Visiting Hong Kong can feel like wandering onto a movie set. Standing on deck of the Star Ferry as it glides across the harbour, riding the ultramodern railway across the island, or taking in the stunning views from atop Victoria Peak; one might feel they have somehow landed in the middle of an epic drama where the past has melted into the present.
The images of Hong Kong are captivating in their contrast; old wooden boats bobbing beside huge ocean liners; squalid alleys behind luxury hotels; tiny tenements next to sleek skyscrapers; market vendors selling chicken feet while talking on cellular phones, the list is endless. Add all this to an excellent infrastructure, an efficient subway system, superb international facilities, and you'll find an extremely soft entry into the Chinese world.
Because of these dazzling contrasts, Hong Kong offers visitors something unique - the chance to experience a vibrant Chinese city without sacrificing the comforts of home. Much of Hong Kong's Western framework comes from the legacy left by the British, who ruled the colony until 1997, when it was handed back to China as a Special Administrative Region (hence the SAR abbreviation).