The shortest possible answer to the question “When’s the best time to visit Hong Kong?” is: anytime! The city that never winks, rests or slumbers is a formidable holiday destination no matter which month you wish to travel. Having said this, however, it all depends on what you prefer personally; you can either avoid the crowds but risk a typhoon (which can be quite cool from the safety of your hotel room), enjoy the sales but suffer the high humidity (does wonders for the skin), or enjoy a sporting event but deal with insane crowds (party time!)
Tourists come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and desires so we’ve compiled this nifty guide of what’s on, what’s hot and what’s not in Hong Kong, to help you decide when the best time for you would be.
Hong Kong in Spring: March/April/May
Spring in Hong Kong is a bit of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it season, that glorious window of bliss between winter and summer barely recognizable. Unlike most other places, spring in Hong Kong is not the nicest weather-wise, with thick cloud cover and occasional drizzles pestering visitors. But, to be honest, those who plan a Spring break to Hong Kong have everything but the weather in mind. There are two fab reasons to visit at the beginning of the year: the Rugby 7s in March and the Bun Festival in early-ish May. Dates are Lunar so they do change slightly every year; do confirm before booking your flights.
The Rugby 7s is supposed to be a sporting event, but someone failed to tell the throngs who descend here every year for a week-end full of booze, fun and all sorts of dubious behaviour. Considered by many to be the best party of the year, the Rugby 7s makes ex-pats drool with anticipation months in advance!
China celebrates various Taoist sacrificial festivals over the course of the year, yet the Bun Festival held in the Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau is by far the most popular. The Bun Festival may have started as a humble ceremony to help protect fishermen at the beginning of every season, yet has morphed into a gastronomic feast of colossal proportions, involving vegetarian BigMacs and fiercely competitive bun-mountain-climbing expeditions. Guess you have to see it to really get it.
Hong Kong in Summer: June/July/August
Ouch. Between the incessant heat, crazy humidity levels (think 99%), abominable thunder storms and possible typhoons in store for Hong Kong, there’s only one kind of tourist who considers summer to be the ideal time to visit: the bargain hunter!
Travel here in summer and you’ll score a 5* hotel room for the price of a burger, over 60-70% off designer gear and massive sales across all retail outlets and restaurants as well. If you plan to go on a shopping spree, chances are you’ll spend most of your days in air-conditioned shopping malls, so who cares about a tiny little typhoon anyway…
Being as it’s so hot and slow here, the town goes into extra-effort to organize such cultural events as the Lan Kwai Fong Beer Festival and the Summer Pop Festival, so check out this site if you need even more convincing.
Hong Kong in Autumn: September/October/November
Autumn in Hong Kong is the most splendid season of all, as far as the weather is concerned, but of course it is also the most expensive time of year to visit, given its popularity. The temps are perfect, the city back to its buzzying self and the time ideal to enjoy a more active vacation. If you want to travel inland, or enjoy hiking around the area then this is by far your best bet.
The ever-popular Mid-Autumn Festival is a visual spectacular which takes place sometime in late September or early October. It is a festival of gathering, thanksgiving and prayer and involves a plethora of lion and dragon dances, lantern processions and, as usual, a healthy amount of delectable food.
Hong Kong in Winter: November/December/January/February
Many people make the mistake of thinking winter couldn’t be that cold in Hong Kong, but we’re afraid it can be. Temps may not reach freezing point, but it can get extremely chilly and windy here for weeks on end. The downside is that it may not be so nice to walk around, and visibility may be atrocious, but if you live in a cold country you may find it ideal, as you won’t be sharing the isles with millions of tourists. In fact, the time around the Luna New Year is the quietest you’ll find Hong Kong; even though the city puts on impressive firework displays and a few celebrations, this is more of a family-gathering time for locals, who leave the island en masse to gather with family.
Rugby Istolethetv via Flickr
John Nash via Flickr
DearEdward via Flickr