Kong is a vibrant, noisy, cosmopolitan city of 6.9 million people and
is a true blend of east and west. 150 years of British rule stamped the
territory with the trappings of a British city - complete with pubs, cricket
matches, high tea and rugby games, but with an international flair. With
95 percent of its population ethnically Chinese, Hong Kong also has an
undeniably Chinese heart.
Kong has been a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China since the
handover in 1997 but has retained its own civil service and rule of law.
Geographically, Hong Kong encompasses Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula,
the New Territories and more than 260 outlying islands.
Kong Island boasts superb modern architecture which house some of the
world's most powerful financial institutions and towering glass residential
buildings teetering up impossibly steep slopes. The Peak offers breathtakingly
beautiful views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon across Victoria Harbour,
and is especially stunning at night. Central, the financial center and
social hub of Hong Kong Island is where some of the territories' best
international restaurants and premier nightspots are located. The southside
of the island including Stanley, Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay has nice
beaches where you can enjoy different watersports as well as outdoor restaurants
Kowloon peninsula, in particular its southernmost tip, Tsim Sha Tsui (TST),
is a crowded maze of streets where you can find anything for sale from
"antique" ma jong sets to the latest in video technology. TST is home
to more shops selling a greater variety of goods per square meter than
anywhere else in the world. It boasts a plethora of budget accommodations
as well as the five star Peninsula and Regent hotels.
of the Kowloon peninsula, the New Territories connects Hong Kong to the
mainland. It is home to the New Towns, the first of which was built in
the 1960s, ancient villages, sprawling subtropical country parks and secluded
the ultramodern high-rise jungle of Central and the Kowloon peninsula,
much of Hong Kong is countryside and coast, with excellent hiking trails
and beaches. The natural beauty of Hong Kong is often a pleasant surprise
for tourists who associate the territory solely with shopping, food and
should also try to visit one of the outlying islands, most notably Lantau
and Lamma. These islands are home to superb seafood restaurants, white
sand beaches, secluded hiking trails and sleepy fishing villages. Lantau
also has the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and the Giant Buddha, which at
26 meters (85ft) high, is the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha.