As one of the most densely-populated areas in the world, Hong Kong is a region of many faces – over seven-million in 420 square miles, if we’re counting. The area is considered a Special Administrative Region of China, at once a part of the mainland but separated by its own constitution, capitalist economy, immigration laws and a unique melting pot of cultures and influences. Self-proclaimed as “Asia’s World City”, Hong Kong includes English as one of its official languages – a product of its centuries as a British colony – and is frequently referred to as a place where East meets West. This confluence is illustrated in the thousands of modern skyscrapers shooting up across the skyline, reflecting day and night off the waters of Victoria Harbor. Shopping malls, businesses, and residential flats grow up instead of sprawling out thanks to the city’s scant space.
Beyond the glittering city, Hong Kong’s landscape beckons. Hikers and trekkers will thrill at the network of trails spread across the steep terrain, and venturing off the beaten path will net some extraordinary views of hills, mountains and a surprising amount of beaches. The New Territories rural region to the north of the city hosts a variety of ancient sites and temples, monuments protected from development unlike in the city, where space is a premium and many old structures have long since vanished. Along the Ping Shang Heritage Trail many important temples and ancient walled cities can be found, including the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas and Tsang Tai Uk.