From tomorrow, Asia's World City will be an explosion of colour and energy as visitors and Hong Kong locals alike will welcome in the Year of the Monkey. From praying in the temples for good fortune, browsing the markets for auspicious foods and blooms, to admiring the red lanterns that cover the streets, Hong Kong is alive with celebration.
The Monkey is the ninth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac, and as a guide for visitors to Asia's World City, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has compiled a list of 12 must-see places for guests based on their Chinese horoscope.
Starting with the new horoscope, legend states that the Monkey was born under the sign of fantasy and people born in the year of the Fire Monkey will be flamboyant and charming with a large social circle of friends. With this in mind, Monkey's should visit the party hot spot - Lan Kwai Fong, home to over 90 restaurants and bars; it is the perfect place to socialise.
Next is the sign of the Rooster, known for caring about the environment and nature a visit to one of Hong Kong's outlying islands is a must. Cheung Chau island; although small it packs a powerful punch with beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants to discover.
A known trait of those who come under the sign of the Dog is that they tend to have a good knack for finding bargains. With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, Ladies' Market provides a one-kilometre stretch on which Dog's can perfect their haggling skills.
Pigs are said to be very popular people and love group activities. Explore Hong Kong Tours, are a great way to see the city and meet new people at the same time. The Sham Shui Po Foodie Tour would be an excellent choice to enjoy the local cuisine, explore the charming district and meet with locals for their inside knowledge.
An ideal activity in Hong Kong for Rats would be a Hong Kong cooking class as they tend to excel in new things and like to capitalise on learning new abilities. Whether it is mastering a wok or whipping up some dim sum, it is a perfect opportunity to develop exciting new skills.
The Ox is the deepest thinker of the zodiac signs; they like to be at one with nature in calm, tranquil areas. Hong Kong has a beautiful rural world to explore, so an Ox should try the Dragon's Back hike. Stepping away from the busy urban areas into the peaceful countryside, the hikes will allow an Ox to experience magnificent views of the seas and surrounding outlying islands.
Tiger's are well known for showing tremendous courage and love to push themselves. A Hong Kong activity that requires bravery is Paragliding. Tigers can take the brave leap off the hillside and travel amongst the clouds, with stunning views over Hong Kong.
Next is the Rabbit, who are said to be highly intelligent and appreciate the arts. Hong Kong is the perfect place for this with many museums rich with art, culture and heritage. With topics as diverse as medical science, tea ware, robotics, ancient rituals, movies and history, Rabbits will be spoiled for choice.
Dragons are ambitious people and have lots of energy. A good activity and challenge for the Dragons out there would be to visit Hong Kong's Big Buddha on Lantau Island. Sitting 34 meters high this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia. Dragons can use their energy to climb the 268 steps to the top of statue to experience the magnificent views of Hong Kong.
Snakes have a tendency to enjoy meditating and reflecting. A suggestion whilst in Hong Kong would be to visit the Chi Lin Nunnery, a large elegant wooden temple that contains treasured Buddhist relics. Also beside the temple is the Nan Lian Garden, a tranquil scenic garden that is the perfect spot to mediate for peaceful Snakes.
The next sign is the Horse, which are said to be very elegant dressers and pay close attention to their appearance. A stop at Hong Kong Island's Police Married Quarters (PMQ) is therefore a must. The recently converted police quarter is now a cultural hub for local artists, designers and restaurateurs, the perfect location for fashion finders.
The final sign is the Goat, born under the sign of art and culture, and tend to be quite religious. Goat's should explore Hollywood Road, a street lined with many antique shops and art galleries but also home to the ancient Man Mo Temple, that is the largest temple in Hong Kong.