In 1997, the world watched Great Britain hand over the keys of its Crown Colony, Hong Kong, to the People’s Republic of China. What was the end of an era for Great Britain was only a new beginning for Hong Kong which has continued to evolve at its usual protean pace. In those days as now, travelers swarmed over such central Hong Kong attractions as the Peak and its tram, Stanley Market, the Kowloon water front at Tsim Tsa Tsui, the floating colony of Aberdeen and its jumbo Floating Restaurant and the shopping in Kowloon and Central District. But since then, the city, which is really only the center of a 250-island archipelago, has added attractions and improved its infrastructure with one of the best new airports in the world, a Disney theme park and an ever expanding range of hotels. And the growth doesn’t stop there, as only recently Hong Kong announced plans for a new major cruise terminal that promises to put it at the center of Asia’s growing cruise travel.
There’s no easier place in Asia to move among the people than Hong Kong and that’s the city’s secret ingredient. Public transportation on busses, subways, ferries and taxis are all easy and inexpensive. Signs are in English; and just about everyone speaks some English. Exploring the city begins with a priceless ride on the Star Ferry that will set you back about 15 cents.
In Kowloon travelers explore museums, malls, stores and the Tsim Tsa Tsui waterfront, one of the great urban promenades in the world. High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel is a world unto itself, a place where live chamber music filters down from the rafters over a tea service in the full British regalia of cucumber sandwiches, raisin scones and clotted cream. In Kowloon’s back streets you’ll find the Jade Market and the Bird Market where tea and canary songs waft between the staccato clicking of mah jong tiles. On Hong Kong Island, the feeling is more British Colonial on the ground and above the towering skyscrapers touch the sky.
At Lantau Island, there is the Disney Park and Ngong Ping 360, a cultural themed village with easy access to the Po Lin Monastery, the world's largest, seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha statue. Gong Ping 360 incorporates such family attractions as Walking with Buddha, Monkey’s Tale Theatre and the Ngong Ping Tea House. The village uses traditional Chinese architectural features a variety of shopping and dining venues. Away from Disney and Ngong Ping, Lantau is a home to fishing villages, beaches and the monastery. Be sure to ride the four-mile cable car out to Lantau.
Hong Kong’s 150-acre Wetland Park features 70 walking trails lined with bird hides which allow those wanting to watch the birds in Asia’s top birding site an up close chance. Hong Kong, along with Taipei, is generally recognized as having the highest quality Chinese food in the world. The truth is though that Hong Kong’s global nature gives it great cuisine from all over the world. As one of Asia’s top airport hubs, virtually all of the international airlines that fly to Asia have flights to Hong Kong.
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Situated on the edge of the Victoria Harbour, this hotel provides stunning views of the waterfront and has 495 contemporary guest rooms. Rooms at the InterContinental are equipped with LCD televisions, high speed Internet, BOSE entertainment systems and 24 hour butler service, among other upscale offerings. The hotel has posh restaurants, an urban swimming pool, a wine bar and is located near attractions like the Temple Street Night Market, Jade Market and Hong Kong Island.(more)
This five star luxury hotel is located in the vibrant city of Mongkok, in the heart of Kowloon. It has a spa, great restaurants, lounges and plenty of meeting space. The Langham Place is a 42 story hotel with 665 rooms and is just 35 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. It’s within walking distance to the Jade and Ladies Markets.(more)
This five star luxury hotel has been hailed as one of the finest hotels in the world and has been operating since 1928. Rooms at the Peninsula Hotel provide stunning views of the Victoria Harbour and guests have plasma screen televisions, white marble bathrooms and other upscale accommodations. The hotel also has a spa, a high end fitness room and exquisite cuisine.(more)
Recognized as one of the world's finest business hotels, this 61-story hotel is located above Pacific Place, an upscale retail and entertainment complex in Hong Kong's business district. The Conrad Hotel features 512 guest rooms with views of Hong Kong Harbour and Victoria Peak and each room is equipped with high speed Internet, satellite television and other accommodations.(more)
Four Seasons Hotel
This luxury hotel overlooks the Victoria Harbour and financial district. The Four Seasons Hotel has 399 guest rooms with contemporary decor including wood and silk paneled walls, marble floors and plasma televisions. The hotel also has an upscale spa with many treatments to choose from and five elegant restaurants as well as a bar.(more)
Victoria Peak (Tai Ping Shan)
Known as the Mountain of Great Peace, Victoria Peak stands over one thousand feet above sea level. On a clear day you can easily catch a glimpse of Macau and Mainland China from here. A simple walk allows visitors to explore the natural beauty of the Victoria Peak, through forests of bamboo and fern and small Chinese pines.
Step bank in time and board this famous double decker "Shining Star" ferry, a beautiful re-creation of the vintage ferries, which occupied the Victoria Harbor in the early 1920’s. Relax and enjoy the scenic views of Hong Kong from sea while sipping a cup of fine coffee in the ferry’s cafe or soak up the sun on the open decks while enjoying the cool sea breezes.(more)
Hong Kong Disneyland
Venture into the magical world of Disney, through lands of fantasy, adventure, early Americana, and space. As you step through the castle doors of fantasy land, stories truly start to come to life. Take a ride on Dumbo or meet your favorite Disney princess. Take in a parade or watch some fireworks as you journey back in time to the early 1920’s America, complete with vintage cars and store fronts. Battle aliens side by side with Buzz Lightyear on a quest through space in Tomorrow Land. If it’s adventure that you seek, climb through Tarzan’s tree house or take a boat ride through the jungle.(more)
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze)
Climb the 400 steps to the Monastery's forecourt, adorned with large and colorful statues of Buddhist deities and animals. A nine storey pagoda stands tall across from the main worship hall which houses over 13 thousand Buddha statues. On the pillars at the entrance of the main worship hall are Chinese couplets written in beautiful calligraphy.(more)
The Lantau Island is home to several tourist attractions such as the Giant 85 foot tall Buddha statue and various monasteries such as The Trappist Haven Monastery, Tai O fishingTtown, Tung Chung Fort and Hong Kong Disney Land. Visitors to the island can also explore the picturesque views of the island through hiking or strolls along the beaches.