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Hong Kong – A Global City

April 30, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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Hong Kong, meaning fragrant harbor, is where the east meets the west. Lying on the cost of Southern China, this densely populated island has everything you could ever possibility want or need. It is a place with multiple characteristics and personas, as a result of being Cantonese Chinese culture with a long-time British influence making it a true global city.

There are two parts of Hong Kong; Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Since the British defeat of the First Opium War in 1841 Hong Kong Island was put under British rule, and during the Second Opium War in 1860 the British gained control over the Kowloon Peninsula. Kowloon is the peninsula to the north of Hong Kong Island. With over 2.1 million people living in an area of less than 47 square kilometres, Kowloon is one of the most densely populated places on earth. Hong Kong island may not be the largest of the Hong Kong territories, but many, if not all, would say it is the main event. Here to you find the buildings creating the extraordinary and famous Hong Kong skyline, however the best views can only be found on Kowloon.

The culture and people found in Hong Kong remind you of the eastern part of the east meets west country. The official cuisine of Hong Kong is Cantonese, which is said to be less greasy than other traditional Chinese cuisine. Dim Sum, meaning “touch the heart” is without doubt the most popular Cantonese dish. Much like the little dumplings found in Shanghai, this type of cuisine is also little bites of several different dishes, I would consider it to be the Chinese version of tapas. Another interesting local tradition is to use bamboo as a sturdy natural material for things such as scaffolding buildings for construction. It was quite interesting to see this being so widely used around the city.

The intense Shopping in Hong Kong could leave you exhausted for days and out of money for years, but somehow you can’t manage to visit here without taking a trip down the retail filled streets. It truly is a shoppers paradise. But as popular as the ready made goods are, the tailor made clothing suited to your body and made in a meer two or three days is another reason this place is a shoppers delight. With a little help from Gwenth Paltrow’s Goop blog, Tyler got a hold of William Chang & Son Tailors and was able to have a shirt and pants made exclusively for him at a very decent price.

Hollywood Road is antique central for Hong Kong. The quiet windy street filled with all sorts of antiques an trinkets. With everything from Chinese antique furniture to porcelain ware, and Buddha sculptures to Tibetan rugs, Hollywood Road has it all.

The mid level escalators twisting up and down the narrow streets of Hong Kong is the worlds largest escalator system, spanning over 800 meters long. The Mid-levels, an upscale neighborhood, is where the escalators begin and the connect all the way down to the financial district. This escalator system was created to alleviate traffic by helping commuters travel to and from work, and the are covered for commuting during times of rain or shine. The escalators run downhill from 6 am to 10 am and provide a twenty minute commute time, but you are able to get off at any interval throughout the way. At 10 am the escalators switch directions and begin to run uphill until 6 am when the process starts all over again. With 45,000 people average using them a day, I would say it’s a popular form of transportation here.

With our Big Bus Double Decker city tour we learned the fascinating facts and important information of Hong Kong, and the rest of the time we enjoyed everything the big city had to offer from shopping to walking the streets and fine dining to drinks with skyline views. Hong Kong is like New York City, a place you could visit hundreds of times and still find a way to discover something new each and every trip.

Zai Hui,

T+C

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