Weather: January is the coldest month in Hong Kong, but it is usually dry and mild. It sometimes gets cloudy, with some rain, which is rarely heavy. The average low and high temperatures are 14 °C (57 °F) and 19 °C (66 °F). January is the driest month of the year and so sightseeing is all the easier.
Clothing: Light winter clothing should be sufficient for the days, but something heavier might be needed for the evenings.
Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations dominate the list of “must do things” for January and depending on the Chinese calendar, there can be as little as 3 weeks between the two holidays. Hong Kong with its colonial past and Chinese population celebrate both.
Spring Festival (Chinese New Year) sometimes falls in late January, depending on the traditional Chinese calendar, although most years it is in February. It is the greatest and longest holiday festival in Hong Kong. It is a 3-day holiday generally.
Be aware: Though the Chinese New Year rush doesn't affect Hong Kong as badly as mainland China, Hong Kong will still be very busy as most people will be on holiday. Hong Kong hotel rates also jump up since mainland tourists flock in during the Chinese New Year rush.
See the Chinese New Year Parade in the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui, temple fairs, and displays of lanterns in parks. The event is normally held on the first day of Chinese New Year and transforms the harbor-front area into an all out street party.
The Chinese New Year fireworks show over Victoria Harbor is a computerized production that is a part of the Symphony of Lights. Western and Chinese New Year celebrations are traditionally heralded with fireworks displays in Hong Kong. Spectacular displays last for up to 8 minutes and include thousands of rockets, worth millions of dollars, but are all free to watch!
Visit a Hong Kong Chinese New Year flower market: One of the local Chinese holiday traditions is to go to a local street market or flower market in a park on the eve of the Chinese New Year to buy fresh flowers or potted flowers to give as gifts. For tourists, it is a chance to buy gifts, holiday food, and tourist souvenirs and experience a local custom firsthand.
During the Christmas celebrations, many buildings are festooned with seasonal lighting. Huge frescoes of snowmen, Father Christmas and angels can be seen on the harbor front and in Kowloon at Tsim Sha Tsui East’s fountain square. A tall brightly lit tree is erected in Statue Square, Central. You can’t fail to see these wonderful decorations in early January and December.
Hong Kong is a shopping paradise any time of the year, but due to the holidays in January and the abundance of “lai see” or lucky money given out during the Chinese New Year celebrations, there are sales galore as retailers compete harder than ever for the dollars in your pocket. Visit the shopping districts of Causeway Bay and Mong Kok for the best deals.
During the public holidays, many families enjoy eating out and head for the hotel buffets. Luxury buffets at five star hotels like the Excelsior in Causeway Bay and the Langham in Tsim Sha Tsui are always firm favorites. Soho, Lan Kwai Fong and Knutsford Terrace in Tsim Sha Tsui are popular with revelers on New Year’s Eve and have a great atmosphere as well as a broad and exciting range of restaurants to dine in.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club holds "Magnificent Race Days" throughout the racing calendar. These special days normally coincide with major public holidays such as New Year’s Day and the last of the three days of the Chinese New Year holidays. Race day is full of excitement and many additional events are scheduled to take place at the track to celebrate the festive season.
Racing on the very first day of the new year is considered auspicious, whether or not you are a horse racing enthusiast and is an experience not to be missed! Beautiful horses, skilled jockeys and crowds going wild all heighten the excitement, and provide for a fun-filled, thrilling atmosphere in the world-class venues of Happy Valley or Sha Tin.
Happy Valley Racecourse is a sight in itself, as the city has built around it over the years and is now surrounded by commercial and residential towers. It’s unique experience especially in the evening when the track is floodlit.
A wonderful way to spend a winter evening is to ride down to the coastal town of Aberdeen after sightseeing on Victoria Peak and have dinner on a famous floating seafood restaurant boat such as the Jumbo. The weather in January is generally fine and dry and often sunny, and it can make for a nice walk down the peak to Aberdeen along the country park trails.
January is a shoulder season travel period, but the Spring Festival period is the busiest time for travel all over China. Tickets for flights to Hong Kong and between Hong Kong and destinations in mainland China may be difficult to get. Contact our professional travel advisor to design a Hong Kong tour.
Our most popular Hong Kong tours, for inspiration:
The above are sample tours. Please feel free to let us know your interests and requirements to customize a tour for you.