Hong Kong Travel Q&A – The five most popular questions we receive at About.com about Hong Kong travel. We answer the questions that pop up in our reader emails most often. Each of the answers has links through to more detailed information, but if you’re looking for a quick answer the bare bones are below – from cheap hotels to geopolitical ponderings.
If there is something we missed, or you think we should add a question, drop a note in the Hong Kong travel twitter feed or our facebook page.
1. Q1. Is Hong Kong in China?
For the purposes of tourism – no. Hong Kong is administratively part of China but apart from matters of defence and foreign policy the city rules itself as a Special Administrative Region of China. So what does that mean? It means Hong Kong isn’t communist – it’s actually the most capitalist society in the world – and that the legal and immigration system is wholly separate from China. General information about China from guidebooks is not applicable for Hong Kong; this Cantonese city has its own language, food and culture. More on is Hong Kong in China
2. Is Hong Kong expensive?
As with any city, the answer very much depends and while Hong Kong does – quite rightly – have a pricey reputation, unlike other places there is a lot of difference based on your lifestyle. It is definitely possible to have an inexpensive holiday here. When people talk about excessive prices they are thinking about the real estate – priciest in the world – the five star restaurants and price of a pint. But as a tourist the city can be had on a budget. Accommodation is expensive, expect $75 for even a modest three star – but sights are mostly free, transport is cheap and food is incredibly cheap, if you stick to Cantonese cuisine. Everyone eats out in Hong Kong and restaurant prices for a bowl of tasty noodles can be as little as $2. $100 a day for a hotel stay or $50 for a hostel is doable. More on Hong Kong prices
3. Where is the best place to fly from to reach Hong Kong?
In Asia, the list is endless with the likes of Beijing, Bangkok and Singapore enjoying a parade of flights. Almost every major city in China now has flights to Hong Kong. Outside of Asia, London is your best bet with many carriers travelling both direct to Hong Kong and using it as hub, although several major European cities also have more limited connections. Both Australia and New Zealand have flights to Hong Kong from major cities. More difficult is the US and Canada with the most common connections via New York, LA, San Francisco and Vancouver. Hong Kong’s flag carrier is Cathay Pacific and they have the most routes to the city. More on travelling to Hong Kong
4. What are the must see sights in Hong Kong?
One word – skyscrapers. The city’s skyline is its biggest attraction and the city has more skyscrapers than anywhere else in the world. This designer cityscape can be seen from a number of eye popping angles, including The Peak and the new Sky 100 viewing tower. Beyond that, the Star Ferry is a major attraction, as are Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. Shopping districts, such as Causeway Bay and markets like Mongkok also score highly in visitor must do lists. Increasingly popular is the Ngong Ping cable car and the Big Buddha, while Hong Kong’s many islands – some completely uninhabited and with long stretches of golden sand – are often overlooked. More on top ten Hong Kong sights
5. Do you know a cheap hotel in Hong Kong?
Unfortunately, cheap is subjective and one man’s cheap can mean $25 for someone else $150. There are, however, some good value hotels in Hong Kong and with such a selection of hotels in the city you should always shop around for prices – promotions are common. At the hostel end of the market we would recommend either the Cosmic Hostel or the Alisan Guesthouse – for around $40 a night in a single. More upmarket and a genuine steal is the Salisbury YMCA, which is actually a three star hotel in an excellent location priced at around $130 for a double. Elsewhere, the Bishop Lei International can often keep prices at around the $100 mark for a double. More on cheap hotels in Hong Kong