Small fishing village turned site of political melee between imperial Britain and dynastic China, modern Hong Kong now conjures up images of opulent, super-sleek skyscrapers and densely packed
causeways buttressed by verdant peaks. Truly Asia’s modern metropolis, Hong Kong offers a range of sensational treats ranging from your most metropolitan soirees to tropical beaches.
A ligament of Canton
Cantonese is the national language of Hong Kong though Mandarin and English are also widely used. Cantonese dim sum is the staple cuisine of the municipality and a great way to introduce your palette to the plethora of tastes that this region has to offer. A stroll — or hustle most likely — down Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui district is an easy tour for even to the most uninitiated. Just north of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon embodies the international spirit of what Hong Kong has become, with storefronts springing with an eclectic choice of cuisine and fashion.
Grabbing a Star Ferry in Kowloon across Victoria Harbor places you in front of Hong Kong’s modern skyline. I can’t help but stop and imagine the classic junks that once floated through this harbor. In fact, it is still possible to book a cruise on a junk around Hong Kong if you are inclined.
World’s longest outdoor escalator
Scaling the steep graded roads towards the Mid-levels reveals backdrops of buildings jutting out of the side of Victoria Peak, giving a grandiose impression that is uniquely Hong Kong. Walking up and down this hilly city can be tiring, so you’ll be gracious to discover that Hong Kong has the world’s longest outdoor escalator. This 800 meter system provides entrances at every major road as it rises 135 meters up towards the top sliding through some of Hong Kong’s most savory restaurants and bars. This is the perfect way to scope out one of the great multitude of opinions offered in the famous Soho district.
On the south side of Hong Kong Island you will be surprised to see that there are a group of pristine beaches all within a quick trip of Hong Kong Central. Repulse Bay is a remarkably clean and relaxing beach, and home of the famous Longevity Bridge: a bridge said to increase your lifespan by three years whenever you walk over it.
Mounting The Peak
No trip to Hong Kong would be complete without mounting Victoria Peak for a view from above, making the scene below appear like a choked bonsai garden budding steel stems. A ride on the Peak Tram, first operated on May 30th, 1888, slowly chugs passengers above the city skyline on a traditional British trolley. On top of the Peak there is an array of some very fashionable (not to mention touristy and expensive) restaurants that come with an a la carte view that is truly unforgettable.
World’s only permanent running light show
For a glimpse of the world’s only permanent running light show, set yourself up on the Avenue of Stars back on Kowloon for an 8pm show of A Symphony of Lights. Skyscrapers coordinate flashing outlines of their frames with music that makes the city pulsate while illuminating the sky with rotating lasers like great vessels of science fiction.
While watching the center of Hong Kong move to the beat of classical music and cartoon jingles, it’s hard not to ponder what was, and what is left to come for the future of this extraordinary Asian crossroad.