Tourism & Culture – Hong Kong

Anna Sevastianova | Israel-Asia Ambassadors Program | 17 April 2018

Hong Kong is a city with a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences. A former British colony, its population is comprised of local Hong Kong Cantonese people, mainland Chinese and expatriates from diverse cultural backgrounds. Chinese concepts like ‘family solidarity’, ‘family glory’, ‘saving face’ and ‘modesty’ carry significant weight in Hong Kong’s culture. On the other hand, many locals adopted western ways of life.

In 2016, the number of visitors from around the world received by Hong Kong declined by 4.5% over 2015 to 56.7 million.

Hong Kong’s top ten visitor source markets in 2016 in the order of arrival numbers were the Mainland, Taiwan, South Korea, United States, Japan, Macao, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Australia. Altogether they accounted for 92% of the total visitor arrivals.

Almost any of the districts of Hong Kong can be considered a tourist destination. The following locations are areas generally marked as main attractions.

  1. Victoria Peak – Perching on The Peak at 396 metres above sea level, The Peak Tower is one of the most stylish architectural Hong Kong attractions. Inside The Peak Tower, there is a dazzling array of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues set against the beautiful backdrop of the city.
  1. Victoria Harbour – Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon in Hong Kong offering stunning view of the city skyscrappers.
  1. Clock Tower – The old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. Standing 44-metres tall, . the station is long gone however its red brick and granite tower are now preserved as a Declared Monument.
  1. Lan Kwai Fong – Lan Kwai Fong is one of Hong Kong’s most popular nightlife hot spots and home to over 90 restaurants and bars. The atmosphere ranges from stylish wine pairings to raucous jelly shots and the food on offer is as diverse as the clientele.
  1. SoHo – This district in Hong Kong is an entertainment zone which treads a precarious balance between preserving the Chinese and colonial culture that shaped it, and recent modern developments. The contrast between the past and present enriches the area and makes for great sightseeing on foot.
  1. Temple Street Night Market – Temple Street named after Tin Hau temple located in the centre, is the busiest flea market at night in the territory of Jordan and Yau Ma Tei in Kowloon. Popular with both tourists and locals alike in the evening, it is common to see the place crowded at dusk.
  1. Man Mo Temple – Man Mo Temple is one of the oldest Taoist temple in Hong Kong paying tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo).

National days and Holidays

Date Name Description
1 January New Year’s Day New Year is celebrated with spectacular fireworks and countdown.
1st 3 days of 1st month (Lunar calendar) Lunar New Year Usually occurs in late January or early February; the most important of the traditional holidays. During this time, new clothes are worn to signify the New Year, with the color red being used liberally in all decorations.
5 April (4 April in leap years) Ching Ming Festival This is also known as the Remembrance of Ancestors Day, and is celebrated in April. Since this day is devoted to honoring relatives who have died, thousands of Chinese visit cemeteries to clean the graves of their loved ones.
Date varies every year Easter One of the biggest festivals marked by Hong Kong’s more than 800,000 Christians is Easter, many of them to attending special services at the city’s churches.
1 May Labour Day It is associated the start of spring as well as the celebration of workers.
8th day of the 4th month (Lunar calendar) Buddha’s Birthday Usually occurs in May; new holiday established in 1998.Many Buddhist temples in Hong Kong hold special ceremonies on this day.
5th day of the 5th month (Lunar calendar) Dragon Boat Festival (Tuen Ng Festival) Usually occurs in June; day for patriotic remembrance, eating rice dumplings and dragon boat races. This is undoubtedly one of Hong Kong’s most popular events.
1 July Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day The holiday commemorates the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China
16th day of the 8th month (Lunar calendar) Day following the Mid-Autumn Festival Usually occurs in September.This is a time for the members of a family to get together wherever it is possible. Mooncakes form an important part of this festival, and are given to relatives and friends during the festival. During this festival, the hills of Hong Kong, Victoria Park, the beaches, and the Peak are shimmering with the glow of lanterns as darkness approaches.
1 October National Day The festivities include a host of activities such as Flag Raising Ceremonies and Parades, but the main showstealer is without a doubt the magnificent fireworks display in Victoria Harbour.
9th day of the 9th month (Lunar calendar) Chung Yeung Festival Usually occurs in October; day for honouring the elderly and the deceased, and for mountain climbing
25-26 December Christmas Day Christmas is energetically celebrated in the city, there’s no shortage of festivities and fantastic feasts to partake.