Travel Report Two

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is split in two by the harbour, with HK Island, and the ‘Central’ district, on one side, and the bustling shopping areas of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, and the green hills of the ‘New Territories’ on the other.

Accommodation: Hotels have a western style, and are significantly more expensive than equivalent establishments on the 'Mainland' (as the rest of China is called).

Recommendation: A ride across the harbour on the Star Ferry is a treat, especially at dusk when the famous skyline begins its nightly brilliance. And the view from The Peak is very worthwhile, accessed by the Victorian tram line (but the queues are often long).

There’s plenty to explore, whether by taxi, by bus, by the metro (MTR), on foot … or, of course, by boat. Stanley Bay is a pleasant corner, at the south of HK Island, with an indoor market and plenty of places to eat.

A fantastic range of seafood establishments can be found at Sai Kung, on the Kowloon side. From here you can take boats to various islands. Other water transport is available from Central,. Lamma Island, for example, has a good beach and a pleasant walk across the island .

Hong Kong is a bustling city, a place for fast and expensive living. But there are quiet corners, too – forested sub-tropical hills, islands, and even quiet beaches, such as at San Wan and Ham Tin Wan, if you’re prepared to walk.

Hong Kong street names are in Cantonese and English, while in Macao there is a lingering sense of Portugal, including the cathdedral ruins.

Hong Kong street names are in Cantonese and English, while in Macao there is a lingering sense of Portugal, including the cathdedral ruins.

Macau is significantly smaller than Hong Kong, but perhaps has a slightly better preserved history – there are quiet alleyways, old churches, the ruins of the cathedral, the fort … and also many modern and often garish casinos.

Macao is the only place in China with legal organised gambling.

Hong Kong may have once been the great boom city of this part of Asia, but now that surely must be Shenzhen. People proudly point out that it was a fishing village 40 years ago. Most of those people have flocked in from the rest of China, and they have built, built and built.

Visits to mainland China from HK are easy, if you have a visa. It’s just a short train ride away, but with full passport checks still in place.

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