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Hong Kong, China

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Tourists at Victoria Harbour

Tourists at Victoria Harbour

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Victoria Harbour at Night

Victoria Harbour at Night

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Victoria Harbour

Victoria Harbour

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The Hong Kong Island skyline, with its ever-growing number of skyscrapers, speaks to ambition and money. Paris, London, and even New York were already centuries in the making when Hong Kong’s gleaming glass towers landed it on the map as one of the world’s leading financial centers.Commerce is concentrated in the glittering high-rises of Central, tucked between Victoria Harbour and the forested peaks on Hong Kong Island’s north shore. While it’s easy to think all the bright lights are the sum of today’s Hong Kong, you need only walk or board a tram for the short jaunt west into the Western neighborhood to discover a slower-paced side of Hong Kong that is more traditionally Chinese. You’ll discover the real Hong Kong to the east of Central, too, in Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, and beyond. Amid the residential towers are restaurants, shopping malls, bars, convention centers, a nice smattering of museums, and—depending on fate and the horse you wager on—one of Hong Kong’s most fortuitous spots, the Happy Valley Racecourse.Across Victoria Harbour, Kowloon sprawls across a generous swath of the Chinese mainland. Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of Kowloon peninsula, is packed with glitzy shops, first-rate museums, and eye-popping views of the skyline across the water. Just to the north are the teeming market streets of Mong Kok, and two of Hong Kong’s most enchanting spiritual sights, Wong Tai Sin Temple and Chi Lin Nunnery, in the dense residential neighborhoods beyond.As you navigate this huge metropolis (easy to do on the excellent transportation network), keep in mind that streets are usually numbered odd on one side, even on the other. There's no baseline for street numbers and no block-based numbering system, but street signs indicate building numbers for any given block.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Tale of a Tumultuous Past
Tale of a Tumultuous Past

Occupied by the Japanese, handed back to China by the British in 1997 — the story is well told at the Hong Kong Museum of History. It’s a must-see.

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Image Credit

National Geographic Image Collection / Alamy

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Take It From the Top
Take It From the Top

Gaze over the steep hills and skyscrapers of Hong Kong from a viewing platform at wok-shaped Peak Tower, with views of busy Victoria Harbour.

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Image Credit

Tibor Bognar / Alamy

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Score a Deal
Score a Deal

Hagglers will have fun at gaudy, rowdy Temple Street Night Market, where vendors hawk everything from souvenirs to fake Rolex watches.

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Image Credit

John Henshall / Alamy

article
Got a Long Flight? Prepare for Takeoff

Preparing for a long-haul flight? See what nutritious foods you need to help avoid jet lag.

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View the Pearl of the Orient From the Water
View the Pearl of the Orient From the Water

Gain perspective on the gleaming high-rises and steep hills that make Hong Kong such a dramatic city. Take a ferry or an organized Victoria Harbour cruise.

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Image Credit

LeeYiuTung / Getty Images

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How to Be a Good Tourist 101

6 tips on how to get the most from your trip abroad.

place
High-Roller Heaven
High-Roller Heaven

Take a hydrofoil or ferry to Macau, the Las Vegas of China. U.S. gaming moguls, including Steve Wynn, have glamorous casino resorts that rival those in Vegas.

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Image Credit

SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

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9 Travel Facts You Must Know

Keep these 9 tips in mind the next time you travel.

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