Exploring Hong Kong Like A Local

One of the most photographed vantage points of Hong Kong comes from the top of Victoria Peak. As the highest point on Hong Kong Island, the panoramic views of the seemingly endless slew of high-rises jetting out from the green hills below and across Victoria Harbour is a must-see for many visitors.

In this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier, assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein writes that the scene feels a world apart from the serene lookout atop the nearby hills of Ngong Ping, where 38 wooden pillars displaying verses of the centuries-old Heart Sutra prayer are arranged in an infinity pattern, surrounded by nothing but foliage and the occasional glimpse of the South China Sea.

Perhaps surprising, Michael Lim, the director for Canada, Central & South America for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, points out that 70% of Hong Kong is actually rural and natural land and there’s plenty to do for travellers who are interested in active experiences like hiking and biking.

“Between city life and rural life, it’s only 30 minutes apart,” he tells Travel Courier. “Everything is very compact – a constant change of contrast between rural and city.”

Described as Asia’s world city, Hong Kong is in itself full of contrasts. Here, old meets new, East meets West, and 7.3 million locals meet 60 million annual visitors.

“Hong Kong is a place full of contrasts, diversity and dynamism. We offer a broad range of tourism products to cater to the diverse interests of visitors,” says Paul Chan, financial secretary for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. “This involves constant upgrading and improvement of services, creating and reinvesting in new attractions, and rediscovering hidden treasures in our tourism resources.”

A key campaign for the destination revolves around encouraging travellers to discover Hong Kong like a local, through initiatives like neighbourhood walks and tips from those who live there.

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Travel Courier.