Hong Kong

The impression one brings back is that Hong Kong is one gigantic shopping mall, surrounded by modern skyscrapers. Prior to its return to China, the transportation system was excellent and inexpensive. English is widely spoken in Hong Kong.

CITY HALL: …The main venue for cultural events…comprises two blocks… concert hall, theatre, art museum, restaurants and libraries. Located just east of the Star Ferry Pier.

ZOOLOGICAL AND BOTANICAL GARDENS: In an area of calm…wander through a selection of beautiful plants, and see the view over the harbor. Take bus #3 from Connaught Center. Get off Caritas Centre, follow path uphill to gardens.

VICTORIA PEAK: 1,809 feet above sea level, Victoria Peak is a wonderful vantage point to see the complete panorama of Hong Kong. The PEAK TRAM takes you to the Peak Tower. See also, the Peak Tower Village where craftsmen make traditional Chinese crafts. The Lower Peak Tram Station is 1 block north of the Hilton Hotel on Garden Road. You can also take bus #15 from the Central Bus Terminal.

HONG KONG ISLAND BY TRAM: Trams have traveled the length of Hong Kong Island since 1904 and they afford a great view of Hong Kong life all along the route. Starting Route: Get on the tram (enter through rear door) at any stop along the route…on either side of Des Voeux Road, Central, or in front of Statue Square. Points of Interest along the way: KENNEDY TOWN…residential area offering interesting warehouse along the waterfront…loading/unloading of goods. WESTERN DISTRICT…trading and shopping centre for typical Chinese products, intermingled with skyscrapers. CENTRAL DISTRICT…home of big business. WANCHAI…known as the “Suzie Wong” area. CAUSEWAY BAY…alive from morning to late night for shopping, eating and entertainment. NORTH POINT… apartment living. SHAUKEIWAN…once a pirates haunt, now home of fishing fleet.

STANLEY VILLAGE: A comparatively tranquil area on the southern side of Hong Kong Island. Today this is a village and fishing port with a sandy beach… popular bargain hunting centre for clothes and souvenirs. Bus #6.

REPULSE BAY: The best-known beach in the colony…considered the most beautiful bay in Hong Kong. Bus #73 from Stanley Village.

ABERDEEN: Here, thousands of junks are anchored in the harbor, where local people live and some rarely come ashore. One will find the famous Chinese floating restaurants here.

KOWLOON: Busy and bustling…the major shopping area of Hong Kong and where many visitors stay. While here, one can see YOUNG’S WAX GALLERY on Nathan Road, containing wax effigies of Chinese and European personalities…HONG KONG MUSEUM OF HISTORY…local history and a fine collection of model junks (Daily 10-6, Sun 1-6. Closed Friday)…The SPACE MUSEUM…featuring one of the most advanced planetariums in the world. LEI CHENG UK TOMB and MUSEUM…dating from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD).

WOHG TAI SIN TEMPLE: In the Upper Wong Tai Sin Estate in the Wong Tai Sin District. Near by are hundreds of stalls…interesting. Temple is open daily 8-5…donation expected.

TEMPLE OF 10,000 BUDDHAS: Thousands of gold leaf Buddhas. Nearby is a 9-storied hexagonal Pagoda. Take the train from Hung Hom Station and get off at Shatin Railway Station. Exit station and walk towards village, pass a nunnery and a bridge and then climb the 328 steps to the Temple.

MIU FAT MOHASTERY: A 3-story Buddhist Temple with a pair of 60-foot dragons on the front of the colorfully ornate building.

PING SHAN PAGODA: This pagoda was built 500 years ago…with 5 stories. A 1954 typhoon removed the top two. It is considered haunted by local villagers due to the moaning they claim to have heard during the night.

SUNG DYNASTY VILLAGE: This is a reproduction of a 1000-year-old village, where photogenic period-costumed inhabitants walk around.

TIGER BALM (AW BOON HAW) GARDENS: 8 acres, built in 1935…consisting of grottoes and pavilions displaying effigies from Chinese mythology. Flamboyant colors and grotesque statues provide photographic opportunities… especially the graceful pagoda. Most tourists say the gardens are so very “tacky” that you have to see them to believe them. Daily 9-4.

STAR FERRY: This famous ferry travels from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon Peninsula. The price is about 5 cents.