13 February 2020
Where East Meets West
What are the first things that cross your mind when you think of Hong Kong? The place is widely known for its magnificent skyline of skyscrapers squeezed together between the lush greenery of The Peak and the deep natural harbor. It’s the Hong Kong landscape that has become iconic around the world.
Across the water from the most famous view in Hong Kong, the neon streets of Kowloon, another urban district of the city, are much grittier and reward intrepid tourists with an up-close view of the real Hong Kong. Further afield are some of the greenest hiking spaces and emptiest beaches in Asia.
Located on the southern coast of China, Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 until 1997 when it was returned to the People's Republic of China. China declared Hong Kong as a special administrative region of the country with a high degree of autonomy.
The change in rule didn’t affect Hong Kong’s status as one of the most popular destinations in Asia. This 24/7 city offers a vast array of interesting experiences: dining, shopping, iconic sights, heritage & tradition, the great outdoors, festivals, sports, and arts.
Although many people think of Hong Kong as a densely packed city, about 40 percent of Hong Kong's territory is designated as a country park. A 20-minute drive from just about anywhere in the city will take you to hiking trails that pass across lush mountainous terrain and idyllic beaches. For active travelers there is paragliding off the mountains, diving off the coast, and cruising on a speedboat when you may be lucky enough to spot the endangered pink dolphins that live here.
Hong Kong is known for its great public transportation system, consisting of interconnected buses, ferries, railways, and trams, which ensure every area of the region is easily reachable. Once back in the downtown area, more than 1,250 towering skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island create a dramatic view from Victoria Harbor. Along with admiring these superstructures, visitors will find fantastic food to savor, world-class shopping opportunities, and a seemingly endless array of bars and clubs to extend days late into the night.
Despite Hong Kong’s commercial persona, there is also a dynamic cultural landscape rooted in its Chinese history and colonial past. Contributions from its home-grown talent have intertwined the two and birthed the unique fusion of two cultures that is seen there today. Hong Kong is a place where Eastern culture truly meets Western, and as such, makes it a wonderfully fascinating destination to visit.