Discover Hong Kong
Hong Kong is home to over 7 million people. It is a major trading and banking center and has the most liberal economy on the planet. Hong Kong is also a great tourist destination for there are many things to do and see.
If you need a workout, consider climbing the 431 steps of the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas which houses 12,800 statues of the Buddha and a mummy of a holy man covered in gold leaf.
Or you could try 268 steps to Big Buddha on Lantau Island which is home to the world’s largest seated Buddha. Experience a nice lunch at the Polin Monastery before making your way back down the 110 foot height.
Many spectacular museums located on Kowloon Peninsula which is just across from Hong Kong Island. You can simply stroll along the neighbourhood and soak up the old world ambiance of Hong Kong which is pretty much the same it has been for 200 years. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a grand art museum which houses Chinese art in its various forms from comics to opera, paintings, and sculpture. The Lei Cheng UK Branch Museum has a Han Dynasty tomb which is 2000 years old, but still young compared to some of the 4000 year old history elsewhere in China. You will also find the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Space Museum and planetarium.
Next you can take the famous Star Ferry boat ride over to Hong Kong Island and see the ancient Chinese art at the Hong Kong Museum of Art. It holds over 2000 antique pieces.
When you are ready to relax, head to Hong Kong Park in the Central district where you can stroll through the aviary or sit by the pond and enjoy a meal from an open air restaurant. Enjoy a leisurely walk to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens then take a taxi to the tram which goes up to Victoria Peak. This tram will take you by the homes of the elite in Hong Kong which are nestled into the steep mountain. You can enjoy the view they see from the balcony of their $10 million homes which encompasses Hong Kong and the harbor below.
If seen by day or night, the panoramic view of ancient hills, reflective harbor, and city skyscrapers is not duplicated anywhere else on earth, and is surely a sight to remember of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Finding Places to Stay When Visiting Hong Kong
Hong Kong is both a modern and ancient city. First appearances show a modern metropolis teaming with commerce, crowds and traffic you would expect to find in any major city in the world. Walk down an alley, however, and you will find all kinds of oddities and a feel for the underlying currents of the city. Big business is done in Hong Kong, but so is a unique way of life. Whichever you pursue, you will need a good base to survive this hectic city.
Place to stay in Hong Kong come in all types of quality, shapes and prices. There are really cheap youth hostels with lots of character and five-star luxury hotels that would make an emperor blush. Universally, the accommodations are smaller than you would expect in other parts of the world. You can expect rooms to be smaller than Thailand, but a bit bigger than what you find in Japan for corresponding prices.
Luxury lodgings are primarily located on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Island is the central area of Hong Kong, the location you see in pictures of the massive skyline. It is situated on an amazingly thin strip of land between the ocean and mountains. If you are doing business in Hong Kong, this is where you want to stay as most of the major commerce centers are on the island. There are a bevy of five star places offering accommodations. In truth, your choice is limited only by your budget.
If you are looking for cheaper accommodations in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New territories offer a variety of sources. You can even find hostels on Hong Kong Island. Put another way, accommodations are plentiful regardless of where you are. Hong Kong is a major transportation hub for Asia, so it caters to all budgets.
Finding a place to stay in Hong Kong is a piece of cake. Figure out where you want to stay and then shop around to find the best prices.
Hong Kong is one of the greatest shopping centers of the world. Due to its status as a free port, tourists traveling to China and Hong Kong can find the best deals anywhere in the world. Hong Kong hosts a lot of different items from all over the world.
The Landmark Atrium
The Landmark Atrium is a top shopping center in Hong Kong that caters for the upscale consumer. If you are looking for designer shoes, clothes, and bags, then Landmark Atrium is the place to go. The shopping mall is directly connected to the local transit station for easy access.
The City Plaza
This Hong Kong shopping plaza is a top class department store that features the products of Marks and Spencer’s. Aside from the usual designer shops, this shopping mall also has a wide array of toy products from Toys R Us and a heavily used skating rink. It is connected above the train station. The City Plaza is also home to the widest choices of Chinese and Foreign fast food.
Hong Kong shopping is not complete if one does not go through the famous shopping streets. One of them is the Lanes central. Lined up in these streets are various kinds of small shops that offer the best goods from seafood to electronic products. Hong Kong is known for budget shopping and great finds.
The Nathan Road
The Nathan Road in Kowloon is another Hong Kong shopping street that is known for its various boutiques that are popular to night shoppers. In The Nathan Road, your most valuable asset is your money and your ability to haggle. If you win, you can find the greatest deals. But if you lose, you will find yourself with overpriced pieces. In this street, the haggling is part of the shopping experience that is hard to replace.
The Stanley Market
The Stanley Market also in Kowloon is a most famous Hong Kong shopping center that is known for the excitement of going there as much as shopping there. Home to the best Chinese artworks and souvenirs, you can find lots of Mao items that you can take home. This experience is literally a drive to the jungle. If haggling is the unique experience in Nathan, then the journey is the featured experience here.
What to see
1. I would recommend that a ride on the Star Ferry across the harbour is something to definitely experience. It is wonderful to see the people who have made a life on the harbour fishing and existing in the middle of the city. There is also an incredible floating restaurant on the harbour where you can experience wonderful culinary delights.
2. Taking the tram to the top of Victoria Peak is also something to experience if you have made the effort to go all the way to Hong Kong.
The pollution is something to experience in itself and going to the peak would best be done before it gets too bad if you wish to see the sights. Often though even if the view is bad, there are a couple of lads who will take your picture and superimposed it on a picture of what you would have seen on a clear day ñ quite fun !
3. Ocean Park is a full-blown amusement park. There is a popular Dragon Roller Coaster, Ferris wheel and other white knuckle rides. There is a marine park with a Shark Aquarium that will interest the younger visitors to Hong Kong.
You will also see a traditional Chinese style village where street fairs add exciting colour to the atmosphere.
4. Wong Tai Sin is the most well-known and temple in the city and is also the busiest. The temple is a stunning example of a traditional Chinese temple. What stood out to me when I visited was the temple was the clouds of smoke and the intense smell from the incense sticks that the visitors were burning. The Chinese believe that by burning these sticks that they will have good fortune. It is a free to visit the temple (donations are welcome).
5. Yuen Po Street Bird Market. There are hundreds of exotic birds in equally exotic cages as buying a bird appears to be a business matter in Hong Kong. People spend hours with these birds and I was informed that customers will only buy a bird if the bird chooses them. It is considered to be bad luck to buy a bird that is not happy as the birds happiness is of utmost importance to Hong Kongians.
6. If you are a shopaholic then a visit Stanley Market is a must. You will be able to pick up bargains for a fraction of the price the are sold for in town. This is a goo time to mention not to buy anything from a shop in the main city that does not have a name / board of the shop front. Shopkeepers in these shops may well take your money and tell you that they do not have the goods in stock. They then take your hotel details and promise to bring the items that you have paid for to your hotel and guess what? They don’t.
7. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Sha Tin) Located at New Territories, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery features Buddha in different poses and colours.
8. Repulse Bay is the most famous beach in Hong Kong, apparently so named because the British army had seen off some pirates in olden times! This is a popular destination for the Chinese people and can become so packed that there is no room to sit!
November is the best time to go if you want to avoid the rush and the temperature is still a comfortably warm 70 degrees.
9. Wet Market In Hong Kong, everything is fresh. And when they say fresh, they mean it. If you happen to travel Hong Kong to visit a friend or someone you know, come along when they go to wet market where the freshest among freshest seafood are for sale.