Category Archives: Hong Kong

Top Activities to Enjoy in Hong Kong in January

hongkong

With the New Year marching in, our calendars are filled with a whole new set of festivals, events, and holiday packages. If you are hunting for a holiday destination, we suggest that you visit Hong Kong in January. It is the driest month of the year in Hong Kong and you will have a whale of a time visiting the local attractions. Also, here are the top activities to indulge in during the winter season in Hong Kong.

Enjoy Winter Food

Food is common to mankind. Just the ingredients and dishes differ from one region to the other. Hong Kong has cuisines and dishes for each season. The famous Hong Kong style barbecue, the exotic snake soup, and clay pot rice are best enjoyed during the winter season. Restaurants offer authentic delicacies across the length and breadth of the city for you to experience the best of everything while on a holiday.

Winter Festivals

An important traditional festival is the Chinese New Year, which involves a series of cultural activities including temple fairs, dragon dances, and lion dances. Be prepared to cut the winter chill with a whole lot of bright and colourful events during winters in Hong Kong. For your next holiday, make sure you witness these events and festivals for an ultimate traditional experience.

Ice-skating in the Snow

The age old ice-skating festival is one of the best ways to enjoy the winter chill in Hong Kong. Numerous artificially snow covered skating rinks are created in different parts of the destination for the residents and tourists to enjoy skating and other water sports. Jump into the frozen ice rink and enjoy some trilling rides under the winter sun. In a city that does not get snowfall, these ice-skating rinks sure do appear surreal.

Local Sightseeing

Be it any season; holidays are incomplete without local sightseeing. Blessed with numerous attractions, the idea of sightseeing in the beautiful city holds utmost importance. For a complete understanding of the destination, you simply have to explore the popular structures and monuments. Just one of the most popular tourist attractions is the Museum of History.

Explore Lantau Island

The largest island in Hong Kong, Lantau Island has numerous parklands and theme parks. Besides regular sightseeing, visitors can enjoy several outdoor adventures. Popular attractions here include the famous Disneyland, Po Lin Monastery, Tai O, and Ngong Ping 360. Also, pay homage to Hong Kong’s best known film stars at the popular Avenue of stars.

The Fun-Packed Chinese Festivals in Hong Kong

Hong Kong can be termed as ‘The Land of Contradictions’. Natural beauty is somehow complemented by bustling city life. Similarly, Chinese traditions and western culture co-exist peacefully here.

hong-kong

As Hong Kong is a multi-cultural destination, many different festivals are celebrated in this legendary land. Here, we have focused upon some of the colourful Chinese festivals.

Dragon and Lion Dance Festival

The name says it all! The Dragon and Lion Dance Festival showcases hundreds of artificial and eye-catching dragons, lions and celestial guardians, marching and dancing through the streets to commemorate the approaching new year. Already well-known in the region, the Dragon and Lion Dance Festival is celebrated every year on 1st January. In 2011, this festival created a Guinness World Record by displaying 1,111 dragons and lions.

Chinese New Year

Celebrated on the first moon of the Lunar Calendar, the Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for the Chinese. People clean their houses and put up traditional New Year decorations. Family members have dinner together. They may watch conventional Chinese shows and launch fireworks later. Individuals wear red clothes and give children ‘lucky money’ in red envelopes. Red represents fire, which is believed to drive bad luck away.

Spring Lantern Festival

This festival is truly a treat to the eyes! Held on the 15th day of the first lunar month, the Spring Lantern Festival features innumerable colourful lanterns, which beautify markets, restaurants and hotels. The main celebration is held in Tsim Sha Tsui at the Hong Kong Cultural Central Piazza, which is open to the public for free. The theme of the festival changes annually, with lanterns assuming the shape of a particular animal. The lantern carnival is a must-watch! It presents folk songs, traditional dances and instrumental performances.

