|Subject: Re: Hong Kong|
You'll find Hong Kong a great place to transition between the mainland and the U.S.
HK's standard tourist attractions are, of course, the first "must-sees" - you can't leave HK without seeing the beauty of the harbour, ringed with magnificent architecture, from the Star Ferry day and/or night. A trip up the "Peak Tram" (a fenicular railway) to the top of Victoria Peak and views of HK Island and the harbour from there are also a must (unless the weather or smog preclude any views). I also suggest that you hop on the 'regular' tram that runs along the north side of Hong Kong Island (from west to east), sit on the top and experience the ambience of the city and its people from one end to the other (and back again). It's the best deal in town (you pay your $2HK at the end of the trip as you get off) and you'll have great "people watching" as well as a view of the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
One of the places that we love to take people when they first arrive is to the Intercontinental Hotel (Tsim Sha Tsui) for a drink in the bar overlooking the harbour at sunset. The drink prices are outrageous but the view is spectacular on a clear night.
Not sure where you are going in China but I imagine that you'll probably be 'marketed out'! Although our tourist board insists on selling HK shopping - I don't think you'll find it worthwhile here after the mainland (unless you want authentic designer stuff from shops like Dior, Feragamo, Burberry, etc.). Two stores that do have quality Chinese-style goods at relatively low prices are: China Arts & Crafts - there are a few of them around town (one that is in a prominent tourist place is right across the street from the Star Ferry terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui) and "Yue Hwa" - again with branches in various places on HK Island and Kowloon. Your hotel concierge will be able to point you in the right direction. If you did want the top fashion brands - they are in Central (on HK Island) in the Landmark Shopping Centre, Prince's Building, and that vicinity.
Luk Yu Teahouse, 24-26 Stanley St and Lin Heung Lau, 160-164 Wellington St., (both in Central on HK Island)* *are the two oldest and most authentic places for dim sum.
If you are interested in the "other side" of HK - 74% of this region is actually green! 70% protected under Country Park legislation and we have wonderful rolling hills and beautiful beaches. We also have some interesting old hakka villages and heritage trails that are worth a visit. It depends entirely on the type of thing that you'd like to see and do after your China tour. There are ferries to some of the larger islands (Lamma, Lantau, Cheung chau) where you can have a nice walk around and great seafood meal and then hop back on the ferry to HK Island. If you are interested in this - I can give you more detailed info.
The HK Tourist Board has a 1/2 day tour of "The Land Between" - check it out at: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/
Check out my web site to see pics of an area on the farthest East side of the SAR - we actually live in the midst of a Country Park with monkeys literally swinging in the trees around our house (annoying the dogs no end!) and hiking trails just outside the gate - not a picture that most people would conjure up of HK!
Shall be happy to answer more specific questions about my adopted home. And...perhaps we could have a GTG when you are here? I'd be pleased to arrange and meet any other Ziners who are in HK.
Cheers! Judy in Hong Kong http://www.exploresaikung.com/