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Man Mo Temple
Man Mo Temple is a little, blink-and-you'll-miss-it establishment tucked away amongst the concrete jungle in the Sheung Wan District. This temple was built to honour the God of Literature and the God of War (yes, interesting combo). The temple is unique in that coils of incense are hung from the ceiling which makes for quite an unusual sight. Watch for falling ash!
Also, there are two relatively famous and accurate fortune-tellers here who seem to have a large following amongst Asian celebrities stationed at the entrance to the temple, so check them out if you are so inclined!
Nearest MTR station is Sheung Wan (take Exit A2). You'll have to walk an additional 10 minutes from there.
This area is bustling withi activity night and day. There is a very large shopping mall with many levels. There are cheap eateries at the below street-level level, or more upmarket restaurants on the upper floors.
There are plenty of clothing and electrical stores. You can seriously spend a whole day there if you're a spendthrift! :)
- Luxury Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Hong Kong Zoo & Botanical Garden
One of the city's few "green lungs", the Zoological and Botanical Gardens were founded in 1864 and opened to the public in 1871, and are now managed by the municipal authorities. They lie near the centre of Victoria, not far from the Peak Tram lower station.
The Botanical Garden covers an area of 5.4 hectares/13 acres and offers an excellent overview of tropical and subtropical flora, with over 1,000 species of trees, shrubs and plants (fig-trees, palms, rubber trees, conifers and a great variety of flowers). Labels give information about their place of origin, habitat and characteristics. A bronze statue of King George VI was erected in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of British colonial rule over Hong Kong (1841-1941).
Adjoining the Botanical Garden is the Zoological Garden, established after the Second World War, which has one of the largest collections of birds (some 250 species, including a number of endangered species), together with monkeys, jaguars, pumas, cranes, flamingos and various smaller species. An important responsibility of the Zoo is the breeding of animals in captivity in order to ensure the survival of endangered species. Its successes in this field have given it an international reputation.
Open: Daily from 6am-10pm. Admission is free.
St John's Cathedral
St John's Cathedral is the main Anglican cathedral in Hong Kong and is the head church for Hong Kong Island and the seat of the islands Archbishop. The cathedral is the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong, and the oldest Anglican church in the Far East, with its construction completed in 1849.
Open: 7.15am-6.30pm Mon, Tue, Fri & Sat; 9.30am-5.15pm Wed, 8.30am-1.15pm Thu and 8am-6.30pm Sun.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Hollywood Road was the first street in Hong Kong. Shortly after the British arrived here in 1841, a substantial Chinese residential and commercial district known as Tai Ping Shan sprang up in the area and quickly became the centre of the Chinese community. In those days, foreign merchants and sailors would put up the antiques and artefacts they had "collected" from China for sale here on their way back to Europe. This is how Hollywood Road began its role as an antique market.
Soho is located in the Mid-levels district and is a steep hilly area of narrow streets which are best accessed via the Mid-levels Escalators. The area was only called Soho from the mid-1990s and some want the name changed as it associates the area as being one of disrepute with red-light connotations. The area, in fact, is the main entertainment zone of the Central district with countless bars, cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries and antique stores gathered around the streets of Staunton Street, Elgin Street and Caine Road. It's good to visit the area at different times of day to witness the life that goes on here and the entertainment on display.
The Mid-Levels escalators run between Des Voeux Road in Central with Conduit Road in the district known as the Mid-levels and are the longest series of outdoor covered escalators in the world, running for 800 meters. It was opened in October 1994 in order to cut down excessive traffic that was building up due to the steepness and narrow streets in the area. There are a total of 20 separate escalators with streets that bi-sect the system running all over the district of Soho, which is a very fashionable district with many bars, cafe and restaurants. The escalators are free of charge and run downhill between 6am and 10am and uphill from 10:30am to midnight and, of course, are great fun!
Old Supreme Court
The Old Supreme Court Building was opened in 1912 and is today known as the Legislative Council Building. It's located in the heart of the Central district along the eastern side of Statue Square and is one of only a few colonial buildings still standing in Hong Kong.
