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Hong Kong and Macau, chinese special administrative areas
Text and photos: Eckart Winkler, Bad Nauheim, http://www.eckart-winkler.de
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...on the road - Travel reports and more
Travel reports
Travel blog
Common and touristic Information about China


Hong Kong: focal point between East and West, shopping paradise, fascinating skyline, modern architecture - Macau: city of casinos, colonial architecture, old churches and temples

Travel data
Date of the journeyJuly 1999
Duration4 days
Report online since25.11.2019

Hong Kong and Macau are characterized by their colony time, their Western impressions and the splendor of the metropolis. With an EU passport, you can travel to Hong Kong and / or Macao without a visa for up to 90 days. But if you travel from China to Hong Kong or Macau or want to travel back, you need a double entry China visa.

From the former commercial settlements on the south coast of China only the British Hong Kong and the Portuguese Macau remained. However, the former colonial powers renounced further claims, so that in the 80s of the 20th century. Return agreements with China have been completed. Accordingly, Hong Kong was returned to the country of the middle in 1997, Macau in 1999.

However, the condition was that both should retain their political independence, their own financial system and their own currency for 50 years. For this reason, both today have the status of a Special Administrative Region, and you still have to enter and leave with the passport. The regular speedboat takes about an hour from Hong Kong to Macau and vice versa.


Hongkong, Kowloon
Street by day Typical street in Kowloon.
Kowloon is the center of Hong Kong on the mainland. Mostly you arrive here, and above all, Kowloon looks even more original than Victoria on Hong Kong Island. Kowloon means translated "Nine Dragons". The centerpiece is Nathan Road, which pulls straight from the Star Ferry Pier to the north. The Kowloon Park is a beautiful garden. There are works of art in various places, and there is even a swimming pool here. At the Ocean Terminal the speedboats dock to Macau, but also huge cruise ships. In the interior one is rather reminded of an airport, also you will find nearly 100 shops here.
Street by night Kowloon at night.
Not that it would be quiet in Kowloon at dusk. No, quite the opposite: it's just really happening. The crowd does not stop until after midnight, and you can always find something to eat or drink. At least at 7-Eleven. It gets dark only in a few streets because of the illuminated billboards. Highly recommended is the Chinese Night Bazaar on Temple Street. Here you get everything that you can imagine. The offered branded articles are of course all fake. But the main thing, you get your illusion.
Peninsula The Peninsula, the most expensive hotel in Hong Kong.
Not only is it expensive, it is also famous, a legend. Opened in 1928, today it offers pure luxury. And these are not just the rooms and suites. No, the Peninsula also claims to count its restaurants and bars among the most exclusive on the continent. Just as luxurious is the wellness area, and as a guest you can either choose to surf the city in a car of the extensive Rolls-Royce fleet or even explore the area by helicopter. Naturally, normal earners will never be able to afford all that.

Hong Kong Island
Skyline Most beautiful to see around the Star Ferry Pier in Kowloon. Even more impressive, of course, in good weather and especially in the dark. The counterpart to Kowloon on the island of Hong Kong is Victoria, in honor of Queen Victoria, who was in power when her subjects took possession of the island in 1841. The locals call Victoria usually just "Central". Definitely recommendable is a visit to the Victoria Peak, which can be seen in the background. Either with the Peak Tramway or on foot. This is then due to the mostly humid climate a sweaty affair. But the view makes up for it. It is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Star Ferry Of course you should cross over with the Star Ferry, an institution in Hong Kong.
The crossing takes only ten minutes, but you have beautiful views. On the lower deck it is cheaper, but you will have it suitable. On the upper deck, it is therefore more expensive, but you can see better. The first regular boat traffic took place here already in 1888. The Star Ferry Company was founded about 10 years later. Significantly, all ships had the word "Star" in their name, such as "Morning Star" or "Evening Star," and so the name of the shipping company was not far off. This tradition is still maintained today. The first diesel-powered ship was named "Electric Star" in 1933 (until then coal was used) and the latest new purchases were baptized "Golden Star" and "World Star".
Statue Square Hong Kong's only historic building stands on Statue Square.
It is the Court House. The Statue Square, on the other hand, is beautifully landscaped as a small park. A popular meeting place. Especially around noon, many employees of the surrounding banks and companies come here to spend the lunch break.
Glitter Architecture The mirror and glitter architecture has been here for long.
A long-standing trend in North America and Europe: every new skyscraper wants to put the former in the shade. Maybe through the highest altitude, maybe through the most unusual form, or through the glittering façade. There is also such a competition in Hong Kong. And whether the Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, the Bank of China or any other building emerges victorious, everyone may decide for themselves.
Skyscraper at night At night the light is usually not saved.
But simple light was yesterday. Today, many skyscrapers offer a true light show, because more and more people are focusing on moving and colorful lighting effects. These are - as I said - most impressive to observe from Kowloon.
Typical residential towers Scarce is only the place: the typical residential towers.
And they exist in Victoria as well as in other parts of Hong Kong alike. Sometimes, at first glance, it seems like social housing. At other places, however, also hide luxury apartments behind it, and so the area is then well sealed off by porter and security service.

Hotel Lisboa The Hotel Lisboa: Because of its casinos most visitors come to Macau.
That was already for decades. But now Macau is to be expanded to the Asian casino metropolis. This is facilitated by the fact that gambling is banned in the rest of China. A new casino hotel, the Sands, has already been built for $ 240 million. More are to follow, and in a few years to such a real competition for the American Las Vegas arise. Because it has been found that Chinese are at least as enthusiastic players as the Americans. Consequently, one hopes for a billion dollar business. Whether this trend is good for Macau?
Senado The Senado is the center of Macao.
The square is named after its most striking building, the Leal Senado, headquarters of the administration. It is built in Portuguese style and has a nice courtyard. The other buildings on the square are magnificently and beautifully restored. Together with the green in the middle it creates a pleasant atmosphere. Here you like to hang out and have a coffee.
Sao Paulo The São Paulo Cathedral was destroyed in 1835 by a typhoon and a subsequent fire.
The standing facade is the symbol of Macau today. However, the church was not built by Portuguese but by Japanese Catholics who fled the persecution of Christians in their homeland and found refuge there. Construction time was 1620-37. From an art historical point of view, the facade is certainly one of the main attractions of the city.
Ma Kok Miu Ma Kok Miu Temple was built in honor of the goddess Ama.
Dating back to 1300, it was once a landmark in the area. So it is not surprising that the goddess worshiped here even became eponymous for the city: "Ama Gao" (port of the Ama) became "Macau" over time. The temple may be entered, and a small tour should not be missed.
Bridge Bridges lead to the offshore islands.
The islands of Taipa and Koloan also belong to Macao, and they are connected by fragile bridges with each other and with the mainland. However, these could soon become superfluous. The place in Macau is very scarce, and so they increase the area from the sae. As part of the construction of more casinos, the area between Taipa and Koloan is to be drained, it is there to create the "Cotai Strip" Las-Vergas pattern. Maybe both islands will soon be part of the mainland.


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