Dragon Boat Festival

Also called the ‘Tueng Ng Festival’, the Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month. There are dragon boat races in which international teams of paddlers compete against each other in long narrow boats. To make this fiesta more lively and spirited, drums are played and beer is offered. As per a popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival came into existence due to an old man named ‘Qu Yuan’. He was so saddened with his nation’s government that he drowned himself in the river.

Well-Wishing Festival

There’s not a better way to interact with locals than by participating in the ‘Well Wishing Festival’. In this fiesta, participants share a meal with locals. Post this, they write their wish on a piece of paper and tie it with a string. On one end of the string is an orange. Participants toss them upwards, aiming for a sturdy branch (wishing tree). These wishing trees are situated in the village of Lam Tsuen in the New Territories.

A Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Disneyland, synonymous with fun, amusement and recreation and attracts tourists from across the world. It’s a place for kids to witness their favourite television characters in real life and a chance for adults to revisit their childhood.

hong-kong

Disneyland is not just any another amusement park- it is an experience in its own right. This article is an attempt to familiarise you with the wonders and attractions of the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort.

Disneyland Park

Featuring seven themed areas- Main Street, Fantasyland, Adventure land, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point and Toy Story Land, the park is considered to be the lifeline of the resort. With such an impressive array of theme parks, your kids will be spoilt for choice. Castles, cartoon characters, live shows, joy rides, sleds and souvenir shops at this park will definitely steal your attention. Experience the natural and magical life in the Adventure land, complete with forests and cabins where fairies, dwarves and other fairy tale characters come to life.

Frontierland, an imitation of the American Old West, complete with mountains, cowboys, saloons and “uncharted wilderness” offers the perfect outdoor experience.

A visit to Tomorrowland takes one to a futuristic world full of spaceships, submarines, railroads and other attractions. Star Wars movie enthusiasts will rejoice over the fact that there are dedicated sections where you can meet stormtroopers, undergo Jedi training and do a lot more.

Disneyland Hotel

The Disneyland hotel, located in the heart of the resort, is perfect for staying in the midst of an entertaining atmosphere. You can choose from over 400 rooms which offer stunning views of the sea and the garden area. For more comfort and luxury, opt for the Kingdom Club suites that offer great views and excellent amenities. The hotel also has several ballrooms and convention centres.

Disneyland Hollywood Hotel

This hotel is a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, complete with sophisticated styling, latest amenities, tasteful decorations and a piano shaped swimming pool (complete with black and white keys). Here, you will have none other than Mickey Mouse as your waiter, who will amuse you with his antics and at the same time dish out various Asian and seafood delicacies, followed by a range of fine wines.

The Colourful Cheung Chau Bun Festival Hong Kong

The spring season in Hong Kong is full of festivities. One of the most exciting and intriguing festivals celebrated is Cheung Chau Bun Festival.

hong-kong

Travel to stunning Hong Kong to witness the amazing days of celebration from 12th May, 2016 to 14th May, 2016.

The Festival

Celebrated in the lunar month, Cheung Chau Bun Festival is welcomed with the preparation of costumes, papier-mâché sculptures of deities and baking of lucky buns. Celebrated since a century, the festival draws people from across the world.
The colourful festival is delineated as an inherent element of Hong Kong’s culture and tradition. Just a short ferry ride from Central Pier 5 of city, tourists can heartily enjoy the vibrant and unique festival.

Pak Tai Temple

The oldest and apparently the most famous temple in Chueng Chau, Pak Tai Temple has a lot for tourists. Visit to experience a religious aura during the festival. Enjoy the majestic ambiance enhanced by fragrances of incenses that are set up around the temple.

Events and Rituals

The vivacious Cheung Chau includes an array of interesting activities and competitions such as climbing carnival, lion and unicorn dances, Piu Sik Parade, Chinese Opera Performances and kung fu performances. The mystifying merriment and customs ends with the ceremony of sending back the deities to their temples at Pak Tai Temple Plaza.

