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Making a Silk Fan by Hand In Guilin

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Ancient and Modern Mix in Foshan City

Bruce Lee

Ancient NanFeng Kiln, Foshan - China's Oldest Working Dragon Kiln

Chinese Art

Zhaoqing at Night - Seen from 7-Stars Lake and Crags

Washing Clothes in the Li River, Guilin

Luxuary Night Cruise, Guangzhou

Girls Out Shopping in Hong Kong

Anne and Friend Practise Kung Fu in Foshan


Tourists Cycling Along The River Li in Guilin

Local Fisherman of the Li River, Guilin. The Cormorant's are trained birds used for fishing! They can count up to 7 fish, after which time they will not dive again unless fed!

Guangzhou at Night

A Chinese Junk in Victoria Bay, Hong Kong

Latin meets Sino at this restaurant in Macao

Water Fountains Display - Zhaoqing
Tourist Guides for China
Tourist Guide for Hong Kong (September 2008)
General Comments:

Hong Kong is a fast and vibrant city, and leading world financial hub. The land can be basically divided into four areas: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsular, The New Territories, and 107 other Islands. This supports a population of about 6 million people, which swells daily with visitors from all over the world

Hong Kong is a truly cosmopolitan city, bourne witness by the diverse origins of the people and tourists. The language spoken is Cantonese, with English and Mandarin both being widely understood. Hong Kong, along with neighbouring Macao, are both fledgling democratic city-states, known as SAR's (Special Administrative Regions). Beijing actually introduced democratic processes here, and are proud to boast "One Country, Two Systems".

Hong Kong offers many widely varied opportunities for tourists to use their time: sight-seeing, bus tours and water cruises, shopping in modern malls or local street markets are all extremely easy. Numerous restaurants featuring some of the best cuisine from all over the world make eating a great experience. There is also a highly developed and sophisticated nightlife. Hong Kong also offers a full range of hotels - from the very best International standard to lowly chinese 2*, YMCA's, hostels, and even rooms by the hour

The cost of living is generally a lot higher than in China, but lower than UK. However, this can vary tremendously depending upon the type of establishment and its situation. It is usually best to examine all your options before committing your money

In this guide we will tell you the best places to go, with reference to the four main areas mentioned above. We will also divide this into only two price ranges - 5* and Basic. There are options in between:

Highlights at a Glance

Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is the administrative centre and traditionally a more exclusive area. You should think of Tourist Hong Kong Island as being a strip of land between The Peak and Victoria Bay, which runs for about 2 miles and includes Central, Admiralty, and Wan Chai. These areas are adjacent and interconnected by old trams, which at $2HK are the best means of transportation. Pay as you leave near the front.

1. Central - High class shopping malls, Restaurants and nightlife near Central Station. Lan Kwai Fong Hotel (aka LKF) and adjacent backstreets for excellent bars and clubs area. More bars and local shopping along the nearby Great Escalator route (Elgin Street and Staunton Street). Also adjacent is Hollywood Road, famed as one of the oldest streets in Hong Kong, which also supports great shops for antiques and curios. Central Downtown has pavements which are set above the roads in a complex of interconnecting walkways - another world exists up there!
2. Admiralty - The Peak via Peak Tram - Pay one of the professional photographers to take your picture. Restaurants on the peak are nearly all expensive, although there is a MacDonald's in one of the small shopping centres. There are also marked walks for those wishing to explore during the day. Last tram down again is at midnight, and most buses stop soon after as well . Embassies and Government occupy most of the area, but check out nearby HK Zoological and Botanical Gardens
3. Wan Chai - This area is far more Chinese in flavour, and more representative of local Hong Kong. A slightly cheaper area which is more vibrant and cosmopolitan. The shore is home to many ferries, and The Exhibition Centre (Vaguely similar to Sydney Opera House?). Using Wan Chai Underground Station as a north / south axis; you will find modern malls and walkways in the sky near the coast. As you head south things become more Chinese and cheaper. Opposite the extreme southern exit and across the tram lines on Johnston Road are a warren of backstreets which have extremely good and cheap street markets, local restaurants, and ideal for those on a budget. There is also a genuine Filipino foods shop here (Behind one of the street stalls). Prices here are dirt cheap, but don't believe the sizes on any clothing labels. If you continue walking straight and up a small hill (There are a couple of OK Jade etc stalls here) to a T-Junction, go right and across the road for Banks and ATM's + Park and Shop supermarket - the only place in Asia we have found that sells real English Pork Sausage (Walls Brand)

