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Monday, April 26, 2010

Island of Ischia "The volcanic island with beautiful sunset and beaches"

Though well-known to European and Asian travelers, the island of Ischia, Italy, is oft-overlooked by Americans whose sights are more often set on nearby Capri. Though you’ll hardly have Ischia to yourself, you will find fewer crowds and a less-pretentious attitude on this volcanic island in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Though predominantly green and mountainous, beach bums will have no trouble scoping out a stretch of sand. And, when the sun sets, you’ll have your choice of accommodations for every budget to rest your head, plenty of al fresco perches that are primed for aperitivo, and some of the world's best food – this is Italy after all.

This sea-side hamlet of Serrara Fontana is free of motor vehicles and seems untouched by time. Tourists wander the colourful streets, trying out a wide variety of seafood dishes and browsing through local artisan shops. The peaceful village also boasts a myriad of different types of delicate fauna.

Ischia, the chief place on the island of Ischia, is picturesquely situated on the northeast coast; it consists of Ischia Ponte the two districts of Ischia Ponte and Ischia Porto. In Ischia Ponte a mighty Castello stands on a 91m/300ft-high rocky crag accessible by a stone causeway.

Piazzale Battistessa
The Piazzale Battistessa is located in the historic heart of Ischia, and is a popular place to relax, enjoy a cup of cappuccino and people-watch. The square is also the site of many events throughout the year.

On a precipitous crag above Corricella lies the medieval fortified upper town known as Terra Murat. From here and from the Punta dei Monaci there are extensive views of the island.

Town of Procida
On the northeast side of the Isola di Prócida lies the little town of Prócida, with a modern harbor (Sancio Cattolico) and the old fishing harbor of Corricella, a charming district of pastel-washed houses with domes, terraces and the characteristic external staircases

Offshore Prócida to the west lies the little islet of Vivara (109m/360ft), which is connected to Prócida by a bridge. Olive trees grow well here and there are wild rabbits.
There is a nature park and archaeological digs have uncovered fragments of Mycenaean pottery, left behind by the Greeks.

Castello d'Ischia
This castle complex was added on to the original, 5th-century BC Roman fortress in 1441 by Alphonso Aragon, who joined the tiny island off Ischia to the mainland by a narrow bridge. The entire population of the island hid in the castle when under attack from pirates and other insurgentsa many times, and also took refuge here when the island's volcano, Mt. Epomeo, erupted in 1301. At one point, nearly 2,000 people lived within its walls.

Monte Epomeo
The trek to the top is somewhat tricky, and may take the amateur hiker just a little longer, but the view from the top of Mont Epomeo is worth all the effort. The inactive volcano is reachable from the village of Fontana in Serrara. In the evening, the lights of the island are simply enchanting.

Gardens of Poseidon
From Forio a beautiful road (20km/12mi) leads through the southern part of the island of Ischia. It passes above the Gardens of Poseidon (magnificent bathing facilities, with thermal springs) and continues via Panza (155m/512ft).
Museo La Mortella
La Mortella is a centre for the performance arts, most specifically, music. Its surrounding gardens are open to the public, and display many rare Mediterranean plants. The garden is meant to be a gift to inspire young artists, and was developed by William Walton, an English composer, in 1956.

Museo Archeologico di Pithecusae
The Museo Archeologico di Pithecusae contains artifacts from every period of Ischia's history, including a Pithecusaen vase dating back 2,700 years. Lo0cated in an 18th-century palace, the museum also houses a collection of items from the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Bagno Ricciulillo
The beach specializes in relaxation, and guests benefit from an on-site restaurant and bar. Bagno Ricciulillo is located well away from the noise of the city, and offers vacationers a tranquil oasis.

Barano Belmare
A small fee must be paid to stretch out in the sun at Belmare, but bathers are provided with chaise lounges and umbrellas. The beach is staffed with friendly service-people, and management often provdes special entertainment.

Bagno Viola (da Stefano)
The Bagno Viola offers a wide range of ammenities to its population of sun-worshippers, including a snack bar, umbrellas and showers.

Citara Beach
This popular beach is located in Forio, and is a favourite because of its waters, which mix with thermal springs to create a warm and relaxing environment with many health benefits.

Stabilimento da Franco
This beach has been open to the public for more than 40 years, and is a favourite among visitors and locals alike. Guests are treated to a lovely view of the harbour and warm, turquoise waters.

Trenitalia - Intercity Trains
Trenitalia's Intercity Trains reach the most number of destinations throughout Italy. The service offers 120 trains a day, reaching over 212 stations throughout the country.
Address: Locations Throughout Italy
Tel: +39 (0) 89 2021

Ischia Taxi
The drivers of Ischia Taxi will pick guests to the island up at the ferry terminal, or even at the Naples' airport. The friendly operators all have a great appreciation and knowledge of Ischia, and are more than happy to share their personal tips.
Tel: +39 (0) 81 992651

Con Bus Ischia
Con Bus Ischia has a large fleet of buses to shuttle travellers on and off the island, including 10 tourist buses with 57 seats each. There are also minibuses and cars available for smaller groups. The company provides several other servicers as well.
Address: Via Michele Mazzella 202 | Ischia, NA | 80070
Tel: +39 (0) 81 802877

Fantasy Tours
Fantasy Tours has a fleet of mini-vans for taking several tourists at once on excursions around the island. The tours can be custom-designed and are lead by multi-lingual drivers.
Address: Via Baiola, 113 | Forio, NA | 80075

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hanoi "Top Destinations 2010"

Vietnam's bustling capital may be a 1,000 years old, but it's a thriving metropolis with a French colonial soul. A cultural center littered with pagodas, temples, and historic monuments, Hanoi offers plenty for the traveler seeking an authentic yet eclectic Asian experience. The eating scene is colorful with excellent meals available at both street-side stalls and fine eateries. Nightlife won't disappoint with the labyrinthine Old Quarter and the area around Hoan Kiem Lake housing dozens of bars from Western ex-pat establishments to disco-infused nightclubs -- plus the legendary Minh's Jazz Club. There's also a cool and contemporary art gallery scene showcasing young artists along Pho Trang Tien. And if you love to shop, try the funky boutiques on Nha Tho, or Cho Hang Da, the huge Dong Xuan market that transforms into a night bazaar on weekends.

