Flights & Hotels
Flights: You can book flights through lonelyplanet, besides a host of other travel portals. Most of these portals link multiple travel booking sites and you get the most competitive fares at a given time. Prices would start from around Rs 30,000 return per person.
Accommodations: The accommodations can also be booked on the above mentioned sites besides hotels.com, vernere.com etc. The Hong Kong main island is slightly expensive so staying across the water on the Kowloon side makes more sense. It’s only a few stops on the ‘under sea’ mass transit system (MTS) to reach the Hong Kong Island from Kowloon. Hotels would generally be upwards of Rs 5000–6000 per night for 2. They can go up to 40,000–50,000 a night as well (only for those who have money to burn).
Visa & Currency
Visa: A free of cost 14 day visa is granted to Indian citizens on arrival. Just ensure your passport has minimum 2 free pages and 6 month validity along with your return air tickets.
Currency: Hong Kong dollar is the currency. Presently Rs 8.1 would buy you one HKD (for current exchange rates, see www.xe.com).
When to Go
Oct through Jan is the perfect time to visit with clear skies and temperate weather, getting slightly cooler towards Dec. The May holiday period is another high, but accommodation prices are at a peak.
For all those who can’t do without Indian food, look no further than Chungking Mansion on Nathan Rd on the Kowloon side. Get your share of authentic dosas, parathas, paneers, briyanis and anything you might find in your favorite restaurant back home – veg or otherwise.
From sightseeing to shopping, Hong Kong has a lot to offer. A short list of must-see’s in the city are:
Victoria Peak: The best views of the city are from atop the Victoria peak which also houses the famous Madame Tussaud’s Wax museum. It’s great fun to take the Peak Tram, that takes you up the peak top at a 45° angle.
Disneyland: This is an obvious must-see, especially for smaller kids. The park is divided into five main areas: Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, and the most recent addition, Toy Story Land. It’s certainly geared more toward younger children, with a full patrol of Disney characters parading around the park.
Ocean Park: This theme park is packed with great rides to get your adrenaline high. Enjoy the amazing views of life in the ocean, and not to mention the adorable giant pandas. Smaller children may not be allowed on some rides, but there is something for everyone in this theme park.
Ngong Ping 360: This is a Buddhist theme park which has the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. Brilliant Chinese architecture dots the park which also has interactive shows, shops, restaurants and coffee houses. The cable car that takes to you to peak is the longest in Hong Kong and offers some stunning views.
Avenue of Stars & Symphony of Lights: This is Hong Kong’s versions of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. A promenade which celebrates stars of Hong Kong cinema such as Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Jet Li amongst others. It also offers beautiful views of the city. In the evenings at 8pm everyday, the buildings perform the majestic light show synchronized to music.
Hong Kong Park: Opened in May 1991, Hong Kong Park is an expansive space filled with an aviary, gardens, water-features, and the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, which is well worth a visit.
Beaches: Hong Kong has many beautiful beaches such as the Repulse Bay, Shek O, Hung Shing Yeh beach and many more.
Malls & Markets: From opulent malls to cheap street markets, Hong Kong has it all for the compulsive shoppers. Check out malls such as the palatial Pacific Place Mall, the busy Times Square, The Landmark, Festival Walk and Harbour City. If you want a bargain then look no further than Hong Kong’s famous Ladies Market, The Temple Street Night Market for electronics, Stanley market for souvenirs and the Jade Market crammed with jade and gem stores, but very few vendors there sell the genuine article.
With so much to do, you will feel a week is not enough in Hong Kong.