Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is divided into four sections: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and the numerous outlying islands. One hundred sixty-four square miles of dense real estate dominate Hong Kong Island, including enormous skyscrapers with futuristic architecture, opulent hotels, residential compounds on Victoria Peak, and some of the oldest Chinese communities in the region. All these elements create one of the most exotic and exciting ports of call in the world; one that is universally loved by tourists and its own enterprising citizens. Explore Codé Nast Insider Tips for Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Film Festival
March - April
Hong Kong Arts Festival
February - March
Off the Beaten Track
Mai Po Marshes: Birdwatchers and nature lovers will enjoy a visit to Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve in Deep Bay, just outside the Hong Kong city. Black-headed and Black-tailed Gulls, and an assortment of herons, great cormorants, Kingfishers and egrets are just a few of the vast numbers of birds to be found on the mudflats of Deep Bay. If you're lucky, you may spot a rare Black-faced Spoonbill, Dalmatian Pelican or Imperial eagle.
After a twenty-seven year ban by the British government, one of Hong Kong's most unusual spectacles returned in 2005. At midnight on Sunday during the annual Spring Festival on Cheung Chau island, just off the coast of Hong Kong, local men climb a 47-foot bamboo tower to grab sweet buns in a race for the topmost buns, said to be the luckiest and blessed of them all. The buns are blessed by Taoist priests at the start of the ceremony. Thousands of buns are tied to each tower with thread as part of a ritual said to commemorate the victims of the 19-th century bubonic plague. The buns are filled with lotus seed paste, sesame or red bean paste and are said to have healing powers. Villagers preserve left over buns by drying them in the sun. The dried buns are then boiled in water and the water given to ill children to drink as a healing potion.