- Historical Travel
This square was built at the end of the 19th century. The idea of a square of statues dedicated to royalty was conceived by Sir Catchick Paul Chater. It derives its name from the fact that it originally contained the statue of Queen Victoria, as the square's name in Chinese testifies. Statues of Prince Albert, Edward VII were added between 1876 and 1902. The statue of Victoria was ordered to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the monarch in 1887, should never have been made in bronze, but in marble, an error that wasn't picked up until the bronze statue was almost completed. A statue of Sir Thomas Jackson, the chief manager of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation was unveiled on February 24, 1906. These statues (except for the statue of Jackson), together with the two bronze lions in front of the HSBC building, were displaced to Japan to be melted by the occupying Japanese during World War II but were brought back to Hong Kong after the war. Sir Thomas Jackson's now stands roughly in the middle of the square, facing the Former Supreme Court Building.
The cenotaph was constructed in 1923 in Statue Square in the Central district on Hong Kong Island. It commemorates the dead in the First and Second World Wars who served in the British Army, British Royal Navy and RAF. During British rule and after 1945, Liberation Day celebration took place here on the last Monday in August to commemorate the Liberation of Hong Kong from Japanese occupation in 1945. Formal celebrations no longer take place as this date is no longer a general holiday in Hong Kong.
Chater Garden is a lovely little hideaway in the heart of Hong Kong's financial district. It's located near Statue Square beside the Old Supreme Court building and is surrounded by the Lippo Tower, Bank of China Tower and Citibank Plaza as well as raised pedestrian walkways that cross the roads. It was developed in the 1970s, taking up space left by the Hong Kong Cricket Club and is named after Sir Paul Chater, an important businessman in Hong Kong. The gardens feature several pools with small fountains and water cascading down off large raised levels as well as many different types of palm trees and tropical plants.
Mid Level Escalator
After reading guidebooks and tips form other tourists, i decided to check out Mid Level Escalator. It turns out to be disappointing and nothing really exciting about it. It is basically series of escalators that bring people up the slopes to Mid Level area.
Although there are shops along the way and maybe see upclose the houses along the way up, there are nothing special worth mentioning. Even the mosque near the top seems a bit too quiet to explore.
My suggestion is maybe go up for the first escalator near Queen's Road Central and that is it. Move on down and go elsewhere.
Walking Tour around Central
For any new comers to Hong Kong who wishes to discover Hong Kong island or visitors who have nothing to do in the morning: Do the walking tour of Central District. You can get to see the spectacular tall buildings in this area and watch people rushing off to work. Just bring a camera to take lots of photos. Depending on how long you stop to admire the buildings, it would roughly take 2-3h.
Start from the Central Pier, walk down the overhead walkway to the General Post Office and Exchange Square, cross over to Chater House, escalator down, walk east to Statue Square, cross over to Legislative Council, walk east to Charter Garden.
At Charter Garden, you'll see Lippo Tower, Bank of China Tower, Citibank Plaza etc.
Walk along Des Vouex Road west ward to HSBC. See the lobby of HSBC and its elegant Lion statues. Walk west towards Li Yuen Street to see the street markets. Along the way, you would see many stalls, trams passing by, people rushing to everywhere.
To conclude the walking tour, take the Mid Level escalators all the way to the top.
If you try to seek Hong Kong with her old-time charm, please pay a visit to hill near Central, where foreign bars and restaurant are still there. I have been to Hong Kong pratically every Sunday, this place still remain very exotic comparing to the rest part of the city. Take a walk from world famous escalator to the hill and take a short walk down, you will surely like it.
It is sad that my visit was too short to find a nice restaurant for me to taste the food, but basing on my observation, I think expats in Hong Kong like to come here to soothe their nostalgia, that could mean at least food here is autehntic.
CENTRAL DISTRICT: hustle & bustle
Known mainly as the commercial, banking, and government district. Full of energy and dynamism. Its modern landmark towers of steel and glass symbolize Hong Kong’s success. Central-Mid-Levels Escalator at 800-metres long, the world’s longest covered escalator. The escalator runs one-way downhill from 6am to 10am, then uphill from 10.20am to midnight. SOHO, lively dining district takes its name from its location, South of Hollywood Road. City Hall, is the pick-up point for a free shuttle bus to the lower terminus of the Peak Tram. St. John Cathedral was inaugurated in 1849 and is believed to be the oldest Anglican Church in the Far East. Hong Kong Park, Lan Kwai Fong is home to numerous chic restaurants.
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