Backpacking Information on Hong Kong


The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China is multifaceted with its Cantonese and British influences that undeniably create appeal to both Easter and Western audiences. Upon first impression, Hong Kong dares not intimidate with a travel scene that can’t be more welcoming, despite its strict organization. The blinding neon signs, the deafening calls of vendors, or the seductive gastronomic aromas, what better and more convenient invitation could there be. Hong Kong has a worldwide repute of being a shopper’s haven with streets teeming of shoppers daily who are there for one and one reason only-the bargains. The odd smells of grilled unusual parts might throw you off in the middle of shopping, but it is all part and parcel of the experience.

Still and all, a brand new tourist crowd is blossoming and enjoying Hong Kong’s fresh features such as its blissful traditional and fusion cuisine. Besides becoming a food destination, there are novel developments with its nature tourism industry that creates about this new Hong Kong perspective. Even so, the water city need not its greatest asset Big Brother Jackie to promote the small city, for it is without a shadow of a doubt larger than life.


The Water City’s 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) total area is laid out on the coordinates 22 15 N, 114 10 E in East Asia. The hilly and mountainous terrain still maintains its sleep slopes, with 30% reserved as eco-parks and nature reserves and just less than 25% of the entire landmass developed and urbanized. Hong Kong’s highest point is the Tai Mo Shan at 958 metres above sea level, and the South China Sea, on the other hand, is the lowest point, 0 metres. Bad tidings come with environmental concerns of raging land reclamation, rapid urbanization, hill fires and increased pollution, particularly deadly smog, aggravated by its natural geography and the profuse number of skyscrapers. Nothing can kill its charm to tourists anyway.


Hong Kong is a vacation spot for most ASEAN nationals especially from January to March for its slightly cooler and relieving temperatures, while others render October to December as ideal for its warmth and shine. Hong Kong’s humid subtropical climate attributes to its fairly pleasant weather. Winters are naturally cold from 9°C to 24°C; summers are hot and wet from 26°C to 33°C; autumns are sunny; and springs are salubriously favourable to all sorts of travellers.


One of the most densely populated areas in the world, ranking 4th with 7,055,071 Hongkongese or Hongkongers stuffed like pie filling in a space-challenged crust. Out of these fat stats, the Chinese make up 95% of this demographic, with the 5% constituted by other nationalities, the majority being the Filipinos. “Live long, Live in Hong Kong” some say, for longevity is enjoyed by its locals, especially women, with the life expectancy average of 82 years (and 84.41 years for women).

The Hongkongers are totally urbanised and civilized definitely sans the odd behaviours, setting them apart from mainland Chinese. Therefore, as no spitting is allowed, the advantages are clean streets with no risk of stepping on goo.


“East meets West”- the tag that best describes HK’s culture, since Chinese traditions incessantly persist the culture in the midst of its speedy urbanisation, just like how feng shui affects modern structure designs. Perhaps, one might just look at how Hong Kong cinema’s martial arts elements have infiltrated Hollywood, and vice versa. The Hong Kong government is a major supporter of world cultures fusion for the greater part, as the city becomes a venue where cultures can meet.


CANTONESE CHINESE is the lingua franca of the region, the Chinese that is spoken in Guangdong, just north of Hong Kong. ENGLISH is also the official language of the multicultural city due to British influences, thus, signs and media are also conveyed in English as they are is in Cantonese. However, the city’s portrayal of its high level of English is contrastive to facts and statistics with only 3.1% of the population able to use English communicatively, whereas the 35.9% other speakers know basic English. Restaurant crews and shop assistants in main tourist areas might even speak no better. This is due in part to the inefficiently receding quality and learning of the Queen’s language over the years with the handover of the British to China.


Hong Kong is an avenue for religious freedom maintaining an eclectic mix of local religions and with carefree respect to the minority- that is Christianity. Such strict adherence is carved on the constitutional document of Hong Kong, the Basic Law, and not meant to be broken. The 90% of HK’s population practices Buddhism-Mahayana, Taoism, and Confucianism; the 10% are Christians of a near-equal division between Protestants and Roman Catholics, and a small parcel are of other Christian sects and world religions such as Hindus, Sikhs, etc.


With a multitude of places from the HK Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories, there is too the unheard of 254 offshore islands that if a traveller would care to step out the threshold will realize there is more to see and do than stuff your tummy and empty your wallet with franchises. The oceanariums and parks are sure-ball attractions, but for backpackers who have had their share of the urban life is HK’s best kept secret: nature trails. To the 100% urbanised population, these are free and sweet treats because campsites are at no cost- a rarity. To the backpacker, this is another world, where the landscape, mountains and beaches are sparkled with a generous amount of beauty and magic. Victoria Peak is also one way to get a view of the mainland’s terrain. Lantau Trail, Hong Kong Trail, Maclehose Trail, Wilson Trail are literally priceless to enjoy Hong Kong’s landscape. On the other hand, Shek O, Big Wave Bay, and Repulse Bay offer the enigmatic views of the seas.


HK’s fusion cuisine is one of the sure-hit attractions to what is a country of eastern and western influences; at least that’s how visitors feel with the warm steamy whiff of heaven in the air. Nevertheless, Hong Kong’s honest representation and interpretation of traditional regional Chinese cuisine has gained its “food destination” prestige. And with a raving “eat-out, take-out” culture that is bigger than any other country, dining is an experience that is fair and friendly on the wallet- if you stick to local restaurants that is. To look out for are Big Brother Jackie’s favourite creamy and delicate egg tarts or savoury cha xiu bao and Dim Sum restaurants where food is picked, plucked, and plunked on your table. Delicacies like snake meat are also famous in HK’s specialty restos that are especially packed and tight during winter.