A buzzing mecca of neon-lit streets and succulent delicacies, Hong Kong is often seen as Asia’s one-stop shop-and-eat destination. Where the population is rapidly warming up to globalization, this energized city is now a hotspot for international tourists and business travellers alike.
Where to go
For the quintessential Hong Kong experience, wander down the busy Nathan Road in Kowloon city. This route streaks across the city centre, traversing vibrant districts like Tsim Sha Tsui, Yau Ma Tei, and Mong Kok. Famous establishments lie along this stretch, including Harbour City and K11 Art Mall. Check out the latter’s artisan designer brands and exhibits by regional artists. The roads in these districts are also lined with an array of vendors selling Hong Kong’s classic egg waffles, egg tarts, wife biscuits, dim sum (steamed dishes and buns), and roasted goose. These areas are also home to several well-known street markets, such as the Ladies’ Market, Sneaker Street, and Temple Street Night Market.
To seek out the commercial side of this expanding country, travel to Hong Kong Island, which houses the financial district. Among the business towers are renowned malls like The Landmark (Central) and Times Square. Perhaps the most iconic site on Hong Kong Island is the Central Mid-Level Escalators, where a number of acclaimed Hong Kong films were shot. Climb upslope in Chungking Express style as the escalator rises past manicure bars and cafes along the street. For a taste of Hong Kong night life, the Lan Kwai Fong area is the place to be.
One of the most popular destinations in Hong Kong is the Tian Tan statue, known colloquially as the Big Buddha. Sitting stoutly and serenely on Lantau Island, the enormous 112 foot-tall bronze statue draws pilgrims and visitors up 268 steps to its Po Lin Monastery. Interestingly, this Buddha is the only great Buddha to face northeast towards Mainland China; the other statues in China face south. Here, you can make an offering at the relic of Gautama Buddha, which allegedly contains his cremated remains. This peak also offers an exquisite view of the surrounding stretches of mountains and the sea. If you’re lucky, you can catch sight of the endangered pink dolphins, which tend to cluster around Lantau Island and Peng Chau.
Another offshore site worth a visit is the peaceful Lamma Island, home to a small community of locals, foreigners, and tamed dogs and cats. Its small streets are flanked by hippie cafes, convenience and vegetable stores, and handicraft and novelty shops. Venture deeper into this island to find Hung Shing Ye Beach, a tiny but quiet crescent of white sand and blue waters with a view of the horizon.
Getting around in Hong Kong
The train system in Hong Kong is highly developed with a sprawling network, covering most of the main island and Hong Kong Island. On ground, a plethora of bus services will take you almost anywhere in the country. The taxi services are colour-coded according to their areas of service: red taxis travel throughout Hong Kong, except Tung Chung Road and south Lantau. Green taxis drive only within the New Territories and specific roads in Lantau. Blue taxis serve all locations in Lantau and the airport.
Getting to Hong Kong
The Hong Kong International Airport receives more than 80 international airline carriers from countries throughout the world. The Airport is about 21 miles from Kowloon City (Mong Kok), and offers transport by Airport Express train, CityFlyer bus services, and taxis.
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Airports near Hong Kong
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