Hong Kong is simply not an ordinary destination. It's crowded and busy, everything happens in double time. It's fashion-plus, it's Asian, it's European, the food is fabulous and the art scene, superb. There's really no place like it in the world. It's East meets West and concrete city versus country green. Hong Kong is a taste of things Chinese in the most exciting way. Journeywoman thinks it is a perfect destination for female travellers and here's six reasons why.
1. If you've travelled solo in your own country and then went on to enjoy Europe alone, your next big step could be a trip to Hong Kong. I call HK "Your Beginner's Guide to the Rest of Asia."
2. Hong Kong is a safe destination for women. Flirting, as you might encounter it in Italy or Greece, is just not part of the Chinese culture. You will be left free to wander at will; however as always you should practice big city smarts. Watch your wallet and check with your hotel concierge to learn about areas that could be dangerous.
3. Hong Kong is truly Chinese but thanks to its British colonial heritage, it is also English. At all major shops and museums you can speak English and you will be understood. Subway stops are announced in English. Even the merchants in the smallest markets will be able to bargain with you in a way that you can understand. However, you will also hear Chinese spoken all around you and that's a large part of what makes this place magical.
4. Urban or rural, Hong Kong covers an area that's relatively small. If you feel like hiking in beautiful green surroundings or bird watching or exploring the back streets of Kowloon, you won't have far to go. And, if you choose not to do these activities alone, then walkhongkong.com has tours to guide you.
5. Like to shop till you drop? Hong Kong is the city to explore. Whether you are seeking posh boutiques or street stall opportunities, this place has it all! Nathan Road in Kowloon has factory outlets galore. Fashions here are destined for export so sizes will be appropriate for Western women. You mustn't miss the Ladies Night Market or Stanley Market for hundreds of stalls selling thousands of things. Cat Street has antiques galore to browse, Shanghai Street offers kitchen wares at half of what you'd pay at home. These are all next door to stores selling traditional Chinese wedding gowns in vivid red designs. P.S. All day Sunday is the best time for bride spotting. In Kowloon, you'll find love-struck beauties posing for formal photos on the steps of the Hong Kong Cultural Center. Expect a wonderful bridal parade with everything from full length lace to basic black leather.
6. And, should you crave Eastern cuisine or more familiar Western fare, your choices will be endless. However we suggest you try the pleasures of High Tea at least once during your stay. Highest end is the Peninsula Hotel Lobby service accompanied by a chamber music ensemble. For a more moderate, casual experience, we hear that the tiny, female-owned Teakha Tea House in Sheng Wan serves lovely fig scones with their teas. For take-away, Crumbs in Causeway Bay offers three types of scones baked fresh every 10 minutes. You will never be hungry in Hong Kong!