How to Survive Hong Kong’s Death Defying Humid Summer Months
Ah Hong Kong, the Fragrant Harbour as some people (who can’t smell) would call it. The one never has to compromise between city life and the great outdoors. Where else in the world can dine at a swanky restaurant, hop down to the beach, go shopping at some ritzy store and then some, all within a few hours? Yep, this city’s got it all. But if there’s one it could do without? Death-defying humidity! Having lived here for over ten years, I know that feeling all too well of leaving your house in the morning and feeling like you straight-up entered a sauna. With this in mind, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list of essentials that you will need to pack when visiting the incredible, yet heat-filled 852. Check out these suggestions below:
Quite an obvious one – but just in case you’re not sure, jeans are not ideal for Hong Kong’s summer months. Leggings & Yoga pants are passable, but seriously ladies if you’re not in the gym, you’re not fooling anyone! Unless you have to attend a work meeting or go out, I would recommend you wear shorts the majority of your trip. They’re light, airy, casual, and can be worn with almost anything! Make sure to bring options so you can rotate your outfits.
Also another self-explanatory option – but as a tip, if you’re the type of person to pack by planning your outfit for each day, I would add an extra two T-shirts for each outfit. When visiting this country, you are going to want to tour the sites and walk around, which sadly will cause you to sweat-sweat-sweat profusely. Therefore, I suggest you start buying some extra basic T-shirts. Oh, and deodorant. You can thank me later!
Hong Kong’s upscale nightlife calls for cute going out clothes! Girls, make sure to pack your favorite skirts and shorts to pair with some elegant tops. Or if you want to go all out, pack a dress! Guys, you have no choice but to wear long pants at night, but here is a tip: choose cool colors such as light blue, khaki and beige versus dark black or blue, as dark colors absorb heat faster.
Beat Hong Kong’s heat with a dip in the ice-cold pool or ocean! Hong Kong is filled with beaches and swim clubs that you will want to visit. Pack your swimsuits according to the number of days you will spend here. Trust me, you will need them.
Unless you are going on a hike, ditch the closed-toed shoes and opt for sandals. In a hot and humid city like Hong Kong, your feet are bound to swell. Forget that old Chinese faux-pas about wearing flip flops, they’re embraced in this town! It’s not a good feeling, so to help your feet breathe and see the light of day, invest in some comfortable flip flops and sandals to walk around in.
As mentioned earlier, whoever coined this place the Fragrant Harbour, clearly couldn’t smell. I won’t gross you with details, but let’s just say: humidity + loads of sweaty people = OMFG! Whilst you are sweltering away in the heat and running through the many T-shirts you were advised to pack, make sure to re-apply your deodorant! It will help to bring two versions, one travel sized one you can carry on an everyday basis and your preferred choice to leave in your hotel room.
Even when you are not planning a beach day with your friends, you will need to wear sunscreen in Hong Kong. Your burns may not show immediately, but after a few days of being here, your face may start to hurt. Therefore, it is always best to carry sunscreen in your everyday bag to reapply throughout the day, along with that deodorant!
All hair types may react differently to unusual climate changes, some reacting better than others. But let me tell you, in Hong Kong, no matter what type of hair you may have, it will still frizz all the way. Blow-dryers, straighteners, curling irons and other styling tools won’t be of assistance where this is concerned. The key to having nice hair in a humid climate is towel-drying, along with the application of oils and products that will tame the fly-aways and reduce the frizz level. If you have thick or coarse hair, think about packing a nice shea butter or coconut oil. For thinner hair, opt for an anti-frizz spray. It will really help!
Visiting a tropical climate always means being exposed to swarms of mosquito’s and other pests, therefore to save yourself from getting bitten, pack some mosquito repellent! Whether it is in the form of a spray or patch, you should constantly have this by your side.
If only two words could be used to describe Hong Kong in the summer, it would be “monsoon season”. Each summer in the months of June and July, Hong Kong goes through bouts of rainy periods, consisting of lightning and thunderstorms, typhoons and flooding. Be prepared by packing an umbrella with you wherever you go. And DON’T TRUST THE METEOROLOGIST. You think the weather is gonna be your guardian angle when you can’t decide if that umbrella will clutter your outfit? Take it, or forever hold your rain-soaked spite for Hong Kong in peace!
Pooja Sadhwani is an upcoming third-year student at New York University studying Media, Culture, and Communications with a dual major in Journalism. She was born in New Jersey and later moved to Hong Kong when she was about nine years old. When you don’t see her studying or working at her Ovolo Internship, you will find her hanging out with her friends and exploring the new attractions that the city of Hong Kong has to offer.