Hong Kong is located on the southern coast
of The Peoples Republic of China. The former British colony consists of three
main areas; The New Territories, The Kowloon Peninsula,
and Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated
places on the planet. It’s dramatic cityscapes cling to the hillsides
and the edges of its spectacular harbor.
Hong Kong is the embodiment of yin and yang,
the Chinese concept of balance. It is filled with neighborhoods that resonate
with Chinese and colonial tradition, while it’s soaring skylines look boldly towards
the future. For visitors, Hong Kong offers some of the
world’s most intense shopping, sightseeing and dining experiences, yet moments of stillness await at every turn. Faith is an integral part of local life.
Everywhere you go you’ll smell the scent of
incense wafting from shrines. Hong Kong has over 600 places of worship, from small neighborhood temples, to hilltop
complexes like the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. In Hong Kong, shopping is almost a religion
too! From opulent malls like Pacific Place to the bustling markets of Temple Street and
Ladies Street, tax-free Hong Kong is heaven bargain hunters. At the tip of the Kowloon Peninsula is Tsim
Sha Tsui, an area filled with classic neighborhoods.
Take a stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade
which overlooks Victoria Harbor, one of the busiest and most scenic ports in
the world. The promenade is home to some of the territories
premier arts institutions, like the Museum of Art and the Hong Kong Cultural
Centre. From the promenade, hop aboard an historic
Star Ferry for the short crossing to Hong Kong Island. Explore the malls and futuristic architecture
of Hong Kong’s main business district, Central.
Then take tram to the island’s highest mountain,
Victoria Peak. At the Peak Tower, meet some of the giants
of history, politics, and popular culture at Madam Tussauds. Then head up to the observation deck for the
best views in Hong Kong. Looking down upon the skyscrapers and apartment
towers, you might wonder how so many people can live
in such a tightly packed area.
Yet Hong Kong offers plenty of green spaces
too. Take a stroll around Lugard Road to experience
the Peak’s dense woodlands. While closer to earth, Hong Kong’s urban centers
feature pockets of peace everywhere. There’s the wide open spaces of Victoria garden, the hillside tranquility of Hong Kong Garden, and the birdsong of the Po Lin Street Bird
Kowloon’s Walled City Park is a gateway into
the world of classic Qing Dynasty design, and features statues of the twelve animals
of the Chinese zodiac. Outside the urban areas, visitors are often
surprised to learn that over forty percent of the Hong Kong’s
territory has been designated as national park Thanks to Hong Kong’s excellent public transport
system, quiet beaches, sparsely populated islands and wild places
are never more than short ride away. From Hong Kong Island’s central business district, take the half hour bus ride to the tranquil
beaches of Shek O. Or, jump on a ferry to traffic-free Lamma
Island and spend the day swimming, exploring villages,
and hiking its many trails.
Lantau is the largest of Hong Kong’s 250 Islands. Take the 25 minute cable car ride to the mountain-top
village of Ngong Ping. Here you’ll find the Po Lin Monastery, and
one of Hong Kong’s biggest attractions, the Tian Tan Buddha. After paying your respects at the Big Buddha
seek a little enlightenment along the Wisdom Path a trail dedicated to the centuries-old Buddhist
scripture, the Heart Sutra.
Down on Lantau’s western coast, lose yourself
in the narrow lane ways of Tai O. This village has been home to fishing families
for generations. The ramshackle stilt houses are a favorite
with photographers, and its dried seafood is highly prized by
cooks from all over Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, no matter how far you roam,
you’re never more than an hour from your hotel room.
At the end of the day, let the outdoor escalators
on Central carry you up to the midlevel neighborhoods. Cruise the fashionable bars of Soho, then
choose a restaurant in the popular dinning district of Lan Kwai Fong. Hong Kong is a place of contrasts after dark
too. Enjoy the bustle of the night markets, or
just sit back and relax by the cool of the harbor.
That’s pure yin and yang. That’s pure Hong Kong.