One Pillar Pagoda
The original name of the pagoda was Dien Huu pagoda which literally means long lasting happiness and and good luck. The pagoda is situated in the western part of the city. It was first built in 1049 in the reign of King Ly Thai Tong. legend has it that at time King Ly Thai Tong was very old and had no sons of his own. One night he had a dream that he was granted a private audience with Buddha with a male baby on his hands. Buddha seating on a lotus flower in a square-shaped lotus pond in the western side of Thang Long Citadel, gave the king the baby. Month later the queen got pregnant and she gave birth to a male. To repay the gift from Buddha, the king ordered the construction of a pagoda with was supported by only one pillar resembling a lotus seat on which Buddha had been seated. The pagoda was dedicated to Buddha.

Temple of Literature- Quoc Tu Giam
Temple of Literature-Quoc Tu Giam was the first university of Vietnam where many students graduated with high flying colors. Some became doctors of philosophy. In 1482 King Le Thanh Tong ordered the erection of steles with inscription of all the names, birth dates and birth places of doctors, and other excellent graduates who took part in examinations since 1442. At present there remain 82 steles standing in the premises of Van Mieu. Aprt from its cultural value, each stele presents an artistic project of stone carving. Each stele is placed on the back of a turtle representing the nation's longevity.

Sword Restored Lake/Hoan Kiem Lake
The lake which is not as large as Ho Tay to the northwest is situated in the center of the city. Because of its unique location Sword Restored Lake is billed as a basket of lower placed in the middle of Hanoi. The name of Sword Restored Lake is derived from a legend which has it that King Le Thai To had a precious sword. The sword. The sword had always been on his side during the 10-year resistance against the Ming aggressors. After he won over the foreign aggression and returned to Thang Long Citadel. One day he went out and boarded a royal boat to cruise in the lake. Suddenly he saw a giant turtle emerging and coming towards him. The king withdrew his sword and pinpointed with the sword the direction of the coming turtle for his soldiers' attention. All of a sudden, the turtle caught the sword between its teeth from the king's hand and submerged. The king thought that it might have been that during the resistance war against the Minh aggression, the king was offered sword by genie to help him defeat the enemy. Now when peace has returned the genie appeared and took back the sword. With that thought in mind, King Le Thai To named the lake after episode as Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of Restored Sword).

Ngoc Son Temple
Hoan Kiem lake which had been considered the most beautiful lake in the city was in the 19th century added with another object to make it more beautiful and famous. That was the construction of a temple on the Ngoc (Jade) islet in the lake. Initially the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda. Later it was renamed Ngoc Son Temple because in the temple is dedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong was a person considered the brightest star in Vietnam's literature and intellectual circles. Tran Hung Dao was worshipped because he was the national hero who led the Vietnamese people to a resounding victory over the Nguyen aggression. The temple as it is seen today was attributable to the restoration afforts of Nguyen Van Sieu in 1864. A great Hanoi literature writer, Nguyen Van Sieu himself had a large pen-shaped tower (Thap But) built in at the entrance to the temple. On the upper section of the Thap but there are three Chinese characters Ta Thanh Thien which means literally that to write on the blue sky is to imply the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will. Behind Thap But is Dai Nghien (Ink Stand). The ink stand is carved from stone resembling a peach, which is placed on the back of the three frogs on top of the gate to the temple. Passing through Dai Nghien visitors are to tread on the wooden bridge called The Huc. The Huc is literally understood as the place where beams of morning sunshine are touching.
On the long way that leads to the temple there are several cau doi (parallel sentences) written on the wall. These cau doi are considered part of a traditional ward puzzle entertainment, a lifestyle literally educated persons of ancient Thang Long used to follow.

Quan Thanh Temple

The three ancient Chinese which are still seen today on the top of the entrance to the temple means Tran Vu Quan. That is literally the temple which is dedicated to Saint Tran Vu. A temple is a place for worshipping saints while a pagoda is dedicated to Buddha and faithful disciplines.
Saint Tran Vu was a legendary figure which was a combination between a legendary character in Vietnam's legend and a mystic character derived from China's legend. The legendary character in Vietnam's legend was a saint who had earned the merits of assisting King An Duong Vuong in getting rid of ghost spirit during the King's construction of his citadel at Co Loa.
The Chinese legendary figure was a saint who made great contributions in safeguarding the northern border. Quan Thanh Temple was built during the reign of King Ly Thai To (1010-1028). In 1893 the temple was given a grand facelift to have the shape as we can see it today. Special attention should be paid to a black bronze statute of Saint Tran Vu. The giant statute, formally placed in the main hall, was cast in 1677. Another special object is an ancient bronze bell, 1.5 meters high, which is hanged at the top of the three-gate entrance.
Another object of no less significant is a smaller black bronze statute of Old Trong, a chief artisan of the bronze casting team who had made the giant statute of Saint Tran Vu and the great bell on top of the tree-gate entrance. To commemorate the great contributions of the teacher Old Trong, his students of bronze casting cast his statute and placed in the temple for their for their younger generations to remember Old Trong for ever.

Hai Ba Trung Temple

The temple is also called Dong Nhan Temple because it is located in the area of Dong Nhan village in Hai Ba Trung precinct. The temple was built in 1142 inder the reign of King Ly Anh Tong. It is dedicated to the two Vietnamese heroines Trung Trac and Trung Nhi. At the inner sanctum of the temple there are two statutes made of fine clay dedicating the two ladies Trung. Flanking on either side of the two statutes of Ladies Trung are statutes of 12 women generals who followed the two Ladies leading their army to defeat the foreign aggressors. In the 5th and 6th day of the second lunar month there is a grand festival organized at the site of the temple to commemorate the two national heroines.

West Lake and Youth Road
The Youth Road can be compared to a beautiful bridge spanning across the two large bodies of water - West Lake to the northwest and Truc Bach Lake to the southeast. This 992-metre-long road has been made into two-lane road with a line of big trees grown in between the lanes. On either side of the road is grown with flamboyant trees, weeping willow trees and Bang Lang trees. In summer the road looks colorful with the many flamboyant trees in blossom and Bang Lang trees with violet flowers.
The west lake area is estimated at 480 hectares, being the biggest lake in the city. A road that runs around the lake is as long as 12 kilometers. It passes several flower-growing villages such as flower Nghi Tam village, Tay Ho, and Peach tree planting Nhat Tan village. Situated nearby the lakeside road are several famous pagodas and temples such as Phu Tay Ho and Kim Lien Pagoda. In feudal regimes many royal palaces and rest houses have been built to used as resort places for kings and senior court officers. Now Ho Tay has been earmarked for the city's major tourism development center.

Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
After two years of construction, the mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh was officially inaugurated on August 29,1975. The facade of the mausoleum faces the historic Ba Dinh Square.
The mausoleum is divided into three layers with a combined height of 21.6 meters. The lowest layer forms a terraced stand exclusively used for the presidium of grand meetings organized at the grassy Ba Dinh Square. The second layer is the central piece of the mausoleum where the remains of the president is kept in a chamber accessible through a series of passages and flights of marble staircases. The upper part of the mausoleum is the roof resembling a three terraced steps. The facade of the upper part bears an inscription "President Ho Chi Minh" made of dark violet precious stone.
The mausoleum is the place to keep the remains of President Ho Chi Minh, the great patriotic who had been conferred the title "World Cultural Activist" and the national hero. The conferment was made on the occasion of the centenary anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's Birthday (1890-1990).
The mausoleum project was the results of artistic labor of both Vietnamese and former Soviet Union scientists in respect for President Ho Chi Minh.

The Ho Chi Minh Museum
The museum displays relics about the life and work of President Ho Chi Minh, a cultural figure and hero of the national liberation movement (1890-1969). The museum was inaugurated on May 19,1990, the anniversary of the Centenary Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh.
Address:3 Ngoc Ha St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8263752 or 8255435

The History Museum
The museum is a national museum. It was founded in 1926 and named "Ecole d'Etreme Orient." In 1958 it was restored and renamed the Vietnam History Museum. On display are rich collection of archaeological findings of great scientific and artistic value, illustrating the development of the nation and the State of Vietnam from the dawn of its history to the period prior of the coming into being of the Vietnam Communist Party.
Address: 1 Pham Ngu Lao St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8252835 or 8253518

The Revolution Museum

The museum is a national museum. It was founded in January 1959, It exhibits relics from various phases of the Vietnamese people's patriotic and revolutionary struggle from the founding of the Vietnam Communist Party up to the present day.
Address: 25 Tong Dan St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8253766 and 8254151 or 8254323

The Army Museum
The museum is a national museum which was established in June 1959. War relics and trophies reminisce great periods of the armed struggle of the Vietnamese people. Evolutions of the two recent great historic battles: the Dien Bien Phu battle in 1945 and the Ho Chi Minh Campaign in 1975 are unfolded again on miniature models.
Address: 28A Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 8234264

The Fine Arts Museum

This is a national museum founded in June 1966. It displays art works and objects of the various nationalities living in Vietnam in every period. Prominent are collections of painting of great values by such famous contemporary artists as To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Tran Van Can and Bui Xuan Phai, etc,.
Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 265801 or 233084

Wartime sites
Hoa Lo Prison ("The Hanoi Hilton"), 1 Hoa Lo, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Open 8:30AM to 11:30AM and 1:30PM to 4:30PM, admission 10,000 dong. This prison was built by the French at the turn of the 20th century, in classical French prison design. This is where the French imprisoned and executed many of the Vietnamese freedom fighters. Now a museum (2/3 of the prison was torn down to make way for the Hanoi Towers), the museum exhibits the brutal French colonial regime and the struggle of the Vietnamese people against imperialism in chilling detail. The prison was also known as the "Hanoi Hilton" during the Vietnam War as it held American POW's shot down. Little emphasis is given to this period however, and the exhibits shown can be frustratingly skewed in propaganda, choosing to show solely propaganda photos of prisoners being treated well and playing basketball, playing chess, and other staged events. They also claim to have John McCain's flight suit from when his plane was shot down but its beyond me how they knew he would subsequently become a United States senator and thus the importance of his particular suit.
B-52 Lake - Huu Tiep Lake - Ngoc Ha Precinct, Ba Dinh District— Until December 19, 1972, this was just a small brackish pond just off Hoang Hoa Tam Street, about 1km west of the mausoleum. On that day, in a twisted retelling of the Hoan Kiem legend (see above), Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns (possibly with the help of flying turtles) retook the enemy's eight-engined, 100-ton sword and sent it too, to the shallow bottom of the lake, where it remains today.
Downed Aircraft Memorial— Along Thanh Nien Street on Truc Bach lake there is a stone plaque commemorating the shooting down of a U.S. Navy (not "USAF" as depicted) aircraft in 1967. Peruse the Vietnamese script and you can pick out the name of John McCain, one of the airmen.

Get Around
Taxis are the best way to travel long distances, but the cyclos, or pedicabs, are a cheap way to make shorter trips. Taxi fares are not always consistent, and the rates for each taxi company have not been standardized. For lone travelers, rides on the back of motorbikes (actually low-powered scooters) are popular too (known as xe om, literally meaning motorbike-hug).
Some meter taxi owners in Hanoi will attempt to negotiate a flat fee in advance rather than use the meter. If you have a fair idea of how far you're going or how much you're willing to pay, this is probably a good idea. If the driver refuses, turning around and walking away will almost certainly change his mind. Don't sweat it, it's all part of the expected negotiation protocol. It has also become common for the drivers of some of the less reputable taxi companies to "fix" their meters to run faster hence giving differences in prices for the same distance by a factor of 30! The recommendation is to only use the reputable and reliable taxi companies. These are Hanoi Taxi (Tel (04) 38 535353), Taxi CP (Tel. (04) 38 262626), Mai Linh Taxi (Tel. (04) 38 616161). Another common thing with taxis is that the driver takes you for a "sightseeing" - and extends the tour to make more money. This is very hard to discover unless you know the city well, but if you catch your driver doing this (e.g. going around Hoan Kiem Lake twice), demand that he stop the taxi and leave the taxi without paying.
Be very careful with meter taxis in Hanoi. Some have central locking , and are known to lock passengers in , and demand large amounts of US dollars before letting them go. The driver may threaten to have you beaten up or arrested should you not give in to his demands , but if you kick up enough of a fuss , they will let you go.
Motorbike drivers can be found on virtually every corner, especially in the Old Quarter. Expect to be offered a ride every half-block (or more). You should absolutely negotiate a fare in advance, and again, turn around and walk away if you don't like their offer. There are far more drivers than tourists, and they know it - your fare could be the only one they get all day. You should also write down the negotiated fare (with all zeros) to avoid confusion. Even if you do speak Vietnamese, a driver might pretend that you said 50,000 dong instead of 15,000! In case of argument over fares after the ride, keep calm and repeat the original agreement (remember, you have the leverage). A typical 10 minute fare should cost no more than 15,000-20,000 dong. Many drivers will accept US dollars as well. At the end of a ride, some will offer to hang around to drive you to your next destination - either be clear that you don't want a return ride (and don't go near him when you leave), or get a price in advance. Otherwise, you might be surprised when the driver tacks on several million dong for having waited.
Keep your wallet out of arms reach of the drivers when you pay, less honest motorbike drivers are not adverse to grabbing your wallet and helping themselves to any notes they like the look of before jumping on their bike and speeding off.
Negotiate first or avoid using the cyclos services, they demand 200,000VND (US$12) for a short ride of less than 100 metres. At the end of the journey, a few men will come over to translate, and they will pretend to help and later insist that you pay the demanded amount.
Motorcycles can be rented for around US$5-6 a day, and can be arranged by most hotels. This is good for making lots of trips around the city for individuals or duos, but be careful: Hanoi traffic is very difficult place to sharpen motorbike skills. Park on the sidewalk with other bikes, and be sure to lock the front wheel. Locals will help arrange the bikes near their stores.
Scam free, cheap but a bit difficult to comprehend at first, the buses in Hanoi are relatively fast and surprisingly comfortable. Pick up a map with printed bus lines at the Trang Tien street (the book street by the Opera house) and spend a few minutes to identify the over 60 bus lines, find your bus stop, wait for the bus, pay 3000 dong and off you go. If you are unfamiliar with the city, make sure to inform the conductor where you want to get off.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hong Kong Island "The Pearl of East, Shopping Paradise"

