Most of baby boomers are familiar with the history of Hong Kong, especially with the July 1, 1997 new ruling principle for the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. With this agreement, China allowed Hong Kong to remain autonomous, keeping their capitalist system and independent judiciary and rule of law – all separate from Mainland China's influence. Free trade and freedom of speech was to be tolerated though recently we have witness the students in the streets, objecting to the policy of China's approvals of politicians running for office in Hong Kong.
I had always heard of Hong Kong as a place to visit for terrific shopping and getting spin offs of designer products. When one first visits Hong Kong, as you approach the city , the immensity of the port makes one speechless – truly the gateway to the world's largest market and critical for all world commerce. It is absolutely breathtaking to see the skyscrapers as they wrap themselves around Victoria Harbour in all their splendor!
Hong Kong's history, from an ancient culture to the prize jewel of the British Crown Colony, quickly rose to be one of the most important strategic trading ports in the world. With world trade, the blending of cultures has been a success story that many cities throughout the world should take note.
For the traveler, planning your trip to combine the blending of modernism with ancient tradition is a must! Even with construction of the towering skyscrapers, the influence of ancient traditions through consultants of Feng shui masters work in concert with developers and architects in planning these towering structures. With your visit I encourage you to plan a day outside the buzz of the city into the countryside to explore the peace and tranquility that often is associated with ancient Chinese tradition.
• Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck
This is relatively a new destination and before venturing out I suggest you plan on going to the top of the tallest building in Hong Kong. The lift within 60 seconds will have you at the top level to view Victoria Harbour in all its' grandeur.
• Plan to see the nightly Symphony of Lights– a multimedia show and is, according to Guinness World Record, the largest permanent light and sound show, all celebrating the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong. It can be viewed from Sky100 but if you want to hear the music and commentary, it is best from the ground near the harbour. I suggest viewing from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. The thirteen minute show runs nightly, beginning at 8:00pm.
• Before Sky100 was available, top of the list would be a visit to The Peak. 400 meters above sea level, you will have a panoramic view of Honk Kong's soaringskyline. There are many specialty shops selling charming handicrafts and art works. Dine at one of the local authentic Hong Kong style restaurants.
• Clock Tower - A declared monument and built in 1915 which is a reminder of the Steam Engine – the Kowloon-Canton Railway Terminal. A beautiful plaza surrounds this monument from which you can take a walk down the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. You will pass the Hong Kong Cultural Center, Space Museum, Museum of Art and the Avenue of the Stars.
• For the avid shopper the two most popular destinations include the Ladies Marketon Tung Choi Street and Temple Street Night Marketwhich opens up at sundown. Bargains for the bargainer greets you!
• If you bring your grandchildren (or if you are a child at heart) the obvious must be part of your schedule! They include Hong Kong Disneyland, Ocean Park, Noah's Ark and Madame Tussauds.
• Your grandchildren will also like what you may find most enjoyable and that is a trip to one of the outlying islands. My favorite is the Ngong Ping 360 –a sky-landsea adventure where you can explore Lantau Island and venture into a place of serenity and peace among the natural beauty of the pristine landscape. This will give you a balance of understanding the ancient culture of China.
Experience the little fishing village of Ngong Ping or explore the Wisdom Path where you will view the majestic outdoor bronze Buddha, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. Board your crystal chariot (cable car!) and take the 25 minute ride with views of the South China Sea and rolling grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park.
Anytime I feel is a good time to plan a trip. I have been there in July and it is very humid and hot – best would be Spring or Autumn – but the end of year, New Years Eve Celebration is one of the best light shows in the world! Enjoy your trip … and as always …
May 21, 2015