With its flashing lights and towering skyscrapers, Hong Kong offers one of the world's most recognisable skylines. Yet when visitors explore beneath the towers and the narrow streets they’ll find atmospheric local markets, restaurants, and temples. Travel a few minutes from the skyscrapers and Hong Kong transforms into a place of beaches, remote islands, and idyllic villages.
Hong Kong is famous for a series of islands lying just off the coast of China. However, a large part of the territory is connected to mainland China. This land culminates in Kowloon, the vibrant peninsula district that is amongst the most densely populated places in the world. While it can look chaotic and crowded at first glance, the vibrant atmosphere makes Kowloon an iconic part of the Hong Kong experience and one of the world's most unique travel destinations.
Just across the water from Kowloon is Hong Kong Island, packed with huge skyscrapers and a famous waterfront. This is the famous Hong Kong skyline and the best views come from The Peak, a mountain rising above the cityscape. Every evening, a dazzling light and fireworks show fills 44 skyscrapers around Victoria Harbour in Kowloon, with the best views found on the Hong Kong Island promenade. Another side of Hong Kong is found on the Outlying Islands, where small beaches and quirky villages offer a relaxed atmosphere. The large Lantau island is filled with beaches and mountains, as well as being the home of Disneyland and Hong Kong International Airport. Express trains provide the quickest travel from the airport to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.
Most visitors get around using the MRT system, a network of underground and overground rail lines. These are complemented by traditional double-decker city trams and local buses. The most scenic way to connect the islands is by public ferry.
Formerly a British territory, Hong Kong is a specially administered region of China that has its own border and immigration. It has its own entry requirements and most visitors don't need a visa, unlike when visiting mainland China. However, note that anyone visiting Hong Kong then returning to China will need a double or multiple entry Chinese visa.