Hong Kong, China looks like the tree orchid it is chosen as the emblem since the handover. This tree comes from an endemic species found near the sea.
As the orchid tree is unique but needs others for his offspring, Hong Kong is independent and at the same time needs China to develop.
Modern city with vertiginous skyscrapers, the Mecca of shopping and nightlife, this city turns heads. Located along the South China Sea, the city includes Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories to the north and 235 islands covering an area of 1,100 km². 6 million people live at the pace of Hong Kong, stable economic power to the singular history.
It is nicknamed “Pearl of the Orient” because life is expensive, luxurious hotels, real estate overpriced. The few cultural sites are free and seduce thousands of tourists every year. But we come especially to see how closely a seething metropolis of the interior.
After the noise and pollution, rejuvenate in the vicinity of Hong Kong.
Just opposite is Macau, a former Portuguese colony attached to China in 1999. You will enjoy the traditional Portuguese architecture in the historic center of Macau and the city museum.
Further north, Canton will reveal its historical treasures that explain the traditional ways of life in China: the Temple of the Chen family’s ancestors or the Temple of the Six Banyan.
You will certainly enjoy Guilin, further inland and beautiful scenery with amazing natural attractions like Elephant Trunk Hill or the cave of the reed flute.
History of the City:
Hong Kong’s history begins with the development of the opium trade. Macao is the first Asian port trade with the rest of China and Europe; the English have understood: the opium trade is very profitable but also silk, tea, and handicrafts.
In 1839, the Emperor of China is destroying opium reserves of Canton, which infuriates the British demanding a refund. This is the first Opium War. It ends in 1842 with a treaty which gives Hong Kong to the British for an unlimited period. A few years later, Kowloon is also ceded to England and after a few other Opium Wars, the New Territories, and several hundred islands are administered by the British crown. The lease is set at 99 years.
During the Second World War, Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. There will be thousands of deaths among the population that fled to the surrounding countryside.
At the end of the war, the city returns to the English but other problems arise. How can the Chinese Communist accept on its territory a capitalist city? The answer is economic: Hong Kong promotes trade with the world and is profitable for China. But Hong Kong also depends economically on China.
In 1997, the lease ended, Hong Kong returns to Chinese: the handover. Large firms such as Jardine Matheson and immediately relocate to Singapore or Taiwan. To avoid this, Deng Xiaoping adopted the doctrine of “one country, two systems”. Hong Kong has its own constitution with its government and its currency.
Today, Hong Kong is facing its urban planning issues like housing and pollution.
The city center is located in Central, Hong Kong Island. It is the business center. The Kowloon Peninsula brings together shops, restaurants and hotels, particularly in the districts of Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok. New Territories are, mostly, dormitories cities of Hong Kong employees.
Start your tour by Central and all its modern buildings that seem to pierce the sky. Take the time (you will not have many more opportunities) visit the oldest temple in the city, Man Mo Temple. For an overview, go up to Victoria Peak by funicular. Hikes are proposed.
Head north, to join the Kowloon Peninsula. Y gathered in Hong Kong’s main museums: the Museum of the space, the Museum of Arts and the most interesting, the history museum.
Nathan Road is Hong Kong’s most famous street, there is a parade of restaurants, various shops, and hotels. Always in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok districts meet the markets of the city: Jade Market, night market, bird market and flower market.
New Territories are not a priority in your route, especially if your time is limited on the island. Only the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery is worth seeing.
Lantau Island, west of Hong Kong, will seduce you with its calm and its long beaches. You can visit the Po Lin Monastery which houses the Buddha Lantau Tian Tan. It is the largest Buddha seated in the lotus of the world.
In the evening, go for a walk in Kowloon that will give you a stunning view of the illuminated skyscrapers of the City.