Most visitors arrive in China through one of its main gateway cities, Shanghai, Beijing or Hong Kong. On the drive into the city center you realize that everything is new, modern, clean, streamlined, dramatic, efficient, and there is a lot of it. City populations are counted in the millions and skylines are packed with the striking architectural designs of new high-rise apartment, condominium and office complexes.
These gateways are also shopping meccas. Each offers a mix of high fashion and bargain knock-off shopping options, and there are many traditional craft factories and shops that specialize in items like silk and jade.
Tourism returned big-time to China in 1997, this city has many reminders of its British Colonial times and is an Administrative Region of China. It is a prosperous business and trading center and, although now a bit pricey, is one of the worlds leading shopping destinations. Sightseeing should include a ride on the Star Ferry across Hong Kong harbor and aboard the double-decker tram to the top of Hong Kong Island. There are many museums and points of interest including Lantau Island for a visit and lunch at the Po Lin Monastery.
For many, China represents an undiscovered land with an intriguing history, a massive silent population and an exploding economy. It has only been within the past sixteen years that the impact of what is now referred to as the New China has made it the most visited destination in Asia. The country’s transportation infrastructure is new and what used to take months to travel from one end of the country to the other, is now accomplished via a five-hour flight. As we foreigners discover China for the first time, so are many Chinese citizens. The country is aggressive in its tourism promotion; development of a tourism infrastructure and packaged itineraries are reasonably priced.