Hong Kong was once a sleepy fishing village. But, with the arrival of the British in 1842, it became a crown colony of the United Kingdom, which continued until 1997, when the British handed it over to China, after signing an historic agreement by the then prime minister of the UK, Margaret Thatcher, and the then Chinese President, Deng Xiaoping.
The city has now become one of the vibrant destinations in the world, apart from being a prominent economic center in Asia. The World Tourism Organization rates the city among the 15 most preferred tourist destinations in the world. Al though a part of China, Hong Kong is quite different from rest of the nation, and has its own government and legal systems, monetary policy, and immigration policy. Situated in Eastern Asia, bordered by the South China Sea, it is made up of three areas, such as, the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories as well as the Outlying islands including Lantau Island, Lamma Island, and Cheung Chau Island.
The center of economy, entertainment, and politics – Hong Kong Island is considered the heart of the special administrative region. Stretching from the Tin Hau to Chai Wan on the eastern part of the island is the prime residential area of the region. The northern part of the island is the main commercial as well as entertainment area, stretching from the Central District to Causeway Bay. Likewise, the southern part of the Island is home to some of the destinations that are abound in natural beauty, such as, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay and Ocean Park, which is one of the top-most theme parks in Southeast Asia.
However, most popular among the destinations in the island is the Peak, the highest point on the island that is perched at an altitude of 554 meters. The Peak serves as a perfect base to have a bird’s eye view of the whole of the thriving island as well as the spectacular Victoria Harbor, which is one of the three natural water harbors in the world.
One of the most popular ways to reach the Peak is to take a ride on the Peak Tram, which runs from the city center and reach here within seven minutes. Another stunning landmark of the island is Bank of China Tower – a soaring 70-storeyed building. In addition, situated on the southwest coast of the Island is the Cyberport, a high-tech facility supporting the multimedia, telecommunications, and IT industries.
The island is also much famed for its destinations including Aberdeen, a traditional village inhabited by hundreds of fishermen. From traditional style Chinese boats to most sophisticated boats, an amazing variety of fishing boats can be seen here. Further, located here are the HK Convention and Exhibition Center and Golden Bauhinia Square, which stands as a symbol to memorize the Return of Hong Kong to its motherland.
Kowloon is an exciting part of the city, and is considered one of the prominent industrial and commercial hubs of the nation. It is also home to one of the busiest airports in the world, namely, Kai Tak international airport. A ride on Star Ferry from Kowloon across Victoria Harbour to the Island would be a great experience. On utilizing the excellent options rendered by Kowloon, the city has now become a prominent shipping center in the world.
A visit to Hong Kong is incomplete without touring its amazing attractions such as Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) Building, Exchange Square and the International Finance Centre, Victoria Park and the Hong Kong Central Library, The Fringe Club and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Happy Valley and Sha Tin Racecourses, and Murray House.
Attractions in Hong Kong also include an array of Buddhist as well as Chinese temples including Man Mo Temple, Chi Lin Nunnery, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Che Kung Temple, and Tin Hau Temple. In addition, included in the landmarks are a range of museums, such as the Arts Centre Pao Galleries, the Racing Museum, the Film Archive, Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre, and Sheung Yiu Folk Museum.
Gastronomy – The city boasts of a variety of excellent options to satisfy your gastronomic needs, with restaurants providing cuisines, ranging from Japanese, French, and Italian to Asian and Chinese cuisines.
Shopping – Fabulous choices are available in the city for a great shopping, with a variety of shops on such happening areas as Stanley Market and Temple Street.
Also referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Orient,’ the city provides excellent options to cater to the accommodation needs of all types of tourists, no matter you are a budget conscious traveler or a luxury lover traveler. Many of the hotels and resorts are located within the heart of the city, and hence are within easy close proximity to almost all top tourist attractions.
The Accor Group – http://www.accorhotels-asia.com – manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands in 35 countries.
Article Source: Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of China