4. Hotels - Book near Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai for general convenience. Book Lang Kwai Fong Hotel and area for great nightlife. For cheap hotels go to Sheung Wan area and look around Bonham Street / Queens Road West. Smokers should check smoking is permitted in rooms?
5. Stanley - A coastal village at the extreme south of HK Island renowned for its Market, and a very relaxing place for Expats to chill. I have not been here yet, but people who have say they prefer it to Aberdeen
6. Aberdeen - Similar in some ways to Stanley, but easier to get to. Scheduled to be connected to the MTR system - some-when? There is a small market here, and it is a famous venue for Dragon Boat Races. It is also a traditional fishing village, and the fish market is well worth a look. Nearby are traditional sampan's, which can be haggled for trips to nearby Islands or Downtown
7. Ocean Park - On the south coast near to Aberdeen. There are two entrances, the main one having the Panda enclosure etc. Most of the better rides are on the other side of a peak, which you get to via cable car. Smoking is allowed in special areas only. Allow one full day here, as there is an awful lot to do - especially on the way out to the old entrance. Apart from rides, the emphasis is far more on wildlife and marine culture - which is lacking at Disney

The vibrant and quintessential epitome of modern Hong Kong, and very different from Hong Kong Island. 'Kow' is actually a corruption of the Cantonese 'Gao' meaning Dog. 'Loon' could possibly be considered as meaning 'End' - Draw your own conclusions :- )

1. Hotels - Choose your hotel location very carefully:
    a. Tsim Sha Tsui for Downtown and 5* + China Ferry, Airport and Mainland Trains; saying " t'Shim Shar t'Shway" is vaguely correct HK Cantonese btw. Impressive tourist options are mainly: Marco Polo, The Langham, The Peninsula, and the YMCA next door.
    b. Jordan for 3* and convenient access to everywhere
    c. Mong Kok for 2* and real Chinese Kowloon
2. The Peninsula Hotel - World renowned for 'The quintessential British Afternoon Tea' = a must do
3. Shopping - Modern malls near China Ferry complex. Street markets recommended around Bowring Street area, Jordan. Street shops great around Granville Road. Jade Market ok-ish, but you must know Jade very well   (80% + is glass, other rocks, composite. What is real is a very good buy). Ladies Market in obscure location, and mainly a rip-off = waste of time
4. Chilling - start at The Grand Stanford Hotel:
    a. Go left out of the front door and head towards the Front. Find an array of bars (Clubs) along this street - smoking allowed in most
    b. Centenary Square is excellent (Regal Kowloon Hotel & East Ocean Building are there also) - exit front door and cross the road (barriers) to the right. Go to Cafe La Fontaine, near the fountain. 2 drinks for price of 1 between 3 and 9pm + excellent assortment of eats
    c. Knutsford Terrace - Pedestrianised & obscure road crammed full of great eateries (Just off Kimberley Road, Jordan)
    d. Girls will enjoy a 'Lazy shop' within the connecting streets (b & c above), which are great for perfumeries plus stylish designer clothes and shoes at rock-bottom prices (Haggle)
5. Mong Kok - You may not be ready for this, as it is as Chinese as it gets - without actually going to China. For me personally, this is where East actually meets West

The New Territories
This is a large area with intensive city sprawl radiating outwards from Kowloon. Further afield are towns mainly along the Shen Zhen corridor. However, most of the New Territories is wild mountainous land, interspersed with nature reserves and a couple of rare and protected marsh habitats

