Hong Kong's Fun & Festivals
by Roy Witman © 2008
If ever there was a city of contradictions, it's Hong Kong. With the bright lights and modern architecture of the most cosmopolitan towns, Hong Kong rivals New York or Los Angeles. However, the ancient culture of this coastal island spans millions of years and offers all the remarkable tradition that goes along with that heritage. Regardless of what you seek - old or new - you'll find it in Hong Kong.
Reminiscent of Sydney Australia in some respects, Hong Kong is positioned at the mouth of Victoria harbor. It boasts the Hong Kong Convention Center with a style similar to the Sydney Opera House as well as extravagant harbor tours and fabulous waterfront scenery. But Hong Kong is not only about looking, it's also about doing!
Festivals in Hong Kong
Chinese New Year
Probably the most celebrated festival in all of China is the Chinese New Year. The Flower Markets give visitors a look at the throngs of flowers in China and their meanings. According to the official Hong Kong Tourism Board website, “Kumquat trees, narcissus and peonies bring prosperity; peach blossoms add fire to romance, while tangerine plants with leaves intact help ensure long-lasting relationships and 'fruitful' marriages.” From the Cathay Pacific Night Parade to the Spring Lantern Festival, Chinese New Year goes on for almost two weeks beginning in February of each year.
Dragon Boat Festival
Every June, the Chinese people commemorate the death of a national hero, Qu Yuan. One of the most popular events during this celebration is the dragon boat races. A fierce competition, elaborately decorated dragon boats race to the beat of heavy drums as the 20-22 crewmen strive to hit the finish line first. Of course, food and other events are also part of this legendary festival that makes it fun for the entire family.
The Peak is a public tram service that has transported people up, down and around the mountain peak (thus the name) since 1888. Scaling the mountainside, the tram is similar to the cable cars of San Francisco without the cables. At the top of the mountain, you'll find The Peak Tower which offers shopping, dining and entertainment. If you want to see Hong Kong from top to bottom, The Peak is the way to go.
Founded in 1977, Ocean Park is Hong Kong's premier theme park which was designed as a venue for entertainment, education and conservation. This 200-acre park delivers rides, exhibits, and aquarium and animal performances.
Tour the shark aquarium, the marine park or the make your way to the exciting Ocean Theater where you'll view live dolphins and sea lions performing just for you. With rides like the Abyss Turbo Drop to the Kiddie Park, every member of the family will find something to marvel over.
From ancient, historic temples to modern-day advancements, Hong Kong makes for an exceptional vacation. Learn, laugh and love as you tour this amazing island that always leaves its visitors smiling.