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The fragrant harbour

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Nalynn Dolan Caine ▼ | November 23, 2010
Hong Kong is a fascinating city. It was a British colony and now it's part of China but still with its own culture and habits. This is the busiest business city in Asia, but also the place full of parks, temples and quiet corners.
Hong Kong Buddha
Hong Kong Buddha Hong Kong is a fascinating city. It was a British colony and now it's part of China but still with its own culture and habits. This is the busiest business city in Asia, but also the place full of parks, temples and quiet corners.

Hong Kong streetFragrant Harbour (in Mandarin) has more than seven million citizens and you'd expect cluttered and unbearable place to live, but on the contrary: the transport is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, the cuisine is legendary, while temples and parks are quiet corners. Hong Kong managed to mix two opposite sides: fast business life of billionaires and contemplative live after five.

The city is divided in four areas: Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. Each of them has its unique style so it's no wonder that anybody can find the a suitable place.

Hong Kong panorama Despite being the colony, Hong Kong developed its own industry and it's especially strong in movies: Hong Kong produces more movies than all Chinese studios together. This is also the city where you can see Rolls Royce on every corner because this is the place that brought the word "tycoon" to its true meaning. Banking, insurance, and telecommunications, those are the main businesses of its billionaires. And they didn't forget the nature: all factories are moved to other cities in China and arose building on just 30% of the area.

Hong Kong Victoria ParkHong Kong keeps bilingual tradition, so you'll have no problem getting around because Mandarin and English are spoken here quite equally. So, what should you visit? Parks for sure. From Victoria Park in the heart of the city to Sai Kung Park, situated in the East of New Territories. Sai Kung overlooks a scenic peninsula and provides trails with fantastic view on the sea.

That area has a lot to offer including the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum, the Lion Nature Education Center, the Sai Kung Country Parks, the Clear Water Bay Country Park, two temples and a Golf Course open for the public.

Symphony of LightsFor those of you who love beautiful panoramas, there is a place you should miss. Hong Kong Victoria Peak looks out over Hong Kong and Victoria Harbor. You can use city bus or tourist trolley but don't make a typical mistake: take the bus up and the trolley down and wave to other tourists waiting in long lines for the trolley to take them up. From here, as from any other place in the city, you can enjoys Symphony of Lights: Hong Kong's most famous buildings light up with musical accompaniment every day. This spectacular show turns the city sky into event you will never forget.

Hong Kong HSBC BuildingSince we are in the business capital of Asia, we simply must visit some business buildings. But have no fear, those are pieces of art, not some steel and glass things without the spirit. The 179-metres HSBC Building symbolizes the mix of the ancient wisdom and high technology. It is based on Feng Shui, and when you are standing in the building's public plaza, you can see into the building through a ten storey glass atrium.

One of Hong Kong's landmarks is 70 storey high BOC Tower. Its design was inspired by the elegance of bamboo, and symbolizes vitality, strength and growth.

Ngong Ping 360Hong Kong's version of Disneyland is a magnet for tourists, but we have something better for you: a cable ride. Ngong Ping 360 is a almost six kilometres cable car ride spanning the distance between Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping Monastery. During the 25-minute journey, you can see panoramic views over the North Lantau Country Park, the South China Sea, Hong Kong International Airport, Tung Chung Valley, Ngong Ping Plateau and surrounding terrain and waterways. You can also see The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery, which makes this ride one of the best way to see the city in all its glory.

Hong Kong Ocean ParkAnd don't forget beaches. There are enough of them to visit a new one every day. Kayaking, wind surfing, sailing, water skiing or simple swimming will make your visit to Honk Kong complete. If you more into looking than doing, Ocean Park on the south end of Hong Kong Island, is a theme park with many wildlife attractions. It has two roller coasters, giant pandas, a jellyfish and Chinese sturgeon aquarium, and four-story aquarium with more than 2,000 fish. And the most exciting theme of them all: The Shark Aquarium.

We briefly touched just a few of the city's attraction but you got the picture: Hong Kong is a dynamic city that lives with the sorrounding nature and in which anybody can find something exciting for himself.