Why go to Hong Kong ?

 

You will find here the results of our backpackers' survey as well as comments on some aspects of Hong Kong.

We asked backpackers who had stayed in Hong Kong for more than three days already to answer the followings :


Do you like Hong Kong ?  95% of the backpackers surveyed (75) say yes !
(down)

The near unanimity speaks for itself : if you have 4 or 5 days in front of you and if you are in the area, do not miss HK !

 

Would you happily come back ? 84% of the backpackers surveyed (75) say yes ! (same)
HK might not be big enough to require multiple visits but it still attract visitors again and again, on their way to its big neighbor China, to its shopping centers or, simply, to its lights...

 

Would you recommend Hong Kong ?  88% of the backpackers surveyed (75) say yes ! (down)

Most of the travelers use HK as a transit point to another  destination. But as a proverb says, this is not the destination that count but the road. HK is a very nice one...

 

We also asked them to rate the followings :

The tourists attractions        Backpackers : 14.35 /20 (down)
HK boost a few good attractions on its own, like the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, but it is the city itself, with its busy market streets, original buildings, relaxing parks, old ferries or round-the-clock shops that is really worth the trip. HK in itself is a tourist attraction ! 

The city scenery       Backpackers : 17.35 /20 (up)
HK is without contest one of the flashiest city in the world. Priorities for visitors are therefore to look at the city spectacular setting, being  from an high (The Peak), the ground (TST Promenade) or on water (Star Ferry). By day or, much more breathtaking, by night. But behind its glass buildings, HK is also full of dark and dirty alleys, animated markets streets, active temples or green oasis...  

The natural scenery         Backpackers : 13.75 /20 (down)
HK is much more than a fascinating Chinese city with western characteristics. It is also some of the best walks in Asia, among mountains, deserted beaches or traditional villages.  HK is home to 23 protected natural parks which represent 40% of its surface. It is also 235 islands, 3 of each offers good retreats from the fast pace of the city.  In total, nearly 70% of the Territory is made up of open land. If you have got the time and if the weather is acceptable, breath the natural side of HK...

The cultural opportunities        Backpackers : 13.59 /20 (down)
In some aspects, HK has preserved its cultural heritage better than mainland China : no Cultural Revolution and no government to prone atheism means that the temples are original  active structures. Being rich, HK is obviously in a better position to promote and display various arts or festivals in its museums or streets. HK is also where the west meet the east and this offer numerous interesting cases of "cultural shocks". HK is however a very materialist little place where culture has to fit in...

The food         Backpackers : 14.86 /20 (up)
Quality & choice are huge in HK but this come at an high cost. Most backpackers will therefore stick to the McDonald's at the corner and, if coming from another Asian country, regret their previous feasts... See our addresses for some good food options.

The infrastructures         Backpackers : 18.29 /20 (down)
Being a very modern city, HK delivers top grade infrastructures and transportation systems. To be enjoyed after some time on the road...

The cost of living and traveling        Backpackers : 9.92 /20 (down)
Here comes the major drawback of HK (together with the humid weather) : it is not cheap ! But it is no longer as scary as a couple of years ago, thanks to the recession. In fact, it is now cheaper to stay in HK than in some big cities of China and than most of the western capitals. Materialistic HK is not a backpacker's paradise but backpackers are now also welcome...

The safety        Backpackers : 17.00 /20 (down)
Whatever the time or the street, you feel safe in HK. The police heavily patrol the city and the crime rate is one of the lowest per capita in the world.

The cleanliness        Backpackers : 12.50 /20 (up)
Personally, I found HK quite dirty but this does not reflect  the average opinion of the backpackers I asked... See by yourself how the locals like to decorate the streets and how the cleaners and other old Chinese manage to save the appearance.

The pollution        Backpackers : 9.44 /20 (down)
The lowest mark of the survey for what has become the major concern of the expatriate community in HK. Every year, 2000 persons dye because of it. For short staying visitors, the concern will however be limited to increased poor visibility from the Peak...

The Shopkeepers' attitude        Backpackers : 10.20 /20 (down)
The second lowest mark and something that has kept damaging HK's reputation as a shopper's paradise for years.  With the recession, the ruddiness of shopkeepers has slightly decreased but the rule, with some welcome exceptions,  remains the same : if you do not buy, you annoy and after you have bought, you do not exist anymore !

The HK people's attitude        Backpackers : 12.43 /20 (up)
HK people do not have the reputation of being very welcoming. But nor do the French... Here also, things have improved a bit and, as a backpacker, you are not supposed to deal with too many locals anyway, each community living a separate way of life... If you need direction and if the local speak English, he should politely help you and this is what matter. For real exchanges and attention, go to China...

Entertainment        Backpackers : 15.13 /20 (up)
Pretty good as you would expect from a developed country with a colonial history... Single backpackers who have been to some Wanchai disco might remember the experience  all their life, while the Hollywood movies goers will keep hearing the sound of mobile phones for months... Other choices include numerous bars and cultural venues as well as a huge attraction park (An even bigger HK Disneyland is expected to open in 2005 on Lantau Island)... But maybe you will rather just keep on shopping...

Shopping        Backpackers : 16.65 /20 (down)
One of the biggest attraction of HK, shopping is unfortunately not always a rewarding experience. Choice is still huge, prices are still low (but not as much as before), shops still close late at night but you still need to exert caution as quite a few tourists have been tricked... See our advices in Travel Tips

Generally, the country        Backpackers : 15.28 /20 (down)
HK is probably one of the most fascinating and contrasted destination in the world. Here you will find exquisite gardens within the heart of modern buildings, luxury cars in dusty and dirty streets, traditional Chinese culture around every corner of a very modern and cosmopolite  city, old men walking birds or young boys playing video games, rude shopkeepers or shy students, night markets or impressive shopping complex, active temples or stock market, food stalls or fancy restaurants, busy streets or deserted beaches,... HK's got it all within easy reach, thanks to the very efficient transportation system. In fact, being for sightseeing, culture-shock or leisure not a lot of places can match the diversity of HK, the city of life ! 

Value for money        Backpackers : 13.39 (down)
OK it is not as cheap as Thailand but the general feeling is that you get value for your money.  Rooms are still the size of a closet but it now comes cheaper than ever before and you will balance your expenses as most of the attractions are free to visit or very reasonably priced. An overall excellent investment...

 

Give your opinion !  If you have traveled in Hong Kong at least three days, please participate to our surveys ...

Compare HK with other countries in the Asia Section

 


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