Hong Kong Sights to See - The Star Ferry and Victoria Harbor
founded as the Kowloon Ferry, the Star Ferry has been transporting passengers
from the mainland to Hong Kong Island and back for over a hundred years. Over that time the view has changed, but the romance has not.
Until the early 1970s it was the only way to make the journey. Today,
in another sense, it's still the "only" way to make the journey. That is,
if you want to travel in style and see everything Victoria Harbor offers.
Though there are now tunnel enclosed roads and train tracks, the Star
Ferry continues to offer visitors and locals alike a quick, but
delightfully scenic ride. The trip takes only about 10 minutes across
the water from Hong Kong Island's Central district to Tsim Sha Tsui (the
main tourist area in Kowloon) and other areas nearby.
The beginning of the journey is auspicious. Take in the 90-year-old Victoria Clock Tower
standing near the ultra-modern Cultural
Center on Tsim Sha Tsui. Spend a few minutes examining
some of the aging red rickshaws that have been preserved at the dock.
Then travel down the ramp to board one of the colorful ferry boats;
different colors for different destinations. If you're lucky you'll be
on the Celestial Star,
built in 1956 and still going strong.
Along the way, riders can see the glorious Hong Kong skyline,
magnificent by day or night. The distinctive, narrow Bank of China
building and the Victorian era Legislative
Council Building are in full view across the harbor.
The Stock Exchange building is in front of you along with the Shanghai Bank, with
its notable geometric shape. Watch for the dome of the Space Museum or the
outline of Harbor City, Hong Kong's huge indoor shopping
Take the trip again at night and enjoy the same view seen an entirely
different way. The night skyline of Hong Kong is a rival even
to the glorious Manhattan scene it resembles. Be sure to ride
on the top of the double-decker boat to get the best effect.
The upper deck is considered a first class ticket, and costs all of
about 10 cents more. You'll be glad of the air-conditioned compartments
during Hong Kong's hot and often humid summers. (The cost of the ride
is currently $2.20 HK, about 28 cents US.)
If you enjoy the ocean spray and want to get the experience of the
humming engines, choose the lower deck and save a few pennies. (Price:
$1.70HK, or 22 cents US.)
Even though the service carries over 70,000 passengers a day, the ferry
leaves every few minutes so you'll never have to wait long.
For a ride that's more tour than transport, try the one that takes a
circular route to all the ferry's destinations. That trip still takes
only about an hour.
the major shopping destination for many of Hong Kong's visitors, is
only a short distance from one of the ferry's terminals for those
travelling from the island to Kowloon.
At the terminal there are buses that travel throughout Kowloon and the
New Territories, but the taxis are an adventure you won't want to miss.
A bit more money, but just think of the fare as the cost of a combined
transport and Disneyland
ride through Hong Kong's streets.
Sights to see in Hong Kong
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Mai Po Marsh
Museum of History
Po Lin Monastery
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