tsui
A hodgepodge of pubs and dives in the nethermost regions of Nathan Road caters to the whims, woes and wishes of the international drinker. At Britpubs such as the Stag’s Head, beer is consumed in great quantities and with great gusto. Quieter evenings can be spent along Knutsford Terrace, perhaps at Papa Razzi, but the adventurous will hit up the bars along Chatham Court. At over 100 years old, Inagiku has maintained its reputation as a destination for Japanese specialties.

One Peking Road in the heart if Tsim Sha Tsui is home to a number of remarkable restaurants and nightclubs, all with incredible views from the 30 floor tower shaped like a sail. The penthouse Aqua inspires with Italian and Japanese dishes served to the accompaniment of a harbour view. Hutong specializes in Chiuchow and Beijing style Northern Chinese cuisines.

Central Hong Kong
A quieter, more sophisticated landscape for eating and drinking, this area south of Hollywood Road deserves polished shoes, pressed trousers and freshly laundered dresses. To order a drink in a place like Club 1911, wearing jeans and sneakers would insult the Gods of Etiquette. Likewise, best manners are put to use over paella at La Comida.

Causeway Bay & Admiralty
A place where sailors roll with a nautical gait, especially after a few beers. For the best taste of Hong Kong, check out Sorabol Korean Restaurant. We are talking international, global, comprehensive, all encompassing, diverse, wide-ranging, far-reaching and, most of all, spectacular food.

Find all kinds of meat at W’s Entrecote. And anyone who has just made a mint on the NASDAQ should celebrate at Petrus or Cova Ristorante, two classy restaurants east of Central.

Other Places
Another local saying goes, “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow you’re on the morning flight home.”

Eating in Hong Kong is a taste sensation – it’s one of the best places in the world to satisfy gastronomic urges. Where else can you dine on evening Harbour Cruises against a dramatic skyline? Or take a ferry out to one of the Outlying Islands and eat fresh seafood? Or order cocktails at sunset in rural Shek O or Sai Kung? Or breakfast on Victoria Peak watching the sun rise over Victoria Harbour?

Entertainment

Hong Kong has something for everyone. From dragon boat festivals to pop music, theatre, shopping, dining, nightlife, and culture, the city hums with energy from dawn to dusk offering a plethora of experiences to suit any visitor.

Beautiful Asian woman using mobile phone while crossing road in busy downtown city street at night

Music
The proud tradition of Cantonese Opera is alive and well in Hong Kong. Considered by many to be an acquired taste, learning a little about this art form beforehand, and getting a synopsis of the plot, can make watching Cantonese Opera more enjoyable. The costumes and stylized gestures, along with the often acrobatic dancing and high-pitched singing, make for a unique entertainment experience.

There are several varieties of Chinese Opera, among them Cantonese Opera is known to have the most outstanding physical choreography. The form is now taught in a special program at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and performances can be seen at many venues around town. Civic theatres such as the Shatin Town Hall and the North District Town Hall are happy to inform visitors about upcoming shows. In addition, there is often a major opera company performing at the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival in February and March, plus regular performances at the Cultural Centre.

Canto Pop is the term used to describe Hong Kong’s particular brand of pop music – think Celine Dion meets Karaoke. Sugary and upbeat, it is definitely an acquired taste! However, if a good, clean melodic puppy-love tune is the order of the day, then Canto Pop is the answer. The best way to hear Canto Pop is to ride the local buses, on which loudspeakers pipe in local radio broadcasts. For anyone hankering after a live performance, there are the occasional concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum or the Queen Elizabeth Stadium by huge stars like Faye Wong, Andy Lau or Leon Lai.

International artists regularly grace the city’s major stadiums during sold-out world tours while indie artists find a home in iconic niche venues like Hidden Agenda, Orange Peel, and The Wanch.

Dance
Most of the city’s arts festivals feature dance as a major component. Whether it is ballet, modern dance or the traditional Chinese Lion Dance, there is usually lots of movement to be found at venues such as the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Shatin Town Hall, Kwai Tsing Theatre, and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.

The Hong Kong Ballet performs strong renditions of classical ballets, while the City Contemporary Dance Company creates modern, innovative pieces. The colourful “Lion Dance” is usually performed at the opening of new businesses, at weddings or at other events where the organizers want to ward off evil spirits. Chinese New Year is a great time to see a lion dance on the street or near a temple.

Theatre
Aside from the many major international touring productions that stop off in Hong Kong, there is a lot going on in the local theatre scene, both in Cantonese and English. The Fringe Club is the hub of theatre activity in town. It also puts on the annual City Festival, a multi-disciplinary festival that features a blend of up-and-coming theatre artists with more well-known performers. In addition, the Kwai Tsing Theatre lines up a challenging season of new commissioned works as well as classics. For an evening of cabaret or comedy, look into TakeOut Comedy Club.

