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Although legally part of the People’s Republic of China, The city of Hong Kong operates with a high degree of independence with its own laws, financial system, immigration policies and police. Due to its long history of British control, the city splits its personality between the western influence that emanates from its association with Great Britain and its Cantonese roots. Hong Kong Island, which is the area most tourists are thinking of when they reference Hong Kong, presents the impressive skyline and ever busy Victoria Harbour that are icons of this Chinese Administrative Area. The largest part of the territory, though, is mostly rural in nature with rocky islands and forested mountains as part of Hong Kong’s makeup. 7 million inhabitants are packed into the residential areas of Hong Kong with over 2 million of them located across Victoria Harbour on the peninsula known as Kowloon where some of the best views of the Hong Kong skyline can be found.
Visitors typically include Peak Tower atop Victoria Peak, Hong Kong’s most exclusive residential area, as one of their favorite must-visit locations. Not only does Peak Tower provide an impressive view of the city but it also houses a shopping mall, restaurants and museums. A number of other impressive museums beckon tourists, including the Hong Kong Museum of History, Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art, all in Kowloon. The Central District offers Dr. SunYat-sen Museum aka Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences and the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum and the Hong Kong Railway Museum are found in the New Territories district, just north of Kowloon. Hong Kong is replete with parks and marine preserves boasting their own impressive landscapes and breathtaking scenery. Among these natural settings are Lantau Island with its traditional fishing villages and the Chinese White Dolphins just offshore as well as the Sai Kung Peninsula, Yan Chau Tong Marine Park and Hong Kong Wetland Park in the New Territories. Hiking on marked trails in these natural areas as well as at Victoria Peak is a common way to experience the beauty and diverse landscape each offers.
There are a number of theme parks and the requisite resorts in Hong Kong including the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Ocean Park and the Buddhist themed Ngong Ping 360 which includes Hong Kong’s longest cable car ride affording impressive views while aboard. Hong Kong presents a number of annual festivals that attract visitors from around the world. Celebrations commemorating the Chinese New Year, the Spring Lantern Festival, the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Moon Festival, Halloween, Christmas and western New Year’s Eve are but a few that attract eager participants. Hong Kong is the center of the Chinese entertainment industry with performances by famous artists occurring regularly. The 200 outlying islands offer many impressive bays and beaches along their impressive coastlines. Visitors to Hong Kong also enjoy camping, sailing, gambling, shopping and the many fine restaurants and night clubs.
Hong Kong International Airport is the premier airport in Asia and the connecting point for many travelers continuing on to other Asian cities. Hong Kong provides anexcellent public transportation system including an intricate system of ferries. It’s only a 1 hour hydrofoil ride to Macau, another must see tourist destination that bears exploration.
Your dream trip to the Far East may very well begin with a stop in Hong Kong. Whether for a few days or a few weeks, Hong Kong provides the excitement visitors would expect from one of the world’s great cities while blending the best of Eastern and Western civilization. Add this trip to your list now.
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