Wonderful travel experience on Hong Kong Island

1. Take the Tram up Victoria Peak

At 552 metres, Victoria Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island and one of must-see Hong Kong attractions. It is also known as Mt Austin and referrred to by locals as 'The Peak'. There is a communications centre built on the actual summit and it is closed to the public. 'The Peak' actually refers to the area of expensive real estate and parks that are around the summit.

In the early 19th century the European residents of Hong Kong would build their homes on the mountainside because of both the spectacular view and the cooler climate that the peak afforded them. These residences were accessed by rickshaw or sedan chairs which kept the developement to a minimum until the Peak Tram funicular was opened in 1888.

Today there is also a winding road up to the Peak tower viewing site where visitors can see panaromic views of Kowloon, Victoria Harbour and even the outer islands. This of course depends on the weather!

The Peak tower is the site of Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Hong Kong which is the must-see for Hong Kong tours.

The preferred way to ascend The Peak is still the Peak Tram or funicular. The lower terminus is at 33 Garden Road and can be reached by MTR to Central J2 exit and walk through Chater Garden, by taking a 15C bus from near the Star Ferry Pier 7 or by taxi.

2. Star Ferry

26 million passengers make use of the Star Ferry to cross Victoria Harbour every year. Although there are four different routes the one from Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon to Central, Hong Kong Island is the route most often associated with the Star Ferry.

Before 1870 people had to use sampans to cross the harbour. In that year a single steam ferry started to run an irregular service. In 1888 the Kowloon Ferry Service started with the original vessel and two more – the Morning Star and Evening Star. The service was so popular it soon had 4 ferries all of which had names ending in ‘Star’. The business became the Star Ferry Company Limited in 1898. After some changes in fortune and surviving WWII the service now operates 12 ferries. Until 1972, when the harbour tunnel was built, Star Ferries were the main way to cross the harbour.

The Star Ferry is now an icon of Hong Kong and remains popular with locals and tourists alike. One of the best views you can get of the harbour and the famous skyline is from the ferry. So you should contain it in your package of Hong Kong travel.

The trip from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central costs $2HK one way for the lower deck. Tokens can be purchased from vending machines at the piers.

3. Aberdeen Harbour

Aberdeen is an area on the south shore of Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. In fact the name 'Hong Kong' was the original name of the area and foreigners who landed here in the 1800's mistook the name as for the whole island. Consquently, Aberdeen was named in 1845 after the then British Secretary of State for War and Colonies - George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen

Today, as then, it is the harbour that is the drawcard. Aberdeen is famous for its floating village and giant seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Many of the Tanka people, associated with the fishing industry, still live on the water

There are regular ferries across the harbour and to neighbouring Lamma Island. For locals to get to their boats the sampan service is the best. It is also the best way for visitors to get an ideal view of the harbour.

4. Aberdeen Fishing Village

Aberdeen was formerly a fishing village. Even though quite a few commercial towers and factories have been built in this district in recent years, Hong Kong Tsai still maintains the characteristics of a traditional fishing village. There are also boat-dwellers in the Aberdeen Bay, shuttling with sampan along the Bay, from which one can have a glimpse of the life of the boat-dwellers, The famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant (One was Moved and now is in Manila Bay in the Philippines!) and the Tai Bak (Tai Bei) Seafood Boat are located at the Aberdeen Habour. Visitors can enjoy a free-of-charge travel by ferry boat to the restaurants to have a taste of delicious seafood.

Aberdeen was named, in 1845, after the British Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, George Hamilton-Gordon, 4th Earl of Aberdeen. It is famous to tourists for the boat people living in the harbour and the floating seafood restaurants such as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. The boat people are generally associated with the fishing industry, and there are also several dozen expatriates living on boats in the harbour.

Conventional lifestyle still prevails in Aberdeen. Aberdeen harbour preserves the features of a fishing port. Fishing boats, equipped with traditional sampans, shuttle back and forth. Fishermen are busy arranging for their bread and butter. Visitors can cruise around the fishing port on a boat. However, they are advised to negotiate the price with the owner before boarding. People who have passed most of their life on dry lands would find fishing life of Aberdeen very intriguing.

Aberdeen harbor of today is a modern town with the population of about sixty thousand. Two centuries ago, it was a haunt of pirates. Later, it transformed into a simple fishing village. In recent years, it has evolved into a modern town, with high-rise buildings and entertainment facilities. Yet it maintains its old world charm which fascinates the tourists like me.

When you visit Hong Kong for your affordable China tours, you should not miss the above places.

  1. 2013/09/25(水) 15:33:00|
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