1. Hong Kong Racecourse - This is very famous and plays host to horses and riders from all over the world. The recent Olympic games equestrian events were staged here. Get there via the KCR
2. Mei Po Wetlands - One of several sanctuaries supported by WWF, this one being home to many endangered species of birds and nesting site for migratory birds. This also supports many other mammals - don't litter here!
3. Tours - Various daily coach tours are available which have many stops at interesting temples and fishing villages

The Islands
Hong Kong consists of 108 islands, the major one being Hong Kong Island itself. Some far flung islands may be uninhabited, refuges for endangered species only, or have small communities supported by twice daily, or even once weekly ferry services. We will only mention two major islands here, but certain others nearby are also worth a look

Lantau Island
This is a large island connected to Kowloon by road, rail and ferry networks. Those seeking relaxation are advised to spend several days here. The main attractions are:

1. The Giant Buddha - This is truly enormous and forms part of the Lin Po Monastery area. Go there by cable car (Famous for breaking down a lot) from Tung Chung MTR terminus, or by island bus
2. Dolphin Cruise - Normally part of a package from your Downtown hotel, but can be booked specifically from Tai O Village
3. Tai O Village - 'The Venice of the East' and famous as a fishing village from years gone by. There still remain many traditional houses built on stilts over the water, which provides a dramatic contrast to the modern city
4. Cheung Sha Beach - The longest beach in Hong Kong at over 2 miles, featuring beautiful white sand set in a tranquil and unspoiled location
5. Disney - Everything you expect from this Amusement Park Chain. Smaller than other world locations, but planned to grow over the coming years. Most local people prefer the comparable Ocean Park
6. The Airport - The famous old HK airport was quite difficult and dangerous for large jet liners to use. The modern airport is very new and excellent + exceedingly busy. It does have smoking rooms after check-in - if you look very hard.

Lamma Island
A large island due south of Aberdeen, which has regular ferry connections from Downtown. Hire local sampans if you want to get away from the crowd and see different aspects of this interesting island.

The tourist destinations are famed for their seafood's, especially shellfish. Many also have traditional Tea Houses, which also offer samples of Cantonese Opera - especially on Sundays


1. Indians selling suits along Nathan Road in Kowloon.

Do consider Rules and Social interactions as being very similar to UK.
2. Dial 999 for Police assistance.
3. Dial (00852) 2508 1234 for HK Tourist Board Hotline
4. Get an Octopus Card - it covers the whole Transportation Network

1. Flash wads of cash around in a public place
2. No smoking almost everywhere. Smoke outside establishments, or in places where others are smoking
3. Pickpockets do exist. They are more common than in China, and operate similar to Western versions - watch out in crowded places and on underground trains
4. Obviously the normal precautions apply anywhere in the world. Don't have unprotected sex, and be careful when using Credit and Debit Cards. Don't leave baggage unattended
5. Don't litter, especially cigarette ends!

Smoking - do Know:
1. Very expensive Western Hotels have smoking bars
2. Many very expensive or 'clique' bars allow smoking
3. Most Hotels permit smoking in rooms

Dedicate one day to Ocean Park or Disney - Ocean Park is considered far better by most people. Dedicate half a day each to visiting The Giant Buddha on Lantau Island, and to street shopping in either Wan Chai or Jordan. Go to The Peak at night, and pay a professional for a framed photograph. Visit Stanley or Aberdeen. Go to Lamma Island for the best shellfish (Sampan from Aberdeen harbour).   Visit The Peninsular Hotel for Afternoon Tea

Hong Kong is fast, exhilarating, with quite places to relax and chill. The nightlife is some of the best in the world. This completely contrasts with small fishing villages and lonely island communities. This cosmopolitan city offers one of the best and most diverse destinations anywhere in the world . Enjoy!

Related Pages:   HK Quick Guide    Ten Tips for HK    HK - China Transfers    Independent Travellers
This information is as supplied by the Chinese Embassy in UK, as dated 20th June 2008, and/or other reliable sources. Please check this information yourself as it may alter without notice, and whilst we try our best to ensure it is correct, please do not hold us responsible for any errors - this is intended as a simple guide only
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