- Where to stay
- Where to go
- What to know
With its vibrant people, rich history, and dramatic setting of steel skyscrapers against soaring, green mountains, Hong Kong is one of the most spectacular cities in the world today. Through the tumultuous opium era, a century of British rule, and the peaceful handover, Hong Kong has maintained a dynamism and energy that is unrivaled. It's a great city to visit and it's very "tourist friendly", almost by default. Not only is Hong Kong very compact, but the transportation systems are plentiful, easy to understand, and inexpensive. There are first-rate hotels, restaurants, and museums inside a bustling city life with tranquil, idyllic islands but a short ferry-hop away.
The building of the new Hong Kong International Airport and its accompanying required infrastructure - the Tsing Ma suspension bridge, the Kap Shui bridge, the West Kowloon Reclamation, and the Western Harbour Tunnel - not to mention the highway and rail links between and on these structures - is one of the largest engineering projects ever undertaken in the world. The airport alone took six years to build and cost US$20 billion. Completed in 1998 and built on a small island shorn up with tons of landfill (Chek Lap Kok) just off the large island of Lantau, the airport replaces the aging, small Kai Tak airport on the Kowloon Peninsula.
Causeway Bay was one of the first areas in Hong Kong to have high-rises with buildings such as the World Trade Centre and the Excelsior Hotel being constructed in the 1970's and early 1980's. Now, shopping is the main thing here with commercial shopping rents in the area being the some of the highest in the world. (Madison Avenue is first.)