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Hong Kong Island
 
Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Island is the glitzy big brother of Kowloon - a tightly packed, towering paean to market capitalism that hasn't been dented one jot by Chinese rule. The bustle of people living and working is the biggest attraction on the island, although many visitors head around to Aberdeen, on the southern side of the island, where 6000 people live or work on junks anchored in the harbour. Sampan tours of the Aberdeen Harbour are definitely worth the expense. The other major draw is the floating resturant

The most popular beach is Repulse Bay, also on the southern side of the island, but itgets extremely crowded on weekends. Stanley, with its laid-back atmosphere, is another good spot for escaping Hong Kong's hustle and bustle, although it is the hustle and bustle that brings people here in the first place - if you want real solitude, you've come to the wrong place. City attractions include the Central Market, which visitors will have no trouble finding (just sniff the air), the old Man Mo Temple and the Zoological & Botanic Gardens. Hong Kong Island is steep, so if your'e heading away from the harbour, do as the locals do and ride the 800m outdoor escalator.

If you're in the Hong Kong Island, you'd be mad to miss a trip to the top of Victoria Peak, 552m above sea level. The views are giddyingly beautiful in every direction, with the vista of the business district, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon especially grand. In true Hong Kong style the main viewing deck is on the roof of a large shopping mall.

Join the throng of snap-happy tourists - you won't be disappointed. If you have time, it's worth making the trip to the top both in daylight (ideal to get your bearings) and at night, when the mass of lights around the harbour will take your breath away and make you wish you had a better camera. The actual peak is a ten-minute walk west and up.


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