This holiday is for those who would prefer a longer and more elaborate tour of China, perhaps following an earlier introductory visit. In addition to Beijing and the Terracotta Army in Xian, we have included the former capital of Nanjing, the garden city of Suzhou and mighty Shanghai.
Hong Kong’s magnificent natural setting on the tip of the Chinese mainland is a natural gateway to the Orient. It is an intense, vibrant and colourful city of dramatic contrasts. Towering skyscrapers form the backdrop to the busy harbour. Yet in the teeming alleys, street markets remain untouched by western influences. At night the city is ablaze with neon signs.
Visiting Hong Kong
Our top must read Hong Kong travel guide books
Visit Hong Kong – Pearl Of The Orient
By: Wolfgang Jaegel
Hong Kong, also referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asia. Until the arrival of the British in 1842, it was just a typical small village.
In 1997, Hong Kong was handed over to China, under the policy ‘one country, two systems.’ The city has now become one of the vibrant as well as s sought after destinations not only in Asia but also in the world.
Bordered by the South China Sea and Sea, Hong Kong, al though a part of China, is different from rest of China. With its own government, stamps, and laws and regulations, the city consists of four geographic areas, such as, the New Territories, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the Outlying Islands, all of them packed with a plethora of attractions and facilities.
It also consists of more than 200 islands, which consist of both small and tiny islands. In addition, Hong Kong is much famed for its superb deep water harbors. According to the survey conducted by the World Tourism Organization, the city has been ranked among the 15 most preferred tourist destinations in the world.
An incredible city blending the best from the East and West, Hong Kong’s attractions, among many others, are Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre with its unique curved three-tier roof and glass walls; the covered Central-Mid level Escalator, which is the longest in the world; and Hollywood Road, packed with a range of antique and curio shops selling Buddha statues, Japanese specialties like ikebana baskets, Chinese furniture, and snuff and perfume bottles.
Despite these attractions, perhaps the most famed attraction of the city is Victoria Peak, from whose summit you can gaze down to enjoy the wonderful vistas of skyscrapers and Victoria Harbor. During nights, the sights from the peak become more dazzling.
Also, of special significance are the temples of the region. Since Buddhism being the most popular religion of the place, Hong Kong has to its credit more than 400 temples, each of which is regarded as not to be a missed tourist attraction.
One of the most prominent Buddhist shrines is the Chi Lin Nunnery, located in Kowloon. Considered a living museum of the Tang Dynasty, it has been stunningly renovated in the traditional Tang-era architecture with several magnificent Buddhist halls. Another popular Buddhist shrine is Po Lin Monastery, whose focal point is a bronze statue of the Lord Buddha, which is the largest in the world. In addition to Buddhist shrines, the place also consists of several other popular shrines such as St John’s Cathedral, which is considered to be the oldest in the Far East and Shelley Street Mosque, which is noted for its minaret of green and white colors.
A visit to Hong Kong would be incomplete without taking a tour to many of its fascinating museums, showcasing unique art and antiquities representing several aspects of the place such as its history, film industry, space and science, and coastal defense. Some of the most visited museums in the region are Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, Hong Kong Film Archive, Hong Kong Museum of Medical Sciences, Hong Kong Racing Museum, Hong Kong Planning and Infrastructure Exhibition Gallery, and Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.
Attractions also include a continuum of beautiful beaches, including Repulse Bay, the most spectacular among the city’s beaches; Deep Water Bay, which is connected by a pathway to the Repulse Bay Beach; Turtle Cove, a tranquil beach; Golden Beach, the first artificial beach in Hong Kong; and Hung Shing Yeh – a marvelous beach on the Lamma Island.
Also, the gastronomy of the place is amazing, with specialized areas for enjoying remarkable delicacies, like, SoHo with a variety of restaurants serving international cuisine; Gage Street, dotted with an array of stalls, from where one can enjoy the best of Hong Kong style cuisines comprising noodles, soups, pastries, and herbal teas; and floating style restaurants found in Aberdeen.
Apart from this, excellent options are available for shopping, with areas like Lyndhurst Terrace packed with shops selling ancient paintings and maps; Stanley Street, considered a paradise for shopping cameras and film accessories; and Li Yuen Streets, dotted with shops selling knick-knacks, leather items, and casual wear.
With these fabulous attractions and options to enjoy a variety of activities, tourists flock to Hong Kong all year round. No matter you want budget or luxury accommodation, the city has options to cater to all types of tourists. Majority of the hotels and resorts are located within the heart of the city, and hence are within easy reach of almost all top tourist attractions.
Nowadays, many of the hotels, both budget and luxury accommodation, have their own sites on the web, which in turn enables the visitors to check price and room as well as make bookings in advance.
About the Author
The Accor Group manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands and offers services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in 35 countries use a broad range of services engineered and managed by Accor Services.
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