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Hong Kong Basics

Hong Kong

Courtesy of Hong Kong Tourism Board

Hong Kong is a city of contrasts—rooted in both Eastern and Western culture, modernity and tradition. Though technically a part of China, Hong Kong runs its own show, with unique laws, an independent currency (the Hong Kong dollar) and a capitalist-based financial system. As one of the world’s most bustling business hubs, the city aims to make is easy for travelers to navigate the city. Although Cantonese is the main language spoken, it isn’t difficult for English-speakers find their way around the city (in fact, both Cantonese and English share the title of Hong Kong’s official language). 

The antithesis of urban sprawl, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities on earth, with more than 7,650 skyscrapers making up the towering skyline. Set against mountains with Victoria Harbor in the foreground, you’ll find fantastic views nearly everywhere. Spend an evening watching A Symphony of Light, the world’s largest permanent laser-light show, which includes more than 40 buildings along the harbor. For prime viewing, you can’t beat the vantage point aboard the Star Ferry from the harbor itself. 

When you’re not off the clock, your options are endless. Hong Kong’s dining scene is world-class, from fresh seafood at the wet markets to fine dinning (more than 40 of the city’s restaurants have a Michelin star). The art and theater scene is thriving, with Hollywood Road serving as a contemporary art hub. Party animals will love the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” nightlife mentality that ends only when the sun comes up. Be sure to line up a good dim sum spot for a late brunch. After a night out in this town, you’ll need it.

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