Hong Kong

Hong Kong harbor

Hong Kong has fascinated the world with its magnificent Victoria harbor and skyline for decades. The mystery of China was only available to most travelers through the territory of Hong Kong for the better part of the last century.

A century ago, Hong Kong was an outlying port of the British Empire, most famous for its opium dens and rickshaws. Today, less than a century later, it has evolved into Asia's economic juggernaut, a futuristic city of glass, concrete and steel, renowned for the lightning-speed pace at which it moves.

Traditional steamed buns

But travelers to Hong Kong soon find that it has far more to recommend it than its reputation as a financial powerhouse. The city has a wealth of wonderful hotels, food that's reputed to be among the best in the world, and shopping that has kept some people coming back for decades.

Nan Lian Gardens

In Hong Kong, the British colonial past has placed a refined veneer over a culture that is pure Chinese. In Aberdeen Harbour, visitors can get an up-close look at the city's famous junks and feast on Cantonese cuisine. And in the tourist center of Kowloon, designer shops and elegant restaurants sit alongside British pubs and dance clubs.

A visit to the Island of Lantau to see Tian Tan Buddha (also known as The Giant Budha) is worth a visit. The Budha, measuring 34 metres high attracts pilgrims from all over Asia. It is worth climbing the 268 steps for a closer look of the magnificent statue and also to enjoy the views of the sweeping mountains.

Opposite the statue is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist monasteries, Po Lin. The monastery and the beautiful gardens are wonderful and the vegetarian restaurant a favorite of many.