Why travel to Hong Kong?
Discover the perfect combination of East and West, modern lifestyles and traditional Chinese customs on a Hong Kong tour. This fascinating metropolis is known for its fabulous shopping, exciting attractions and stunning dining choices. With its soaring skyscrapers and vibrant atmosphere, it begs to be explored on an unforgettable holiday.
One of Hong Kong’s most fascinating tourist attractions, Kowloon, is a popular shopping, art and entertainment district. It is home to many stores and numerous traditional markets offering everything from colourful flowers and goldfish to clothing and jade. Kowloon is the epitome of Hong Kong – a multi-faceted, exciting place where traditional Chinese customs rub shoulders with high fashion, high tech and high buildings.
Why we love Hong Kong
- The nightlife is legendary.
- It is considered the safest city in the world.
- Whatever you want to buy, you’ll find it here.
- The weather is fantastic all year-round.
- Hong Kong has some stunning beaches where you can laze in the sun.
- Fascinating history and culture are waiting to be discovered.
- Modern, high tech, pulsating – Hong Kong is all of those things, too.
While Hong Kong is an ideal stopover en route to another Asian country, it is a holiday destination in its own right. Families wishing to enjoy a variety of entertainment will love exploring Disney World with one of our convenient holiday packages. Avid explorers who come to learn all about its history and culture will find Hong Kong a fascinating destination. For foodies and fashionistas who want to shop and dine on exotic cuisines, Hong Kong travel offers something for everyone.
What to do in Hong Kong
A destination as vast and vibrant as Hong Kong offers every possible type of activity imaginable. This harbour city bustles 24/7. There’s always something to do and see, whether you’re enjoying a ride in a traditional Chinese sampan or searching for silk or souvenirs in Stanley Market. Drink in the skyline from a rooftop bar, or step back in time in the ancient fishing village of Aberdeen. Whatever you do in Hong Kong, you’re in for a treat.
Things to do in Hong Kong
- Take the ferry to Lantau Island and laze on Cheung Sha Beach.
- Ride to Victoria Peak on the historic Peak Tram.
- Visit Po Lin Monastery and the Giant Buddha Statue close to Ngong Ping Village.
- If you’re a child at heart, visit Ocean Park marine park, home to giant pandas.
- Enjoy lunch in Wan Chai, with its fantastic tapas bars and hip restaurants.
- Catch the old-fashioned Star Ferry to Kowloon Island.
- On Kowloon Island, have dinner at Mott 32, famous for its Peking Duck and panoramic views.
- Hong Kong never sleeps, so enjoy Lai Kwai Fong’s fabulous nightclubs.
- Climb 268 steps to view the Tian Tan Buddha, the world’s largest outdoor seated buddha.
- Enjoy cocktails at the world’s highest bar, Ozone, on the 118th floor of the Hong Kong Ritz Carlton.
From discovering its history while you explore traditional markets to enjoying 21st-century thrill rides in Ocean Park, or shopping for the latest goods in glittering shopping malls. Hong Kong’s delights abound, and the only decision you’ll need to make is what to do first. Browse our fantastic Hong Kong holiday packages...
Know before you go...
- Hong Kong’s climate is sub-tropical, with an average temperature of 33°C in summer and 12°C in winter.
- Best time to travel to Hong Kong is October to April.
- Typhoon season is May to November.
- There are regular flights from South Africa to Hong Kong.
- The fight duration from Johannesburg to Hong Kong is around 13 hours, 15 minutes.
- South African passport holders do not require a visa to enter Hong Kong if staying for up to 30 days.
- Passports must be valid for at least 30 days after travel to Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong is 6 hours ahead of South Africa.
- Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).
- Major credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted in hotels, shops and large restaurants.
- You can exchange your currency into HKD at any authorised money exchanger.
- ATMs are found all over Hong Kong – many take international cards. There are also HSBC Electronic Money machines offering 24-hour cash withdrawal in Hong Kong Dollars to Mastercard holders.
- Most restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. There’s no obligation to leave more unless you want to reward the server.
- Tipping is an accepted custom in Hong Kong. Tip restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides at your discretion.
- Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong.
- Hong Kong’s main religion is Chinese folk religion. Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity and other religions are also practiced.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- It’s preferable to drink bottled water in Hong Kong. Bottled water is readily available.
- No vaccinations are currently required but check with your travel clinic before you go.
What must I pack?
- Depending on when and where you visit, lightweight clothing for summer, warm clothing for winter, rain gear and beachwear if relevant. Choose items that can be layered.
- Dress modestly when visiting sacred sites – no shorts or tank tops. Legs & shoulders must be covered. Long, loose pants and long-sleeved cotton shirts are best.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
- The Mass Transit Railway (MTR), trams, buses, taxis and ferries are all readily available in Hong Kong.
What can I do to be a responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Avoid single-use plastic; rather take fabric shopping bags with you and use refillable water bottles (when local drinking water is available).
- Respect each other's cultures and customs and avoid imposing your beliefs.
- Do not support animal encounters and wildlife activities that are harmful or unethical.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables and watch out for pickpockets and bag snatchers when out and about.
What do I do in an emergency?
- If passports or valuables are stolen, report the theft to the hotel/police immediately.
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Hong Kong - Sightseeing [3.1 MB]
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