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Whether flying over the city or navigating into the port via the temperamental South China Sea, the magnificent islands suddenly take form as if in a mirage, enticing the traveler to a closer look at this oasis of ancient tradition commingled with sleek, corporate towers . 


Hong Kong Island, (originally named Victoria Island in honor of the queen), covers only 30 square miles and has a population of 7 million.  Its two islands, Hong Kong and Kowloon are separated by Victoria Harbor.  Most of the cultural attractions, restaurants, and shopping areas are located along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island and at Kowloon’s southern tip.  Between Hong Kong and the border with the rest of China are the New Territories which provide a mountainous scenic backdrop to a number of modern suburban towns.    The other major islands in the area are Lamma, Cheung, Chau, and Lantau (site of Hong Kong’s vast and impressive airport as well as Hong Kong Disneyland.  Beyond these is Macau.  There are actually more than 266 islands in all. 


With 150 years of British colonial influence woven into 5,000 years of Chinese culture, Hong Kong is a city of contrasts. From the ancient Chinese temples, to an upbeat entertainment district with its karaoke bars, Hong Kong truly enchants visitors with everything from food, art, architecture, to the traditional festivals. Since reunification with China, Hong Kong has been classified as a Special Zone operated by China under a “one country, two systems policy.”  This has eased the transition and has kept the economy thriving. 


The Central District of Hong Kong is a glittering, modern business center.   It features the stock exchange, deluxe hotels, and up market shops. The Western District is filled with visitor delights such as bountiful markets, shopping, restaurants, and traditional shop houses.


Rising high above downtown is Victoria Peak, an exclusive residential area located on the highest (1,805 feet) range of hills on the island. The Peak offers visitors a varied selection of restaurants and spectacular views. Ride the 1888 tram to the summit.  Located east of the Central district is the Wanchai District, famed for its nightlife and the perfect place for a night on the town.


The city is built on steep terrain offering many outstanding views as well as walking challenges.    One of the city’s most unusual commuter routes is a half-mile series of escalators known as the Mid-Levels Escalator Link which brings workers from he Mid-Levels district to the Central district in the morning and back at night.  The route passes the green Jaima Mosque and fashionable Staunton Street.


The Hong Kong Museum of Art displays a fine collection of Chinese art and Man Mo Temple is a classic Taoist temple dedicated to Man, a god of literature and Mo, a god of war.  Located on the northeast corner of the island, the area offers a wide range of markets, cafes, and a ferry pier. While visiting Hong Kong, make an escape to the beaches of Shek O. Shek O, a pleasant seaside village, offers hiking excursions on hilly trails and a stunning view of the coast.


There is simply is no other place quite like Hong Kong! The sounds, scents, and excitement will leave a vivid impression. Hong Kong has a reputation as one of the world’s greatest shopping cities and is an amazing urban bazaar and  a shopper’s paradise. Hong Kong offers a rich nightlife, diverse sightseeing, and a tradition of cultural heritage.


Experience a journey to Hong Kong, and be sure to plan to spend at least a week to explore its wonders.  You will partake of a mosaic of thrilling experiences, memorable adventures, and pure serenity.

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