Hong Kong - The Asian Destination of the Orient
When Great Britain successfully won against the Chinese fleet in the middle of the 19th century, Hong Kong became an English territory. It was later handed back in 1997 as specified in the lease and became a “Special Administrative Region” of China.
Today, Hong Kong is a famous tourist destination. Throughout the years, Hong Kong has retained its charms through its scenic spots, booming economy, architecture, museums, and a whole lot more.
Where to Go
According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board or HKTB, the total tourist arrivals in 2007 was more than 28 million, which is ten percent more than in 2006.
This region is a mixture of diverse culture because even though Britain has colonized it for so long, its Chinese roots have remained intact. Here are some places you shouldn’t miss:
Hong Kong Disneyland: Your trip to Hong Kong is not complete without a tour of Disneyland. Both children and adults can laugh, enjoy, scream, play, and feel young at heart in this theme park. It is divided into four major areas: Adventureland, Main Street, USA, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland, each with their own special rides and attractions.
Ocean Park: Have you heard of an oceanarium? Try going to Ocean Park, where the big oceanarium is located. You can also visit the Lowlands Gardens where goldfish pagodas, butterfly house and pandas live. You can also view shark aquariums and atoll reefs in Marine Land.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery or Sha Tin: If you are Buddhist and you would like to visit monasteries, try this place where you can see Buddha in various colors and poses.
Hong Kong Museum of Art: If you would like to know Hong Kong’s history and culture, visit this museum in Kowloon. A lot of treasures like paintings, calligraphy, antiques, lithographs, and art objects are on display.
Hong Kong Space Museum: This museum houses several technological items that range from those in telecommunications, energy, computers, robotics, and physics. Some of these items are hands-on so it is a good place to take children.
Lantau Island: This is the ultimate land of the dolphins in Hong Kong. You can take a cruise around this island and spend the whole day watching pink dolphins in the water. (Learn how to swim with dolphins)
Wet Market: Here, everything is fresh. If you would like to enjoy home-cooked meals in Hong Kong, you can ask your friend where the wet market is and secure all the ingredients you need.
What to Do
You won’t run out of things to do in Hong Kong. Whether you prefer urban exploration amidst the hustle of the city, personal time in the tranquil countryside, worship of the ancient gods, or fun at Disneyworld, you can find it here in Hong Kong.
You can focus on your spirituality. If you enjoy visiting temples, you can go to Man Mo Temple, one of the most popular and oldest temples in the region. “Man” means temple, while “Mo” pertains to martial arts. It is usually frequented by people who need physical or intellectual strength.
You can also definitely go sight-seeing. Just take the Star Ferry across the harbor where you can feast your eyes on the cityscapes composed of high rise buildings, parks, and other attractions. Also include Victoria Peak on your list, the summit where you can catch the dramatic views of the harbor and city.
You can shop until you drop. Central District houses big shopping malls and Western signature boutiques.
What to Remember
Hong Kong is the haven for shopaholics. This region is perhaps the most famous place where you can get your money’s worth; however, if it is your first time visiting the shopping district, here are some tips for how to pay less and get more.
Compare. Why would you buy a product that you can find in your home country at a cheaper price? However, if the item is unique, you can check out its price first in various stores like department stores, retail shops, and more. Know first how much you should be paying before you start bargaining.
Beware of illegal products. Here is where you will need your radar to check for fake items. You can touch, feel, inspect, or even smell them if you want, before buying them. On the streets of Hong Kong are several counterfeit products that may be confiscated at customs.
Check for compatibility and warranty. If you are shopping for electronic products, you will need to see first if the voltage matches that of your home country and if you have the necessary cords. Also make sure that the product has an international warranty.
You will surely want to spend your vacation in Hong Kong. Especially in the arena of shopping, this region, along with other cities like Bangkok and Singapore, ranks as a favorite. It also represents the fusion between the West, with its English influences, and the East, with its Chinese roots. For more information regarding this article, read Top Ten Things to do in Hong Kong.