Beyond the sky scrapers and glass of Hong Kong’s commercial persona, the city also boasts a vibrant cultural scene that features the eclectic influences of its Chinese roots, colonial connections and a wondrous pool of homegrown talent. Here, you’re just as likely to find yourself applauding at Asia’s top film festival as joining in dawn taichi or reading the couplets of a local poet to the drumbeat of a dragon boat. Culture could also mean indie music under the stars, a classy art walk, your first Cantonese opera – not to mention the exhibitions and events staged year-round at the many museums and concert halls. The tantalising neighbourhoods and curious islands that make up Hong Kong are a sensory delight awaiting exploration. You may find yourself swaying along on a double-decker tramcar, cheering with the hordes at the city-centre horse races, or simply gazing out at the magnificent harbour. Over 70% of Hong Kong is mountains and sprawling country parks, some also home to geological gems. Escape the city limits on one of the world’s best transport systems and spend your day wandering in a Song-dynasty village, hiking surf-beaten beaches or scouring for sea shards on a deserted island. From ready-to-wear Chinese jackets to bespoke kitchen knives, the sheer range and variety of products on Hong Kong’s shelves is mind-bending. Every whim, need and pocket is catered for in true enterprising spirit by an equally dazzling number of venues – swanky malls where the moneyed shop, chic side-street boutiques, antique stores, gadget bazaars, and a colourful mix of markets where you can haggle to your heart’s content. The city has no sales tax so prices are generally attractive to visitors.