Flights to Hong Kong
Hong Kong: Overview
Asia’s ‘World City’ of Hong Kong is a totally unique tourism destination crammed with an amazing mix of history, heritage, multi-ethnic culture and ultra-modernity. In the 169 years since the island and its invaluable protected harbour was conceded to Britain by China as the major bargaining chip in the First Opium War, Hong Kong has been a magnet for diverse peoples from across the world. All its many nationalities have left their mark on Hong Kong’s environment and culture.
The territory, now a Chinese Special Administrative Region, could be described as ‘Asia Lite’ – an introduction to the mysterious Orient mitigated by its only recently ended British colonial past. Nowadays, its borders have expanded along the New Territories right up to mainland China itself, giving new experiences for the millions of annual visitors to this fascinating destination. Often recommended as just a stopover for travellers, Hong Kong’s main island, its outlying islands, nearby Macao and the New Territories contain so many unique attractions and activities a much longer visit is needed to see them all.
The stunning high-rise city itself is set along Victoria Harbour and the northern peninsular shore of Kowloon, with the rest of Hong Kong Island a vista of cloudy mountains, parklands and remote unspoiled wildernesses. Kowloon was created by the British and is the best place to trace the heritage of those early days. The tip of the peninsula, Tsim Sha Tsui, is a vibrant tourist town, with a great choice of hotels and other accommodations, street markets and malls. Ferries run across the harbour to Central, the heart of the island city.
Central is home to trendy Soho district, great colonial heritage buildings and Victoria Peak, home to the mansions of the fabulously wealthy and wildly competitive trading company Tai-Pans who controlled the tea clippers during the island’s early glory days. The city is proud of its wide choice of cultural and entertainment opportunities, ranging from many museums and art
galleries through both Chinese and Western performance arts to Buddhist and other festivals and celebrations. Gourmets are in heaven here, with an amazing choice of cuisines, and the nightlife is varied and fun.
Getting around Hong Kong’s various districts, islands and mainland areas is straightforward with its combination of coordinated public transport options including the underground and overground Mass Transit train services, the charming coastal city trams, double-decker buses, minibuses and ferries across the harbour and to the outlying islands. Metered taxis are also available, but are comparatively expensive.