5 great things about life in HONG KONG
THE OUTLYING ISLANDS
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) incorporates the mainland (Kowloon and the New Territories), Hong Kong Island and Lantau Island. It also includes a host of other islands (over 250 of them), many of which are easily accessible by regular ferry services. The Outlying Islands provide the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of city life, offering opportunities for boating, hiking, exploring beaches, visiting fishing villages and sampling some of the best seafood in Asia.
Image: Lamma Island, looking towards Hong Kong Island (iStock)
VINTAGE URBAN HONG KONG
Hong Kong's image is that of an ultra-modern city, with high-rise offices, hotels and apartments. But it’s still possible to experience the authentic flavour of old Hong Kong in areas of Kowloon that were built during the pre-war years, including Mongkok and Sham Shui Po. Here you can seek out the old ‘shophouses’ and wander the busy streets, lined with shops, antique stalls, markets and street food vendors – scenes that have remained unchanged for decades.
Image: Sham Sui Po (J.Barber)
HIKING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Hong Kong is rather less well-known for its wealth of beautiful unspoilt countryside and dramatic scenery. There are 24 country parks, many of which are in the more remote areas of Lantau Island and the New Territories. These can be explored by taking any of the established hiking trails, including the 100 km MacLehose trail, the 78 km Wilson trail or any of the numerous shorter trails. Camping and mountain biking are also popular activities and well-catered for.
Image: Hiking in the New Territories (iStock)
CHINESE TEMPLES AND MONASTERIES
There are many examples of Chinese religious buildings to be found in Hong Kong, ranging from countless shrines and small temples, hidden in the corners of urban streets and villages, to large Taoist temples and Buddhist monasteries. These include the Chi Lin Nunnery in Kowloon, the Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha on Lantau Island, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Sha Tin and the Tin Hau Temple at Repulse Bay, to name but a few.
Image: Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island (iStock)
THE STAR FERRY
The Star Ferry has been carrying passengers between Hong Kong Island and the tip of the Kowloon peninsular, Tsim Sha Tsui, for over 100 years. There is no better way to view the dramatic skyline on both sides of the busy harbour, while at the same time experiencing a piece of Hong Kong history. The journey takes only 10 minutes, and is extraordinarily good value, at US$0.32 on weekdays and US$0.44 at weekends.
Image: Star Ferry (iStock)
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