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HONG KONG There is more

HONG KONG There is more to Hong Kong than dim sum and an iconic skyline, although it is worth a visit for these alone. Beyond the busy metropolis are mountains and islands to discover. Almost 8 million people live in Hong Kong, making it one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Although it may seem frenzied on the surface, with its steel and glass skyscrapers and abundance of dazzling rainbow-colored neon lights, you do not have to go far to uncover its hidden depths. The buildings alone have stories to tell. Gleaming skyscrapers dwarf traditional fishing houses, and colonial mansions sit alongside Taoist temples. Moreover, it is all surrounded by nature; mountains soar above the commercial district as junk boats putter across the harbor on day trips to unspoiled outlying islands. To soak up Hong Kong’s harbor views, head to the promenade in Tsim Sha Tsui and then hop on the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island. Another atmospheric mode of transport is the “Ding Ding” tram (affectionately named so by locals), which meanders through Wan Chai, Admiralty and Central. These areas are great for shopping, with market stalls, designer stores and high-end malls. Must-sees The city has ample modern malls, but the real feast for the senses is Hong Kong’s markets. For a whirlwind tour, head to the Mong Kok area—browse the Ladies Market for bargains, pop next door to admire fish stalls on Tung Choi Street and then cross the road for the more fragrant Flower Market. Once you have seen all the city center sights, turn to Hong Kong’s geological treasures. Over 40 percent of the city is made up of country parks featuring beaches, mountains and woods. Tai Long Wan is a stunning bay popular with surfers, and with over 260 outlying islands there are several sea kayaking tours from the city itself. For a proper hike, the Lantau Trail winds around Lantau Island to deserted beaches and waterfalls. If you have no time to leave town, Clockwise, from above: Admire the dramatic skyline of Victoria Harbour; incense is often used in religious rituals; a view of Hong Kong from the water; many of the older buildings in the city feature beautifully painted doors 92 VIKING.COM EXPLORE MORE 2020

CITY GUIDE Kowloon Park has 33 acres of outdoor space. Take the historic tram to Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island. The fresh mountain air made it the most exclusive area in which to live during colonial times, and the views are spectacular. Go to Victoria Harbour at 8:00 PM and enjoy the Symphony of Lights, one of the worldʼs largest permanent sound and light shows. Catch the Ngong Ping cable car over forest, water and mountains to the summit of Lantau Island and see the Tian Tan Buddha, which sits 112 feet high above Po Lin Monastery. If you are visiting between June and September, have a day at the races at Happy Valley Racecourse, built on reclaimed swampland by the British. Eating Hong Kong draws on influences from all corners of the globe for its eclectic cuisine. From egg tarts to dim sum (Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan, reportedly the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world, specializes in dim sum priced around ), eating in the city that never sleeps is an adventure of its own. Kimberley Road, also known as “Korean Street,” in Tsim Sha Tsui is famous for having plentiful Korean restaurants and grocery stores. Try Seorae, an authentic establishment located on the road. Shopping Head to Wyndham Street and Hollywood Road in Central and Sheung Wan for antique stores and Yau Ma Tei for the Jade Market. Times Square is an iconic landmark as well as one of the cityʼs most famous malls, with more than 200 stores including designer labels. Go online: Watch a video of the Far East Discovery itinerary at EXPLORE MORE 2020 VIKING.COM 93