Hong Kong Island is the island that gives this its name. Although it is not the largest part of the territory, it is the place that many tourists regard as the main event. The parade of buildings that make the Hong Kong skyline has been likened to a glittering bar chart that is made apparent by the presence of Victoria Harbour. To get the best views of Hong Kong, leave the island and head for the Kowloon waterfront.
The great majority of Hong Kong Island's urban development is densely packed on reclaimed land along the northern shore. This is the place the British colonisers took as their own and so if you are looking for evidence of the territories colonial past, then this is a good place to start. Victoria was once the colony's capital but has been rebranded with a more descriptive name, Central. Here you will find the machinery of government grinding away much as it always has done, except Beijing, not London, is the boss that keeps a watchful eye. Seek a glimpse of government house (香港禮賓府) which was formerly home to 25 British governors and is now the residence of the Chief Executive. Nearby, the Legislative Council (Legco) continues to make the laws that organise the territory.
Leading up from Central is the Escalator and the Peak Tram, which pass through the hip district of Soho and the residential Mid-Levels. Up top is The Peak, the tallest point on the island where foreign diplomats and business tycoons compete for the best views of the harbour from some of the most expensive homes to be found anywhere. Most tourists don't go much further than the Peak Tram, but take a short walk and you will escape the crowds and be rewarded with some of the best harbour views. It is worth investing in a good map from leading bookshops in Central if you want to enjoy some of the superb footpaths that crisscross the island.
The southern side of the island has developed into an upmarket residential area with many large houses and expensive apartments with views across the South China sea. The islands best beaches, such as Repulse bay, are found here and visitors can enjoy a more relaxed pace of life than on the bustling harbour side of the island.

The Peak Hong Kong

There's a reason why The Peak is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong: It is absolutely incredible! Looking down from The Peak you'll be amazed by the spectacular view of the surrounding city skyline, the world-famous Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, towering skyscrapers and peaceful green hillsides.

Getting there is an unforgettable trip. There's nothing in the world like the Peak Tram. Pulled by steel cables, the tram climbs 373 metres (about 1,200 feet). It's so steep that the buildings you pass look like they're leaning at a 45°angle! Whether you're going up or coming down, you'll love this trip.

And now this fabulous vista has been further enhanced by the 2006 revitalisation of one of Hong Kong's most striking landmarks, The Peak Tower. Even more than before, it's a destination in its own right.

Once on The Peak, there are a number of locations providing magnificent views of the city below. For great continuous unfolding vistas, take the Peak Circle Walk or go directly to the Lugard Road Lookout for fabulous views over the harbour. There are more great vistas from the Lions View Point Pavilion and the viewing terrace at the
Peak Galleria, as well as the Peak Tower Sky Terrace.

How To Get There
The Peak Hong Kong
1. Take the Peak Tram from the Lower Peak Tram Terminus on Garden Road (Bus 15C from the lay-by outside Central Pier 6 or walk from MTR Central Station Exit J2).
2. Bus 15 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D)
3. Green minibus 1 from MTR Hong Kong Station Public Transport Interchange.

Madame Tussauds
Following a major makeover costing HK$20 million, Madame Tussauds Hong Kong is offering visitors an unprecedented hands-on multimedia experience at its celebrity waxworks museum. The world-famous attraction now features more than 100 incredible wax likenesses of stars, world leaders and sports heroes displayed in five totally interactive themed settings that are spread over three floors within the completely refurbished Peak Tower complex. It's an amazing experience like no other!

Visitors to the new-look Madame Tussauds Hong Kong cannot only meet their favourite idols but also join them in doing whatever has made them famous – all to the accompaniment of appropriate background sounds. You can putt with Tiger Woods, shoot hoops with Yao Ming, dance on stage with Aaron Kwok and even step into a Rembrandt painting!

Guests can stroll through the attraction stopping to mingle with the stars and celebrities in the themed areas of Hong Kong Glamour, Music Icons, Historical and National Heroes, The Champions and World Premiere. You are allowed to pose with any of the wax models and even have your picture taken professionally.

Those more inclined to the international stage can stand alongside President Hu Jintao as he steps from his plane to the rapturous applause of the welcoming committee, or obtain an official seal of approval from Barack Obama as you address the nation from the presidential podium.

If you ever wondered how these models are made, you can watch the fascinating wax figure-making process being demonstrated. There's also a souvenir shop featuring a full range of exciting souvenirs and gifts.

How To Get There
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong
1. Take the Peak Tram from the Lower Peak Tram Terminus on Garden Road (Bus 15C from the lay-by outside Central Pier 6 or walk from MTR Central Station Exit J2).
2. Bus 15 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D)
3. Green minibus 1 from MTR Hong Kong Station Public Transport Interchange.

