Visiting Hong Kong: frequently asked questions

So you're thinking of visiting Hong Kong. You've read's fascinating and highly informative guides to Hong Kong island, Kowloon, the New Territories and outlying islands, and know all about our suggestions for going to markets, getting off the beaten path, and for finding things to do on rainy days.

But you still have questions!

Fine, fine. Here we go with some answers.

So, what do people who don't live in Hong Kong like you batgung actually like to do when they come there?

MrB replies:

The family-B descended on HK for Christmas to check out Baby B. They said they had a good time, so I asked them what they liked:

  • Get an octopus card (buy at the MTR station) if you are going to be here for a week or more. It saves worrying about having the right change, and so encouraged them to whiz around the place on buses, trams, MTR, ferries, etc.
  • Try lots of different food. If you find yourself heading to western restaurant chains, or eating at the hotel because it is safe, get out there and try something else instead. If you’re nervous about point-and-try, check with one of the HK Tourist Association offices for some recommendations. Branto’s went down very well -- even though there is plenty of curry in the UK, this really is different. Dim Sum was another great favourite, in fact we had to have it on three days!
  • A two-day package to Macau broke up the stay in HK, and was well received too. The Hyatt is a good place to stay, and the package includes access to the pool, spa, and gym. Swimming in an outdoor (heated) pool in December was good. Fernando’s at Hak Sha Wan is a must for dinner.
  • Wandering the streets. HK is very safe, and on the island it’s hard to get very lost, so they enjoyed just meandering along the streets seeing what they found.

I was wondering how long I should stay in Hong Kong for. I’ve heard five days is enough. I was initially thinking of staying around two weeks, but if it’s going to be expensive, then I might just head somewhere else. So what do you guys think?

Mr T’s answers:

I think Hong Kong is great, as you might have gathered from material on this site, but I’ll be blunt: two weeks here as a tourist is definitely too much. Five days sounds about right to me, in fact, especially if you're here in the summer, which is too wet to afford many good days for hiking.

You could find enough things to do in HK for two weeks, but you’d be missing out on many, many other options in this part of the world, and you’d probably save money by going somewhere else for a while, unless you really slummed it here in HK.

SE Asia is resplendent with beach resorts -- I like Thailand’s the best, but Malaysia, the Philippines, Bali and so on all have good ones. If you’re more into history/heavy Chinese cultural impact, I’d advise a trip up to Beijing, which packs a tremendous punch in terms of Important Sights To See.

Question: I’ve heard about Tiger Balm Gardens – do they still exist?

MrB replies:

Unfortunately, they’re gone. This site has details of their demise, and other snippets about well-known buildings and locations in Hong Kong.

Any recommendations for hotels to stay at?

MrB replies:

There is a wide range of hotels in Hong Kong. A lot will depend on your preferences for location, budget, facilities, etc.

The fanciest hotels (and the most expensive) on HK island are in Central, or Pacific Place in Admiralty.

Less expensive, but still comfortable hotels are in Wanchai. In decreasing order of price, these are worth a look:

  • Renaissance Harbour View
  • Luk Kwok Hotel
  • The Wharney Hotel

Keep in mind that you sometimes get better deals booking hotels as part of a total package, including flights

I am now in a wheelchair -- do you have any information on accessibility issues in Hong Kong?

MrB replies:

Here’s a guide that has a sections on which hotels have wheelchair access -- and a bunch of other useful info on getting around HK in a wheelchair.

I just love Chinese silk and other fabrics! Where do I buy them?

MrsB suggests Fa Yuen Street in Mong Kok, or one of the China Products stores.

A reader adds:

China products shops are good, sometimes a tad pricey....a trip to Shenzhen can pay for itself if you’re looking for enough yardage!

And some of the shops in Li Yuen Street get in good bolts now and then.



im planning a holiday and still not sure where to go i have hong konk in mind and iv heard its great there to shop , i just wanna no if things are cheap like the electronics or would dubai be better to go to ??

Is Hong Kong cheaper than Dubai?

I'm not sure. If you know prices in Dubai, you could compare them with prices at one of the big Hong Kong chains of electrical stores, eg Fortress. You can also find some other suggestions here.

Happy holidays,


Travelling to hongkong

Please Ma,I will like to know how to get the invitation letter to visit hongkong,because it seems the immigration department require the invitation letter before you visit hongkong for business trip.
I am waiting for your immediate response.

The invitation letter should

The invitation letter should be issued by the business you are planning to visit on this trip.

Regards, MrB