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The city where East meets West

With one of the most iconic skylines on Earth, competition is fierce for Hong Kong's most sweeping vistas; but our favourite viewpoint is Victoria Peak, looking down on clusters of shooting skyscrapers towering over the harbour. We love the spine-tingling view of the city at night, when soaring black silhouettes glitter with lights, and the water's edge glows a warm gold. Restlessly romantic, this is the image of Hong Kong we have burned on our minds. 

Highlights of Hong Kong

Retail Therapy

Great prices, endless choice and bargaining power are what Hong Kong shopping is all about. Whether you are staying on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon, you're never far from a chance to splash some cash. Head to Stanley Market to pick up local handicrafts and paintings, visit Nathan Road for everything from touristy souvenirs to high end goods, try Chungking Mansions for the best bargains, and don't miss Temple Street Night Market for the lively experience.  

Find out more about Hong Kong holidays in our multi-centre guide, in association with The Telegraph.

Dining Out

With an eye-popping 11,000 restaurants, holidays in Hong Kong are guaranteed to loosen your belt a notch or two. Whether you choose a steamy noodle shop, a tempting buffet restaurant or a five-star dining room, you don't have to spend a lot of money to eat really, really well. From Cantonese to Sichuan, every region of Chinese cuisine is here, as well as Italian, Indian, French, American, Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, vegetarian, and East-meets-West fusion cuisine.

Star Ferry

Far more than just a way of getting from a to b, the ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island is a tourist attraction in itself. These green and white boats have been around since the 1920s, offering sweeping panoramas of both islands' waterfronts and skylines from their decks. It only takes five minutes, but this trip through one of the world's busiest harbours is one you will never forget.  

Statue Square

This must-see Hong Kong attraction used to host statues of British royalty, now it is home to a dazzling cluster of soaring buildings. Gaze up at the Norman Foster-designed HSBC headquarters, featured on Hong Kong Dollar notes; the Bank of China Tower, where you can take in the view from the 43rd of its 72 floors; colonial leftover St John's Cathedral, dwarfed in comparison; the Legislative Council Building, which houses Hong Kong's assembly; and the 88-storey International Finance Centre, with its Four Seasons hotel, shopping mall, cinema, restaurants, and bars.

Big Buddha

Making himself comfortable at the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, this is the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. Symbolising the relationship between man and nature, people and religion, it is well worth climbing the 268 steps to reach this 34-metre-high cross-legged giant. Reached by boat or cable car, the trip to the island is just as breathtaking, with gorgeous views of high peaks and sparkling water.

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Flight Information

There are a number of carriers flying from the UK to Hong Kong.

Direct Carriers: Cathay Pacific offers up to 4 direct flights a day to Chek Lap Kok Airport. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Quantas also offer direct flights. The average flight time is just under 12 hours.

Indirect Carriers: Emirates fly to Hong Kong via Dubai from 6 UK airports, while KLM operate via Amsterdam.

Visa Information

None for British citizens


The Hong Kong Dollar (HKD) is the legal tender and is pegged to the US Dollar. 

How to get your currency

Currency can be exchanged for Hong Kong Dollars at any authorised money exchanger. Currency exchange counters are open from early until late at Hong Kong International Airport and many located in the city stay open into the evening. ATMs operate 24 hours and can are widespread.  


Currency code



It isn't essential to tip everywhere in Hong Kong.   You can round the fare up for taxi drivers or give them an extra couple of dollars. For hotel staff tip around HK$10-20. Most hotels and many restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. 



Hepatitis A, Polio, Typhoid immunisation and malaria tablets are recommended

What to pack

We recommend you check the weather before you go and pack accordingly. Make sure you leave room for new purchases,  especially bargains found in the many markets. Comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city are an absolute must and possibly a small umbrella for the odd surprise shower in the spring and summer. If you're visiting people, then you might want to pack some small gifts which will be well-received as gift giving is part of Hong Kong culture.  

National Dress

People are style-conscious and dress well but modestly.Their taste in clothes comes from Japan more than the UK or USA and they tend to dress up for going out in the evenings.  


Customs & Traditions

When it comes to etiquette, try to keep the following in mind: 

  • It is polite to shake hands upon meeting and leaving and to ask after a person’s health or what they have been doing when you greet them.
  • Use family names and titles until invited to use their first names. Chinese names have two parts and the family name comes first.
  • Point with your hand open and not with your index finger and to beckon someone, extend hand with your palm down and make a scratching movement with your fingers.  
  • Your bill can be requested by making a writing motion.
  • It is not appropriate to hug, kiss or pat people on the back as the Hong Kong Chinese find this sort of body contact uncomfortable.
  • Winking is considered a rude gesture.  
  • Hong Kong Chinese like to ask personal questions.  
  • If you compliment someone, you will probably get a denial. If you are complimented, do not say thank you but politely deny it.  
  • Do not speak loudly.  
  • Foreigners are referred to as "Gweilo" (foreign devil) which is not meant in a personal or rude way.
  • The people here are very superstitious; so best not to mention failure, poverty or death as they can be offended.
  • Tea is the customary drink for all occasions and your cup will be continually refilled.  If you have finished, then leave your cup full.
  • At Chinese dinners, toasting is very important and if you are the guest of honour, you should smile and raise your glass and be sure to make eye contact.
  • It is considered bad manners for a guest to not continue eating as long as the plate is full and you should always leave some food on your plate after. If you empty your plate at each course, your host will carry on refilling your plate.  
  • Never rest your chopsticks in a bowl of rice, you should lay them on your chopstick rest or on the table.  
  • Bones and other meal debris are put on the table, so don’t be afraid of making a mess of tablecloths.  
  • It is considered perfectly acceptable and often complimentary to belch, slurp and make a lot of noise whilst dining.
  • It is a tradition and sign of respect and friendship to give gift. Chinese women don’t normally drink alcohol but it is perfectly fine for western women to have an alcoholic drink. 

Hong Kong Island

Contemporary style and ancient Chinese traditions
7 nights from £724

Hong Kong Island

Contemporary style and ancient Chinese traditions
7 nights from £724

View Hong Kong Island hotels


Oriental markets and modern malls
7 nights from £655


Oriental markets and modern malls
7 nights from £655

View Kowloon hotels