Hong Kong, an Oriental getaway

 Hong Kong, an Oriental getaway
The Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world, said a friend when we were vacillating about visiting the city. So don't worry, it's a great holiday destination. Arriving there, yes we were stunned with New York, but Hong Kong is without a doubt the hub for modern architecture and is considered the world's most vertical city. Being a financial hub too, the city of Hong Kong has one of the highest per- capita incomes in the world, and happily boasts of a highly developed transportation network, apparently the best in the world.

Hong Kong boasts of lots of other international ranking too - its economic freedom, financial and economic competitiveness, quality of life, corruption control, and the Human Development Index are all ranked very high.

Victoria Peak is a mountain which is a must-visit in Hong Kong. Located in the western half of Hong Kong Island it is 552 m tall, and it is the highest mountain on the island. The actual peak Victoria Peak is closed to the public, but the views over Central, Victoria Harbour, and the surrounding islands is what brings in the tourists. With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. It offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours. Shopaholics can also enjoy the two major leisure and shopping centres called - the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.

Take the funicular railway up from Hong Kong's Central district to The Peak Tower. Get to the top of the Peak also by taxi via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.

Victoria Harbour is a natural harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. In days gone by its strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong's establishment as a British colony and its subsequent development as a trading centre.

The harbour's spectacular views, is a must -see while in Hong Kong. The annual fireworks displays are held here and its famous promenades are popular gathering places for tourists and residents.

Another big draw for tourists is Hong Kong's Disneyland which was built on reclaimed land in Penny's Bay, Lantau Island. The park opened to visitors in 2005 and Disney rather than face cultural backlash he incorporated Chinese culture, customs, and traditions when designing and building the resort, including adherence to the rules of Feng Shui. For instance, a bend was put in a walkway near the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort entrance so good "qi" (chi) energy wouldn't flow into the South China Sea.

Tian Tan Giant Buddha or the Big Buddha park in Disneyland, is one of the city's most impressive sights and should be on any sightseeing list. Also known as the Big Buddha, the large bronze statue of a Buddha, sits on a lotus throne on top of a three-platform altar and is surrounded by six smaller bronze statues known as "The Offering of the Six Devas" offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha.

The Buddha is 34 metres tall, weighs 250 metric tons, can reputedly be seen from as far away as Macau on a clear day. Serene and dignified, the Buddha faces north, which is unique among the great Buddha statues, as all others face south.

A lot of visitors to Hong Kong enjoy the legal gambling that is on offer. We were not into that so can't really give you any inside info there, but visitors to Hong Kong do enjoy a round of gambling just for fun, is what we have personally heard.

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