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Shanghai VS Hong Kong, Which Would You Like to Visit

Hong Kong and Shanghai are two most famous cities in China, and i bet all of you must have known, but not deep about visit Hong Kong and Shanghai. For first time-visitors, i have prepared a list for you question of " Hong Kong or Shanghai, which city do you prefer to visit". Before my introduction, i want to you to know both cities would totally be worthy visiting, and you could choose one more fit your tastes. Here is an extraordinary contrast of Hong Kong and Shanghai. In one sentence, Shanghai is the most modern city in China mainland, famous for its high-rise buildings and water town; while Hong Kong is an international city, well known for its shopping and dining.

Table of Hong Kong VS Shanghai

  Hong Kong Shanghai
Status international city, first tier city business center, first tier city
Famous for shopping, dining Chinese classic garden, high-rise buildings, water town
Tour days 3 days 3 days
Landmarks Hong Kong Convention Centre, Victoria Harbor Oriental Pearl Tower, Yuyuan Garden, Huangpu River
Night view Victoria Peak, Victoria Harbor Huangpu River, Lujiazui
Shopping Causeway Bay, Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui Nanjing Road, Lujiazui, Huaihai Road
Cruise Victoria Harbor Huangpu River
Cuisine egg waffle xiao long bao
Language Cantonese, English Shanghai dialect, Mandarin, English
Currency Hong Kong Dollar(1 USD≈7.8 HKD) RMB/CNY( 1 USD≈6.7 RMB)
Visa Most foreigners could only hold passort to enter Hong Kong from 14 to 90 days China Tourists Visa is needed, unless you have 144-hour visa free transit


Choose Shanghai Over Hong Kong:

(Above Picture/ Yuyuan Garden)

If you are instereted in China and Chinese things, Because Shanghai is more of Chinese than Hong Kong, from buildings to food.

Shanghai has more choices in picking Chinese food from all over the China.

Shanghai has Classic Chinese Garden and Chinese Water Town for tourists to know about Chinese history and culture.

Shanghai is close to Suzhou, Hangzhou and Huangshan, where you could have a long tour, together with Shanghai.

Shanghai trip costs less than Hong Kong trip, from food to hotel.

Choose Hong Kong Over Shanghai:

(Above picture/ Victoria Harbor Night View)

If you want to feel at home, Hong Kong  is an very international city, very international, especially dining.

Hong Kong has one of the world’s top 3 night views, Victoria Harbor Night View.

Hong Kong is a shopping paradise and a paradise of having fun and dining.

Hong Kong is close to Macau, and most tourists could only hold passport to enter Hong Kong and Macau, without other visa.

If you are in a big budget, do whatever you want.

Best Places to Visit: Shanghai Has Chinese Things, Water Town & Garden

Shanghai attractions are more Chinese style than Hong Kong attractions, Hong Kong is much more close with international style.

► Hong Kong best places to visit: Lantau Island(Hong Kong Disneyland Park, Po Lin Monastery, Tian Tan Buddha), Hong Kong Island( Ocean Park, Victoria Peak, Repulse Bay, Happy Valley),  Kowloon(Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok), and Victoria Harbor.

Victoria Harbor
(Above picture/ Victoria Harbor)

Disneyland Park and Ocean Park are for having fun, Repulse Bay and Victoria Harbor are for ocean scenery, Victoria Peak is for Hong Kong panorama, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok is for eating and shopping.

► Shanghai best places to visit: Yuyuan Garden, Jade Buddha Temple, Nanjing Road, the Bund, Lujiazui(Oriental Pearl Tower), Huangpu River, Zhujiajiao Water Town, Xintiandi and Tianzifang, Shanghai Disneyland, and Jinjiang Amusement Park.

Huangpu River
(Above picture/ Huangpu River)

Yuyan Garden is for Chinese classic garden, Oriental Pearl Tower is for Shanghai panorama, Huangpu River is for a night cruise, Xintiandi and Tianzifan is for Old Shanghai buildings, Nanjing Road and Lujiazui is for eating and shopping, while Shanghai Disneyland Park and Jinjiang Amusement Park are for entertainment activities.

enlightenedMore Readings:

Hong Kong Attractions

Shanghai Attractions

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Trip Cost: Shanghai Is Cheaper

Compared to Hong Kong, Shanghai trip is cheaper in everything, from food, hotel, flights, to shopping. Of course the comparison is base on the same level, like  4 star hotels in Shanghai VS 4 star hotels in Hong Kong. If you are in a big budget, do whatever you want.

But I would like to recommend Shanghai to you, because when you plan to have a first China tour, to feel China, to visit China places, not feel like at home , are your intention.

Top Things to Do: Horse Racing is Only in Hong Kong

What to do in Hong Kong?

Victoria Peak
(Above picture/ bird's view from Victoria Peak)

Hong Kong has two tags: dining and shopping, and, you have no reasons to give up this two things. Eating, eating and still eating Hong Kong cruise, and immersed in bling bling goods.  Except this, you could:

  • Take a night cruise on Vitoria Harbor, no this cruise, your Hong Kong tour is not finished
  • Have a panorama view of Hong Kong on Vitoria Peak.
  • Have a dream day in Hong Kong Disneyland
  • Take ferry from Hong Kong to Macau
  • See horse racing at Happy Valley Racecourse

enlightenedMore Readings: Hong Kong Actitivies

► What to do in Shanghai?

