Hong Kong is one of Asia's most important commercial, business and trade regions. It ranks as the world's third-largest financial center, second-largest container port and number-one exporter and manufacturer of textiles, clothing and toys. Many consider Hong Kong to be the most beautiful harbor city in Asia. Whether all visitors agree or not is open to question, but few, if any at all, will dispute Hong Kong's reputation as one of the best places in the world for shopping. The focal point of all commercial and tourist activity lies in the central business district. This area consists of two major regions: the northern coastal section of Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, located on the southern tip of Mainland China, just across Victoria Harbor from Central.
Executives and businesspeople wishing to stay close to the financial core of Hong Kong typically stay in Central on Hong Kong Island. The amount and intensity of activity occurring on a typical week day in this section are virtually identical to those of Manhattan Island. Other visitors and tourists usually stay on the Kowloon Peninsula, which houses the majority of Hong Kong's hotels and shops. With Hong Kong's extensive ferry service, as well as its underwater tunnel connecting the two regions, it makes little difference where visitors stay, because the other side is only minutes away.
Named Asia's "Best City" by Travel and Leisure, Hong Kong will dazzle you with its vibrant energy, exotic history and heritage, and so much more.
Hong Kong is situated on the southeastern coast of China and spreads out over about 424 square miles, including more than 260 outlying islands. The main areas are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories.
Once called a "barren rock" by the British when claimed as a Crown Colony in 1841, this once humble collection of fishing villages soon thrived as a trading port and gateway to mainland China. On July 1, 1997, the world watched as Hong Kong returned to Chinese sovereignty, beginning a new chapter in history.
Culturally rich, Hong Kong's past has produced a captivating city of contrasts. The unique fascination of Hong Kong is the seamless way in which ancient traditions thrive in an ultra modern city. Hong Kong is a city of contrasts that continues to delight guests year after year. Modern, dynamic, forward-looking, yet with a past that goes back six millennia. And what a past it's been - Chinese, British, now Chinese again, punctuated by wars, occupation, and periods of uncertainty, peace and prosperity...and history is still being made here every day! All of this is yours to discover at Hong Kong's designated historical monuments and in museums dedicated to themes both past and future.
Hong Kong has become a world-class city by blending Chinese tradition with Western customs. Fascinating temples and colonial facades often share the same block with futuristic architectural masterpieces. It is the blend of old and new, East and West, that helps give Hong Kong its own unique character.
There has been a renewed fascination with Hong Kong's colonial heritage over the past years. Remnants of a genteel, bygone era include the Noon Day Gun, which still fires at midday as it has since the 1840's and famous buildings such as the beautiful Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, the oldest Colonial building, containing 3000 year-old Chinese artifacts showcasing Chinese teaware.
Taking afternoon tea, a quintessential British tradition, is popular in most top hotels, though you are as likely to be nibbling on steamed Chinese-style dumplings as you are on scones. Many reminders of Hong Kong's Colonial heritage can be seen at the Museum of History, the Museum of Heritage and on do-it-yourself Heritage and Architectural walks as well as complete Heritage and Culture Tours.
Major Attractions in Hong Kong
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