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Ports Of Call: Hong Kong
By Mike Thiel

Hong Kong captured our imaginations, our palates, our credit cards, and ultimately our hearts. Its glittering skyscrapers against a mountain backdrop conjure up images of other beautiful cities—Rio, Monaco, Acapulco. But its colorful neon signs, busy streets, and the teeming boat traffic of Victoria Harbour give it a special chi—natural energy—all its own.

Commerce is the life-blood of Hong Kong. It is the New York of China, and a portal to the Far East. That commerce translates into fascinating shopping opportunities for the leisure traveler: raucous street markets, Oriental antique emporiums, glitzy modern shopping centers, and chic fashion boutiques.

And while Hong Kong is short on hideaways, its grand hotels are among the slickest and most service-oriented in the world. Its 8,000-plus restaurants will introduce you to the vast array of Asian cuisine, including delicacies from every corner of China. And its top hotel restaurants, many with inspiringg views, serve up creative European and Pacific Rim delights.

Britain ceded control of Hong Kong to China more than three years ago, but a century and a half of influence doesn't disappear overnight. Red double-decker buses drive on the left, afternoon tea is a tradition, street and commercial signage is in both English and Chinese, and English is widely spoken. Visitors will find Hong Kong at once exotic and familiar, au courant and traditional.

Spring/Summer 2001

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