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Hong Kong

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Table of contents

Things to do and See in Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong


Hong Kong truly a fantastic city as it’s where East meets west, of Capitalism versus Communism. The area of Boundary Street to Shenzhen River and a group of 260 islands, now known as the New Territories, were leased to Britain in 1898 for a period of 99 years and given back in 1997. People didn’t know what to expect, but the Chinese have left it as it was, as it brings in billions of dollars into the economy every year. Hong Kong is the on top the UN list for urban population density, as you will notice when you come. This tax-free, bustling port and commercial centre comprises Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and the many Outlying Islands.

In Hong Kong you will see amazing skyscrapers next to traditional houses and brand new cars driving along side people pushing wheelbarrows as there form of transport. As a duty free port, it’s a shopper’s paradise and the food is unbelievable as you will find thousands of restaurants all over the city to try it. The HKTB Museum Pass gives unlimited admission to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense, the Hong Kong Museum of History and others, as well as some discounts in the museum shops. Valid for one week, the pass costs HK$30 and is available from HKTB offices and participating museums. If you are in the city for awhile I definitely recommend you get it. Also if you plan on traveling around a lot on public transport, I recommend you get the Octopus Travel Card, which is a cheaper and more convenient way of traveling around. For more information go to www.octopuscards.com

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak is 550m above sea level and it’s arguably the most conspicuous landmark in Hong Kong. You can take the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak, where the views from above are spectacular. On a clear day you can see mainland China and Macau. There are loads of restaurants and shops and the main one is the Peak Galleria shopping arcade. If you are hungry I recommend Café Deco, in the Peak Galleria, which has fantastic views of the city. Admission for the Peak Tram is HK$22, but prices are subject to change. For more information go to www.discoverhongkong.com or www.thepeak.com.hk
 
Statue Square

This square shows Hong Kong’s financial might as you can see it in the buildings around the square. Richard Rogers’ headquarters building for the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation forms the south side of the square and just to the east of it is I M Pei’s Bank of China Tower. In this square you can visit St John’s Cathedral, which is thought to be the oldest Christian church in Asia. Also in the square you will find the Legislative Council Building, formerly the Supreme Court, on the east side of the square, houses Hong Kong’s partly elected assembly. If you would like to go up the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Building or the Bank of China Tower, you can and the views from above are amazing. Another building is the International Finance Center. For more information and prices go to www.hsbc.com.hk, www.bochk.com/en/index.htm or www.ifc.com.hk

Stanley Market

The best markets on Hong Kong Island is on Stanley Street, as you will find everything here and if you are needing a suit you can get one of the tailors to do one up for you. Remember Hong Kong is a duty-free port, so you can get an absolute bargain here.

Happy Valley Races

The Chinese are mad about there horse racing as millions of dollars are gambled every day. The Happy Valley Races is an exciting day out for those interested in this form of entertainment, as its one of the biggest race courses in the world.

Aberdeen Harbor
 
You can take boat trips on the harbor and the harbor is most famous for its neon-lit Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which is the largest in the world. You can get some very beautiful pictures from Aberdeen Harbor and especially at night.

Man Mo Temple

Located on Hollywood Road you will find Man Mo Temple, the country’s oldest Chinese temple that honors the gods of literature (Man) and war (Mo). It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in town.

Wan Chai

Wan Chai district is renowned for its small shops and markets, as well as fashionable restaurants and bars. The impressive 78-storey Central Plaza stands here (Hong Kong’s tallest building) and visitors can view the city from the Sky Lobby on its 46th floor. After 1800 each day, neon lights upon the building’s rooftop change color every hour to denote the time of evening.

Kowloon

This area of Hong Kong is considered a ‘tourist mecca’, as Tsim Sha Tsui is packed with tourist hotels, shops and markets. If you are looking for shopping go to Nathan Road, which is where you will find the high end shopping, which is comparable to that you will find in either London or New York. If you are looking for other shopping areas go to Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei, which are bustling markets. In Yau Ma Tei, Temple Street is a normal commercial road and excellent for buying goods until 1400, and then you will see carts and people appear for the areas Night Market, that sells everything from electrical goods to clothing. This is an excellent place to find souvenirs for friends back home. The Mong Kok area is thought to be the world’s most densely populated urban area and you will definitely see that when you are here.

If you are looking for more traditional and temples then you should visit Wong Tai Sin Temple, which is a colorful building that has red pillars, a golden ceiling and decorated latticework. This is also Hong Kong’s number one temple for Chinese New Year celebrations. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome.

Outside the City


New Territories

The territories cover 796 sq km between Kowloon and Mainland China, and are a contrast of hilly woodlands, wildlife reserves, sandy bays, new towns and lively markets. Sha Tin is home to Sha Tin Racecourse, that normally stages horse races at the weekend, and the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery situated in the hills above Sha Tin, houses around 13,000 small Buddha statues, and is well worth visiting.

Many historical and interesting sights are scattered among the New Territories. A beautifully designed complex, located in Tuen Mun, features pavilions, bonsai trees, lotus ponds and a Taoist temple that contains lanterns from Beijing’s Imperial Palace. Built in 1486, Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda in Yuen Lang district is the oldest pagoda in Hong Kong. The Waterfront Park in Tai Po has a futuristic Lookout Tower that provides breathtaking views across Tolo Harbour. Further north, on the border with China, is the fantastic Fung Ying Seen Koon Temple, built in the traditional Taoist style with a double-tiered roof of orange tiles. This area is worth visitng as it gets youout of the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Island.

Outlying Islands

Hong Kong has over 260 outlying islands but only a few are inhabited. The most popular island is Lantau Island, which has loads of temples and monasteries. Lantau Island also has a Giant Buddha that sits upon Ngong Ping Plateau at the Po Lin Monastery. At 26m high and weighing in at 202 tones of bronze, it is the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha. Monks prepare vegetarian lunches at the monastery for visitors. This is worth the journey out to the islands as it gives you a different view of Hong Kong as not just a place with huge buildings and loads of people.

If you are looking for white sandy beaches you will find them on Cheung Sha and Lamma Island, which is known for its seafood and there are loads of restaurants there to try some. Cheung Chau is another island that holds an annual Bun Festival in celebration of Pak Tai (a god that influences good sailing and fishing). Bamboo towers covered in steamed buns are constructed as an offering to the god.



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