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5 Top Places to Visit In Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most vibrant, exciting and ambitious cities in the world, a fusion of East and West, old and new, high tech and traditional - a city of dazzling contrasts. Though greatly influenced by years of British rule and enjoying many Western comforts and conveniences Hong Kong is essentially a very Chinese city and retains its Chinese heart with pride.

Visit Hong Kong and enjoy amazing architecture, lively street markets, traditional medicine shops, dai pai dong street food stalls and colourful festivals. Check online travel sites for great deals on cheap flights and package deals to Hong Kong.

Here's a selection of 5 top places to visit in Hong Kong.

1. Yuen Po Street Bird Garden

Occupying an area of about 3000 square metres, this charming Chinese-style garden is located on Yuen Po Street in Mong Kok. It is the favoured gathering place of Hong Kong's songbird owners and has 70 or so songbird stalls selling row upon row of macaws, songbirds, mynahs, cockatiels and starlings in beautifully lacquered traditional Chinese birdcages.

2. Tai O Fishing Village

Located on the North Western edge of Lantau Island, Tai O village is rare example of a Chinese stilt-house community. Home to the Tanka people, a community of fishermen who have built their homes on stilts above the tidal flats for generations, the village is also famous for itís dried fish and shrimp sauce with many top Hong Kong chefs paying personal visits to buy exclusive Tai O produce.

3. Lamma Island

Located less than half an hour by ferry from downtown Hong Kong, Lamma is an oasis of laid back boho bars and boutiques, arty culture, the occasional hippy and plenty of Chinese tradition. The air is clean, the beaches golden and the seafood delicious. Thereís also great hiking complete with scenic views.

Here, cars are banned, the bicycle being the main mode of transport - hardly surprising perhaps that, in recent years, many expats and commuting locals have moved here to escape the intensity of Hong Kong Island or Kowloon.

Two of the most popular places to visit on the island are the villages of Sok Kwu Wan and Yung Shue Wan. Sok Kwu Wan's famous terraced restaurants raised on stilts above the bay offer a range of delicious chilli crab, garlic prawns, deep-fried squid and steamed fish with ginger and spring onions - all firm favourites.

Located between the two villages is Sham Wan (beach), the only place in Hong Kong where green turtles regularly lay their eggs.

4. Temple Street Market

Hong Kong's most famous open-air market, Temple Street Market opens at 2:00pm but only really comes to life after dark. Here youíll find fortune-tellers, opera enthusiasts and a mix of vividly lit stalls selling an array of electronic gadgets, watches and leather to clothing, souvenirs and luggage. Temple Street is in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon.

5. Western Market

Western Market is one of the oldest structures in Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island. Built in 1906 and reopened as a Chinese arts-and-crafts centre in 1991, this elegant four-storey, red brick building has been declared a historic monument by the Hong Kong Government. Open daily 10am to 7pm.

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