Hollywood Road, Cat Street, Man Mo Temple
Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row (also known as "Cat Street"), are must-see stops on every visitor's itinerary. Crammed with antique shops and an open-air curio market, these quaint locales are ideal places for picking up eclectic souvenirs and gifts. Everything from Ming dynasty furniture and lotus lamps to Mao badges and ancient snuff bottles is on sale here. Bargain hunters will also enjoy the stalls on Ladder Street, just a few metres downhill - and bargaining over price is all part of the game.

Nearby Man Mo Temple is a picturesque tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). The temple is located about halfway along the road and a stop in its quiet, incense-shrouded interior makes a pleasant break. You can see giant incense coils hanging overhead.

At the western end of the road is Hollywood Road Park, where a photo display shows the original old settlement close to this area.

How To Get There
Hollywood Road / Cat Street / Man Mo Temple
1. Bus 26 outside Pacific Place at Admiralty to Hollywood Road and get off near Man Mo Temple.
2. MTR Central Station Exit D2 and turn right to Theatre Lane. Walk along Queen's Road Central towards The Center. Then take the Central - Mid-Levels Escalator to Hollywood Road.

Western Market
Western Market, renovated in 1991 and converted into a shopping complex, is an Edwardian-style building featuring shops selling arts and crafts and fabric.

Completed in 1906, the impressive building has a red brick exterior with a handsome granite arch over its entrance. The market now houses shops formerly located in old alleys in the heart of Central, which sold all manner of cloth. The building is also home to traditional handicraft stalls and a number of cafes. The top floor is home to the Grand Stage where dance lovers can rendezvous and enjoy a romantic dinner.

How To Get There
Western Market
MTR Sheung Wan Station Exit B or C.

Lan Kwai Fong
When the lights go down, the "in crowd" heads for Lan Kwai Fong, a buzzing centre of clubs, bars and restaurants. This cheerful warren of Western-style restaurants, nightclubs, delicatessens and bars is a must for night owls and people watchers. Lan Kwai Fong is an L-shaped, cobble-stoned lane surrounded by Central's cluster of skyscrapers. Nearby lanes are also buzzing with bistros and pubs in Hong Kong's trendiest nightlife area.

Stroll along nearby Hollywood Road and you'll soon discover Hong Kong's "SoHo", the area "South of Hollywood Road". It offers a wide range of upmarket international restaurants and bars along Staunton Street, Elgin Street and Shelley Street. Jump on what Guinness World Records calls the world's longest covered escalator and experience the cosmopolitan atmosphere of this popular food district. Here you'll enjoy international fare from New Orleans to Nepal, Mexico to Malaysia, Provence to Portugal.

How To Get There
Lan Kwai Fong
MTR Central Station Exit D2. Walk along Theatre Lane and uphill to D'Aguilar Street. About 5 minutes walk to Lan Kwai Fong.
MTR Central Station Exit D2, and turn right to Theatre Lane. Walk along Queen's Road Central towards The Center. Then take the Central-Mid-Levels Escalator.

Golden Bauhinia Square
The Expo Promenade (also known as Golden Bauhinia Square) outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on the Wan Chai waterfront marks the most significant occasion in Hong Kong's history - the return of the former British colony to the People's Republic of China, and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

The handover took place in the convention centre with President Jiang Zemin and other dignitaries representing China, and Prince Charles present to witness the relinquishment of what had often been described as "the richest jewel in the British Crown".

The main ceremonies took place on the night of 30 June 1997. The Hong Kong SAR came into being on 1 July under its Chief Executive, Shanghai-born former shipping magnate, Tung Chee-Hwa.

The "Forever Blooming Bauhinia" Sculpture (Golden Bauhinia) is a gift from the Central Goverment to mark the widespread joy of the people at the return of the territory to the Motherland after more than 150 years. Other gifts to commemorate the historic occasion were sent by each of China's provinces, autonomous regions and other territories.

Near the Golden Bauhinia stands the Reunification Monument bearing inscriptions of President Jiang Zemin's calligraphy.

How To Get There
Golden Bauhinia Square ( Expo Promenade )
MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A5. Walk across the footbridge, head right and through the lobby of Central Plaza, continue on across the connecting overhead walkway, then descend to ground level. Head towards the waterfront ahead and the statue and monument is on the left. About a 15-minute walk.

Happy Valley Racecourse
Attending a race meeting under the dazzling lights of the Happy Valley Racecourse is an opportunity to capture the essence and the vitality of Hong Kong Chinese culture. This magnificent course has been the home of Hong Kong horse racing since the first meeting was held on a strip of reclaimed marshland in 1846. To enjoy all the action of this spectacle, join a Come Horseracing Tour during the annual September to early June / July horseracing season. Today, the track is ultra-sophisticated with computerised betting and horse races broadcast live on gigantic screens. Night racing was introduced in 1973 and was an immediate success. For sheer excitement and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the locals, nothing beats a night at the horse races in Happy Valley. The nearby Hong Kong Racing Museum offers a fascinating glimpse of the sport's exciting history.

How To Get There
Happy Valley Racecourse
1. MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit A, walk along Wong Nai Chung Road towards Happy Valley Racecourse for about 20 mins.
2. Take tram to Happy Valley Tram Terminus.

Jumbo Kingdom
Feel like dinner amidst the sumptuous surroundings of a Chinese palace? Welcome to the Jumbo Kingdom, one of Hong Kong's truly unique attractions. Since its opening in 1976 as the Jumbo Floating Restaurant, it has excelled in the preparation of seafood for discerning diners. The restaurant, designed like a classic Chinese palace, can accommodate up to 2,300 people. Situated in Aberdeen harbour, the Jumbo is one of the world's largest floating restaurants and a tourist icon.

The Jumbo underwent renovation in early 2003 and transformed itself into what is now called Jumbo Kingdom - a modern complex of fine dining, shopping, sightseeing and cultural attractions. The multifaceted Jumbo Kingdom has a "six-star" gourmet restaurant, which provides excellent quality food featuring traditional Chinese and modern fusion dishes, an open-deck cafe and restaurant, a wine garden and a tea garden.

