Hong Kong Holidays
A big city with overwhelming bright lights and bustling urban areas, Hong Kong is huge on entertainment, heritage, retail therapy and dining. The skyscrapers of modern Hong Kong sit cheek by jowl with old Chinese markets while sampans and junks bob around in the harbour. Full of unexpected sights of traditional culture mixed with twenty first century commercialism, the handover to China in 1997 has made little difference to the city and it is as exciting now as it ever was.
Hong Kong's two main urban areas are Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which are separated by the deep waters of Victoria Harbour. Outlying areas include Lantau Island and the historic ex-Portuguese colony of Macao.
Hong Kong Island is regarded as the heart of the territory with glistening skyscrapers backed by green peaks that tower over districts dedicated to ancient Chinese medicine along with traces of the colonial era through English place names and double-decker trams. Kowloon offers an intoxicating mix of the very old and the strikingly new, teeming streets with tiny street stalls and smoky temples, only minutes away from upmarket hotels and fabulous boutiques.
For sweeping views of Hong Kong's skyline take the eight minute gravity-defying funicular tram ride to Victoria Peak, the highest point on Hong Kong Island. Back at street level there's much to see including the chic shopping districts of Wanchai and Causeway Bay or the bargains of Stanley Market; the curio shops hidden amidst alleyways of the Western District or the picturesque beach of Repulse Bay and the floating restaurants of Aberdeen.
For priceless views of the city jump aboard the Star Ferry for a bargain historic ride across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon, where the shopping opportunities appear endless. The ferry brings you to the district of Tsim Sha Tsui, a bazaar of shops, stalls, markets and malls while the neighbourhood of Mong Kok has seemingly endless shopping streets and the popular Ladies' Market.
If time allows, exploration of the outlying islands is recommended. Lamma and Lantau are renowned for their seafood restaurants and provide a rural contrast to the hubbub that is downtown Hong Kong. Lantau is also the location of Hong Kong Disneyland.
Getting around Hong Kong couldn't be easier. Along with the Star Ferry, the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) is quick, cheap and easy to use, and even runs under the harbour to connect Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Buses, trams and taxis are all in plentiful supply, but do spend time simply walking around to savour the sights, sounds and smells of this unique destination.
Culinary excitement is never far away on a Hong Kong holiday as it's thick with restaurants featuring food from each and every corner of the world. The prominent cooking style is Cantonese, with Dim Sum – a selection of little dumplings and dishes eaten with tea - the classic Cantonese way to start the day. The highest concentration of international cuisines can be found in Central, Soho, Wanchai and Tsim Sha Tsui.
- World famous skyline
- Festivals and culture
- Excellent shopping
- Fantastic food
- Easy to explore
- Perfect city break
- Ideal stopover