"If you have time for but one
  province in China, Yunnan should
  be it.
"
           
- Lonely Planet
 

 

Volunteer in Kunming, Yunnan,
a city with year-round Spring weather. Trips to 26 cultures &
5 nearby countries.

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Hong Kong


Hong Kong

The name Hong Kong means "fragrant harbor" in both Cantonese and Mandarin. Situated in China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, this natural harbor is a Special Administrative Region of China. An important centre for international trade and finance, Hong Kong hosts many headquarters of corporate businesses in the Asia-Pacific region making for a highly developed capitalist economy. The result is its cosmopolitan demography, complete with Chinese immigrants and foreigners.

In recent years this former British colony has turned into one of Asia’s major tourist destinations for not only China’s wealthy but for the rest of Southeast Asia. Maintaining China’s traditional customs and Confucian values, this bustling city is a melting pot of diverse cultural influences from places around the globe. It is really a city in the crossroads of the East and West. An assortment of colorful festivals dot the Lunar calendar year. Traditional Chinese festivals like the Spring Lantern Festival or the Hungry Ghost Festival are celebrated along with Halloween and Christmas. Modern superstructures throng the city with traditional grand mansions, luxury haute cuisine restaurants coexist with street side food stalls of dim sum, hot pot and other fast food. It is easy to see the fusion of East and West in the characteristic wooden boats and huge liners in the harbor, the penthouses, parks and office blocks in different parts of the city. Hong Kong is also the entertainment hub of China with its highly popular martial arts film industry. Several of Hollywood’s martial artists like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-Fat have originated from Hong Kong cinema. All this makes Hong Kong a unique destination.

A holiday in Hong Kong can be a great touring cum shopping experience. Hong Kong is made up of four parts: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and the Outlying Islands. While Hong Kong island is the center of economy and politics, Northern Hong Kong Island is the main commercial, shopping and entertainment destination. Enjoy the panoramic view of downtown Hong Kong, Kowloon and the Victoria Harbor from the Victoria Peak situated 1810 feet above sea level or take a cruise in the harbor. You can walk down Hong Kong Museum of Art to have a feel of local history and culture from a stunning collection of 14,000 items on display or steep yourself in the bustling nightlife of this city that never sleeps.

Hong Kong maintains a separate and independent immigration system from that of mainland China. This means that unlike the mainland, most Western and Asian visitors do not need to obtain visas in advance. However, it also means that a visa is required to enter mainland China from Hong Kong.

1. Go on the Star Ferry across Hong Kong harbor

A cruise in the Victoria/Hong Kong harbor is one the key attractions of this beautiful harbor city. Apart from being one of the most impressive natural harbors Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline makes it a thrilling view especially during the night when the city comes alive through its teeming lights. In a sunny afternoon you can step aboard on the famous "Shining Star" ferry which is a recreation of the ferries that plied Hong Kong Harbor in the 1920s. Enjoying cool air from the sea on an open deck, a motley backdrop of the green mountains of Hong Kong Island, the huge skyscrapers and the numerous new and old styled ferries and vessels makes it an experience unique to Hong Kong.

          2. Take train up Victoria Peak

The Victoria Peak situated 552 meters above sea level provides the best bird’s eye view of central Hong Kong, Victoria Harbor, and the surrounding islands. A vintage train goes all the way up this green mountain offering spectacular views of Hong Kong and its neighborhoods. Once up on the summit, you have to go to the Sky Terrace to have the best 360° view of Hong Kong or take a walk along lush green tropical trails on the mountain. Complete with an enticing range of shops, restaurants and entertainment parks this major tourist destination is visited by six million people every year.

         
        3. Go to Lan Kwai Fong for a Dining Spree


For the Chinese, the East Asians as well as the westerners, Hong Kong is a more of a shopping, dining cum entertainment destination. Lan Kwai Fong - Hong Kong's premiere dining and entertainment destination is an L shaped cobbled street in central Hong Kong. Home to over 100 restaurants and bars this area of the town is the most popular and well known area for a night out for everyone from locals to tourists to expats. During big festivals like New Year this area becomes the heart of celebrations and enjoyment. A visit to Hong Kong is never complete without this heady concoct of shopping, dining and partying in this cosmopolitan metropolis.

Travel from Kunming to Hong Kong
Of course the shortest way to go to Hong Kong from Kunming is to fly. A cheaper and time saving option is to take a flight to Shenzhen and take a ferry to Kowloon in Hong Kong. Alternatively, you can see the nearby Guangzhou province on your way to Hong Kong. You can take a direct train to Guangzhou’s capital Guangdong. The distance from Guangzhou to Hong Kong is only 174 km by train.
There is another train route from Kunming through the scenic mountains to Nanning, the capital of Guangxi. Nanning to Beihai is only 3.5 hrs by train, which is one of the nearest ports from Chinese mainland to the port cites in Southeast Asia. Seaside tourism has grown and developed in this area and you can take an unusual travel route by cruising to nearby ports of Haiku or Sanya and enter Hong Kong by sea.

 

 

Impact Abroad provides International Volunteering & Community Service Opportunities
to people in the western world to help children in Yunnan, China

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