Hong Kong’s confluence of cultures, from ancient Chinese traditions to modern colonial influences, has molded a world-class destination for passing cruise ships. Chinese, specifically the Cantonese dialect, and English are the official languages. Shining skyscrapers stand side-by-side with Buddhist monuments.
Evidence of Hong Kong’s spiritual side can be found all over the city. Take a closer look at the architecture and you’ll find plenty of feng shui elements -- hallmarks include a balance of elements like earth, water and wood, as well as doors built at an angle. (It’s said that evil spirits can enter a door straight-on, so even Hong Kong Disneyland adjusted its park entrance to maximize the flow of positive energy.) Historic temples, both Buddhist and Taoist, also dot the region. Hung Shing, built by local fisherman in 1889 to honor a powerful sea god, still draws patrons for heritage tours and special ceremonies.
But a traveler’s favorite exploration of Hong Kong culture will likely involve its cuisine. Nearly 11,000 restaurants are spread throughout the city, though specialties are clustered together in tourist-friendly dining districts -- top spots include Lamma Island for fresh seafood and Kowloon for authentic Cantonese dishes. Sample a little of everything Hong Kong has to offer at a dim sum restaurant, where small portions allow diners to test multiple menu items. Be sure to finish your meal with a cup of hot tea, a must for most Hong Kong diners.