What to See & Do
The direct translation of Hong Kong is “Fragrant Harbor”. The skyline on both sides of the Victoria Harbor is a postcard fixture. As a leading financial hub with well developed infrastructure, Hong Kong has attracted companies to rival each other with skyscrapers, magically changing the skyline of Hong Kong over the years. Sipping a cocktail in one of the luxurious harbor front hotels enjoying the night light is a must while you are here in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has a unique history with distinct periods, from a fishing village to a British colony and the handover back to China. Relics of each period could be seen around the territory, especially in its architecture. Hong Kong is a melting pot of different cultures and you could see cathedrals, mosques and temples around the city. There are many temples in the city, with the Giant Buddha being the largest statue in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is such a small area geographically and land is in constant demand. With it comes the dilemma of demolishing old buildings. In recent years, there is an emergence of a culture in collective memory and many colonial buildings have been preserved, the Legislative Council Building, Victoria Prison, the Gas Lamps on Duddel Street and the Police Station in Stanley are some of the buildings that have preserved the colonial styled architecture.
You will find a lot of streets and buildings named after the British royalty such as King’s Road after King George V, Queen’s Road after Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Path after Queen Elizabeth II and Edinburgh Place after Prince Philip.
Shopping seems to be synonymous with Hong Kong. On one end of the spectrum are the luxury brand flagship stores in Central. The glass wall of the Louis Vuitton store is one of the backdrops of many pre-wedding photo shoots. Large and small shopping malls are scattered around the city and you could really shop till you drop. The other end of the spectrum is the most interesting, where you can find hawkers selling everything imaginable from “I love Hong Kong” T-shirts to old CDs. The best part is you could still bargain with store owners in this part of town.
Hong Kong people are really into food. You can find restaurants and cafes on almost every street in Hong Kong. From enjoying an eight course fine wine and dine French meal at the Petrus in the Island Shangrila Hotel to choosing fresh seafood in Sai Kung to deciphering the meaning of localized western dishes in many eateries to eating skewered curry fish balls on the street, Hong Kong is really a smorgasbord of international cuisine that caters to the deep pocketed and budget travelers.
Hong Kong is a city with many facets. Aside from shopping, dining and sightseeing, there are many places to explore if you want to escape from the city, such as hiking trails, organic food farms, the outlying islands and the Wetlands Park. To take a breather, but don’t want to go far, there is always the Hong Kong Park and Kowloon Park, smack in Central on the island and the heart of Kowloon. After that, there is always the 24 hour city that never sleeps waiting for you.
Bonnie Wong is a full time writer, bilingual translator and founder of Pastel b. cards. She hopes to share the uniqueness of Hong Kong with everyone through her writing. Learn more about me [+]