HONG KONG - Fascination of the Far East!
The Hong Kong Identity and Top Reasons to Visit Hong Kong
BRITISH or CHINESE?
After more than a hundred years of British rule, bustling Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 and now it is an special administrative region (SAR) of China. Tensions have been evident as the locals come to grips with Chinese rule and the uncertainty that the future may hold in regards to changes in law and lifestyle.
With its multicultural population, Hong Kong is a mix of east and west and everything in between. Hip new western style eateries and burger joints mix with traditional cantonese restaurants to provide a mouthwatering choice for all. And don't forget to catch the views from the many rooftop bars around the city.
HARBOUR and CITY SKYLINE
Hong Kong's greatest asset is its stunning harbour and endless skyline of skyscrapers and high rise apartment buildings. Indeed the name Hong Kong means fragrant harbour and what a harbour it is. The best way to enjoy the waters is to take a harbour cruise or just hop on the famous Star Ferry.
HUMIDITY, WE GOT IT!
Most visitors to Hong Kong can relate to the sapping humidity across the region from May to October. plan your day well and make sure to include breaks for refeshments. No wonder Hong Kong's air conditioned malls are so appealing! Hong Kong is also suspectible to typhoons between May and November.
Hong Kong comprises over 250 islands. The larger ones like Lantau and Lamma are inhabited and make for an enjoyable day trip away from the big city. Lantau is the largest island and home to the Big Buddha, Disneyland and the Airport. Part of the fun is the ferry ride so definitely explore Hong Kong's islands if you have time!
PEOPLE and CHAOS
One thing that surprises first time visiors is the sheer mass of humanity. Hong Kong is one of most densely populated places on the planet and it always seems like they are on the pavements 24 hours a day! But this is also the essence of Hong Kong, it is vibrant, upbeat and always a lively place to visit.
SHOP, SHOP, SHOP....
Hong Kongers are well known for their obsession for shopping. It could be termed the national pastime and it is easy to see why. For locals there are huge malls and a myriad of linked department stores to choose from. Tourists also flock to the popular street markets like Temple St and Stanley.
The famous Star Ferry has been transporting passengers across Victoria Harbour for over a 100 years and is still as popular as ever. The short ride is cheap and is a great introduction to Hong Kong. The views of the skyline and harbour are amazing during the day and especially at night.
A must-see on a clear day is a visit to Victoria Peak. The trip affords the most breathtaking views of the skyscrapers and the harbour below. Take the famous Peak tram to the summit and enjoy a meal where you can take in the stunning views. There are also relaxing walking paths around the Peak to enjoy and get away from the hustle and bustle below.