Pdf book : Beth Reiber, «Hong Kong» 2nd Edition

Posted By: ksoz

Viewed from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong rates as one of the most stunning cities in Southeast Asia, if not the world. In the foreground rise the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island, numerous, dense, and astonishingly tall. Beyond that is Victoria Harbour, with its incredibly busy traffic of everything from the historic Star Ferry to cruise liners, cargo ships, and wooden fishing vessels. On the other side is Kowloon Peninsula, growing larger seemingly by the minute with ambitious land reclamation projects, housing estates, and ever-higher buildings, all against a dramatic backdrop of gently rounded mountains. If this is your first stop in Asia, Hong Kong will seem excitingly exotic, with its profusion of neon Chinese signs, roasted ducks hanging in restaurant windows, colorful street markets, herbal medicine shops, fortunetellers, and crush of people, 95% of whom are Chinese. If you’re arriving from elsewhere in Asia, however, Hong Kong may seem welcomingly familiar, with its first-class hotels, restaurants serving everything from California-style pizzas to French haute cuisine, easy-to-navigate transportation system, English-language street signs, and gigantic shopping malls. Hong Kong’s unique blend of exotic and familiar, East and West, is due, of course, to its 156 years as a British colony — from 1842, when Britain acquired Hong Kong Island as a spoil of the first Opium War, to its 1997 handover to the Chinese. As a Special Administrative Region (SAR), Hong Kong has been guaranteed its capitalist lifestyle and social system for 50 years, and for the casual observer, little seems changed. English is still an official language, the Hong Kong dollar remains legal tender, and entry formalities are largely the same. Although Hong Kong is pricier than most other Asian destinations, the long-standing Asian financial crisis has made it more affordable than ever, with reduced hotel rates and competitive restaurant prices.