Hong Kong Feature
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Top Things to Do in Hong Kong
The iconic Star Ferry has been shuttling passengers across Victoria Harbour for more than a century. Today's green and white boats are relics of the 1950s and '60s. Take one from either Wan Chai or Central to Tsim Sha Tsui, then turn around and admire that famous Hong Kong skyline. At night, catch the 8 pm Symphony of Lights show.
The ding-ding, whose rattling cars have become giant rolling advertisements, carries everyone from schoolboys to grannies through all the main street action straight across Hong Kong Island. Climb aboard at off-peak hours on an early weekday afternoon for a leisurely ride from the busy Western Market terminus to the green fields of Happy Valley or Victoria Park.
The longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world covers half a mile of moving stairs, walkways, and passageways from the business hub of Central to the residential heights of Midlevels. Step off a few flights up from Central in SoHo or on Hollywood Road for gallery hopping, fine dining, or club crawling.
At 1,810 feet above sea level, the Peak is Hong Kong Island's highest hill above the harbor. Buy a ticket for the 123-year-old Peak Tram, take in the postcard views, then take a scenic nature walk or bus ride back down to Central.
Mong Kok Markets
Flowers, birds, goldfish, turtles, and jade by day; clothes, sneakers, toys, and knickknacks by night. And there's always food around Temple Street. Visit the stronghold of the Triads (secret-society gangs) on Nathan Road, or wander down Sai Yeung Street, which is full of snacks, buskers, and touts.
Kowloon Walled City Park
Exempted from British rule and abandoned by the Chinese following their treaty in 1842, the Walled City grew into a lawless, labyrinthine slum occupied by Triads, gambling houses, brothels, and disease. Only in 1995 was it resurrected as this peaceful and expansive Qing Dynasty-style garden. The documentary photos and restored South Gate remnants exhibit how far the park has come.
Tian Tan Buddha
The Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride can only take you so far. The true path to divine ascension is by way of 268 steps leading up to the 275-ton Tian Tan Buddha statue (the Big Buddha), which sits on a hill next to the Po Lin Buddhist Monastery. Nearby is the Wisdom Path, a beautiful walk that offers splendid views.
Come here to see classic colonial buildings, wander through the eclectic market, dine on the waterfront, and swim at the beach where hundreds of Dragon Boats race every spring.
Dragon's Back Trail
This is one hiking trail that will give you a whole new perspective of Hong Kong. You don't need to be an athlete to walk along the undulating Dragon's Back ridge, which runs across the southeast end of Hong Kong Island.
Sail Victoria Harbour on Hong Kong's last authentic red-sailed junk. The Duk Ling was built in Macau over half a century ago and was restored to her original glory in the late 1980s. It's now the symbol of the Hong Kong Tourist Board, which offers HK$50 one-hour rides exclusively for tourists.
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