Hong Kong Essentials: The Scene
by Tiffany Lau
Hong Kong is a fascinating city of highs and lows — literally. Hotels, restaurants, offices, and shops are stacked inside skyscrapers, and whole worlds of commerce exist in connecting underground shopping malls. Yet most of the land is still a superb countryside of hiking trails, islands, and protected parks. There's a lot to take in, but it's possible to get a lay of the land in a few days. This list of essentials will help you make sense of it all.
Hong Kong is the land of plenty. Plenty of people, plenty of pollution, plenty of Porsches. It’s home to real estate magnates, old guard industrialists unafraid to show their wealth, and new arrivals from China looking to make quick money in factories, shops, and hotels. The city is united in its unabashed consumerist culture, and time is money. Even the escalators are twice as fast, so be careful.
The city is divided into three main areas. Hong Kong Island is a compact jungle of high-rises that give way to lush Victoria Peak and laid-back coastal towns. Mainland Kowloon is a jumble of markets, temples, and low-rise housing on the opposite side of Victoria Harbor. The New Territories are parks, woodlands, traditional fishing villages, and outlying islands.
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