Apart from all this, the showstopper is the Bun Scrambling Competition, to be held on 14th May, 2016. The participants get on the bun tower to grab as many lucky buns as possible under the belief that they will get lucky throughout the year.

Bun and Bun Tower

The lucky buns are prepared with flour, water, and sugar as the main ingredients and strictly without animal products. Enjoy three distinct flavours of buns; lotus, sesame and red bean paste. Traditionally, the Chinese character stamped on the bun stands for ‘peace’.
The huge bun tower is covered with artificial plastic buns to avoid wastage of food during the festival. Experience the thrill as the locals scramble to collect the maximum number of buns. These few excitement packed minutes have attracted people for ages now.

Five Spectacular Skyscrapers in Hong Kong

Recently, Hong Kong’s skyline was ranked the best in the world by a renowned infrastructure data company, Emporis. The city is dotted with many towering buildings, which indeed make for a sight to behold. Here are five of the most prominent of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers.

Central Plaza

Completed in 1992, Central Plaza soars 347m high over the beautiful Victoria Harbour. It has a unique exterior shape and a triangular floor plan that gives most of the offices and restaurants, inside the building, gorgeous harbour views. On the top of the building is a bright neon pole that changes colour every 15 minutes after sunset. Visitors have free admission to its 46th floor gallery which offers spectacular views of the surrounding area.

International Commerce Centre

International Commerce Centre stands at 484m, making it the tallest building in Hong Kong and seventh tallest in the world. As the name suggests, the building is home to some of the biggest business brands in the city. Some notable tenants include Accenture, Morgan Stanley, and ABN-AMRO.

Bank of China Tower

Also called BOC Tower, it is located at 1 Garden Road, and is renowned for its unique exterior

Bank of China Tower

design resembling bamboo shoots. The building was designed by the award-wining Chinese American architect I.M.Pei and soars up to a height of 300m. It is the fourth tallest building in Hong Kong and a prominent part of the city’s skyline.

Two International Finance Centre

At 416.8 m, Two International Finance Centre (2IFC) is the second tallest tower in Hong Kong. The architecture is relatively simple; it is a square-shaped glassy skyscraper. The skyscraper is designed to accommodate business institutions. It is one of the few buildings in Hong Kong that feature double-deck elevators.

HSBC Building

Built in 2003, HSBC Building is acclaimed as one of the world’s most expensively constructed properties. The construction of the building incurred an expenditure of HK$5.2 billion. The glittering skyscraper was designed by the famous architect Lord Norman Faster and is located on the southern side of Statue Square. During weekends and holidays, the area is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

International Arts Carnival 2015 – Enjoy Hong Kong Summers with Your Family

July-August is a good time to be in Hong Kong as the city hosts the International Arts Carnival during the period. A variety of cultural activities and stage performances by renowned international

Hong Kong

groups are organised at the annual carnival. There is much to enjoy, experience and learn during this more-than-a-month long event, scheduled from 10th July to 16th August, 2015. Check out a few highlights of the International Arts Carnival.

Legend of the Silk Route

This acrobatic show is the first event of the International Arts carnival. The colourful show by Shaanxi Acrobatic Troupe comprises more than 20 acrobatic feats and energetic dance performances. Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre will host this entertaining amalgamation of history and culture from 10th to 12th July. Entry is not permitted to kids under three.

National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America

Also known as NYO-USA, this event features a team of 110 young musicians from the USA, performing under the supervision of notable pianist YUNDI and conductor Charles. Visit the Hong Kong Culture Centre Concert Hall on 26th July to enjoy the symphonies of Beethoven and the compositions of Berlioz.

Too Many Penguins?

Considered an apt show for kids aged between one and four, it illustrates the funny story of a lone but happy polar bear which has to deal with too many penguins in his neighbourhood. Watch penguins of various sizes arriving on the stage by boat, car and balloon. This unique story of tolerance and friendship is narrated by Frozen Charlotte, a UK-based artist.  Kwai Tsing Theatre Black Box Theatre will host this show from 16th to 19th July.

