Hong Kong City Guide

My name is Charis Rooda, I have been living in Hong Kong for four years now. I work as a freelance web developer and web conference organiser, mostly for European clients. Quite often people ask me if I have tips for visiting the city, hence this city guide! I hope this city guide will help you getting the most out of this amazing city with delicious food, pretty decent beaches and amazing mountains.  

I have tried to give a lot of general tips and I hope this is a good starting point. 
If you feel anything is missing or if you have a question, leave a comment or send me an email: charis@imakewebsites.hk

Arriving in Hong Kong

Transport

The most convenient way to go from the Airport to town is the Airport Express. 
Klook has a good deal on Airport Express tickets. When you’ve made it to an Airport Express station, save yourself the hassle and take a taxi. It’s convenient and affordable.  

See also Transport

Visa

Most people can get a visa on arrival. 

Safety

Hong Kong is a very safe city. Chances you will be pickpocketed are rather small.  The same goes for the chance of being ripped off because most prices are set prices. As a lady, I have never felt unsafe in Hong Kong. You can wear a short skirt without being catcalled which is a blessing.

Hong Kong and China

It’s complicated. 

Hong Kong is not China, but it is getting more and more Chinese. A fun post about the differences between Hong Kong and China. To visit China you need a visa

Transport

Google Maps and Citymapper are your apps to go for finding the way. If you’re in town for multiple days get an Octopus card (valid for all public transport and more, get one at any MTR station).  

Some general tips:
  • The Hong Kong MTR (metro) is amazing ;-)
  • For short distances on Hong Kong Island, take the tram. Pay upon leaving the tram. 
  • Taxis are super convenient and inexpensive. A ‘Hong Kong Taxi App’ might come in handy, because not all taxi drivers speak good English. They only take cash. HK has Uber too.
  • Buses are good too, so are minibuses, yell ‘Stop’ to the minibus driver when there is no stop button ;-). Use the CityMapper app to get the routes. 
  • Take a ferry (use Octopus again), either the Star Ferry from Central to TST or to an outlying island. Pretty cool.

Internet

Save yourself all the hassle and get a local sim. They sell sims at 711 and phones stores and are rather affordable. 

Weather

Hong Kong is humid. That means, in summer it feels a lot warmer, in winter a lot colder. Hong Kong doesn't have central heating, so it can get pretty cold in winter. Luckily in summer Airco is present in abundance. 

April - May and October - November are the most pleasant months to visit. During Chinese New Year the city shuts down and it can be pretty cold. Hong Kong does have aircon everywhere so when dining or in a mall bring something with long sleeves in summer too

The Hong Kong Observatory is the go-to website for the Hong Kong weather, yup, it’s not pretty but they have all the info. They have an app too. Typhoon season is roughly July-September. Sometimes they are fine, sometimes not so. Best to check what the locals do. 

Neighbourhoods

Sheung Wan/Sai Ying Pun

Trendy, quite westernised. Lots of cooler small boutique shops (e.g. in PMQ) and restaurants/bars mixed with nice older local things (Man Mo temple). 

Wan Chai

Great local market, some nice bars (Thaiwan, TLF) and good (western) food options around Star Street. Can get quite French at times.

Central/Mid-levels

Heart of the city, lots of bankers and white people (Gweilo’s). Also good for partying at LKF. And of course expensive shopping options. Newly opened and a must do is the Tai Kwun old police station. 

Causeway Bay

Shopping Shopping Shopping and some eating. 

Tsim Sha Tsui (TST)