Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

English Style Meets Chinese Charm English Style Meets Chinese Charm; Andy Buckley Heads to the Far East to Experience the Delights of Hong Kong

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

English Style Meets Chinese Charm English Style Meets Chinese Charm; Andy Buckley Heads to the Far East to Experience the Delights of Hong Kong

Article excerpt

Byline: Andy Buckley

AHONG Kong - historic, happy go lucky and where it all happens for the young at heart.

A long-awaited introduction to this edgy, exciting and fast-moving destination fired the imagination.

Nowadays, this former British colony has to share the Asian spotlight in terms of investment and tourism with the likes of Shanghai and Singapore following their emergence on to the scene.

But Hong Kong has a spirit and soul that still separates it from the rest, a raw energy which entices millions of visitors from both east and west.

It is chaotic and colourful and ideally you need to spend more than just a few days here to do it full justice by exploring its markets, mountains, temples and beaches.

Mouth-watering cuisine makes it a gastronomic capital and there is no better way to sample the culinary delights than by delving into an extensive range of appetising dim sum.

The scale of Chinese influence in this city is still the subject of fierce political debate highlighted by last year's pro-democracy protests.

But there is no disputing or disguising a most welcome Far East flavour in the ornate restaurants and food stalls which litter the tiny back alleys.

The bulging waistline after a few days spent feasting on delicacies shows how hard it is to resist dishes such as rice noodle rolls and steamed pork dumplings.

A stop-over is an ideal way to sample Hong Kong and no sightseeing trip would be complete without a night-time tour of Victoria Harbour on the Aqua Luna junk boat, admiring the light show as the neon reflections from the rows of skyscrapers dance on the waves.

Hop on board the famous greenand-white Star Ferry and dart across one of the world's busiest waterways from Kowloon peninsula to Hong Kong island.

Here, at Causeway Bay, you will find top labels at designer boutiques squeezed between the hawkers doing brisk business in the bazaars.

Take a traditional tram ride through narrow twisting streets and stumble upon Happy Valley racecourse, the only piece of flat land in Hong Kong large enough for a race track.

A top floor suite at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Wan Chai offers an amazing view of this atmospheric venue which comes alive during the race meetings most Wednesday evenings. The twinkling lights of the surrounding high-rise apartments add a sense of theatre.

Ease jet-lag with a soothing massage at the adjoining Foot Joy club where you will leave relaxed and refreshed.

Wander through the tranquil rooftop gardens at Kai Tak cruise terminal, site of the former airport with its notorious runway where planes were forced to make a daring approach perilously close to tower blocks.

Souvenir photographs are on sale showing aircraft making scary landings beyond the skyscrapers.

Further afield, grab a bargain at Stanley Market, an enchanting fishing village within easy reach either by bus or boat, before a leisurely lunch at the stylish seafront Boathouse Restaurant with its panoramic views of the bay. …

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