Movies
Most people think Hong Kong cinema is all about martial arts. For the most part, they are right. Heroes such as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan have spawned a whole slew of martial arts films with overblown tragic plots and fast action. There is variety, though, and if you look hard enough, you might find a Hong Kong film with a storyline that goes beyond tough action. Aside from seeing the latest films, sitting in a big, comfy, air-conditioned theatre, can also be a great way to escape the heat of summer.

As well as all the usual cinematic offerings, there is a strong independent film scene, mainly featured at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, while arthouse and foreign films can be found at venues such as the Goethe-Institut (mainly German-language films) and the Broadway Cinemateque.

Museums & Galleries
From the scientific rigours of the Space Museum to the modern art installations in the galleries at the Fringe Club, from the informative and unique Law Uk Folk Museum to the bizarre (and definitely worth a visit) Police Museum, there is no shortage of cultural venues in Hong Kong. Of course, there is also the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the fantastic Marine Land at Ocean Park, and a quick stroll through Central will reveal many intriguing little antique stores and galleries, so take your pick!

Horse Races
To experience the complete insanity of a crowd in Hong Kong, a visit to one of the city’s horse-racing tracks – the Happy Valley Racecourse or the Shatin Racecourse – is a must. Intense gambling and socializing mixed with the excitement of first-rate horse racing promise some edge-of-the-seat thrills.

Shopping
Whether you are making purchases for yourself or someone special back home, Hong Kong’s shopping is notorious for its selection of style, availability and price range. If Hong Kong is the closest you will make it to China, check out the traditional handicrafts and fine jewelry available at the Jade Market and the historic Western Market. If style and fashion is what you seek, join the crowds along Fa Yuen Street or Granville Road to window shop and bargain in some of Hong Kong’s best boutiques. For a mix of shopping, eating and people watching, an evening spent at Temple Street Night Market is not easily forgotten.

People crossing the street in the very crowded shopping district of Causeway Bay in Hong Kong island

Recreation and Sports
Hong Kong’s warm climate and surrounding waters make water sports and beach activities a major pull. The Stanley Beach Water Sports Complex is ideal for a day of fun near the beaches while hiking a portion of the Lantau Trail offers excellent views of the city and a chance to escape into the greener side of Hong Kong. Trips to the gorgeous Lamma Island invite visitors to explore the Kamikaze Caves, quaint fishing villages, and emerald coves ideal for swimming. For spectator sports, the massive Hong Kong Stadium hosts international and national-level sporting events through the year.

Family Fun
Hong Kong has a fantastic array of activities for all ages, including kids. The Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau brings all the Disney favorites to life along with fun rides and themed parks like Adventureland and Toy Story Land. Another long standing favorite for visitors is Ocean Park while The Peak offers several great attractions too like Madame Tussauds. The city also has plenty of parks, zoos and aquariums like the Hong Kong Park and Zoological and Botanical Gardens and the S.E.A. Aquarium where you can spend a fun day with the kids.

Nightlife
Hong Kong’s nightlife is notorious for lasting through the small hours of the morning. Live music and guest DJs are a draw at Dragon-I while the people watching from the terrace of Wagyu is an entertainment unto itself. A well poured drink is no small feat. The folks at Blue Bar understand how to do it right and are sure to please. The neighbourhoods of Lan Kwai Fong and SoHo are known for their concentration of bars, clubs and party venues from the trendy to the low-key while across from Victoria Harbor, the rooftop bars offer spectacular neon-lit views of the city. For some of the best dance tracks in town, Volar is a favorite with both locals and visitors to the city.

Recommended Tours

Nan Lian Garden, Diamond Hills, Hong Kong

Central Landmarks
Starting at the Star Ferry Terminal in Central, it is easy to spot neighbouring Jardine House with its distinctive porthole windows before heading for the underpass to Chater Road, which comes up right outside the Mandarin Oriental.

A little east along Chater Road, centred in a patch of immaculately-kept grass with the usual keep-off signs, is the Cenotaph. Crossing Chater Road here leads to the neo-classical Legislative Council (Legco) Building, first opened in 1912 as the Supreme Court.

A short walk west is Statue Square with all-encompassing views of the colonial façade of the Legco Building and its more modern neighbours. The biggest of these is the steel and glass Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation Headquarters, which dwarfs the original art-deco Bank of China Building next door.

Just across Queen’s Road Central and up Battery Path is the Former French Mission Building, with St John’s Cathedral just behind.

Using the raised walkway a little down the road from the cathedral to cross Garden Road leads to the Three Garden Road, Central and its impressive neighbour, the Bank of China Tower. Not only is it great to look at, it is also great to look out of, from its viewing gallery on the 43rd floor. Having had a bird’s-eye view of Central and Admiralty, stop for lunch at Pacific Place.

