Few other cities can offer a vista quite like that seen from Victoria Peak, but as you gaze out over the forest of towering skyscrapers of Hong Kong's harbour, it is difficult to imagine this futuristic metropolis as the collection of tranquil fishing villages that is was centuries ago. How times have changed since then, as Hong Kong grew to become the great trading and financial capital of the Asian Pacific, during 150 years of British rule.

Back under Chinese control for twenty years now, Hong Kong is an intoxicating, on-the-go city, but delve deeper and amid the hive of activity and bright lights you can find a curious blend of Eastern and Western heritage, where British relics stand out against the traditionally Chinese street life and where ancient temples stand alongside futuristic high-rise buildings.

The Peak is reached by a ten minute hair-raising tram ride, but Hong Kong is far more than its world famous postcard view. Your to-do list here includes taking the iconic Star Ferry trip across the busy Victoria Harbour to Kowloon, watching in awe as the nightly Symphony of Lights illuminates the harbour-front skyscrapers, immersing yourself in the noisy mayhem of Happy Valley racetrack, sampling one of the many culinary specialities in a local restaurant and finding a bargain in this shoppers' paradise. Meanwhile, in total contrast to the pulsating city, only a short ride outside the city limits are the tranquil peaks and deserted islands of the South China Sea.

 

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