Pearl Of A City: Hong Kong
On the shores of the Pacific Ocean is a tower studded financial center rivaled only by New York and London, a city, a country, and a special administrative region mashed up together. This pearl of a city, Hong Kong, is officially referred to and run as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong is a SAR solely to accommodate the capitalist region ceded to socialist China by the British in 1997. As a SAR, Hong Kong is run with almost total autonomy that affords visitors and residents perk non-existent in Mainland China, which includes Facebook.
In Hong Kong there’s something to do for everyone. It is a perfect destination for a family trip or a lonesome tour. Arriving in Hong Kong you are instantly dwarfed by the numerous skyscrapers catering to the accommodation needs of the densely populated city. Whilst making you feel small, the vibrancy of the city gives you a new found can-do attitude and you almost immediately want the city at your feet. Not to worry, there is a perfect place for that, the Victoria Peak. The Victoria Peak not only boasts of the best view of the city’s skyline but it also helps to put the city at your feet. The permanent nightly light show makes the Victoria Peak experience best enjoyed at evening time. From Victoria Peak your next stop should be any of the many roof top bars that dots the city, one of which (Ozone by Ritz-Carton) is currently the world’s highest bar. Post having a bite and cocktail, LanKwai Fong (LKF) is the next place to be. Don’t let the name scare you; LKF is an excellent tourist destination and the nerve of Hong Kong’s nightlife. LKF buzzes everyday with tourist world over and residents descending from their umpteenth floor offices, which makes the region an excellent networking site.
Now that you have taking in most of Hong Kong’s modernity, it is time to take in some of its heritage and serenity. Buddhism is one of the main religions in Hong Kong and the temples are one of the most beautiful attractions in the city. The Big Buddha on Lantau Island accessible by cable car is a must visit in Hong Kong. Also the temple of 10,000 Buddha’s, which as the name implies has 10,000-life size Buddha Sculptures leading to the main temple is an experience to be had.
Hong Kong is all of these pockets of awesomeness plus a conglomerate of islands. Lamma Island, a ferry ride away from central Hong Kong is perfect for a break from the city. Lamma Island affords you the perfect relaxation; with no cars on the entire island and a law that bans any building higher than three stories you can soak up some sun on Hung Sing Ye Beach or indulge yourself with a serene hike. Sai Kung is a perfect island for the wave catcher in you. As it is home to one of the oldest Yacht Clubs in the country, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club founded in 1890. At the Yacht club, you can catch a sailing expedition given your trip coincides with its open day. However, if you were unable to catch a wave, head right on to the fishermen village at the pier where the way fish is traded would definitely sell you on your next meal. At the pier, fish buyers point at their preferred fish down in the fisherman’s boat floating on the river. The fisherman bags the fish and places it into a net attached to a very long pole and passes your fish to you up on the pier. You take your fish from the net and put the fisherman’s money into the net attached to the very long pole. Watching this so many times leaves you wanting in on the fun and suddenly you are holding a bag of fish of your own which restaurants at the pier would gladly help you cook.
Other must do’s in Hong Kong are watching the Horse Race at Happy Valley, haggling to your suitcase full at MongKok and eating some famous Dim Sum to your heart’s content.