Hong Kong Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
October 18th, 2007 – by: wforrester
In their wisdom the Chinese have left the city as it was as a thriving centre of commerce and business. The city still grows at an alarming rate (some have often joked that if the reclaimation continues you will be able to walk across Victoria Harbour between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
A major new development has occurred on the peak, above the Peak Tram terminal. A new muti-level entertainment complex has been opened offering some of the best dining in Hong Kong with arguably the best city view in the World.
The other major redevelopment has been the building of a new Star Ferry terminal on the Hong Kong Island side right next to the interisland ferry terminals. This makes for a very easy transition to the outer islands or to the business centre or MTR via a new elevated covered walk way.
Most people visiting Hong Kong do so for the shopping. With the strength of the Australian dollar at the moment Hong Kong is extremely good value for money with most "Brand" items being now approximately two thirds of prices in Australia.
Market shopping for clothing and imitation goods is always great fun in Hong Kong and no visit is complete without a visit to the Ladies Market in Mongkok, The Temple Street night market, Stanley Market, the Jade Market or even a walk down old Shanghai Street. As a guide tee shirts sell for around 5 dollars, jeans for around 8 - 12 dollars and handbags for between 10 and 30 dollars. Bargaining is a must in any of the markets and the best buys are to be had early in the market sessions or towards close.
Tens years ago I would have said that Hong Kong wasn't the place to take children. That has now largely changed for two reasons. The first is the opening of Disneyland which gives Hong Kong two major attractions for children with the Ocean Park. Disneyland opened late last year and is still small consisting of Main Street USA, Tomorrowland, Fastasyland, and Adventureland. The park is being expanded with further construction underway. It is designed for younger children at this stage with the only really serious ride being Space Mountain. Having said that it is still a full day and night of activity to cover the entire park and the night fireworks. The main advantage over other parks in the Disney Stable is the relatively short queue times, rarely longer than 15 minutes and often as short as 5 minutes. The one constant all over the world is the Disney magic. Hong Kong is no exception and while is sounds like a cliche Disneyland is truly the happiest place on Earth!! (and that is coming from a 49 year old)
I said earlier that there were two reasons Hong Kong had become more child friendly, the second is eating. Ten years ago eating was either expensive in Hotel coffee shops, expensive in good restaurants, or very Asian in street type stalls not really suitable for western children. The evening meals could often cost as much for a family as their accommodation over the course of a week. Hong Kong is now full of cheap American style fast food outlets, coffee shops, and good quality but very well priced Asian food courts. Eating with kids is now not only relatively inexpensive but can be a lot of fun.
Hong Kong has always been one of the great cities of the world and one of my personal favorites. Over the last ten years it has got better and now offers a far broader range of activities for people of all ages. Whether it is shopping, taking in the sights, visiting the many outer islands taking the kids to the attractions or relaxing on the beach, Hong Kong will surprise you. Hong Kong is a vibrant city that has a pulse all of its own - the more you live it, the more you will love it.
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