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A Hong Kong travel guide – glistening skyscrapers, street markets and Asian food to suit every budget

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A Hong Kong city break combines futuristic architecture with traditional Chinese temples, lively street markets and skyscraper harbour views. Book a Hong Kong hotel to discover what makes this high octane mega-city tick.

Get your bearings

The South China Sea divides the city into Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, on the southern coast of mainland China. The hub of the city is Hong Kong Island, which stretches from the traditional stores of Kennedy Town in the west, past Central and Admiralty’s glistening towers and colonial landmarks to the neon-lit streets of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay. Kowloon’s main artery Nathan Road runs north from hotel-hub Tsim Sha Tsui through Jordan and Mong Kok, loved for their famous street markets. Further north are the New Territories’ jagged peaks and ancestral homes, remnants of an ancient Chinese clan system. Outlying islands like Lantau are scattered to the east and west.

Markets and malls

Locals look for everything from birds and goldfish to bargain clothes in the street markets around Jordan and Mong Kok in Kowloon. Over in Hong Kong Island’s Central you’ll find souvenirs in The Lanes street market, international designerwear in glossy malls, and quirky boutiques around Hollywood Road. Landmark department stores like chic Japanese Seibu and good-value Sogo dot Causeway Bay further east.

Temples and monasteries

Tiny incense-filled Man Mo Temple hides among Hollywood Road’s antiques shops in Central, and vast Wong Tai Sin Temple draws worshippers and sightseers to northern Kowloon. Further north in the New Territories, towards the border with China, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery’s steep steps are lined with icons, near Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the place to watch Cantonese Opera. The hilltop Big Buddha statue at Po Lin Monastery watches over Lantau island.

Local tasty treats

In top Hong Kong hotels around Central, it can be hard to choose between spicy Sichuan and classic French restaurants – Hong Kong’s dining scene is famed for its diversity. Sample top local Cantonese treats at street stalls or flavours from all over South East Asia and beyond at tempting restaurants. Locals lunch on dim sum, tiny dumplings or parcels of pork, seafood or vegetables, at city-wide restaurants catering for all budgets. Thai restaurants fill with office workers at lunchtimes in the pedestrian walkways of Wan Chai. Over the water on the Kowloon side, the aroma of spicy Indian food wafts from Tsim Sha Tsui’s good-value little restaurants.

Hong Kong nights

Hong Kong buzzes after dark. The bar and club scene centres on cobbled Lan Kwai Fong in Central, with bijoux bars and lively nightclubs. Nearby SoHo is where the jetset gather in hidden-away cocktail bars. Soak up neon-lit harbour views at top-floor bars along Tsim Sha TsuiTemple Street Night Market is a unique Hong Kong experience, with food stalls, souvenir hunting and Cantonese Opera until midnight.

Budget fun

A trip over Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry, shuttling between Tsim Sha Tsui and Central, is one of Hong Kong’s great bargains. Or take a top-deck seat on the rumbling tram across Hong Kong Island for street scenes without aching feet. Beaches fringe outlying islands Lantau and Lamma for sunny picnics and country walks.