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Cruising Article – 2012-12-17

Three Hong Kong sites travelers can't miss

Asian cruise, Hong Kong, Princess Cruises, Stanley Market, Man Mo Temple, Victoria Peak and Tram

Along with Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea, Hong Kong represents one of the Four Asian Tigers - a collection of the region's modern and highly-developed economic states. Translated as "Fragrant Harbor," Hong Kong was under British rule for nearly a century before becoming a semi-autonomous territory of China in 1997.

Here are some of the amazing Hong Kong sites in store for travelers on an Asian cruise.

Victoria Peak and Tram
If you're looking for one of the best views Hong Kong can offer, you won't want to miss a trip to Victoria Peak. Located 1,805 feet above sea level, this impressive vantage point provides travelers with stunning panoramic sightseeing and photo opportunities. From atop Victoria Peak, you'll be able to see as far as Kowloon Peninsula and Victoria Harbor.

Making a trip to Victoria Peak even more fun is the Peak Tram, one of the oldest funicular railways still in use in the world. In fact, the ascent to the top is so steep that you might even feel like the buildings outside your tram window are on the verge of tipping over! Once you reach the top of Victoria Peak, you'll be immersed in some of Hong Kong's premier shops, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment.

Stanley Market
Stanley Market, one of the world's most impressive bazaars, had previously been a small fishing village before British colonists came to Hong Kong in the 19th century, and remains one of the city's most popular districts.

Among the tiny shops and unique boutiques lining the streets, you'll find artisans, craftsmen and retailers offering an array of silk clothing, Chinese costume jewelry, local artwork and souvenirs. Many of Hong Kong's delicious restaurants are also located in Stanley Market, which feature an impressive blend of international cuisine, ranging from authentic Chinese dishes to Indian food, British staples and even pizza.

Man Mo Temple
If you're looking to a take a walk into the history and culture of traditional Hong Kong, then you'll want to plan a visit to Man Mo Temple. The oldest and most famous religious monument in the city, the temple is dedicated to Man Cheong, the God of Literature, and Mo Tai, the God of Martial Valor. Constructed between 1847 and 1862, the Man Mo Temple compound also includes Lit Shing Kung and Kung Sor.

The architecture features traditional Chinese style, with aesthetic features like sliding screen doors, granite drum platforms, alters, humpbacked roofs, impressive granite columns and beautifully designed courtyards. Decorations include traditional wood carvings, ceramic figurines, plaster mouldings and murals and granite sculptures. If you're lucky, you may even catch the Man Mo Temple's Autumn Sacrificial Rites honoring Man Cheong and Mo Tai while praying for Hong Kong's prosperity.

Hong Kong offers an exciting mixture of Eastern and Western cultures along with enjoyable entertainment, rich artistic centers and historic monuments. Click here to book your Asian cruise vacation.