What's So Special About Hong Kong?

The autonomous Southeast China territory of Hong Kong, whose name translates to “the fragrant harbor”, can be best described as a cultural kaleidoscope. Hong Kong's cultural diversity stems from its history. Throughout the its past 150 years of history it has come under British, Japanese and Chinese rule. Originally the territory was a part of the Chinese empire and was an important trading port of the Han Dynasty. The territory became a British colony in 1839. During WWII, the territory came soon under Japanese control. With the end of WWII and the capitulation of Japan, Hong Kong was made a British colony once again. In the 1980's Britain and China held a series of negotiations pertaining to the territory. These negotiations culminated in the transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty back to China. In 1997. Hong Kong territory became a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. However, it retained its economic and political autonomy. The city has a population of 7.3 million people of different nationalities and religious backgrounds.

Natural Beauty

While many tourists and travelers known Hong Kong as the commercial capital of Southeast Asia as well as a shopper’s paradise, the city is also known for its natural beauty. World Economic Forum has in its Travel and Tourism Report from 2015. ranked Hong Kong as first in Asia and fifth in the world in regards to the extent of area designated for conservation. Hong Kong Global Geopark has been recognized by UNESCO. Geopark site occupies 50 square kilometers of northeast coastline and offers a glimpse into the island's enchanting natural beauty. Park is split into 8 regions, each with specific properties including volcanic rocks, sea caves, cliffs and tidal spit. The park also boasts of its 9 kilometers in length amazing nature trail especially appealing to hiking enthusiasts. Trail goes along Tai Mong Tsai Road and Sai Kung Man Yee Road all up to East Dam.

Cultural Heritage

On the other hand, Hong Kong offers plethora of sites open for visitor who want better understanding of its culture and tradition. One of such sites is Wong Tai Sin Temple. Aside from being religious site for Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, it is also major tourist attraction as the temple is famous for having many prayers answered. Weather this is true or not the temple is a cultural wonder with its traditional Chinese temple style architecture, The Nine Dragon Wall modeled after one from Beijing and beautiful Good Wish Garden.

Another impressive cultural monument is Tian Tan Buddha statue or better known as Big Buddha. This giant bronze statue is 34 meters tall and represents relationship between man and nature, people and faith. Big Buddha is located at Ngong Ping - Lantau Island in close vicinity of Po Lin Monastery. It's really hard to describe the sense of grand as you are slowly climbing 268 steps leading to this cultural and architectural wonder.

Urban Life and Cousin

Given its history, Hong Kong has a unique and diverse culture determined by its Chinese heritage and British colonial influences. The cultural diversity of Hong Kong is best depicted in the city's vibrant nightlife and dynamic cuisine. Considered by many to be a shopper's paradise, the city has trendy high-end boutiques akin to those found in western cities as well as traditional Chinese stores.

In addition to it being the culinary capital of Asia, the city restaurants offer full-range of authentic Asian and Western dishes on their menus. But if you'd like to have a taste of more traditional flavor of local cousin, plethora of street vendors known as Dai Pai Dongs offer exactly that. Their way of preparation of local specialties are widely considered to be the best and most authentic dining experience in Hong Kong.

Famous massage parlors and spa's are another tourist attraction connected mostly to urban lifestyle these days, although it is much more traditional in its nature. This discipline has been practiced and perfected through centuries in these parts of the world and these days. Popular style of Hong Kong massage is often considered as one of more unique and invigorating experiences this city has to offer.

As you can see Hong Kong is a unique tourist destination in both modern and traditional sense. The city maintains its status as one of Asia’s busiest commercial hubs. Additionally, the city’s vibrant nightlife and plethora of colorful festivals and events give it a modern and sophisticated appeal. However, the city has not lost its traditional Chinese charm and offers good insight into Cantonese and Mandarin cultures. Moreover, thanks to its natural beauties it is also ideal for enthusiasts who just want to enjoy the diversity of Mother Nature. Hong Kong really caters to all types of visitors, with its unique fusion of East and West, traditional and modern.

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