Are you looking for somewhere interesting to take a vacation? Hong Kong has been near the top of most travel sites’ rankings for so long that people are beginning to take it for granted. Is it still as good as it used to be? What can you expect if you go there? Will it provide the kind of experience you’ve been hoping for?
The sights of the city
With its many stunning skyscrapers, outsiders often think of Hong Kong as being dense and crowded, making it hard to get around and appreciate the sights. The reality is very different. In fact, the city has several large, open squares with beautiful surroundings, spacious parks and open sea views. A trip up to the Peak will allow you to see the whole thing from above, spread out like a map. You can climb to Po Lin Monastery to see the imposing Tian Tan Buddha or take the Star Ferry out across the water to admire the city’s skyline. Children will be thrilled by Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland.
One of the first things people fall in love with in Hong Kong is the food. It’s a city with a strong culture of eating out and you can find restaurants serving high quality cuisine from all around the world, as well as some excellent fusion cooking. Must-try local dishes include sweet and sour pork, roast goose, snake soup, fish balls, phoenix talons (actually made from chicken), roast pigeon and congee. Egg tarts for dessert are a must, and you should also try wife cake, pineapple bread and ginger milk curd.
Hong Kong has many excellent museums, including a hands-on science museum that is much loved by children, and a maritime museum that provides an insight into the city’s history of trade. The numerous art galleries showcase the products of the thriving local art scene and also reflect the cosmopolitan nature of the city with influences from all around the world. At night, head for Lan Kwai Fong, where you’ll find numerous bars and local people ready to party all night.
If you love to shop, you’ll be a fan of the streets around Causeway Bay MRT Station, where the atmosphere is electric and there are some amazing malls. Head out to IFC, Pacific Place or Horizon Plaza to find luxury boutiques and designer brands, or try Tsim Sha Tsui for the hottest youth trends. The Mong Kok street markets are full of great bargains and you can keep on shopping at Temple Street night market into the small hours.
Why not stay?
Some people enjoy their time in Hong Kong so much that they choose to stay. It’s an easy city to settle in, very welcoming to immigrants. There are ample employment opportunities, you can get by in English most of the time, and you can even find American style education in Hong Kong. There are also plenty of American-style restaurants and entertainment venues if you are homesick.
This is a city where there’s always something happening, and its cosmopolitan nature allows room for everyone. It’s definitely worth a visit – and perhaps more than one.