Hong Kong: The Perfect Stopover City

In this latest installment from guest contributor Navjot Singh, a well-known British author, journalist and photographer, we learn about the many exciting things to see and do in Hong Kong. Be sure to check back in with us for some more insightful reviews from Navjot’s travel exploits.

I fell in love with Hong Kong the first time I landed here way back in 2002. Known as “Asia’s World City”, the great metropolis stands out from most cities in the world because of its exciting rich mix of eastern and western cultures and heritage (gained from 150 years of British influence and over 5,000 years of Chinese history). There is so much to see and do that you’ll need about 3 to 4 days to get a perfect flavor of the place.

Hong Kong is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most vibrant cities. But what makes it one of the world’s best destinations is its superb infrastructure, which enables visitors to get to and from (and around) the city in a breeze.

Served by more than 85 airlines and leading cruise lines, Hong Kong is the perfect flight/cruise stop-over and a natural multi-gateway to mainland China and Macau. If you are on your way to Australia or New Zealand from the east coast of USA and Canada, I highly recommended that you take a stop here in this sophisticated metropolis.

Whether you like shopping, hiking, sight-seeing, trying a new cuisine or relaxing at the beach, Hong Kong is full of diverse sights and attractions!

Nothing beats eating a traditional Dim Sum - true Cantonese style! (Navjot Singh)

Nothing beats eating a traditional Dim Sum – true Cantonese style! (Navjot Singh)

Here are a few of the many exciting activities that you can do and see in this great former British colony:

Absorb Hong Kong’s rich Culture and Heritage

Hong Kong possesses a stunning array of attractions that will leave anyone amazed. For those who really want to know and understand the culture and history better, Hong Kong has some exceptional museums to explore. Two museums that are worth visiting are the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware, where you can truly appreciate the history of both English and Chinese tea, and the fabulous Hong Kong museum of Art where you drown yourself in the splendor of the art decor.

Hong Kong is widely recognized as an art deco city and, as such, draws in an increasing number of travelers with a passion for art, architecture, and social history. The world’s most well-known architects are also flocking to Hong Kong, where they are building the world’s biggest skyscrapers and up-market hotels, including boutique hotels like the JIA Hong Kong, which has been in operation since 2004.

Victoria Harbour is the key asset that has helped fuel the vibrant development of the city. Visitors can enjoy a boat trip on the harbor to experience stunning panoramic views of the skyline or climb Victoria Peak in a 100-year-old tram to view the full splendor from “The Peak“.

View of Hong Kong's Central Piers (Navjot Singh)

View of Hong Kong’s Central Piers (Navjot Singh)

But, to truly appreciate Hong Kong’s living culture and heritage, visitors should join the Hong Kong tourism boards “Cultural Kaleidoscope” program. Through its many activities, participants can immerse themselves in local customs.

One of the best ways to experience the local culture is to celebrate with the locals in one of the many traditional Chinese festivals on the calendar. These are happy, cheerful affairs that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

If you are fortunate to be in Hong Kong during a festival then you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to experiencing new things. The people of this extraordinary city respect tradition, while embracing cutting edge creativity, and know how to party and celebrate during a major festival.

Apart from the raucous Chinese New Year celebrations in February, no trip to the metropolis is complete without seeing the famous and popular Dragon Boat festival, and the lively Bun Festival which includes night-time processions through the fishing village of Cheung Chau.

Hong Kong as seen from the Lion Rock (Navjot Singh)

Hong Kong as seen from the Lion Rock (Navjot Singh)

Where to stay?

With some of the finest hotels in the world, Hong Kong can be an expensive place to visit. However some great places to cool down your heels after a long day’s sightseeing include The Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, Hotel Panorama, and JIA Hong Kong. If luxury is your thing, nothing beats the feeling of snoozing away in the sky at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong; the tallest hotel in the world. Take a drink at the Ozone bar, the tallest watering hole in the world, and watch the world go by below your feet (literally).

Ozone Bar at The Ritz-Carlton (Navjot Singh)

Ozone Bar at The Ritz-Carlton (Navjot Singh)

How I got there

I flew with Cathay Pacific Airways on their brand-new Premium Economy Class. Cathay Pacific Airways provides authentic Cantonese hospitality, catering towards both business and leisure travelers.

To learn more about Navjot and his travels, be sure to check out his website: www.navjot-singh.com.

Featured Image: At Night the City is a Dazzling Show of Neon (Navjot Singh)

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