Nanjing Road
(Above picture/ Nanjing Road Night)

Shanghai will never fail you in Chinese things, you could:

  • Eat Chinese traditional food, hang out in food streets, linger over food stands
  • Go to the Bund, take night cruise on Huangpu River, and see Shanghai night views
  • Have fun at Shanghai Disneyland Park, Shanghai Happy Valley, or Jinjiang Amusement Park
  • Have a thrilling ride of skywheel,  the biggest skywheel is in Jinjiang Amusement Park, and another popular one is in Shanghai Joy City
  • Visit China ancient water town, Zhujiajiao Ancient Town
  • Visit Yuyuan, Chinese classical garden built hundred years ago

enlightenedMore Readings: Shanghai Activities

Dining: Shanghai is More of Chinese, Hong Kong More of Hong Kong & Western

Hong Kong cuisine consists of two parts, Hong Kong local cuisine and exotic cuisine, while Shanghai cuisine is crowded with Shanghai local cuisine, cuisine from other provinces and cities in China, like Sichuan hot pot, Pecking duck, Lanzhou beef noodles, Guilin noodles.

(Above picture/ Egg tart)

What to eat in Hong Kong: roast goose, roast pork, egg tart, eggette, bread, milk tea, dim sum, curry fish ball, fish ball noodles, wonton noodles.

Where to Eat in Hong Kong: Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui, Causeway Bay.

sheng jian
(Above picture/ Sheng jian)

► What to eat in Shanghai: drunken crab, steamed hairy crab, shrimp meat, Babao duck, xiao long bao, shengjian,guo tie, pastry, Scallion Oil Noodles, xie ke huang.

Where to eat in Shanghai: Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road, Lujiazui, People’s square, Chenghuangmiao street.

enlightenedMore Readings:

Eating in Shanghai

Eating in Hong Kong

Shopping: Hong Kong More Picks, Shanghai Cheaper

Hong Kong and Shanghai are two Shopping Paradises, and welcomes fashion and goods from over the world. Goods imported to Hong Kong for sales do not have any customs duties, therefore they are cheaper than other cities. Still many goods on sale in Hong Kong come from China mainland. Shanghai, a fashionable city in China mainland, has customs duties on imported good, but the price of goods on sale in Shanghai are cheaper than that in Hong Kong. In Shanghai, you could buy so many wholesale goods in lower price, considering China is one of the biggest manufacturing countries and Shanghai is the biggest port in China.

► Popular shopping malls in Hong Kong:  Harbor City in Kowloon,  Times Square and SOGO in Causeway Bay, Landmark(Central) Hong Kong.

For shopping in Hong Kong, you should really not miss Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok.

Shanghai xujiahui
(Above picture/ Shanghai Xujiahui)

► Popular shopping centers in Shanghai: Hang Lung Plaza, Shanghai Times Square, IFC mall. For Shopping in Shanghai, Xujiahui, Huaihai Road, Nanjing Road, and Lujiazui are must go places. Where to buy cheap goods in Shanghai? Qipu Road Clothing Wholesale Market.

Tips: When Hong Kong and Shanghai have big sales? Hong Kong and Shanghai have two big sales in the end of June and in period from Christmas to Spring Festival.

enlightenedMore Readings: 

Shopping in Hong Kong

Shopping in Shanghai


Famous Landmarks: Hong Kong-Victoria Harbor, Shanghai-Lujiazui

(Above picture/ Victoria Peak)

► Hong Kong landmarks: Hong Kong International Finance Center, Golden Bauhinia Square, Victoria Harbor, Victoria Peak, Hong Kong Disneyland Park.

Hong Kong is an international city, open to the world, and it has a history of over hundreds of year in building this modern city. Hong Kong International Finance Center is one of the most modern area crowded with high-rise buildings, and Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is also in this finance center. Golden Bauhinia Square is another landmark of Hong Kong, built for Hong Kong’s back to China in 1997. Bauhinia is Hong Kong’s city flower, and represents Hong Kong. Hong Kong Disneyland Park is the top 1 place for having fun in Hong Kong, and a perfect place for a family trip.

Victoria Harbor and Victoria Peak are two Hongkong Landmarks in natural resource. Victoria Harbor has beautiful coastlines, regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Hong Kong. And a cruise in Victoria Harbor is a must-to-do thing while visiting Hong Kong, which is the highlight of Hong Kong tour. Victoria Peak is the place where you could see the whole Hong Kong, and admire its beauty.

► Shanghai landmarks: the Bund, Lujiazui with Oriental Pearl Tower  and Shanghai Tower, Yuyuan Garden, Chenghuangmiao,  Huangpu River.

(Above picture/ Chenghuangmiao Street)

Historical Buildings of the Bund were built in the 19th century for foreigners in China at that time, with foreign architecture styles. Oriental  Pearl Tower is a TV tower for Shanghai TV, together with Shanghai Financial Center and Jin Mao Tower, it has transparent skywalk for tourists to have a bird’s view of Shanghai, and also has famous restaurants and recreations for tourist and visitors. Yuyuan Garden is the landmark of Shanghai history and tells that Shanghai is a part of Jiangnan area, Chenghuangmian is a landmark of history and culture in Shanghai.

Weather & Best Time to Visit: October-March to Hong Kong, April- November to Shanghai

Hong Kong weather: Hong Kong is located in south of China, with its latitude at about 22° N. Hong Kong is warm at all year round, hot and humid in summer, and not cold in winter. May to September are rainy season, and July to September are typhoon season.

Best time to visit Hong Kong:  from October to March.

Shanghai weather: Shanghai lies in the east of China, and the estuary of Yangtze River, with a latitude at 30° N, hot and wet in summer, but cold in winter with snow. April to September are rainy season, August and September are typhoon season.

Best time to visit Shanghai: April to November.

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