Vestiges of the past
Vignettes of HK as a former British colony are evident all over the streets. Just like in London, where clear instructions to either "look left" or "look right" for pedestrians about to cross the road, Hong Kong displays these instructions clearly painted by the roadside-- the twist being that since this is at heart an a Chinese city, the instructions also appear in Chinese!
Visitor Information booths
One nice thing to the tourist are the tourist information booths in the arrival hall of the airport.
There you can help yourself of maps, folders and booklets full of tips about the city, shopping, transportation, accomodation, entertainment, and so on...
So much to discover....
See the skyline, view Hongkong from Victoria peak, visit the markets and take a ride on the tram! Hong Kong really is unbelievable - an experience of its own! Our 'market day' in Kowloon - we visited the bird's market, the flower market, the ladies market, the goldfish market, a couple of market halls, the jade market and the night market! It was fabulous!!!!
Please have a look at my travellogue!
Victoria Peak is a must...
Victoria Peak is a must because of the fantastic views of Hong Kong, the harbor and Kowloon. I also enjoyed the boat ride out into the harbor to see the boat people. The best thing also is to just walk the streets of Hong Kong. The people were all very friendly. They would help when you had that confused tourist look on youur face.
take it easy and experience...
take it easy and experience the hustle bustle life of one of the world's most ultra-modern cities. The cityscape of towering buildings most surely will be target to your Canon or Nikon, but only with a Chinese junk in between, can your art piece be complete. Otherwise, it could well be a sketch of NYC. But obviously that's untrue. From offshore the panorama is backed by the Peak, decorated with sparsely scattered businessmen's mansions, leaving almost not much space for the six million population.
The spectacular bird eye's view of the Hong Kong Island comes from the Victoria Peak, a 550 m hill accessible via the funicular railway. Up there, it is more than a sight-seeing ground. The scenery almost mimic the west view of the Empire State Building in NYC, but it's Kowloon that is separated by the bridgeless bay. You can be sure the summit isn't the end to your shop & eat-athon.
To get from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, you can use the MTR subway or hop into a ferry at the Victoria Harbor. The latter provides an easy ride and the opportunity to capture the Hong Kong skyline while the former is suitable for the many rest who wouldn't care less whether the island is still floating on water. The twilight glow of the sky, with sunlight cresting the skyscapers rising out of the Harbor, is most definitely gorgeous when binoculared from between the two coastlines.
Lantau Island is perhaps the only peaceful escape from the bizarreness of the city, accessible by ferry from Hong Kong Island. A 24 m tall Big Buddha sits atop a hill on the island. The huge bronze icon is so enormous it'll be visible from planes arriving and departing the Chek Lap Kok airport, located just off the edge of Lantau. I have yet to land myself on the new airport but I double challenge you to climb the 268 steps to reach the base of the Budda. It's much more interesting to be up there than at the crown of the independent lady and you can be sure there're no queues to test your patience.
The Ocean Park is every visitors' funland. The park houses an exquisite marine land and offers thrilling rides to spin your head off. Its main attraction, the dolphin show, is not to be missed. I'd think what's more exciting is the plan to build Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island, which will significantly reinvigorate Hong Kong as a 'must go' destination. The project will be deemed to complete only in 2005, till then the Ocean Park will be your best bet where a day of fun is offered.
The Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) East Rail commuter train connects Kowloon to mainland China. It is the fastest and most convenient way of reaching the mainland without having to fly. Most commuters travel to nearby Shenzhen and to as far as Shanghai and Beijing. The commuter train runs from Hung Hom in Kowloon to the border with mainland at Lo Wu. So after you're done with Hong Kong, make sure to swing across the border to continue your expedition.
Without any natural resources, Hong Kong has been confidently surviving by itself. Her industrious people have come a long way to glorify it as one of the pearls of Asia, and doubtlessly one of the critical regions of the world. The skepticism that this pearl may turn yellow in times to come is perhaps afterall a false thought, because things are ceaselessly happening in it - the construction of the world's tallest building, second tunnel under the harbor, a new ferry terminal and the new island airport entailing the building of the longest suspension bridge in the world. These are but signs that this pearl will sparkle with even greater intensity.