Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wonders of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a major tourist destination with its blend of Chinese culture and western influences. Historically, Hong Kong has had a turbulent past with British rule, the Japanese invasion during the Second World War and most recently, the handover of Hong Kong from the British to China in 1997 when the 99 year lease expired.

Hong Kong’s population is predominantly Chinese with the vast majority practicing Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. There is also a sizeable Christian community as well as Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Festivals take place throughout the year and anyone visiting Hong Kong should check the festival calendar to make the most of his or her trip. Many festivals are very lively and colorful with the Chinese New Year being particularly spectacular.

Hong Kong has so many major attractions and tourists visiting for the first time may find it difficult to choose from the variety of attractions on offer if they are only visiting for a short time. To make the most of Hong Kong’s attractions, a week is usually enough to take in most of the major sights. Fortunately Hong Kong has a modern, clean and efficient transport system with its Mass Transit Railway (MTR) and Kowloon Canton Railways (KCR) allowing visitors to reach most of the main sights quickly and cheaply. The Star Ferry linking Tsim Sha Tsui, Central District and Wan Chai is a must see with its’ spectacular views of the harbour.

For families with children, Hong Kong has two huge amusement parks with Ocean Park lying in the southern district and Disneyland which is based on Lantau Island. Other visitor attractions include the panoramic views of Hong Kong and its’ harbour from Victoria Peak which can be reached by taking the peak tram. The views of the harbour at night time are particularly breathtaking. For shoppers, Hong Kong is a shopping paradise with its’ Ladies Market, Temple Street Market in Kowloon and Mongkok which is the largest shopping centre in Hong Kong. For people who want to sun bathe and relax, there are some beautiful beaches at Repulse Bay. Finally no visit to Hong Kong would be complete without a visit to Lantau Island to see the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. The Buddha is the largest outdoor bronze statue in the world but visitors will have to walk up 260 steps to see the statue up close.

These are just some of the wonders of Hong Kong and anyone visiting for the first time will have their senses overwhelmed by the sights, sounds and tastes of this wonderful destination. Further information about Hong Kong can be found at gotravelhongkong.com. As with any other popular destination, Hong Kong is a very busy tourist destination throughout the year and it is always wise to book your hotel or arrange your travel plans in advance to avoid disappointment. For travellers or holiday makers lucky enough to stay in Hong Kong for longer periods than one week, the islands offer a wealth of entertainment, temples, historical sights, Chinese and international cuisine, festivals and breath-taking scenery to make your visit a memorable one.