Your first order of business in Hong Kong -- a scenic gateway to mainland China, as well as an ideal entrance to Asia’s multicultural cruising scene -- might be a sightseeing tour. You can get your bearings and introduce yourself to the destination in several ways, including ferry trips across Victoria Harbor and rides aboard “Ding Ding,” a two-tiered tram that zips through busy metro areas. One offers panoramic views of Hong Kong’s crowded skyline, while the other takes a closer look at the city center.
The best view of town may be from the top of “The Peak,” an 1,810-foot-tall icon on the western side of Hong Kong Island. Hop a tram to the top for panoramic views and scenic strolls among mountaintop greenery. Other outdoor attractions include wetland parks, manicured golf courses and unique beaches like the Gold Coast, a resort area that offers Mediterranean style in the heart of Hong Kong. Disneyland even offers an outpost here.
An eastern hub of commerce and trade, Hong Kong boasts boundless shopping experiences. Designer labels can be found in high-end shops as well as the crowded street markets preferred by tourists, where knock-off gems can be had for a fraction of the real thing’s price. If you want to shop like a local, head for hot spots like Herbal Medicine Street, the home of Hong Kong’s health trade, or Dried Seafood Street, where you can snack on a variety of cured and seasoned creatures.
This world-class city also is home to dozens of arts havens and specialty museums. The Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center offers a crash course in city heritage; the Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery, meanwhile, offers a more focused view of local beliefs. Another landmark, Golden Bauhinia Square, is found along the waterfront. The Chinese flag is raised each day during a special ceremony that celebrates the 1997 British handover of Hong Kong.