Travel publisher Lonely Planet has named Hong Kong one of the top 10 travel destinations in the world.
Leading the Best in Travel 2012 list is Olympic Games host London. It is followed by Muscat in Oman and Bangalore in India. Hong Kong is ranked eighth.
The book, which is in its seventh year, highlights 10 countries, 10 regions and 10 cities handpicked by the publisher's travel experts.
'These are some of Lonely Planet's must-see spots for 2012, either because they have something special going on next year, there's a lot of buzz about the place, or because we are tipping it as an up-and-coming spot that you should visit, before the crowds get there,' contributor Tom Hall explained.
The travel guide describes Hong Kong as 'China's most liberated city', where rallies like the annual July 1 protests are a common sight.
It noted that the marches, filled with theatrics, song, dance and poetry, 'reflect the city's vibrant indie music and literary scenes'.
Another tourist must-see is the upcoming chief executive election because it is a key event in the city's march towards full democracy, the book says.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board has welcomed Lonely Planet's ranking. A spokeswoman says HKTB will strengthen the city's image as a world-class tourist destination.