Enclosed by the South China Sea and the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong has the freest economy in the world. It is, in fact, the business community's model of a laissez-faire market. As such, it has become the world's "shopping and skyscraper capital" with over 7,650 skyscrapers, of which 36 are included in the planet's inventory of 100 tallest residential buildings. Hong Kong's steel giants seem to sparkle like columns of diamonds after sun down, making this city earn the moniker, "Pearl of the Orient."
East meets West
A former British colony, Hong Kong is also frequently described as the meeting place of East and West. As a center of global trade, Hong Kong has become a cauldron of cultures. Here, Western colonial buildings are laid out following traditional Chinese practices like feng shui. Hot pots and dim sum coexist with fast food and haute cuisine. The city's local cinema has produced Hollywood royalties such as martial artists Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, and Chow Yun-Fat, and directors Wong Kar-wai, John Woo, and Stephen Chow.
As eclectic as its culture is its geographical mix of rugged coastlines for swimming and steep terrains for hiking. Standing 554 meters tall and 1,817 feet above sea level is Victoria Peak, which offers a stunning view of the island. Atop Muyu Mountain is the 34-meter Tian Tan Big Buddha, one of the world's biggest Buddhas. The Lion Pavilion also offers a panoramic view of Victoria Harbor, one the busiest ports in the world.
Nestled on Tsim Sha Tsui is Hong Kong Space Museum, which boasts of an egg-shaped planetarium. Nearby is the Kowloon Park, one of the largest in Hong Kong. At Stanley and Causeway Bay in Wanchai, the markets are a repository of silk garments, curios, antiques, and other Chinese nooks and crannies.
The icing on Hong Kong's cake is Hong Kong Disneyland, whose Disney-themed rides and attractions lure thousands of visitors worldwide. There is also Adventureland, which replicates the African golden Savannahs.
Hong Kong Landmarks:
Hong Kong Traveler Advice
Hong Kong photography
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