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Hong Kong – the Pearl of the Orient

If only one word can be used to sum up Hong Kong, it is definitely “change”. This thrilling, idiosyncratic little city is home to 7 million residents – it is not surprising to feel the burst of energy that seems to stem from each person living in the city. With distinct landmarks and towering skylines, Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant commercial centers in the world. The city is constantly ever-changing alongside the cultural diversity, architectural innovation, infrastructure and cosmopolitan edginess.

The panorama from Victoria Peak is the epitome of an image that encapsulates Hong Kong. The finest harbors of the city can be seen from this famous vantage point, not forgetting the skyline so similar to that of Manhattan’s. A view from the peak is all it takes to witness the restlessness of Hong Kong. It can be reached via the Peak Tram, the 120-year funicular railway. The best time to visit Victoria Peak is as the sun sets when you get to observe the beautiful lights of this lively city. While there, do visit Madame Tussauds. It is part of the renowned chain of wax museums founded by Marie Tussaud of France. Be in proximity to your favourite superstars with over 100 incredibly life-like wax figures on display in the museum. It is certainly fun for the whole family regardless of age, so be sure to head to the museum and get your cameras clicking!

More than a mere district, Tsim Sha Tsui is the best place to take a stroll around during both day and night. The promenade is the ideal location to get uninterrupted views of one of the finest skylines in the world. Along the promenade lies the Avenue of Stars, a sidewalk on the shore of Victoria Bay that is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It pays homage to the Hong Kong film industry as well as its stars, particularly to celebrate the success of the film and television industry in the country. The full glory of Tsim Sha Tsui can be witnessed during its nightly multimedia show – the Symphony of Lights – that sets the harbor ablaze involving 44 buildings on the Hong Kong island skyline.

For the shopaholics, a trip to Mongkok is your answer to great bargains and deals. It is Hong Kong’s most congested shopping and residential district. The neighbourhood includes the famous Ladies Market, the fashionista destination in the country. It features stall after stall of the latest clothes, shoes, and jewelry – truly living up to its name with the huge amount of clothing and accessories on sale for women of all ages. The Temple Street Night Market in the neighbouring Yau Ma Tei is the liveliest night market in Hong Kong. Kicking off after 4.00pm, it is crowded with rows of stalls that display cheap merchandise, souvenirs, clothing, and electronics on sale. You can also take a short glimpse into your future in one of the many fortune-teller stalls set up in the market. A trip to the many markets in the country will no doubt give you a taste of the real Hong Kong!

While in Hong Kong, discover the beauty of the largest island in the country – Lantau Island. Take the 25-minute cable car ride from Tung Chung, preferably in the amazing crystal cabin where its glass bottom provides an astonishing bird’s eye view of the sea and mountainside beneath your feet. It is the fastest way to get to the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery in the island. The majestic bronze statue of Buddha sits 34-meters high opposite the monastery and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people, and faith. Climb the 268 steps towards the Big Buddha for a closer view of this remarkable statue. At the peak, enjoy panoramic views of the sweeping mountains and emerald blue sea beneath you.

Hong Kong is a fascinating place to explore, thanks to the high-tech transportation in the futuristic city. Amid the usual everyday rush of the people in the city, it is possible to slow down from the frenetic pace of Hong Kong. Admire the futuristic skyscrapers set against the shimmering harbor, the chimes from the double-decker trams zipping through traffic and the smell of roast geese hanging by window shops in the city. You will come to realize that the city does make a good first impression!

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