A former British colony, Hong Kong today is international and cosmopolitan, with diverse influences from China, Britain and beyond. While it is technically part of China, it really operates as its own country, with its own currency, laws and border controls. Vibrant, innovative and ever-changing, it is also one of the busiest deep water harbors in Asia and a prime shopping destination.
How to Get to Hong Kong
Cruise ships dock at the Ocean Terminal in Victoria Harbor, located on the southwestern edge of the Kowloon Peninsula. When you disembark there, you’ll be within easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and many major attractions, as well as the city’s underground transit system.
One Day in Hong Kong
With only one day in Hong Kong, you could easily spend most of your time on the Kowloon Peninsula. However, to see a bit more, start by taking the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong Island. There, take the Peak Tram funicular railway up to Victoria Peak to enjoy 360 degree views around Hong Kong. Spend some time along the walking trails that encircle the peak and then make your way back to Kowloon.
Your next stop should be the Hong Kong Museum of History, where you can spend a couple hours perusing innovative exhibits that offer a good look into Hong Kong’s fascinating past. Other museums of interest include the International Hobby and Toy Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art and the Dialogue in the Dark – a unique exhibition that requires you to explore using your non-visual senses in complete darkness.
Grab lunch and then it’s time to hit one of Hong Kong’s famous markets - the Ladies’ Market on Tung Chi Street, offering clothing, traditional souvenirs and sometimes tacky tchotchkes. From there, you might head to the Tsim Sha Tsui area for more shopping mixed in with colonial buildings and modern high-rises. Or, make your way to the Temple Street Night Market to enjoy a variety of entertaining street performers.
Both Cantonese and English are official languages in Hong Kong and most workers in the tourism industry speak at least some English. The official currency is the Hong Kong dollar. ATMs are available throughout the city and credit cards are generally accepted as well. Arriving at the Ocean Terminal, you will immediately have access to ATMs, wi-fi and even Starbucks.