Sunday, November 22, 2009

Attractions in Hong Kong Island

Christmas is fast approaching and we all know what that means. There will be lots of family gatherings, reunions, parties and giving of gifts. For those who would like to spend their Christmas with their family outside the country, I'd say, Hongkong would be the best place for you. You'll be amazed by the diverse contrasts and close proximity of stunning cityscapes and soaring mountains, heritage sites and extensive green countryside.

Hong Kong is truly a magical city for the tourists with much to see and do. Just walking around the city and enjoying its many sights is a pleasure. There is one thing you must be careful of though... the traffic coming from the wrong direction. Being an English territory, they drive on the wrong side of the road (as seen from a Filipino's perspective) and it takes some getting used to. Visiting Hong Kong there are are three major areas to consider: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territory.

For now, I'll just feature some of the attractions which are found in Hong Kong Island alone. Separate blog will be written for the other two. Anyway, here are some of the most popular places in Hong Kong Island that you and your family will definitely enjoy!

Victoria Peak

view from Victoria peak

There's a reason why The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong: It is absolutely incredible! Looking down from The Peak you'll be amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides.

Western Market

Western Market, renovated in 1991 and converted into a shopping complex, is an Edwardian-style building featuring shops selling arts and crafts and fabric.

Jumbo Kingdom

One of Hong Kong's truly unique attractions is the Jumbo Kingdom. Since its opening in 1976 as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, it has excelled in the preparation of seafood for discerning diners. The restaurant, designed like a classic Chinese palace, can accommodate up to 2,300 people and is one of the world's largest floating restaurants and a tourist icon.

Ocean Park Hongkong

Opened in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong's favourite attractions, featuring rides, exhibits and conservation facilities. Ocean Park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, covering more than 870,000 square metres of land. There are three attraction areas, which are the Lowland, the Headland and Tai Shue Wan. The three areas are connected by a cable car, outdoor escalator which is the second longest in the world and Ocean Express.

A separate blog about Ocean Park Hongkong alone will be posted soon.

Repulse Bay

This crescent-shaped stretch of sand is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong. The beach features a lifeguard clubhouse built in traditional Chinese style. Its ceiling is decorated with magnificent swirling dragons. Towering twin statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen dominate the picturesque gardens that lead down to the beach.

These are just some of the many attractions found in Hong Kong. Surely you and your family will love it there this Christmas.

Must See Places In South East Asia

Being a tripper myself, I know how it feels like to be planning for your next holiday trip with your friends and loved ones. For those who are in tight budget, it would be advisable to plan your trip at least six months before your travel date. In this case, you will be given ample time to save enough money to spend during the trip to make your holiday more worthwhile.

Wondering how much money do you need to go travelling? Consider these five basic questions you need to ask yourself:

1. What will your core expenses be each day?

2. How long will you be travelling for?

3. Do you intend on working while you travel?

4. Are there laws requiring a minimum amount of available funds for the country you are visiting?

5. What is the exchange rate between your home currency and the country you are visiting?

Since I'm into adventures & learning different cultures, here are some of the places which, for me, are really worth visiting.

1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The site of Angkor in Cambodia is a must on anyone’s trip to South East Asia. Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the world and seeing the sunrise over it is just a view you cannot view anywhere else in this world. You can spend so much time here looking and the vast amount of temples here and never get bored.

The sunset view of the temple of Angkor Wat, glowing gold in the evening rays, is a showstopper. But Angkor is far more than this much-photographed monument. When it was built by the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple lay at the centre of the largest city in the world.

2. Hue, Vietnam

The UNESCO-listed imperial city of Hué has a magical setting to rival Angkor. Towering Indo-Chinese pagodas, fortified citadels and temples lord it over the Perfumed River on a range of lushly forested hills. Some are pristine. Others lie broken by the Vietnam War.

Make sure you see the Forbidden Purple City – once reserved for the Emperor and his retinue – and the seven-storey octagonal Thien Mu Pagoda. The old Austin car behind is a shrine; it once belonged to Thich Quang Duc – the Buddhist monk who made international headlines by committing self-immolation in Saigon as a peace protest.

3. Ubud, Bali
Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali. The town is located amongst rice paddies and steep ravines in the island’s central foothills in the Gianyar regency. One of Bali’s major arts and culture centres, it has developed a large tourism industry.

Ubud has a population of about 8,000 people, but it is becoming difficult to distinguish the town itself from the villages that once surrounded it.

Stories, photo, and maps contributed by all source.

4. Sunrise at Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Dawn at Mount Bromo is Southeast Asia’s most impressive natural spectacle. As the sun rises, it warms the mist shrouding the Tengger Plateau that runs along the spine of Java. The air clears to reveal a Lord of the Rings landscape of wrinkled indigo mountains and hulking volcanoes as far as the eye can see. The scene is lit by the deep red-gold of the equatorial sun, which dramatically changes the hues and shadows of the landscape.

5. Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
Those who like to work for their views should head for Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain – Kinabalu. Its rocky summit is at the heart of Borneo’s remaining wilderness, and the arduous climb takes two to three days. It involves a trek through the jungles of lowland Borneo, with accommodation in bamboo huts in Dusun tribal villages and a makeshift camp near the summit. From here it’s a steep scramble for another magnificent misty panorama.

6. Bako National Park (Borneo, Malaysia)
Bako though one of the most smallest but is the most popular of the national parks in Sarawak. As one strolls his/her way through the Mangrove forest with the surroundings so amazing and pleasing, the feeling of shedding off the stress from your life is something obvious.

7. Grand Palace, Bangkok Thailand

Grand Palace is a complex of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand. It served as the official residence of the Kings of Thailand from the 18th century onwards. Construction of the Palace began in 1782, during the reign of King Rama I, when he moved the capital across the river from Thonburi to Bangkok. The Palace has been constantly expanded and many additional structures were added over time.

8. Yangshoul, Yunnan China
Yangshou (Yunnan, China) is an important and traditional city located in South-East Asia region "The Light Show" at the Yangshou, Guilin is a visually attractive show attracting huge crowds of people walking, singing, fishing - doing all sorts of stuff on and off the water.