Hong Kong is a city that continues to reinvent itself. Literally. What they say about weather — if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute — applies to the Hong Kong skyline, and even more so to its harbor. With 7.1 million inhabitants and 55 million visitors per year, Hong Kong is busting at the seams. You’d think there’s nowhere to go but up, but you’d be wrong. There’s always out. Out into the water, that is. It’s called “reclaiming land,” which implies that it is the oceans that are imposing on Hong Kong, not the people.
Like most big cities, Hong Kong offers two very different faces — the westernized hyper commercialism and the old school cultural experience. That doesn’t mean the old school cultural experience isn’t also quite capitalistic, minus brand names, 80-foot neon billboards, and credit card purchases. Do both and you just might understand both where this city came from and where it’s going, because the old school experience won’t be around for much longer.
Long billed as a gambling destination, I was surprised to find that Macau is a city rich with European history, having been occupied by the Portuguese for 500 years. One minute you’re in a multi-billion dollar entertainment complex like Sands and the next you’re walking down narrow cobblestone streets in search of hot street food. To call Macau diverse is an understatement.
Cairns city center is a hip metropolis jam-packed with shops and cuisine of every kind. Walking around downtown Cairns affords opportunities to shop, dine, and even swim in the manmade lagoon (the sur
One of the highlights of our Hong Kong visit was a leisurely ride through the mountains in a glass gondola. It was a relief after navigating the über crowded Victoria Harbour area. Whether your destination is the Big Buddha or you just want to take in the fog-laden scenery, riding in a glass gondola is a spectacular visual treat. The cable car links rural Ngong Ping with urban Tung Chung.
Hong Kong is not the kind of city you visit without an agenda. Even if that agenda is as simple as sightseeing and shopping, you need a reference point to navigate the bustling city streets and crowded alleys. Fortunately, Hong Kong’s metro (MRT) is one of the best and cheapest in the world. Just purchase an Octopus card for multi-rides and map out your destination before you get packed like sardines into a subway car in this cosmopolitan city of 7 million.
Our travels this month took us first to Hong Kong before jetting off to Indonesia. A big city is always a welcome experience for this island-dweller. Hong Kong has an easy, cheap, and efficient metro that allowed us to do a ton of exploring in just three days.