As the airport express train shuttles you closer and closer to Hong Kong's city centre, you notice something almost surreal amongst the half-built skyscrapers, needing a squint for a better look. What boggles the mind is that each one of the ultra-modern, towering structures before you was built using simple bamboo scaffolding used for centuries and it suddenly sums up Hong Kong perfectly. It's shiny and new but respectful in its wisdom. Looking forward yet never forgetting the past like a child with an old soul.
'Asia's World City' is a major international hub connecting worldwide travellers to all points on the continent and as a result, it is more than able to cater to everyone. Eccentric in its offerings, this is the place where you can get just about anything. No sales tax and no shortage of places to buy at makes Hong Kong a shopper's paradise in everything from couture to electronics, in modern malls or ancient, rustic markets. And to the foodie, it offers just as much.
Take your pick, it's all here. Just about every Asian nation is well represented, on top of American and European style eateries. The musts are all local (Cantonese) however with dim sum and seafood as the stars. Dishes can be as adventurous as they are delicious but rarely do they disappoint.
From years of British colonialism, English is still Hong Kong's second official language making getting around easy and generally hassle-free. It is a safe destination which caters to children well. Disneyland is located on Lantau Island and although smaller, it is considerably cheaper than Japan's. On Victoria Peak in Central District, The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens are one of the world's oldest.
From Kowloon's harbour hop aboard the Star Ferry and take to the bay for magnificent views of the iconic skyline and surrounding mountains. Over 70% of Hong Kong is green but you wouldn't know it without escaping the polluted downtown air. Visit the gigantic seated Tian Tan Buddha and the Lantau Tea Garden. Bet on the ponies at Happy Valley Racecourse or browse the stalls at the energy filled Temple Street Night Market. Ferry to Macau or book a day trip to the mainland, the options really are endless.