Victoria Peak
Signposts guide the way through Hong Kong Park to the Peak Tram terminus for the journey up to Victoria Peak, which passes through the Mid-levels and its plethora of high-rise tower-blocks.

Once at the top, the Peak Tower is a must for phenomenal views of the city from a variety of viewing platforms. The Peak Galleria has equally-inspiring views over the green southern slopes of Victoria Peak. For even more photo opportunities there is also a leisurely one-hour walk around the Peak.

A visit to the Peak Lookout for tea or supper, followed by one last look over the sparkling spectacle of Hong Kong at night, adds a final flourish to this tour.

Street Life in Kowloon
To experience a little of Kowloon life, take the MTR to Jordan. Exit A brings you right up by the Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium, which is well worth a look.

Next head west along Jordan Road, turn north onto Shanghai Street and go west again along Nanking Street until you hit the Reclamation Street Market. After all that you will be rewarded with a full-on Chinese market experience in the midst of the traditional Yaumatei neighbourhood.

At the other end of this market you will find the tarpaulin-covered Jade Market just across Kansu Street, and a handful of gemstone shops around the corner on Canton Road.

No more than a short walk away is the incense-filled Tin Hau Temple on Shanghai Street, north of Kansu Street. After some spiritual enlightenment head north on Nathan Road to Mongkok and the Ladies Market, which starts at the junction between Dundas Street and Tung Choi Street.

What about lunch? Well, there are plenty of small noodle bars along the way, and if you cannot read the menu try asking for “noodle or rice in soup with vegetable,” a tried, tested and tasty stand-by!

After lunch it is time for the Goldfish Market, which is further along Tung Choi Street, running between Mongkok Road and Prince Edward Road.

The final two markets are across busy Prince Edward Road. No prizes for guessing what market you will find on Flower Market Road. At the far end of the Flower Market, follow the birdsong through an ornate gateway to the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden.

If you have the time and energy, you can take the MTR from Prince Edward over to Wong Tai Sin and wander around the vast temple complex. Or, if you are ready for a revitalizing stop, head over to Langham Place Hotel for a refresher.

The New Territories Experience
Using the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR), make your way to Tai Po Market, where there is a thriving market in the Fu Shin Street area (take along a good map or GPS). Take time to explore and you will be rewarded with the Man Mo Temple and shops selling all sorts of things.

It is best to have an early lunch at a noodle bar or at one of the fast-food outlets in the Uptown Plaza next to the KCR station before jumping onto bus number 64K at the bus terminus.

In Lam Tsuen, the Wishing Tree is quite a sight, and at weekends there is a bit of a party atmosphere. There is also a temple at the end of a small road next to the Wishing Tree.

Next hop back onto bus number 64K to Kam Tin (Po Tei Road stop – again, have this written in Chinese). Highlights of the bus ride: checkerboard-sized holdings, walled settlements, the Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden and lush hillsides peppered with ancestral grave sites.

The British Army Gurkha Base used to be near Kam Tin, and the Nepalese influence is still evident, especially in the sarongs of the women here. Busy Kam Tin Main Road is lined with a few quaint shops. Further along is the old walled village of Kat Hing Wai.

The journey back to town starts with a twisting ride along Route Twisk through Tai Mo Shan country park on bus number 51. Get off at the Tsuen Wan MTR for your train ride back into town.

History

For the greater part of recorded history, this rocky archipelago – an erratic collection of barren ocean rock – was politely ignored by the rest of the world. A handful of farmers living in walled villages, such as Kat Hing Wai, spent their days quietly watching the rice grow, fishing, visiting the temple and playing mah-jong. It was too hot in the summer, dank in the winter, and without any horseracing, things were pretty ordinary. Then the British arrived.

Hong Kong burst onto the world stage when a pragmatic English naval officer raised the Union Jack on the shores of Western District on January 26, 1841. Captain Charles Elliot had established the perfect base for the British Empire’s most profitable colonial operation: selling drugs.

Ever since Marco Polo’s account of the Silk Road in the 13th century, traders had dreamed of the riches to be made from China’s untapped resources. The Imperial Court in Beijing, however, wanted nothing to do with these hairy barbarians and granted them only limited trading rights. The British, forced to raise cash for their rapidly expanding empire, and eager to balance trade, turned to the one commodity the Chinese wanted but did not produce: opium, or “foreign mud.”

Beijing, objecting to the vast quantities of dope flooding into their country, hit back against the drug czars, destroying thousands of opium chests. To protect this highly profitable operation, the British retaliated with customary force, and thus provoked and won the First Opium War (1839-1842).

