Hong Kong: Starting points

Got a question about Hong Kong? Contact the Hong Kong Tourist Association, possibly the best organized and most enthusiastic tourism agency you’ll ever encounter. Check out its website at www.hkta.org before you leave home or contact its office in Toronto at 9 Temperance St., 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ont., M5H 1Y6. Phone (416) 366-2389 or e-mail [email protected].Drop into one of the organization’s kiosks in Hong Kong (the first you’ll see is in the new Chek Lap Kok airport). It has a number of comprehensive publications covering many different aspects of this amazing city.

Book a tour through the HKTA for an insider’s view. The association’s accredited guides have a thorough knowledge of the area and a genuine love for their homeland that’s irresistible — and incredibly useful.

Home? You wish!
The staff of the award-winning Kowloon Shangri-la Hotel is particularly proud of the site’s reputation for excellence in environmental protection. Guests are more aware of its first-rate service and amenities. Nothing is overlooked — for example, evy midnight the carpets in the elevators are changed to announce the day of the week, a detail especially appreciated by western travellers stressed by crossing the international dateline.

Located on the waterfront, the hotel’s premium rooms have a stunning view of busy Victoria Harbour and downtown Hong Kong. When you find time to take time out to rest – no mean feat — you’ll enjoy it.

The Green Scene:
To take a walk on Hong Kong’s “wild side” you’ll need some directions. There are several excellent guides to the great outdoors:

Hong Kong Pathfinder: 21 day-walks in Hong Kong, by Dr. Martin Williams (Asia 2000, Ltd., 1999)

Exploring Hong Kong’s Countryside: A visitor’s companion, by Edward Stokes (Hong Kong Tourist Association, 1999)

Hong Kong Island and Po Toi Island, Dr. Martin Williams (Coastal Guide Series, Friends of the Earth – Hong Kong, 1998)

In the city:
With so much to see and do, it’s inevitable there are a number of good guidebooks from which to choose. One that’s both readable and widely available is Hong Kong, by Damian Harper and Nicko Goncharoff (Lonely Planet Publications, 1998).

Fast facts:
The weather is most pleasant late October to December as well as March to May. June tends to be the rainiest month; the subtropical climate can be oppressively hot from July to mid-September.

Mid-Autumn Festival begins on Sept.12; in November golfers will enjoy the Hong Kong Open Golf Championships; horseracing takes the spotlight Dec. 13 to 17 during the Hong Kong International Races; shop at Euro-Christmas markets from Dec 15 to 17, then celebrate the Chinese New Year on Jan. 24, 2001.