How To Get There
Jumbo Kingdom
Bus 70 from Exchange Square bus terminus (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D) to Aberdeen terminus. Cross highway via subway (pedestrian tunnel), turn right, walk to dock for free boat ride to floating restaurant or take bus 75 from Exchange Square bus terminus to Shum Wan Shuttle Ferry Pier for the free boat ride.

Ocean Park
Opened in 1977, Ocean Park Hong Kong is one of Hong Kong's favourite attractions, featuring rides, exhibits and conservation facilities. Ocean Park is located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, covering more than 870,000 square metres of land. There are three attraction areas, which are the Lowland, the Headland and Tai Shue Wan. The three areas are connected by a cable car, outdoor escalator which is the second longest in the world and Ocean Express.

At the 'Amazing Asian Animals' exhibit you can visit some of Asia's rarest animals! Take the interactive journey of discovery at the 'Giant Panda Adventure' where you will get to know some of the Asia's most precious native animals like giant pandas, red pandas, Chinese giant salamanders and Chinese alligators. Admire the spectacular display of goldfish at the 'Goldfish Treasures' exhibit. Visit the colourful birds and playful Asian small-clawed otters at the 'Panda Village'. There's also the 'Panda Kingdom Shop' for the perfect panda-inspired souvenirs and the 'Panda Café' for relaxation and refreshments.

The whole family can also experience the joy and thrill of SkyFair, a huge helium-filled balloon measuring 22 metres in diameter which soars more than 100 metres into the sky.
Other popular attractions have included the Ocean Theatre, Abyss Turbo Drop, the Mine Train and new and fun-filled entertainment facilities are introduced from time to time and the Master Development Plan is now underway.
The park is also home to a fascinating Sea Jelly Spectacular, featuring more than 1,000 sea jellies of all sizes from all over the world. The Sea Jelly Spectacular offers a sensational undersea voyage for you to experience this most amazing undersea creature.

Ocean Park Hong Kong is committed to promote and support animal conservation in Hong Kong and throughout the Asia region. It has, in cooperation with other conservation organisations, launched various conservation programmes for a number of endangered species, including whales and dolphins. In addition, it has successfully bred rare species of birds, sharks and butterflies.

How to Get There
Ocean Express
Enjoy a fantastic voyage on the Ocean Express, the latest quick, smooth, thrilling and fun way to travel from the Ocean Park Waterfront to the excitement at the Summit. Built to transport up to 5,000 people per hour in each direction, the Ocean Express funicular train can shuttle guests via a 1.3 kilometre tunnel between the Park’s two main sites in just 3 minutes. The train is designed to resemble a submersible vehicle, and offers a vivid experience that simulates a journey through the ocean’s depths. Be ready for some surprises with creatures of the deep.

Repulse Bay
Primarily an upmarket residential area, sun-drenched Repulse Bay has a relaxed resort-like atmosphere. The wide, wave-lapped beach is popular with locals and visitors alike and great for sandy strolls in the early morning when the sun is up and the sunbathers are out in force, or at sunset when all is at peace.

This crescent-shaped stretch of sand is one of the most beautiful beaches in Hong Kong. The beach features a lifeguard clubhouse built in traditional Chinese style. Its ceiling is decorated with magnificent swirling dragons. Towering twin statues of Kwun Yum and Tin Hau, both protectors of fishermen dominate the picturesque gardens that lead down to the beach.

The nearby colonial-style, The Repulse Bay, houses designer shops and award-winning restaurants and resembles the luxury hotel built in 1920 that originally occupied the site. Most of the grounds were redeveloped into luxury apartments more than 20 years ago. Only the original arcade remains.

How To Get There
Repulse Bay
Bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus Terminus (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D) and alight at Repulse Bay.

Stanley Market & Murray House

A popular market town on the sunny south side of Hong Kong Island, Stanley's relaxed ambience, crisp sea environs and bargain buys have made it world famous.

Seven days a week the open market around Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road throbs with the passing parade of life as bargain-hunters from all over the world join in the fun of haggling with shopkeepers and stallholders. Choose from brand-name clothing and accessories, or simply irresistible souvenirs, ornaments and other Oriental knick-knacks. The market is open from 10:30am to 6:30pm.

Stanley also has beautiful beaches that are popular with windsurfers. And when you're feeling peckish, you'll find a wide variety of funky bars and great restaurants to enjoy.

Among the more interesting restaurant sites on the waterfront is Murray House, a 160-year-old restored three-storey colonial building that was dismantled in 1982 from its original site in Central and then rebuilt in Stanley. It was restored in 1998 and now houses the Hong Kong Maritime Museum as well as restaurants.

Situated beside Murray House is Blake Pier at Stanley. Originally located in Central, Blake Pier was first dismantled in 1965 and later relocated to Morse Park to form the roof of the Morse Park pavilion. Now it has returned to its role as a public pier in Stanley, complementing the colonial architectural style of Murray House.

Aberdeen harbour is home to hundreds of people living on fishing junks. Their traditional lifestyle is dramatically juxtaposed against a modern high-rise community spread over the nearby hillsides. In the evenings, the thousands of twinkling lights reflected on the water are a magical sight.

To get a close-up look at the Aberdeen way of life, many visitors take in the view from the magnificent floating restaurant anchored here. Three storeys high and elaborately decorated with swirling red and gold dragons and other traditional Chinese motifs, the experience is not to be missed. Neither, of course, is the delicious fresh seafood and the excellent Cantonese fare on offer.

Aberdeen is also the site of Ocean Park, one of Southeast Asia's largest oceanariums and theme parks.

How To Get There
Aberdeen - Fishing Village & Typhoon Shelter
1. Bus 70 from Exchange Square bus terminus(MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D), and get off near Aberdeen Promenade.

During your stay in Hong Kong, there is no better way to experience the city’s fascinating local attractions, tantalising tastes and unique heritage than by hopping on a tram.

Shopping Malls

The Wing On Department Stores (HK) Ltd
Established in 1907, Wing On is one of the leading department store chains in Hong Kong. Wing On offers the customers a wide range of quality merchandise sourced regionally and from overseas with the convenience of one-stop shopping complemented by friendly customer service.

Exclusive for Visitors:
Visitors with valid passports or any travel documents, can apply for a Tourist Shopping Pass. Upon presentation of the Tourist Shopping Pass, visitors can enjoy a 5% - 10% discount. For details, please check with the stores' sales personnel.

