What most people think of when asked to imagine Hong Kong is the north edge of the island which is home to the famous Hong Kong skyline set against the forested mountains and Victoria Harbor. Though dazzling, this image does nothing to replicate the feeling of standing in amongst the buildings that make up Central, Hong Kong’s most important district which is replete with 5 star hotels and corporate headquarters. The southern coast of Hong Kong Island, by contrast, is sprinkled with good beaches such as Big Wave Bay, Stanley and Repulse Bay where the cleanliness of the water is not generally in question.
Across the harbor from Central is Kowloon which, though often scoffed at by residents of the main island, is where the thriving heart of Hong Kong’s middle class does its business. In Kowloon you get a real sense of what the real Hong Kong is like. The bustling markets, temples and crumbling tenements are mixed in among some of Hong Kong’s best shopping and a few five star hotels.
North of Kowloon is Hong Kong’s largest area – the New Territories. Home to more than half of Hong Kong’s population, the New Territories are home to some of Hong Kong’s best natural attractions including hiking trails and unspoiled scenery.
Surrounding Hong Kong Island are hundreds of smaller islands which are mostly sparsely populated and covered with hundreds of kilometers of hiking trails. The islands offer an excellent getaway from the bustle of downtown life and for some even a place to live.
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