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The Lure of the Orient

13oct2012hongkongdestinations13 October, 2012, Hong Kong: It has not been terribly long that the lure of the Orient filled Hong Kong´s Fragrant harbor with some of the most luxurious yachts in the world. The change in the political environment and downturn in the economy thinned the crowds somewhat for more than a decade but the always bustling Victoria Harbor seems to be refilling with yachts again. The reason is simple: The turnover to Beijing in 1999 made it uncertain that the city would retain its world-class yachting services and top notch entertainment facilities.

The majestic sight of Mount Victoria towers over a sprawling mix of ultra-modern skyscrapers and ethnic Cantonese architecture that gives the spice and flavor that have attracted tourists for more than two centuries. The city is filled with glossy shopping malls sitting side by side with sprawling street markets, making the city one of Asia´s top shopping spots.

The city is composed of a series of islands, the main being Hong Kong Island itself. The main island is relatively large and is broken up into several regions, from the sleek Central, which is filled with office buildings, an ever changing array of designer bars and clubs and world class restaurants like Nobu and Gagnaire. The Five-Star hotels of Causeway Bay are internationally famous and the Soho nightlife Quarter promises a memorable stay. Finally, Victoria Harbor has some of the best yacht clubs and marinas on the globe, all within sight of Hong Kong´s Symphony of Lights Show, a nightly event that happens when the sun sets on the city´s fantastic skyline.

The small city of Tsim Sha Tsui gives cruisers a deeper view of Chinese culture. The city retains the Hong Kong look with many luxury hotels and top-flight nightclubs that seem to run night and day but outside of town the real Kowloon shines through. Kowloon is a smaller island directly across from Victoria Harbor and is not as densely populated. The country side still has many authentic Chinese villages but the city allows you to relax in complete comfort. Finally, if you want to really get away, simply sail under the Tsing Ma Bridge to the Out Islands. You can spend the entire day wandering the country parks, visit traditional fishing communities or talk challenging walks and enjoy sizzling beaches on Lamma Island.