Franz & Friends’ Voyage Undersea

This 3D musical show is perhaps the most diversified event at the International Arts Carnival. Its highlights range from animation to drama and puppetry. The show is created by  Image in Motion Theater of Taiwan. Tuen Mun Town Hall Auditorium is the venue for this show that’s scheduled on 25th and 26th July.

London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2015: A Chinese Connection in the UK

Visit the London Regatta Centre on 28th June, 2015 to feel the thrill of the 20th edition of the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Often considered the most prestigious dragon boat festival across Europe, it has become an integral part of the cultural calendar of London. Here are a few notable highlights of this festival.

hong kong dragon

Participate as a Competitor

You can compete in this event as part of a team. Take your pick from Corporate Package or Non-Corporate Package. Entry forms for both packages are available on the official website of the festival.

Entertainment

Besides boat races, the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is packed with an array of attractions and activities as diverse as DJ shows, live musical performances, and martial arts.

Jeffrey Alexander School of Martial Arts: At the boat race festival, participants from Jeffrey Alexander School of Martial Arts will showcase unique self-defence moves of various disciplines such as Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Shaolin, and Chi Kung.

Kieran Lai: The semi-finalist at Britain’s Got Talent 2014, Kieran Lai is going to display his jaw-dropping dance moves at the London Regatta Centre on 28th June. This talented dancer also acted in the British movie, All Stars.

Crash Island: If you are fond of rock music, Crash Island is sure to catch your attention. This four-piece London-based band includes artists from South Africa, Spain, and France, and has performed in various European countries including Germany, Switzerland, and France.

Luciee Marie Closier: The young singer shot to fame with BBC’s The Voice UK 2014. Now, Closier sings all over the UK and has supported numerous popular bands and artists such as Shola Arna, Scouting for Girls, and Ms Dynamite.

Four Vintage Tramways around the World that Becharm Even Today

We are headed towards a world where magnetic levitation and Euroduplex rails are all set to radically evolve train-transportation. However, very few modern wonders can beat the old world charm of riding a tram. Navigating through the city’s busy locales, the trams run slowly at their own leisurely pace, as if beseeching us to take it easy in life and enjoy what we have all around. Listed below are some vintage trams or streetcars as they are known in many cities, operating on some age-old tracks.

Hong Kong Tramways

Hong Kong Tramways by Fabio Achilli/ CC BY

Hong Kong Tramways by Fabio Achilli/ CC BY

Snaking through Hong Kong’s bustling streets, panoramic harbours and colourful neighbourhoods, this tramway is perhaps the best way to peep into the city’s real essence. The exclusivity lies in the fact that it ranks among the first few networks of double-decker trams. The style of the 1950s still remains intact in some of the trams.

Melbourne Tram

Melbourne Tram by David Maciulaitis/ CC BY

Melbourne Tram by David Maciulaitis/ CC BY

A visit to Melbourne is incomplete until you experience the world’s third largest tram network. It connects many key tourist attractions in Melbourne, including those in the suburbs, and is highly popular among tourists. Dating back to 1884, it remains among Melbourne’s earliest means of public transport. In the old days, horses used to draw the trams.

Wellington Cable Car

Operating for over a century now, this funicular railway has become a symbol of Wellington. While Wellington has transformed into a global metropolis, the network still has a historic feel that tempts tourists. At the same time, its present day significance also cannot be overlooked, given the fact that it connects some of the most prominent commercial and tourist spots in Wellington such as Lambton Quay and Kelburn.

San Francisco Streetcar

Fondly dubbed as “museums in motion”, San Francisco’s cable cars are the best way to explore the US metropolis at a slow pace.  The heritage wagons run on three different lines and will take you through many historical and tourists spots in the city. Some popular ones include Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, the Castro district, Chinatown, Nob Hill and Jackson Square.

