Hong Kong


City description

Bordered by the China Sea, Hong Kong, which literally means “Fragrant Harbour” is nothing if not cosmopolitan. Its population, mainly from Canton and Shanghai, has been joined by self-made men from all four corners of the globe along with expat businessmen and their families.

From Victoria Peak, right at the top of the island, this megacity looks incredibly dense, crowded with skyscrapers, with a unique character: imagine a mini version of New York, relocated to a tropical island. Everywhere you look, as far as the eye can see, concrete and steel towers defy the laws of gravity. The Central Plaza rises up 374 metres tall. Hong Kong is spectacularly and unashamedly modern. Immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay to fully appreciate this. In the race towards progress, Hong Kong seems to be playing its cards right. The island’s prestigious Hong Kong University is renowned for its excellence in the field of research, giving it an international reputation.

In the shadows of all that glass and steel, spirituality still plays an important role in the daily life of Hong Kong locals. and places of worship reveal another side to the city. There’s the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery with its collection of 13,000 statues. Or the largest temple on the island, Man Mo, which owes its name to the gods of literature, Man, and of war, Mo. Then there is the most popular temple on the island, Wong Tai Sin, a place of worship for Taoists, Buddhists and Confucianists. Legend has it that it grants the wishes of its visitors… So be careful what you wish for! Lastly, the Tin Hau Temples, built as a tribute to the goddess of the sea, remind us that water plays a very important role in Hong Kong. Because although Chung Yeung and Ching Ming pay tribute to your ancestors, it is the Dragon Boat Festival that really brings the city to life. Part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list, this aquatic event demonstrates a vibrant cultural identity, with its famous coloured boat races. Outside these festivals, the famous Duk Ling tirelessly travels around the bay with a quirky elegance. This huge boat with its red sails is synonymous with Hong Kong, and transports people to Kowloon.

Despite appearances, Hong Kong takes care of its heritage and has certainly not forgotten its past. This is demonstrated by its many museums, led by Hong Kong’s Museum of History, which successfully manages to teach visitors about 400 million years of history in just 7,000m2. The Heritage Museum takes you on a journey through traditional architecture, showcasing the treasures of Chinese and Hong Kong art and culture. On a more international note, like its counterpart in London, Madame Tussauds presents waxworks of famous people, although here, they are just as likely to be inspired by local celebrities.

Hong Kong is also an exciting shopping destination. ifc mall, Pacific Place, iSQUARE, Festival Walk and Langham Place make it one of the worldwide capitals of shopping. Markets, malls and long streets swimming in window displays give you a great deal to choose from. With the streets of Hong Kong constantly bustling, you might long for a place where you can get away from it all. Nan Lian Garden, a paradise for joggers, is just what you’re looking for. Hongkongers come here to prepare for the local marathon. Hong Kong Park is a haven of peace right in the heart of the city, and the perfect place for some yoga. And it confirms the fact that Hong Kong is a city of contrasts.
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