Hong Kong is an interesting metropolitan city that has a unique blend of Eastern and Western culture. It is Asia’s World City and is a great place for shopping, dining, touring and nature walks. The night view of the city with all the lighted sky scrapers and tall buildings from the Peak is beautiful.
Hong Kong was a British Colony until 1997 when it is returned back to Chinese sovereignty. It is known as the Pearl of the Orient and also Jewel of Asia. It is a well developed city with many sky scrappers; it is also conducive for shopping, dining, entertainment and nightlife. Shops and eating houses are open till about 9 or 10 pm and are bustling with activities and customers even on week days and near closing time.
The commonly used language amongst the people of Hong Kong is the dialect Cantonese. Chinese and English are the official languages of Hong Kong. Most workers in shops, hotels and restaurants are conversant in English.
Hong Kong has a well developed transport infrastructure and travelling within this bustling city is very convenient. We travelled with ease via MTR (train system) as this system is efficient and links up most major districts in the territory including stops at the boundary of Mainland China. Besides the MTR, there are buses, trams and taxis for commuting within the city. Ferries travel between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island and outlying islands from piers in Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Horn in Kowloon and Central and Wan Chai.
Hong Kong’s tourist attractions
1. Peak Tram
We travelled up Hong Kong Island’s tallest mountain by the Peak Tram. This is the world’s steepest railway, 373 meters at an angle, tilting the tower blocks by 45 degree. At the top, there is the Peak Tower, Madame Tussauds, leisurely walks and gardens, restaurants and a beautiful view of Hong Kong scenery and sky scrappers.
Peak Tram, Garden Road, Central
2. Victoria Harbor
This “Fragrant Harbor” is bustling with activities; it divides Hong Kong Island from Kowloon Peninsula. Every few minutes, green and white boats depart and ferry passengers on short journey across this waterway.
3. Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong’s very own major theme park. There are many rides, a great dolphin academy, and walk-through shark tank, the largest aquarium in Asia, giant pandas and cable car ride down the steep mountain.
The dolphins are charming, very well-trained and gave a fantastic and beautiful performance with together with their youthful instructors. Both the walk-through shark tank and the aquarium contain many interesting underwater creatures and many enormous sharks and fish.
Ocean Park, Ocean Park Drive, Aberdeen, 2552-0291
4. Hong Kong Disneyland
This wonderful theme park, though not a big place, is a real South East Asia dreamland with beautiful music and Disney characters and wonderful and childlike entertainment. The MTR train leading to Disney is uniquely decorated; it has Mickey Mouse shaped windows, mini status of characters like Chip and Dale. Hong Kong Disney is situated on Lantau with four themed areas of the Magic Kingdom, Mickey Mouse, family shows, rides and nightly fireworks.
Their enchanting Christmas and Disney music is on before their opening hours of 10:00 am right till their closing time at 8:00 pm. There is quite a crowd even on a week day like Monday. Going to Disneyland brings joy and much laughter to both children and adults. For the adults, it felt like travelling back to childhood and into virtual fairyland and play land. We can tour around Disneyland leisurely by their in-house Railroad. There are also scheduled parades, stage shows and photo sessions with many famous Disney characters, like Winnie the Pooh, Donald Duck, Cinderella. It is a great place for family visit.
Hong Kong Disneyland, Penny’s Bay, Lantau
5. Repulse Bay
This is one of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong, located near to an ornate Chinese pavilion with two 10-metre-high statues of Chinese deities.
6. Avenue of Stars (Tsim Sha Tsui)
This is where many of Hong Kong’s very own well-known movie celebrities and stars are honored by having their names and handprints on plaques lay on the pavement. There is also a two-meter-high statue of the famous late kung-fu star, Bruce Lee.
We can travel to Macau by taking a one hour ferry ride from HK Macau Ferry Terminal at Sheung Wan. Macau is known for its casino. There is a shopping centre, Yaohan when we alight at Macau Terminal. Macau sells great tasting Portuguese egg tarts.
8. Ladies’ Market (Mong Kok)
This is located in Tung Choi Street and sells bags, shoes, wallets, accessories, souvenirs and reasonably priced clothes for women, men and children. Toys and posters are also sold here. It is open from noon till 11.30 pm.
Hong Kong boasts of many up market shopping malls with latest brand names fashion. It is a great place to spot for value for money goods like clothes, shoes and cosmetics. There is also a great variety of computers, audio and telecom products. They are all duty and tax free. Some shopping places are IFC mall, Harbor City and Times Square, Louis Vuitton flagship store is located in Central. International stores like Toys R Us, IKEA, 7 Eleven, Giordano, Hang Ten and Guardian (Known as Manning) can be found in Hong Kong.
It is convenient and easy to find good food at a reasonable price as there are plenty of food centre and outlets scattered along shopping and tourist areas. Seafood cooked Hong Kong style tastes great.
Other must tries are Hong Kong delicacies like Dim Sum, which are Cantonese snacks like steamed buns, “siew mai” (shrimp dumpling) in bamboo trays. There are many teahouses in Hong Kong selling snack food at affordable price. Their “yuen yang” (tea & coffee) is unique, strong and pleasant tasting. Their “bo lo bao” which is sweet bun with melted butter is delicious. For a light meal, Hong Kong teahouse serves the finest and great tasting congee (porridge).
Besides all these local food, there are Chinese cuisines, from Peking, Shanghai, Sichuan and so on. There are also International Cuisine like Japanese, Korean and even American Food. Tourists are spoilt for choice when it comes to food. There are also international food chain like MacDonald’s KFC and Pizza Hut in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is a good place to travel and economical for people staying in South East Asia. It is modern and yet has deep roots of Chinese traditional culture. We can easily travel Hong Kong free and easy or we can choose to book a guided tour.
For more information, go to: Website: DiscoverHongKong.com