Hong Kong SAR is a melting pot of East and West that combines high-tech and international commerce with Chinese culture. In July 1997, Hong Kong's status as a British Pacific colony ended and it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. The transition occurred peacefully and Hong Kong remains unchanged for the visitor.
Hong Kong is an international city that blends east and west. The region offers tourists and travelers options ranging from a junk cruise to remote islands to rolling green hills and stunning white beaches. Hong Kong is a combination of 236 islands and a portion of territory on mainland China. Other offerings include boating, swimming, hiking, golf, sightseeing, dining in world class restaurants and horseracing.
Hong Kong weather is influenced by the fact it lies within the typhoon belt, just below the Tropic of Cancer. Summers are hot and humid, with a rainy season June-August. Typhoons may occur during May-November. The winter months are cooler, with a mean January temperature of 16 C (60 F). Pack lightweight clothing for visits during warmer months and warmer clothes for spring and autumn evenings.
Hong Kong's transportation infrastructure is efficient and inexpensive. There are 70 air carriers servicing Hong Kong. Popular ones include: Cathay Pacific Airlines, United Airlines, Continental Airlines, British Airways, Air China, DragonAir, Qantas, Air France and JAL Japan Airlines International. Telecommunications are also modern and efficient. A wide variety of English-language newspapers and publications are available.
All major credit cards are accepted in Hong Kong, and numerous banks and businesses provide ATM services. Accommodations and meals are moderate to expensive.
Although the violent crime rate is low, petty crime in Hong Kong SAR and Macao SAR is on the rise. Safeguard personal belongings and avoid traveling alone at night.