Hong Kong: Pearl of the Orient

This former British colony is a travellers’ paradise.  The vibrant metropolis sprawled across a cluster of islands  on the South China Sea   is a harmonious blend of occidental and Asian cultures. Hemmed in by low hills and the sea the place is a must see for nature lovers as well.

There is so much to do and see in around Hong Kong depending on your pocket and the time available.  Pass from one island to another through an ultra modern undersea tunnel; Don’t miss out on Disneyland and Madame Tussaud’s which are perennial delights for tourists especially children. Don’t forget to ride the tram car through the European quarters of the city up to Victoria Peak.  From there the view of the Victoria Harbour lying far below is breathtaking.  Spend an entire day at the Ocean Park –take a peek at seals pandas and diverse fauna; there is a replica of colonial Hong Kong town a train ride from colonial times, and a cable car ride to regale visitors.

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Zoom past swanky skyscrapers that house corporate offices of many global giants, see   a majestic statue of the world famous karate expert Bruce Lee.  See if you could manage a ride on the metro. Visit the well maintained and neatly landscaped Kowloon Park. Located in Kowloon area of Hong Kong –it recreates the magic of a bygone era. Those who care for shopping would have to thread their way through narrowed crowded streets that house shops almost bursting their seams with goods. Stanley Market is a good place to shop in, but remember to bargain.  And as the daylight begins to dim head to one of the water fronts for a Sampan (Chinese country boat) ride that will take you through the city’s old ethnic quarters. When the evening deepens, enjoy the Symphony of Lights – the spectacular multimedia show held daily on both sides of the harbour. The best place to view it from is the TsimTsa Sui Water Front.   It would be worthwhile to visit the gigantic, majestic Tian Tan Buddha perched atop a hill on Lantau Island.  Arrive at Ngong Ping plateau, which offers a fantastic 360 degree view of the entire area.  From here a 25 minute cable car ride takes you to the town of   Tung Chun.

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During the journey you are bound to hold your breath when you see nothing around you—except the glistening ocean waters hundreds of miles below  and the blue  sky above. From this you travel by road up to the statues of the Buddha and numerous Yakshas (demi-gods). From the height the view of the country side below is indeed panoramic. The isolated splendor of the Po Lin Monastery in the vicinity and the quaint little fishing village some distance away are definitely worth visiting.

Above all, Hong Kong is a haven for foodies! From the outlets  in  deluxe hotels  to medium sized restaurants and wayside eateries—you have plenty to pick and choose from. Starting with local Chinese and Japanese to Philippine, Indonesian to Thai and even Indian- it’s truly a global spread!!

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