Times Square
The largest mall in Causeway Bay, Times Square has more than 230 shops, offering an exciting range of products as well as great dining establishments. Food Forum offers 20 restaurants featuring a wide variety of delectable and exquisite world-class culinary delights. Definitely a must-visit dining and shopping landmark!

Exclusive for Visitors:
Receive a complimentary welcome gift at 2/F Concierge desk of Times Square by presenting a passport of Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand or South East Asia.

Sogo Hong Kong Co Ltd
SOGO Causeway Bay is currently the largest Japanese-style department store and one of the major shopping landmarks in Hong Kong. SOGO stores offer a wide selection of products including renowned European brands of men's and ladies' fashions, skin care & cosmetics, jewelries, leather series, electrical appliances and home supplies and there are also supermarkets at the stores.

Lane Crawford

Lane Crawford is delighted to invite you to discover Asia's leading specialty store.

Within Lane Crawford's luxurious and innovatively designed stores, customers will find the largest assortment of international designer brands. Every season, Lane Crawford presents a unique edit of the world's best in Womenswear, Menswear, Shoes and Accessories, Jewellery, Cosmetics, and Home and Lifestyle collections.

wtc more
Situated in the heart of Causeway Bay, World Trade Centre – wtc more is a favourite shopping mall with trendy shoppers looking for stylish fashion, accessories and branded handbags. Among the 20 world-class restaurants at wtc more, AT Corner, Kiriyaki and rice paper are MICHELIN recommended restaurants, while half of the 20 restaurants offer panoramic views of Victoria Harbour.

The Peak Galleria
The Peak Galleria, situated at The Peak, is famous for its Art Deco architecture. It offers international cuisine and a dazzling array of shops selling gifts and locally designed unique products. The mall also features its environmental Green Terrace on the top level where visitors could enjoy both the magnificent panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and the natural beauty of Pokfulam Reservoir.

ifc mall
ifc at Central waterfront is one of Hong Kong’s leading business and leisure destinations. Comprising a unique combination of high-end shopping and entertainment outlets, prestigious offices and Hong Kong’s finest hotel and suite hotel – Four Seasons Hotel and Four Seasons Place, the 4.7 million square feet complex offers a truly inspiring working, shopping and living experience.

Housing around 200 international brands, ifc mall is located at the heart of Hong Kong and is easily accessible from all forms of public transport.

ifc mall’s harbourside position and airy architecture also add a sense of relaxation to an afternoon of shopping and a touch of magic to an evening out.

Exclusive for Visitors:
Tourists are welcome to register at the concierge with valid travel documents to receive a complimentary 'ifc Tourist Passport' and enjoy over 100 exclusive privileges at ifc mall.

Ding Ding Tram
Locally known as 'Ding Ding', the tram has been an essential part of Hong Kong Island’s daily life for over a century. Take a trip with our 'Ding Ding' Hong Kong Tram Guide and explore over one hundred culinary and cultural experiences selected by local celebrity Craig Au Yeung.

Street Markets
Adventurous travellers should head straight for these funky markets that best illustrate Hong Kong's living culture. Each of these markets has its own charm and contains hidden treasures just waiting to be uncovered. Even better, you can haggle! Great for all kinds of consumer goodies.

adies' Market (Tung Choi Street)
Ladies' Market in Tung Choi Street is the place for bags, accessories and inexpensive women's clothing. Men's and children's clothing and toys are also on sale.

Tung Choi Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon (MTR Mongkok Station Exit E2)
noon – 11:30pm

Temple Street Night Market
Temple Street Night Market is ordered chaos in action and the perfect place to pick up a few bargains.
Temple Street is awash with rows of brightly lit stalls hawking an astonishing variety of clothing, pens, watches, CDs, cassettes, electronic gadgets, hardware and luggage. The busy food stalls offer a range of delicacies including fresh seafood and hotpot dishes to tempt your appetite. Fortune-tellers cluster at the Yau Ma Tei end of the street, and so do Chinese opera enthusiasts seeking kindred spirits for impromptu performances.
Simply absorbing Temple Street is a memorable experience.

Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon (MTR Jordan Station Exit A. Turn right into Jordan Road, then right into Temple Street)
4pm - midnight

Stanley Market
Stanley Market is the perfect place to buy something special for friends or relatives. The historic lanes in this old fishing village are jam-packed with vendors selling Chinese artwork, silk collectibles and curios, as well as larger-sized clothing. Plan to stay for a few hours and sample the fine restaurants in the restored Murray House or along the main street on the waterfront.

Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong Island (MTR Hong Kong Station Exit D and take bus 6, 6A, 6X, 66 or 260 from Exchange Square Bus terminus, Central)
10:30am – 6:30pm

Jardine's Crescent
A long, packed roadside market great for inexpensive clothing, accessories and domestic goods. Tiny stalls have goods tumbling off tables and shelves into shoppers' bags. Many stalls feature hair-related items, bags, women's tops and blouses, fine knits, cellphone accessories and household items, and at the end is a small wet market and flower stalls with very low prices.

Jardine's Crescent, Causway Bay, Hong Kong Island (MTR Causeway Bay Station Exit F)
11am – 9:30pm

Li Yuen Street East and West
Find ready-to-wear garments or have them made to order. Featuring great designs, fine silk and other fabrics, traditional styles and beautiful colours.

Li Yuen Street East and West, Central, Hong Kong Island (MTR Central Station Exit C then walk along Des Voeux Road Central towards Sheung Wan)
10am – 7pm

Magical Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is one of Hong Kong's greatest assets, a jewel that people marvel at, no matter how many times they visit the city. People come from all over the world to see and admire it.

Spectacular Harbour Views
Travel up to The Peak or visit the Avenue of Stars along the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade for spectacular harbour views and to catch the magnificent A Symphony of Lights, featuring more than 40 Hong Kong's skyscrapers in a stunning multimedia extravaganza.

A Symphony of Lights
This spectacular multimedia display, already named the "World's Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show" by Guinness World Records, has been further expanded to include more than 40 buildings on both sides of Victoria Harbour.
The show creates an all-round vision of coloured lights, laser beams and searchlights performing a stunning, unforgettable spectacle synchronised to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong.

There are five main themes — Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership and the finale, Celebration.

For the best view of A Symphony of Lights, take a harbour cruise or head to the waterfront promenades on either side of Victoria Harbour*. The show, organised by the Tourism Commission, is a must-see event on any visit to Hong Kong.

