City Guide: Hong Kong


city guide main The sixth in our new City Guide series, this travel guide to Hong Kong features the most pertinent information about the area. Use the menu below to jump among sections for suggestions on where to stay, insider tips, restaurant recommendations and more.


 Hong Kong City Overview

Chinese paper lanterns
Chinese paper lanterns - © thinkstock/LeeYiuTung

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, with its own government and currency. It consists of Hong Kong Island, plus Kowloon and the so-called New Territories on the mainland. Island and mainland are linked by the iconic Star Ferry, which takes around five minutes to cross one of the world’s most spectacular harbors. Fueled by recent Chinese economic growth, Hong Kong today is thrilling and relentless. Sadly, the Chinese display little interest in historic preservation. In this neon metropolis, you invariably have to seek out the old: an opera, a lion dance, the bird market or an early morning session of tai chi.

 Hong Kong Travel Tips

Chinese New Year celebration in Hong Kong
Chinese New Year celebration in Hong Kong - © Ru Baile

When to visit, tastemaker tips and what to do in Hong Kong.

When to Visit Hong Kong

October-March is warm and dry and is the best time for a visit; May-September is rainy, hot and humid.

Tastemaker Tips

Want to experience Hong Kong like an insider? Follow these tips from notable individuals in the travel, design, food, fashion and hospitality industries.

Andrew Harper, Editor in Chief of The Hideaway Report, Andrew Harper Travel

Andrew HarperAlthough I have been to Hong Kong more times than I can remember, I always begin by taking a ride aboard the wonderful old Star Ferry. The view from the upper deck is incomparable, and the world provides no better way to spend 35 cents.

Those familiar with the city may wish to make a day trip to nearby Lantau Island to visit the Po Lin Monastery and the giant Tian Tan Buddha statue. Both can be accessed via the spectacular Ngong Ping 360 gondola cable car.

  Hotels: Where to Stay in Hong Kong

The Peninsula Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong

One advantage of staying at The Peninsula is the view of Hong Kong Island. The Mandarin is wonderful, …but the view of Kowloon is not comparable.

  Restaurants: Where to Eat in Hong Kong

Interior of Hutong
Interior of Hutong - © Benoit Mallein

Hong Kong has superb Cantonese food. Mr. Harper and our staff are particularly fond of the incomparable dim sum.


In a city of superlatives, this is a truly spectacular restaurant with extraordinary views of Victoria Harbour. The interior is filled with carved wood screens, large red lanterns, billowing sheets of silk and oversize bamboo bird cages. The cuisine is that of north China, adapted for modern ingredients and techniques (no thickening cornstarch for sauces, or MSG). Start with the delicious pork belly thinly sliced with cucumber in a chili-garlic sauce. Also consider the crispy deboned lamb chops, a house specialty; braised beef rib wrapped in lotus leaves; and soft-shell crabs in a red chili sauce. Window seats are highly desirable and at a premium, so book through your hotel concierge.

Yee Tung Heen

Decorated in a palette of soft colors punctuated by a series of dramatic paintings and specially commissioned ceramic sculptures, this justly celebrated restaurant is noted for its Cantonese dishes and delicious dim sum. Highlights from the menu include sautéed minced pork with pork skin and black beans, baked fresh prawns in a sweetened preserved plum sauce, and spotted garoupa with Yunnan ham in a chicken and pumpkin sauce. While rooted solidly in tradition, this refined cooking offers a whole new level of invention.

Fook Lam Moon

If you’ve ever been intrigued by dishes such as bird’s nest soup, abalone or shark’s fin soup, this is the place to try them. But you don’t have to confine yourself to exotica. You’ll also find other marvelous dishes such as roast suckling pig, crisp-fried chicken, baked stuffed crab, and stuffed duck “Emperor” style. Certainly, the cuisine outshines the prosaic décor. Because of its renown, the restaurant is always full, and if you are not a regular, the service can be indifferent.

Yung Kee

It is hard to believe that this thriving three-story restaurant began as a little shop selling just roast goose. Goose is still the house specialty, the tender meat served with crisp and crunchy skin and a rich plum sauce. Other dishes include shredded pork in a chili sauce, and baked crab in a black-bean sauce. This place is completely authentic.

Yan Toh Heen

The splendid views of the harbor alone make this place worth a visit, but the food is exceptional as well. The executive chef, Lau Yiu Fai, has earned two Michelin stars for his renditions of Cantonese cuisine. With more than 27 years in the kitchen, he creates dishes such as poached lobster and bird’s nest with crab meat and roe; wok-fried wagyu beef with green peppers, mushrooms and garlic; and barbecued suckling pig.

Luk Yu Tea House

Still in its original 1933 setting, this authentic dim sum restaurant has wooden booths, ceiling fans and stained-glass windows. Waiters in white coats pass by with dim sum-laden trolleys, or you can select from the menu in English. The service can be brusque, but the dim sum are very good.

Island Tang

This is the elegant sister restaurant of Sir David Tang’s China Club. Here, you will enjoy cooking that updates Chinese classics. Look for dishes such as honey-glazed barbecue pork; wok-fried prawns with mashed ginger, chili and crispy garlic; and steamed chicken with Yunnan ham and black mushrooms.

  Things to Do: Sightseeing in Hong Kong

Victoria Peak
Victoria Peak - © thinkstock/SeanPavonePhoto

Don't overlook these iconic sightseeing attractions while visiting Hong Kong.

  Top Experiences in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Nunnery
Hong Kong Nunnery - © thinkstock/Sean Pavone

Want to learn more about travel to Hong Kong? Read our in-depth articles from The Harper Way, The Hideaway Report and Traveler Magazine on topics such as shopping, food, wine, art, culture and more.

  Trip Ideas: Destinations to Visit From Hong Kong

Hotel Garden in Hangzhou
Hotel Garden in Hangzhou - © Shangri-La Hangzhou

Discover the best destinations around Hong Kong with recommendations for where to stay and dine, and what to see from our team of well-traveled editors.

Stay tuned for more from our City Guide series, detailing what to do, eat and see, and where to stay, in Andrew Harper's favorite cities around the world.

Want our full travel guide to China and Hong Kong? Purchase a copy in the Harper shop.

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By Hideaway Report Staff

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