Until 1997, Hong Kong was a British Crown Colony, but now it’s one of two “Special Administrative Regions” of the People’s Republic of China (neighboring Macau is the other). Both Hong Kong and Macau operate under a different political system than other portions of China, and their residents enjoy more civil liberties than people in other Chinese cities. In many ways, Hong Kong is a place where the East meets the West and the Old meets the New. This is a city where a traditional Chinese tailor’s shop or backstreet market is likely to be less than a block away from a modern, Western-style shopping mall or skyscraper.
What we think of being Hong Kong is actually two separate cities: Hong Kong proper, which sits on an island; and Kowloon, located just across Victoria Harbour on a peninsula that juts out from mainland China. When the populations of the two cities are taken together, almost 10 million people live there. Despite all these millions, Hong Kong’s looming mountains, scenic bays and islets, and white beaches make it a beautiful place. But Hong Kong is also a wonderful place to visit, culture-wise.
The city represents a terrific opportunity to see and experience two vastly different cultures in the same place. Although it’s much more “Chinese” than it was even 25 years ago, British influences still run strong in Hong Kong. The result is one of the world’s most intriguing, fascinating cities. And it’s easy to get to because it has its own modern international airport. You can easily buy tickets for a flight through an online booking service like Northwest Airlines.
Because of its dazzling skyscrapers and mountains that reach almost down to the water, many of the views of Hong Kong from Victoria Harbour resemble a beautiful blend of New York’s Manhattan Island and California’s San Francisco. Yet other parts of the city look much more traditionally Chinese. And several old British colonial-period buildings (Government House and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower, for example) still remain.
Taking a cruise through scenic Victoria Harbour on one of the Star Ferry boats is a must-do while you’re in Hong Kong. Besides offering terrific views of the city, Star Ferry boats strongly symbolize Hong Kong itself.
In Hong Kong, you’ll find gleaming skyscrapers housing some of the Pacific Rim’s leading financial centers; high-end shopping and dining; cheap, traditional Chinese noodle kitchens and street markets; strong British influences, including thrilling thoroughbred racing at the wildly popular Hong Kong Jockey Club; and a short, easy commute to the former Portuguese colony of Macau, now a major casino destination.
There’s much more to see than this. If you’re intrigued by Hong Kong’s possibilities, you can easily book an affordable flight through Northwest Airlines. We’d be happy to help, and we can arrange your Hong Kong accommodation too.Google+