A Hong Kong Guide

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Hong Kong. Photo credit: Hong Kong Tourism Board.

Iain Miller wrote this guest post on Hong Kong.

Vibrant, exotic, at once both ancient and contemporary – the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong is all this and more.

With a population of over 7 million squeezed into 426 square miles, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. It became a British colony in 1842 following the First Opium War and was returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Now an international financial centre with high ranking per capita income and quality of life, it is also a popular tourist destination.

Hong Kong is easily accessible and a popular stopover. With cheap flights to Hong Kong available, it is a must-see destination for the world traveler.

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Rooftop Bar, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Photo credit: The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.

Here are some of the Top Hong Kong Sights To See:

Victoria Peak – This 552 metre high mountain is the highest on the island and is reached by a fantastic tram ride on the Peak Tram. The tram ride itself and views from The Peak, as it is also known, offer spectacular views over the cityscape and Victoria Harbour. There are thousands of skyscrapers in Hong Kong, with modern buildings quickly replacing older ones. At 118 storeys and 484 metres, the tallest building on the island is the International Commerce Centre. The Peak Tower itself offers a viewing platform with panoramic views as well as fine dining and shopping.

Lantau Island – The largest island off Hong Kong, this mountainous island originally housed several fishing villages and was well-known for its tranquil atmosphere. In recent years it has been redeveloped, with the Hong Kong International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland. Ngong Ping 360 is a tourism experience featuring a cable car ride, skyrail and traditional village. It is still possible to get off-the-beaten track and spend time hiking within the island’s national parks, and you can also visit the Po Lin Monastery and the enormous bronze Buddha statue.

Stanley – This town on the southeastern peninsula of the island has a bustling market and lively waterfront area. The market has food stalls, as well as ornamental trinkets, arts and crafts and souvenirs. The waterfront area houses numerous bars and restaurants. Stanley is also home to one of the oldest temples in Hong Kong, the Tin Hau Temple. Two beaches, Stanley Beach and St. Stephen’s Beach, are popular areas for sunbathing, watersports and barbeques.

Ocean Park – The revamped water theme park consists of two main areas, the Summit and the Waterfront, which are connected by a dizzying hillside cable ride (or by train or bus, for those afraid of heights). The Waterfront houses the Aqua City complete with Grand Aquarium and Old Hong Kong, as well as Asian animals including pandas. Most theme park rides are on the Summit. This area is divided into regions including Adventure Land with the thrilling Mine Train and Raging River, Thrill Mountain, Rainforest with water rapids, and Marine World, with performing dolphins and the peaceful Garden of Joy, as well as more crazy rides.

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