Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China. Macau is the other. The city of 7,000,000+ people sits on China’s south coast, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and the South China Sea. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire in 1842, after the First Opium War. It was occupied by Japan during World War II and returned to British control after the Allied victory. In 1997, Great Britain ceded control of Hong Kong back to China.
Under the principle of “one country, two systems”, Hong Kong’s political system is entirely separate and different from that of mainland China. Hong Kong has an independent judiciary which operates under a framework based on common law. Hong Kong is one of the world’s major financial centers and has a major capitalist service economy. Hong Kong has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
The ms Amsterdam will be in Hong Kong for two days, 3-4 March 2014, on its 2014 Grand World Voyage. I spent a lot of time researching what I would do in Hong Kong. I seriously considered not using Holland America Line excursions in the city because of the ease of public transport and it’s reputation as a safe place to travel on your own. In the end, though, I decided to do three HAL excursions which covered what I want to see and do in Hong Kong extremely well. I definitely will spend more on these excursions than on heading out on my own, but I don’t have to worry about figuring out public transportation routes or getting back to the ship on time.
I also seriously considered taking the 5-day overland trip, Splendid China Overland Adventure, into mainland China. The trip will cover the big tourist sites and activities in mainland China: Li River cruise from Guilin to Yangshuo; Xian – the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, a Jade factory, the Terra Cotta Warriors; Beijing – the Great Wall of China, Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, a Peking Duck dinner, a Peking Opera show, and the Temple of Heaven. The travelers will rejoin the ship in Singapore, and that is the reason I decided against taking the tour — I want both days in Singapore!
My Two Days in Hong Kong
Day 1 (8:45 AM): Explore Lantau Island & Monastery
Travel by coach over the Tsing Ma Bridge, the world’s longest rail & road suspension bridge with a photo-op at the Bridge’s viewing platform. Visit Tai O Fishing Village. Then travel to the Po Lin (Precious Lotus) Monastery and the Tian Tan (Big) Buddha. Afterwards, enjoy a vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant. After lunch, enjoy free time to explore Ngong Ping Themed Village. Take the cable car back down to Tung Chung town to rejoin the coach and return to the ship.
Day 1 (6:30 PM): Hong Kong Night View by Tram
Ride the Peak Tram funicular railway to the top of Victoria Peak for a nighttime panoramic view of Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour, and the Kowloon Peninsula. Then take a double-decker tram tour of Hong Kong’s hottest night spots.
Day 2 (8:00 AM): Best of Hong Kong
Visit the Bird Market, Flower Market Street, and the Jade Market. Take the funicular to Victoria Peak and enjoy lunch at Cafe Deco atop The Peak. Drive along the south side of Hong Kong Island to Aberdeen for a sampan ride. Visit a jewelry workshop and then head to Stanley Market for some serious souvenir shopping.
Other HAL Excursions
- Hong Kong Highlights
- Off the Beaten Track: A Day in the Life of Hong Kong
- Evening Harbour Cruise
- Magnificent Macau
- Hong Kong Private Touring (1/2-Day/Full Day | (Midibus | Minivan | Car))
- Lantau by Skyrail
Hong Kong (China) Quick Facts
- Continent: Asia
- Country: People's Republic of China
- Special Administrative Region of PRC
- Treaty of Nanking: 1842
- Japanese Occupation: 25 Dec 1941 - 15 Aug 1945
- Conveyance from UK to China: 1 Jul 1997
- Time Zone: UTC+8 (HKT)
- Coordinates: 22° 16′ 42″ N, 114° 9′ 32″ E
- Currency: Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Hong Kong (China) Links
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