Hong Kong's foundation began with China and then became influenced by British colonialism. In 1997 Hong Kong regained its sovereignty and was transferred back to the People's Republic of China, with traditional Chinese values such as "family solidarity", "courtesy" and "saving face
Hong Kong's culture is heavily influenced by the Cantonese from the neighbouring province of Guangdong. Although Cantonese is the most widely spoken language, Chinese, Mandarin and English are acknowledged as official languages
Freedom of religion is protected by the Basic Law and you will find religions such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism being practised, albeit the majority of people in Hong Kong being atheist. Hong Kong is rich in history and deep set beliefs, with people honouring their ancestors through festivals such as the Ching Ming Festival. There are also many shrines in Hong Kong to visit and pay respects to the gods.
Many people regard September to November as the best time to visit Hong Kong. Being a subtropical climate, the summers are hot and humid, with the winter being cool and relatively dry. January and February are cloudy and cold but dry with a warmer March to May, with high humidity and occasional showers and thunder storms in June to August. The humidity can make feel even hotter. December to February is winter season in Hong Kong.
There is much to see in Hong Kong, with places such as Avenue of Stars where they pay tribute to the names that helped make Hong Kong the 'Hollywood of the East'. You will find plaques, celebrity handprints movie memorabilia as well as a life sized statue of Bruce Lee. You can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city's most iconic sight, the glorious skyline set against The Peak.
If you were to choose one thing to do in Hong Kong, it would have to be to visit The Peak. It is the highest point on Hong Kong Island with the views of one of the world's most spectacular city scapes. The view during the day will let you take in the sparkling skyscrapers and Victoria Harbor all the way to the green hills of the New Territories. During the early evening this panorama melts into pink and orange before becoming a stunning galaxy of light during the evening.
The Ladies' Market on Tung Choi Street provides a one-kilometer stretch of stalls filled with bargain clothing and souvenirs. As the name suggests, there is a huge amount of clothing and accessories for women of all ages.
Visit the Hong Kong Disney Land, which boasts attractions like the Grizzly Gulch, which was developed exclusively for Hong Kong Disneyland, Fantasy Gardens, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and many more. There is also the Disney in the Stars Fireworks at night, which is a must see.
Po Lin Monastery boasts the Tian Tan Buddha statue (Big Buddha) which was erected in 1993 and took 12 years to complete. Sitting 34 meters high and facing north to look over the Chinese people, this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia. If you climb the 268 steps for a closer look at this remarkable statue you can also enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views that can be seen from its base. Hong Kong's most important Buddhist sanctums, dubbed 'the Buddhist World in the South', can be found opposite the statue of Tian Tan Buddha. The monastery is home to many devout monks and is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography with a pleasant garden alive with birdsong and flowery scents. There is also a vegetarian restaurant for when you need to recharge your own energy levels.
Here you will find a world-class marine themed area that will redefine your underwater experience. Watch Symbio, a multi-sensory show featuring the world's first 360-degree water screen. Explore the Grand Aquarium which features 5000 fish and over 400 species of aquatic creatures. It boasts the world's largest aquarium dome with a diameter of 5.5 metres, or through an 8×13 meters giant viewing panel. You can also pop into Neptune's Restaurant for Hong Kong's first aquarium dining experience!
If rare animals are your scene, then visit the Amazing Asian Animals exhibit. Take an interactive journey of discovery at the Giant Panda Adventure where you'll get to know some of Asia's most precious native animals. You will be fortunate to see giant pandas, red pandas, Chinese giant salamanders and Chinese alligators. There is a spectacular display of goldfish at the Goldfish Treasures exhibit and colourful birds and playful Asian small-clawed otters at Panda Village. There are many other popular attractions which include the Sea Jelly Spectacular, The Abyss turbo drop, Mine Train roller coaster and the show at Ocean Theater.
We recommend that you avoid raw and under cooked food. In rural areas, it is recommended that all drinking water be boiled or that you drink bottled water, and that you avoid ice cubes. Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhea.The currency in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Dollar and for South Africans travelling to Hong Kong it is one of those countries & territories on the visa-free entry list for South Africans, which is excellent news. So it is just a case of booking a ticket and hopping on a plane to go visit and explore all that Hong Kong has to offer.