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Introducing Hong Kong

On first acquaintance Hong Kong can overwhelm. Navigate its teeming, tightly packed sidewalks and you’re met at every turn with neon signage, steam-filled canteens, molasses-slow traffic and a Babel of chatter.

Once this first sensory wave has rolled over you, though, take a deep breath and start swimming with the current, because you’ll find Hong Kong is a place to delight in. Utterly safe and fantastically well organised, it offers little moments of perfection. You may find them on a plastic stool enjoying a bargain bowl of beef brisket soup or simply gazing at the thrilling harbour vistas. You’ll find them taking afternoon tea in the cool of a five-star hotel lobby or enjoying balmy open-air beers in the party zones.

Hong Kong can nudge you out of your comfort zone but usually rewards you for it, so try the stinky beancurd, sample the shredded jellyfish, brave the hordes at the city centre horseracing and join in the dawn tai chi. Escape the city limits and other experiences await – watching the sun rise from a remote mountain peak, hiking surf-beaten beaches or exploring deserted islands.

If it’s pampering you’re after, money can buy the ultimate luxuries in a city well used to serving its tiny, moneyed elite. Yet Hong Kong is also a city of simple pleasures. Most often it’s the least pricey experiences – a $2 tram or ferry ride, a whiff of incense curling from temple rafters, savouring fishing-village sundowners and seafood – that are the stuff of priceless memories.

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