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Asia’s World City

After a delicious and satisfying dinner at a trendy Asian restaurant just below the hotel, we set out for an aimless stroll. It was well past 11.00 in the night and everyone seemed to be just warming up. A few streets away from the hotel, I noticed that the shops were still open and doing business as usual. As if that wasn’t tempting enough there were some super sales on and I just had to give in. What had started as a walk in the park soon turned into a full-fledged shopping spree and sometime after midnight we walked back to our hotel with heavy bags and happy souls. This late night shopping spree wasn’t too surprising at all. After all, we were in Hong Kong, Asia’s World City!  A bustling dynamic melting pot of cuisine, culture, entertainment and all the worldly pleasures you could ever ask for.

Since I was here on a short break with my daughter, a visit to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth was mandatory on the itinerary. After much bargaining, we settled for a one night stay in the theme park itself. Not satisfied with one day at the park we opted for a two day pass to take in as many rides as we can. By the second day we knew the entire park by heart and returned to our favorite rides again and again. On the way from a business trip in Shanghai, it took me some time to be able to shut down the lifeline of modern life, my cell phone but once I put it away it was really easy to let go and enjoy. With our hair flying in the wind we screamed our guts out on the roller coasters and couldn’t help but shriek in excitement at a photo opportunity with Mickey and his friends. By the end of the day it wasn’t just my daughter who was dancing to the tune of “It’s a small world”,as we made our way back towards the city.

Our hotel was in Kowloon close to Nathan road and had some of the best views of the city. Hong Kong offers enough attractions to keep you busy in the day and then revs up your system in the night. With a location like Nathan road, it was easy and safe to walk to all the attractions and take in the sights and sounds of Hong Kong. As the clock struck eight the entire city seemed to welcome the visitors and put up a superb show of lights near the harbour.

A more stunning view lay in store for us on Victoria Peak .We took the Peak tram, a 120 year old funicular railway to visit the Peak. The panorama from Victoria Peak, looking down at the city from this famous vantage point, we could see one of the finest harbours on Earth and a skyline that is an icon in itself. The Peak had shops, restaurants and Madam Tussauds Wax Museum. But what I really liked was the small shops selling everything from souvenirs to customized Chinese fans with your names painted on them.

The shopping markets in Hong Kong are reason enough to visit this place and haggling over prizes of watches, handbags to potato peelers at the Mongkok ladies market was the best antidote to stress at the workplace. With such a wide choice of department stores and huge malls to visit for serious retail therapy, I headed to my favorite Harbour City which has something for everyone and probably the  best food courts in the city. Everybody loves a good bargain and the best place to find one for  good quality goods is the mall near Tung Chung station, an outlet mall with all the high street brands in one place. This actually works out to be very convenient when you visit what is the most peaceful place in Hong Kong.  A cable car ride from Tung  Chung station transferred us to  a different world away from the bustling metropolis. As we went up we took in the spectacular views of Lantau Island, Ngong Ping Plateau and the South China Sea. On one side we could see the flights taking off at the airport and on the other was the majestic giant Buddha. Once on the top make sure you have enough time to visit the majestic Tian Tan Buddha near the Po Lin Monastery. Popularly known as the Big Buddha or Giant Buddha, the statue reaches more than 111 feet (34 meters) high, making it the world’s largest seated, outdoor bronze Buddha.

A trip to Hong Kong with kids is incomplete without a visit to Ocean Park , Hong Kong’s home grown theme park. With a winning mix of educational and interactive sea creature displays, including the futuristic jellyfish exhibition, thrill seeking rollercoasters and rides, it wasn’t surprising that we ended up spending the entire day at the park. After an entire day of walking around rides and attractions in the park, a relaxing evening was a necessity and it was with much pleasure that we boarded our harbour cruise to admire the skyscraper skyline which surrounds the busy stretch of water and then we had to call it a day as a day trip to Macau was on the cards for the next day. Four days were just not enough for this city!

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