Hongkong is a destination that has an electric vibe to it. The lively and vibrant city of Hongkong has an interesting mix of both eastern and western cultures. Not only culture but the city also boat of its dazzling architecture, fantastic seafood, iconic skylines, amusement parks, epic-shopping escapades and banging nightlife, you name it and the place has got it. If you haven’t made your travel plans for 2020 yet, this would be the right time to do so. Why not kick start the beginning of the year with a Hongkong tour?
If you’re tempted to travel to this Pandora’s Box of a place, don’t suppress the wanderlust inside you and plan a memorable journey right away. Forget budget, forget time, forget everything else and book yourself a holiday worth taking this year. There’s so much to see and experience in Hongkong that you’d hardly get time to check your social media accounts. On any given day, you can rush to fishing villages, back-alley markets, dine at one of the city’s restaurants or simply soak up vitamin D by the beach. Hongkong in any way is not going to disappoint you. Here’s a quick guide to Hongkong in case you are a first-time traveler.
Estimated Budget for Hongkong Tour
The budget for Hongkong trip (with family or otherwise) depends on the days you’d want to spend there. Typically speaking, it can cost anywhere near INR 18,000 to INR 25,000 per/person for 4-5 days of Hongkong trip. Apart from that, you might have to bear the expenses of flights all by yourself. But if you choose a Hongkong tour package in the range of INR 50,000 to INR 80,000 per/person, you can save the flight charges as tour operators in India usually include airfare in their Hongkong tour packages. So, you might want to do your research before choosing one of the Hongkong travel packages offered by different tour operators.
Entry Requirements to Hongkong
Hongkong has a 14 days visa-free scheme for Indian nationals under which they need to complete pre-arrival registration (PAR) instead of obtaining a visa-on-arrival. A PAR is valid for 6 months under which Indian citizens can travel multiple times to the city. Visa applications have to be submitted to the immigration department in Hongkong directly. A visa to Hongkong can take a maximum of four weeks after the documents have been received by the authorities.
Best Time to Visit Hongkong
Hongkong can be visited at any time of the year. The weather usually remains calm and mild from mid-September to February-end. August is the wettest month to travel (it has a charm of its own!). February, March and April are the ideal months when there is no rain and weather mostly remains pleasant for travelling. If you have a high tolerance for the heat of July and August and don’t mind torrential downpours, you can travel to Hongkong in summers too!
There are ample options in Hongkong to stay and enjoy your vacation the way it is meant to be. Hongkong has accommodation suiting everyone’s budget. However, if you want to go for a much safer choice, then staying in a licensed guesthouse (affordable prices) would be the smartest thing to do. In case, you have chosen a tour package, then you need to contact your tour operator to get information on hotels you’d be staying in for your Hongkong vacation.
Places/Things to See In Hongkong
Top-tourist attractions of Hongkong worth visiting:
Hongkong Disneyland: When in Hongkong, you’ve got to visit Disneyland. Interact with Disney princesses in the meet and greet sessions, sing along the Lion King Performance or simply watch the parade, Disneyland will make you go nuts!
Ocean Park: The place is a mix of animals and action-packed rides that compete with Disneyland. From watching the pandas and incredible jellyfish to the 4G inverted loops of the Hair raiser rollercoaster, there are things to keep you glued to this place.
Star Ferry: Sit in the comfort of the upper deck of the famous star ferry and watch the sun sinking into the South China Sea.
The Peak: The peak tram is one of the major highlights of the city that takes you to the 1,300-foot pinnacle of Victoria Peak offering splendid views of Hongkong city, lush forest, harbor, mountain etc.
Madame Tussauds Museum: Click a bunch of selfies with celebrities and important personalities in the world.
Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade: The waterfront gives the most stunning view of the skyline of Hongkong Island. Try out Cantonese food from the restaurants nearby or simply visit the avenue of stars (just like Hollywood’s walk of fame) and click a photo or two with the name of Chinese superstars inscribed.
Temple Street Night Market: Hone your bargaining skills and buy cool stuff at the cheapest rates from this famous flea market.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery: Walk to the monasteries to invoke your spiritual side and feel composed.
Things to Do In Hongkong
From relaxing at Buddhist temples and shopping at luxurious malls to indulging in thrilling rides at Disneyland and even trying luck in the casinos of Macau, there is no limit to what you can do on your trip to Hongkong. Here we have shortlisted some experiences which shouldn’t be missed when touring Hongkong:
- Experience local shopping by visiting the mini-malls of Tsim Sha Tsui where you can buy trendy clothes, imitation jewellery and footwear at affordable rates. Granville Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Cheung Sha Wan Road in Sham Shui Po are popular for cheap fashionable clothes. For a street shopping experience, do not forget to visit Temple Street in Yau Ma Tei and Tung Street in Mong Kok.
- Learn to eat with chopsticks or hone your noodles eating skills as the majority of restaurants in Hongkong don’t offer fork with Cantonese dishes.
- Take Hongkong food tour and taste 10 different dishes of Hongkong to learn more about its culture and history.
- If you are planning to travel in May or June, make sure to attend the Dragon boat festival, the most happening event of the year.
- Walk through Kowloon park and watch ducks and exotic birds playing, little ponds and swimming pool provides relaxation from the scorching heat of the sun.
- Go hiking and enjoy seafood feast on Lamma Island that has some of the rewarding and appetite fulfilling dishes to offer.
Famous Food to Try When Travelling To Hongkong
Visiting Hongkong without devouring the delicacies it has to offer is simply a waste of time. Here are some famous food to try in Hongkong that will not only make you fall hard for the place but turn you into a foodie, if not already:
Dim Sum: Dim Sum is unofficially one of the two national dishes of the city and it would be a shame to miss an opportunity to gorge upon yummiest ones when touring Hongkong.
Milk Tea: Don’t miss out on sipping the iconic milk tea (an interesting fusion of black tea and milk) which is basically a part of Hongkong’s tea culture.
Local Snacks: Try out drool-worthy egg puffs at Mammy Pancakes, a Michelin-recommended street food stall along with other local snacks to tickle your taste buds.
Congee and Noodles: Congee is kind of a rice porridge often served with a side dish mostly noodles. For late-night cravings, congee and noodles are the best food options in Hongkong.
Sweets: Devour milk pudding, egg tarts or sweet silken tofu in desserts to complete your 3-meal course at a fancy restaurant in Hongkong. There are plenty of options for sweet dishes in the streets of Hongkong too to satiate your sweet tooth’s cravings.
Tips to Bear in Mind
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when exploring Hongkong:
- Always remember to get travel insurance before heading for Hongkong or any destination whatsoever.
- Like most Asian countries, Hongkong has a problem of Diarrhea if precautions are not taken. It would be wise to wash your hands before eating or basically doing anything on your trip to Hongkong.
- Exchanging currencies at airport can cost extra charges which you would want to avoid. Use banks in Hongkong for currency exchanges to get better/fair rates.
- Don’t carry your passport, tickets, identity card or any other document in one place.
- Buy a tourist octopus card to travel to different places in Hongkong. They are rechargeable smartcards that can be used to pay for public transport like Bus, MTR Trains, Ferry, and Trams and even to pay for fast food.
- Do not use fancy English words to show-off your linguistic prowess as the locals are likely to stare you and think of you as a fool. Learn some basic Cantonese words to communicate or speak English slowly if you have to.
- Smoking is banned in public places so you might refrain from doing that when exploring the city.
- Always carry a Chinese address of the place/hotel you’re staying in case you get lost.