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Hong Kong is true paradise for those who love to shop – again, the favourable tax system, the plethora of shopping centres and the vast supply of goods had made this place a true consumption paradise.
Just like that other Asian metropolis Singapore, Hong Kong – officially called the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region – is a city-state, and is autonomous from the People’s Republic of China. It is a place where the Eastern and Western cultures come together. It’s one of the most modern and well-developed regions in the world, full of ancient cultural heritage and spectacular buildings.
In 1842–1997 Hong Kong was a colony of the United Kingdom. In 1984, China made an agreement with the UK that Hong Kong would retain its autonomy from the People’s Republic of China for another 50 years (i.e., until 2047), at which time the territory will be fully integrated into China.
The city-state consists of three parts – the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the new territories, including the 235 little islands located nearby.
In Hong Kong, English is used widely, and all of the major signs are written in both Chinese and English, making it easier for tourists to orient themselves.
Many large international companies and banks have their headquarters in this city. The low level of corruption and a favourable tax system make for excellent conditions for private enterprise. Hong Kong is one of the world’s most important civil aviation centres, and is often used by travellers as a transfer point to other Asian countries for flights from Europe and the US. The city has an excellent and highly efficient road and public transportation systems, as well as one of the most modern airports in the world.
Hong Kong is true paradise for those who love to shop – again, the favourable tax system, the plethora of shopping centres and the vast supply of goods had made this place a true consumption paradise. Here you can find both highly specific and mundane items, especially watches, travel equipment, digital devices and specialised cosmetics. There’s also no shortage of clothing, footwear, jewellery, luxury goods, Chinese tea and medical supplies.
Apart from mass consumption items, here you can also buy art, antiques and books. The city offers a large selection of English, Japanese, French and uncensored books – those who love to read will have plenty to choose from.
No matter how modern today’s Hong Kong might be, however, here you can also find plenty of objects exuding the spirit of ages past: the Hakka Village, the traditional Fu Shin Street Market, many temples (the Che Kung, the Man Mo, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery), the Kowloon defensive wall and the city park behind it, the Po Lin Monastery, the huge Tian Tan statue of Buddha, the Tai O Stilt Houses, and much more.
In the Hong Kong Museum of Art you can get acquainted with the amazing Chinese pottery, drawings, terracotta items, and the masterpieces of China’s contemporary art. Tourists also like to visit the Hong Kong Science Museum, the Hong Kong Observatory and the Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Centre.
Apart from traditional history museums, the city-state also has a number of modern, contemporary arts places, such as the Dialogue in the Dark Museum, which necessitates the use of senses other than vision as it is completely dark inside. The Hong Kong International Hobby and Toy Museum displays various toys and film and book characters.
While in Hong Kong, don’t forget to visit the night-time market that’s open every day until midnight. It’s an excellent place to not only buy some interesting local goods and souvenirs, but also for those who want to taste some traditional food or listen to the locals singing karaoke. This form of entertainment, by the way, is very popular here. There are even separate tents for singing, where you can also have a snack or a drink.
Victoria Peak is probably the best place to enjoy the city view. From here you can also see an amazing panorama of the nearby South China Sea islands. You can also visit the Repulse Bay and the old Aberdeen Fisherman’s Wharf where you can still see a number of sampan boats.
The Avenue of Stars, based on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and located on the waterfront, is another famous tourist attraction. Many well-known practitioners of martial arts have left their mark here, yet the main point of pride here is the statue dedicated to the legendary actor Bruce Lee. In the evening, the waterfront resumes its function as a gathering place – many people come here to enjoy the city panorama and the daily light show, which begins at 8 PM and lasts for 15 minutes.
Cafés are quite unique in this part of town, but if you’re concerned about general cleanliness and the look of dishes, best stay away. On the whole, Hong Kong is dominated by the Chinese cuisine, although you can also find food from all of the world’s cuisines, including the Western ones. The city is home to four out of the 100 best restaurants in the world, making it a great place for gourmands.
What’s more, Hong Kong is considered to be one of the world’s safest cities, with efficient legal and police systems.