Starry Nights of Delight
There is no better way to capture the magic of the harbour than by taking a nighttime cruise aboard a ferry where you'll be able to enjoy A Symphony of Lights, the stunning multimedia show featuring more than 40 Hong Kong skyscrapers in a dazzling extravaganza.

Touring the Harbour
Victoria Harbour bustles with activity day and night. To experience the energy take a ride on the Star Ferry, a harbour cruise or a ride in a traditional Chinese junk.

The ultra-sophisticated Gold Coast Resort looks much like a Mediterranean resort magically transplanted to the shores of Hong Kong. It features a world-class hotel, a convention centre, a shopping mall and a marina club, as well as its man-made Golden Beach and palm-shaded Promenade dotted with kiosks.

Golden Beach is the largest public beach in Tuen Mun and the first artificial beach in Hong Kong. At 545 metres long, it covers a total area of 7.85 hectares.

The 480-metre-long Promenade, flanked by tropical trees and flowers, has kiosks selling snacks and drinks. These all blend well with the hotel and shopping mall both in terms of architecture and colour scheme.

Adding to the French Riviera atmosphere is an art area called Gold Coast Montmartre where, every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, street art, handicrafts and other forms of culture find expression. This is the first specific location for street art and culture of its kind in Hong Kong.

How To Get There
Golden Beach (Hong Kong Gold Coast)
1. Bus 52X from MTR Mei Foo Station Exit A or bus 962 from Admiralty (outside Pacific Place) and get off near the Gold Coast.
2. Bus K51 from MTR Tuen Mun Station Exit F2.

Deep Water Bay Beach
This attractive bay is one of the most popular haunts for people seeking fun in the sun or beachside barbecue. This stretch of beach lies just off a scenic coastal road running from Aberdeen to Shek O on the south side of Hong Kong Island. The beach is flanked by rows of flame trees and higher up are the imposing cliff-side mansions of the super rich. The beach is next to the Hong Kong Golf Club's annex. There is a scenic path that winds along the coast from here to Repulse Bay.

How To Get There
Deep Water Bay Beach
Bus 6, 6A, 6X or 260 from Exchange Square bus terminus and get off across the road from Deep Water Bay Beach.

Shek O Beach

Seen from the hill above, the popular seaside destination of Shek O looks like a picture-postcard image of an ancient Chinese community. Its ambience is still traditional and rustic, in dramatic contrast to the millionaires' mansions on the surrounding hillsides and headland. The exclusive golf and country club nearby is where they play. Many others make for the golden sands of Big Wave Bay, where Bronze Age rock carvings can be found.

How To Get There
Shek O Beach
Bus 9 from MTR Shau Kei Wan Station Exit A3 bus terminus and get off at the Shek O Bus Terminus.

clubs are concentrated in Central, Sheung Wan, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). The quality of these venues varies considerably and will perhaps disappoint those expecting something similar to London, Paris or New York. There is certainly no gay area as there are in many Western cities. Dim Sum magazine, available for free in most cafes, eateries bars and clubs, is Hong Kong bilingual's GLBT magazine which gives a pretty good idea about gay and lesbian parties and events happening in Hong Kong. There's also a gay and lesbian section in HK Magazine (free, only in English) and TimeOut Hong Kong.
Club 1997, 9 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, ☎ +852 2186-1897. has a gay happy hour on Fridays between 19:00 and 21:00. Expats and locals like to meet up here for a drink or two before starting off their weekend. Free entrance.

Fruit-i-licious, Rockschool, 2/F The Phoenix, 21-25 Luard Rd., Wanchai, ☎ +852 2510-7339 ( is the new kid on the block that welcomes everybody, gay or straight, who wants to have a good time before the weekend starts. An event held usually every third-Thursday of the month, Fruit-i-licious is the city only straight-friendly social evening, with drag act, live performance, burlesque shows. $50 entrance, incl. one standard drink, all proceeds goes to a women's project empowering women in the Southeast Asian region charity; door opens at 8pm, gets busy at about 9pm.

Fruits in Suits. is not a bar per se, but a social evening that takes place once a month, usually on the second or third Tuesday and they change their venue from time to time. Check out their website for more information. It attracts a mixed crowd of expats and local, and you don't have to be in suit to attend. Entrance is usually less then $100.
Kolours, 16 Arbuthnot Rd., Central, ( took over from its former site where DYMK used to be. The newly opened bar with two floors attracts a younger Asian crowd.

New Wally Matt Lounge, 5A Humphrey's Ave., Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), ☎ +852 2721-2568. originally known as Waltzing Matilda, the lounge is now probably the oldest gay bar in Hong Kong, according to its website, and certainly the only one over on the Kowloon side. It caters mainly to the local crowd. Free Entrance.

Propaganda, 1 Hollywood Rd., Central, ☎ +852 2868-1316. This is the sister nightclub to Works that attracts a fair number of travellers. The entrance can be hard to locate, so you can follow the crowd that migrates along Hollywood Road when Works starts to fade. PP, as the locals like to call it, is popular and attracts a good selection of people. Do not expect it to get busy until after midnight. Entrance fee, as of Dec 2009, is $280.00 (cheaper before 11PM and after 3AM).

Volume, 83-85 Hollywood Rd., Central, ☎ +852 2857-7683. is a Hong Kong gay bar with a big attitude, plenty of room to dance and a few dark nooks for getting to know someone better. Co-owners Joseph Chan and Evan Steer (aka DJ Stonedog) go out of their ways to make every visitor to Volume feel welcome. For newcomers, there's no better deal in the city than the free vodka doled out every "New Arrivals Wednesday." before 9PM. The bar gets busy at around 11:30PM until 2AM and is popular with expats and locals alike. Free entrance, unless if they have special event.

Works. (closed for renovation at the time or writing, and is expected to reopen early 2010) is located approximately 2 mins away from Lan Kwai Fong. Before the renovation, the bar was frequented by older gentlemen and got busy at around 11PM. On Fridays, an entrance to Works may also buy you a free ticket to their sister club Propaganda.

Zoo Bar, 33 Jervois Rd, Sheungwan, ☎ +852 3583-1200 ( located in the low-key, discreet residential district of Sheung Wan, the bar's relaxed atmosphere is a good place to meet up with friends or to get a drink before headed out for a more hardcore night. You can typically expect around 20 percent of the customers to be western people. Thursday nights are bear nights, and is popular among Asian bears. Free Entrance.