Top Hong Kong Cultural Celebrations during the Spring Season

hong-kongSpring in Hong Kong is a time of celebration! From salubrious weather to gratifying shopping and an array of cultural fests, the season is marked by a great zeal and enthusiasm in the ‘Asia’s World City’. Here are some popular cultural carnivals that happen to express the real essence of Hong Kong, blending its contemporary persona with ancient rituals and bizarre customs.

Birthday of Tin Hau

Hong Kong boasts an influential maritime heritage, and the Birthday of Tin Hua, the goddess of the Sea, is an annual reminder of that! The locals flock to the temples of the deity and pray for safety, security and well-being of their fishing business. One of the famous places to witness this cultural extravaganza is Shap Pat Heung in Yuen Long, where a colourful parade of fa pau (floral wreaths) takes place, followed by the lion dances and a noisy procession of brightly decorated fishing boats. It generally falls on the 23rd day of the third lunar month (11th May in 2015) and attracts a huge number of holidaymakers who buy tickets aboard flights for Hong Kong.

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

The century-old Cheung Chau Bun Festival is still one of Hong Kong’s most important cultural carnivals. Held in the fourth lunar month, the week-long event sees loads of merrymaking with fascinating Taoist ceremonies, lion dances, drum beating and exciting games and competitions. The locals, dressed in cultural costumes, parade statues of deities through the narrow alleys of the island. Many unique rituals are performed to keep the real essence of the fest alive, and this is what makes it one of the world’s top, quirky local festivals. Quite naturally, a fair share of travellers who grab flight tickets’ for spring holidays in Hong Kong partakes in the carnival.

Birthday of the Buddha

hong-kong-aAlso called the Buddha Bathing Festival, it surely reflects the spiritual sides of people in Hong Kong. A number of rituals, taken from the life of Lord Buddha, are practiced and make for a unique cultural experience for those who join the festivity after disembarking their Hong Kong flights. Devotees visit the temples and pay homage to the deity by bathing statues. Various cultural performances, group chanting and holistic sessions add to its spiritual significance. Eating the special green cookies signifies the passing of the hard time in life and remains a highlighted ritual of the event!

Popular Guided Tours in Hong Kong for First-Timers

hongkong

The populous and bustling city of Hong Kong features on the itineraries of many travellers who wish to net tickets to China to explore its myriad oriental charms. However, for first-timers who alight from their flights in Hong Kong, venturing into the break-neck pace of the city-life may seem too daunting a task to undertake. Unless, of course, some well planned and carefully executed tours come to the rescue of bewildered travellers.

Explore Hong Kong from its Watery Lanes- Boat Tours for Amateurs

The Container Port in Hong Kong is the third busiest port in the world. Many guided tours start off from this point as the area is an ideal place to witness the transformational outlook that the city has donned over the course of time. With frequent stops at places like Aberdeen Harbour, Deep Water Bay and Stanley, paying for tickets aboard one of the boat cruises leads to some exquisite chances to witness the eventful life of the fishing communities, exotic markets and food stalls that line that the waterfront.

Splurge To Your Heart’s Content with Shopping Tours

Many travellers who board flights to Hong Kong are keen to explore its exhaustive array of offerings that one can purchase from the city’s multifarious shopping venues. Shopaholics can find their haven in many places like Causeway Bay, Island Beverly Center and Harbour City. Hong Kong has something to offer to varied shoppers, be it classy and pricy designer creations or the insanely affordable and cheaper versions of the same. In Hong Kong, with innumerous mind-boggling options, it is quite easy to end up spending the money reserved for the purchase of return tickets!

Gastronomic Sojourns for Foodies are Possible with Food Tours

Gourmands from all parts of the world admit to the fact that Hong Kong is one of the places in the world that is rightly acclaimed as a ‘food paradise’. However, for first timers, it may be quite cumbersome to find the best dimsum joint and wonton soup cart. The guided food tours not only bring out the best of culinary outcomes that Hong Kong has to offer, but also enlighten tourists about the significance of food-culture in the city.