More a squabbling skirmish than full-blown war, the incident resulted in the Treaty of Nanking (1842), a diplomatic maneuver that ceded Hong Kong Island to the British for all eternity. Kowloon was grabbed in 1860, and further jousting led to more treaties and more embarrassment for the Chinese Emperor, culminating in the July 1, 1898 Agreement that leased a swathe of land – the New Territories, stretching from Mai Po Marsh to Sai Kung – to the British for 99 years.

The clock was set for the end of colonial rule, but few colonialists would have cared, glancing up at the Clock Tower on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront, that the countdown to the handover had begun when the ink was still wet on the lease. Not when there was money to be made.

Hong Kong was not an overnight success and, after mutual agreement between the British and the Chinese ended the opium trade in 1911, the 1920s and 1930s saw steady progress rather than stellar expansion. Shanghai dominated East Asian trade throughout the period between World War I and World War II, and Hong Kong remained a relatively quiet backwater. The British had busied themselves transforming their new acquisition into an extension of merry England, building such works as the Government House (1855), and the Zoological and Botanical Gardens (1864), and continued into the 20th century, building colonial mansions up and down Victoria Peak, allowing families of traders and civil servants to escape the humidity of the summer months and enjoy the beautiful views of Victoria Harbour.

So how did Hong Kong get to be so rich and powerful? In a word: communism. During the early years of Mao’s revolution (1949-1950), thousands of talented industrialists, manufacturers, and bankers fled Shanghai and set up business in cramped Kowloon quarters. The population exploded, and soon Hong Kong became a major industrial center where fortunes were made in textiles and construction. The population of residential areas such as Mongkok rocketed, while Causeway Bay, Wanchai and Central established themselves as centres of commerce and finance.

Even though rapid expansion and growth meant much of the colonial heritage was lost in the desire to build bigger and more impressive tower blocks, many places of historical interest remain, including the Colonial Duddell Street Steps, Former French Mission Building, Noonday Gun and Statue Square and the Cenotaph. European heritage, though, is just part of Hong Kong’s past. Things were quiet before the British sailed into port, but there is an abundance of spiritual sites, such as the Man Fat Monastery and the Man Mo Temple, built before or during colonial rule. In particular, on the Outlying Islands, there are temples, shrines, historical nooks and crannies, eager to be explored.

Fast-forward to a wet July 1, 1997, when the British handed Hong Kong back to China, thus honouring the original 1898 lease. The Union Jack, first raised by Captain Elliot a century and a half before, was returned in driving rain to an emotional Chris Patten. With a prince, a president and a prime minister in attendance, the sun finally set over the British Empire.

So what does the future hold for this once barren, remote, ocean rock? Well, it still ranks as the top financial center in the region with the most open markets and the most inviting tax breaks; boasts an expanding economy, specializing in textiles, clothing, tourism, and electronics; holds one of the deepest container ports in the world; and possesses an airport twice the size of JFK, capable of handling 35 million passengers a year.

Getting there and getting around

Getting There

By Bus
City Bus (+852 2881 8888 / http://www.citybus.com.hk)

Discovery Bay Transit Services (+852 2987 0208)

Long Win Bus Company (+852 2261 2791 / http://www.kmb.com.hk)

New Lantao Bus Company (+852 2984 9848 / http://www.newlantaobus.com)

By Train
Rail service to and from Hong Kong is provided by a number of local and regional providers. Train transit is offered by East Rail (+ 852 2929 3399 / http://www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/transport/public_tran_index.html), the Ma On Shan Railway (+852 2929 3399), West Rail (+852 2929 3399 / http://www.kcrc.com/eng/services/services/w_index.asp), and the Light Rail Transit System (+852 2929 3399 / http://www.info.gov.hk/td/eng/transport/public_tran_index.html).

Taxis
Colour-coded taxis are available from the Ground Transportation Center. Red (Urban) taxis offer transit to destinations throughout Hong Kong Island, Green taxis service only the New Territories, and Blue taxis service Lantau. SkyPier (+852 2215 3232 / http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/aguide/skypier.html) offers quick ferry transportation to and from the airport and six river ports, Shenzhen Shekou, Shenzhen Fuyong, Macau, Zhongshan, Humen in Dongguan and Zhuhai Jiuzhou.

Getting Around

Public Transport
Hong Kong is serviced by an efficient and comprehensive transit system. MTR transit (+852 2881 8888 / http://www.mtr.com.hk/prehome/index.html), offers a variety of fare tickets to destinations in and around Hong Kong.

City Bus (+852 2881 8888 / http://www.citybus.com.hk) offers motor coach transportation.

Ferry
The Star Ferry (http://www.hongkongvoyage.com/starferry1.shtml) is an ideal (economically and scenically) method of transportation between Hong Kong and the Kowloon mainland.