When the British steamed in to the sweet harbor off the coast of Mainland China I’m sure they had no idea that this part of the world would become what is known as the Pearl of the East or the biggest most important city of Asia.
I have stayed in a large hotel on Victoria Harbor twice now—more than a week each time-and have loved and thoroughly enjoyed watching the life happening outside the window. Those who know me, know I am happiest on or near water, so the big hotel with soaring windows with expansive views is perfect for me when I visit my daughter-in-law’s family, lovely people of whom I am very fond.
Victoria Harbor’s history includes: home to a sleepy fishing village, wartime occupation by the Japanese and mass immigrations from China. In the 1500s the Portuguese arrived with the British making landfall in the 1600s.
Hong Kong Island was chosen for settlement because it was ideal for opium trading.
Victoria Harbor, which might be the world’s finest, separates Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula. My Hong Kong Home Away From Home is on the Kowloon side, looking towards Hong Kong Island.
Interestingly the Harbor has actually been made smaller as the land area of Tsim Sha Tsui and the Kowloon Peninsula has been greatly enlarged by numerous phases of reclamation over the years. This involved removing the tops of hills that once dominated the area. The resulted is a changed topography and the phrase “Walking on Water.”
So, what do you see when you hang out on or near Victoria Harbor?
The View of the Harbor from Victoria Peak
Traditional Chinese Junks.
Even though the Hong Kong tourism authorities use photos of traditional Chinese sailing Junks against the glittering sky line of sky scrappers…..a bit of East meets West imagery, working Junks haven’t been in use for decades. The picture perfect ones you see are tourist versions.
Star Ferry Terminals
The Star Ferry is one of Hong Kong’s best loved institutions. The ferries have chugged between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon since the late 1880s.
Clock Tower/Light Show
Standing next to the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Terminal, we saw it and nearby buildings bathed in lights for a light show.
Directly across from our hotel room: The Convention Center
Cruise ships Galore!
The Ocean Terminal, where the cruise ships dock, including occasionally the QE 2, is close by. Here’s a view from our breakfast spot of a cruise ship making its way to the terminal.