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Hong Kong Travel GuideHong Kong is the world's second largest container port, third largest financial center and the world's biggest exporter of toys, clothing and other textiles. It is regarded as one of the most important business, commerce and trade regions in all of Asia. As a result of this, very few visitors could possibly dispute the fact that Honk Kong is one of the best locations for shopping in the entire world. A lot of visitors also consider Hong Kong to be Asia's most beautiful harbor city.
The central business district consists of two major regions and is the focus of the vast majority of tourist and commercial activity in the city. One of these regions is the northern coast of Hong Kong Island, and the other is the Kowloon peninsula, at the south of mainland China, which is located across Victoria Harbor from Central.
The intensity of activity taking place in Central on Hong Kong Island on any single week day is comparable to Manhattan Island, as this is the financial center and where many different kinds of executives and business people choose to stay.
Hong Kong Island is connected by ferry and underwater tunnel to the Kowloon Peninsula, which is where most tourists and other visitors choose to stay, making it very convenient to travel between the two zones. The Kowloon peninsula is home to most of the city's shops, hotels and restaurants.
Hong Kong's intricate and exciting history, interesting cultural heritage and buzzing liveliness has caused it to be named the "Best City" in Asia by Travel and Leisure.
The main areas of Hong Kong are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories, which consist of more than 260 islands scattered around the area. It is located on China's southeastern coast, covering roughly 424 square miles.
The British took hold of Hong Kong from Chinese rule in 1841, naming it as a Crown Colony when it was just a few scattered fishing villages. The British proclaimed it to be a "barren rock". It fell back into Chinese jurisdiction at the start of July in 1997.
Hong Kong's rich cultural background has resulted in a city unlike any other in the word; the most ancient Chinese traditions are still taken very seriously in the city, contrasting strongly with the hi-tech, modern way of life lived in Hong Kong. This unique blend is one of the reasons that Hong Kong is so popular amongst travelers.
Despite the forward-thinking and modern way that Hong Kong is governed, it is not easy to forget that its history goes as far back as 4000 BC. Hong Kong is been through many wars and periods of unrest, jumped between occupation by both Great Britain and China more than once and its history grows more and more each and every day. There is no shortage of museums and ancient points of historical interest across Hong Kong allowing visitors to see a glimpse of the past of this unique city.
Hong Kong's character is partially defined by the diversity to be found in such a small place; ancient Chinese temples can be found next to British Colonial monuments, both of which are often cast in the shadow of futuristic-looking skyscrapers. Things such as these highlight the mixture of eastern and western culture that can be found here.
Recent years have seen a sudden resurgence in interest with Hong Kong's colonial background. Buildings such as the Flagstaff House Museum of Tea Ware and anachronistical customs such as the Noon Day Gun, firing every single day since the 1840s are famous remnants of this era to be seen and heard in Hong Kong.
Other reminders of the British Colonization of Hong Kong can be viewed on Heritage and Culture Tours and Heritage and Architectural walks, as well as in the Museums of History and Heritage. Not only this, some remnants of Hong Kong's years under British dominion can be seen in the customs of ordinary people. For example, British traditions such as afternoon tea are still practiced in many top hotels, although a Chinese take is often put on such activities.
Holidays in Hong Kong can last for up to three months without a visa, on the condition that the passport is still valid at least a month after the end of the vacation. To stay longer than this in Hong Kong, a visa must be applied for from a Chinese Consulate six weeks in advance of your trip.
Visitors without a working visa are not allowed to take any paid or unpaid work in Hong Kong, enroll at any educational establishment or join a business. Visitors are required to prove that they plan to return or travel onwards as soon as they arrive by means of a return or onwards ticket and they must prove that they have a sufficient amount of money to stay in Hong Kong by showing a confirmed hotel reservation, cash or a credit card.