Answers from Our Experts (5)
Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Hong Kong. Right around late September, the oppressive heat and humidity of summer give way to gorgeous weather that usually lingers up through the end of November. This is the best time of year to get outdoors and explore all of Hong Kong's best attractions, from hiking Lion Rock to paying a visit to the Big Buddha (trust me, you don't want to ascend all those steps in the dead of summer).
Aside from the weather, another reason to visit during the autumn is to partake in two of Hong Kong's biggest celebrations: Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day of the People's Republic of China. The dates for the annual Mid-Autumn Festival vary each year (the harvest celebration is honored on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, on a full moon), but if you can swing your trip to coincide with the holiday — which typically falls near the end of September or early October — it's worth doing so. The entire city lights up with festive paper lanterns, parades fill the streets and everywhere you turn, someone is offering a bite of their moon cake as a symbol of good will and friendship.
National Day festivities are a bit easier to predict, as the holiday falls on October 1 each year. Since Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, the day is honored with a dazzling fireworks show over Victoria Harbor. Arrive early if you'd like a prime spot, as several thousand spectators pack both sides of the harbor to gaze upon the visual spectacle.
We are pretty close to the equator, not as close as Singapore but still close. Rather than getting four seasons, Hong Kong and Macau only have two — summer and effectively winter, which is more like fall. I like North America and I like the cooler climates, so I think the best time to visit is from November to February because it’s not as hot and humid.
Chinese New Year is a great time to visit Hong Kong. The weather is cooler and the streets are quieter as most locals are out of town. There are no lines; and when you do run into crowded areas, it actually adds to the fun because everyone is out enjoying the festive season. Finding a table in Hong Kong’s best Chinese restaurants is also easier during this time.
I’m on the road much of the year; so major public holidays are the only time I get to enjoy my office. Since we set up our office in Bangkok two years ago, I’ve been spending a third of my time in Thailand and have loved exploring their culture.
There are clear "good" and "bad" times to visit this subtropical city. The summer months from June to September, or thereabouts, are swelteringly hot and humid. Temperatures in summer can reach up to 90°F and humidity year-round ranges between 75-87 percent; don't visit at this time of year unless you have a high tolerance for heat or don't mind spending the majority of your time indoors enjoying the almost-ubiquitous icy cold air conditioning.
The weather gradually starts getting cooler from November onwards, typically bottoming out at around 50°F on its coldest days. Though it might not sound like much, central heating isn't as commonly found as it is in other, colder countries. The best time to visit, therefore, is squarely between September and November, a short window during which the weather is cool and balmy.
Other climatic aspects to take into consideration include rain and typhoons: as a coastal city, Hong Kong is subjected to monsoons, with heavy rainfall during April and occassional storms through summer. Typhoons (tropical cyclones) are known to occur throughout summer and fall. The Hong Kong Observatory advises that people stay indoors if a signal of 8 or higher is hoisted (the highest level is 10), but this signal typically doesn't last for more than a couple of days. Typhoon signal 10 — which warns for hurricane force winds, among others — has only been raised twice within the last 15 years or so.
Without a doubt, late autumn is the most pleasant time of year to visit Hong Kong, with temperatures in the low 70s and (slight) relief from the high humidity that grips the city much of the year.
Air-conditioned movie theaters notwithstanding, it never gets truly cold here (at least not by global standards — Hong Kongers tend to bundle up at the slightest drop in the mercury). Still, January and February can be quite chilly and damp. Cooler temperatures persist through winter and early spring, but the humidity rises. If you visit during summer, be prepared to sweat, with temperatures averaging in the upper 80s through July and August, accompanied by high humidity. Oh, and be ready for rain: Typhoon season runs from May to November.
For the most thorough and accurate weather information, including storm warnings and other advisories, visit the Hong Kong Observatory website (they even have a Twitter account).