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Seven Reasons To Visit Shanghai in 2016

For the traveler, a new year represents an open road, a blank journal just waiting to be filled with travel stories. There is something exciting about the uncertainty of a new year. Where will your travels take you? What new place will you discover this year? The possibilities are unimaginably endless. This year, instead of the usual tourist destination, why not go for the unconventional?

visit Shanghai

There are dozens of tried and true destinations to choose from, but in our opinion, the place to visit this year is Shanghai. A blossoming metropolis, Shanghai has been growing in popularity and presence over the years, and is worth the visit. Leafcanoer, searchingforyourzen, recently shared his advice on what to do in Shanghai in his leaf entitled, “Top 8 Things To Do in Shanghai!” For those looking to add more travel to their new year resolutions, here are seven reasons to visit Shanghai in 2016.

The old meets the new
The area in China known as Shanghai dates back to around 700 BC when it belonged to the Kingdom of Wu. Since then, it has grown from a small village to a large market town, and finally to a full-fledged city, with its city walls erected in 1554. In Shanghai, you can find historic gardens and temples, juxtaposed with some of the city’s newest buildings, including the Oriental Pearl Tower, which offers 360 degree views of the city. It’s the meeting of the old and the new that makes this city so unique and special.

visit Shanghai

A shopper’s haven
The strong US dollar makes spending money in Shanghai relatively easy. In fact, the city is often called a shopper’s paradise. Two of the major shopping roads in Shanghai are Nanjing Road, which still has shops that are centuries old, and Huaihai Road, known for its high-end designer stores. In 2015, the city adopted a tax refund policy, in an effort to entice more foreign travelers to visit Shanghai and shop.

visit Shanghai

The festivals
Shanghai has a number of festivals worth experiencing. Just a few weeks away is the Lunar New Year, usually falling in January or February. In the spring is the Dragon Boat Festival, which celebrates one of China’s national heroes, Qu Yuan, and often features boat races. Summer time festivals include the Shanghai Film Festival, the Shanghai Television Festival, and Shanghai Tourism Festival. And one of the more notable fall festivals is the Shanghai International Art Festival, which falls in October.

The Bund
The waterfront area in central Shanghai, stretching a mile along the Huangpu River, is known for its stunning skyline. With over 50 buildings representing a variety of architectural styles, this stretch of waterfront, known as the Bund, is one of the most visited destinations in Shanghai. Here, visitors can marvel at buildings showcasing Romanesque, Gothic, Neo-Classical, and even Baroque style architecture, as well as some more modern architecture.

visit Shanghai

The culinary scene
Shanghai cuisine has been around for over 400 years. Characterized by its frequent use of seafood, the cuisine found in Shanghai has traveled well beyond its borders to places like New York City. Yet, with its influence outward, it has also been influenced by the many cultures that have visited Shanghai. Many of the newer restaurants in Shanghai take traditional Shanghai and Chinese cuisine and rethink it in more modern terms. In this way, the culinary scene of Shanghai is much like the architecture and design of the city: a meeting of old and new.

visit Shanghai

Water town excursions
Sometimes the best way to experience a city is to get out of the city. There are about 8 towns just outside of Shanghai that are built around water and are worth visiting. Many of these towns date back centuries, and still have some of the original architecture remaining. Qibao Ancient Town is the closest water town to Shanghai, but is arguably one of the smallest. Zhouzhuang Water Town, on the other hand, is one of the most visited water towns, although it is approximately 79 kilometers from Shanghai.

The metro system
Speaking of excursions, one of the best ways to get around Shanghai is by metro. Considered one of the longest metro systems in the world, with a total route length of 420 kilometers, the Shanghai metro system has had several upgrades over the last few years and is expected to grow. Four new lines were added in 2014, and nine other lines began construction in 2015. This growth and development will make getting around the city a lot easier.

visit Shanghai

With the new year coming up, it’s time to think about where you want your travels to take you. For 2016, why not visit Shanghai?

For more ideas on what to do in Shanghai, or to consider other travel ideas for 2016, download the LeafCanoe app     .

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The massive Karakoram Mountains in Xinjiang. Photo credit Preston Rhea / CC BY-SA.

Exploring Xinjiang

Xinjiang, also known as Uyghurstan or East Turkestan, is an autonomous region situated in Western China. Xinjiang’s stunning landscape, comprised of desert and steppe juxtaposed against the giant mountains of the Karakorams (part of the Himalayas), was once bustling with trade caravans traversing the famed Silk Route.

Unlike most of China, Xinjiang is inhabited by Turkic, Islamic peoples who have more in common culturally with their cross border neighbors in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan than with the residents of Beijing or Shanghai. So among other things don’t expect to hear Mandarin or eat Chinese cuisine, as the language is entirely different and the cuisine is a nomadic-type meat-based diet.

The massive Karakoram Mountains in Xinjiang. Photo credit Preston Rhea / CC BY-SA.

The massive Karakoram Mountains in Xinjiang. Photo credit Preston Rhea / CC BY-SA.

Because of these cultural and religious differences Xinjiang has been home to a few protests in recent years demanding more autonomy from the central government in a situation that is quite similar to that of neighboring Tibet. These protests, however, are infrequent and Xinjiang is still very much a safe destination for foreign tourists.

The capital city and most common entry point into Xinjiang is Urumqi. The city doesn’t have much in the way of tourist attractions, as it resembles any other other second-tier city in China, but it’s a great transportation hub from which to explore the region. Trains arrive weekly from Almaty in Kazakhstan and there are direct flights to destinations as far afield as Moscow.

Central Xinjiang, the area around Urumqi, is known for its endless desert and rugged peaks. Nearby Turpan is a legendary oasis that provides a welcome respite from the epic heat of the desert. The town’s sandstone architecture is incredible and the area is actually famed for its grape production, despite being the hottest place in all of China!

The Emin Minaret in Turpan. Photo credit Dmitry P.

The Emin Minaret in Turpan. Photo credit Dmitry P.

Elsewhere in Xinjiang, in the southwestern part of the region a good 1,400 kilometers from Urumqi, travelers will find Kashgar. Literally at the edge of the desert and the gigantic Karakoram Mountains, this town was once the most exotic destination in all the world, as emissaries and travelers from the great empires came into contact with each other and the nomadic cultures of the steppes.

Even today the town still retains much of its old-world charm, as artisans work on traditional crafts in small shops throughout the week to prepare for the dazzling display that is the Sunday market.

A restaurant in the Sunday market at Kashgar. Photo credit Allan Grey / CC BY-SA.

A restaurant in the Sunday market at Kashgar. Photo credit Allan Grey / CC BY-SA.

Also in the southwestern region towns like Yarkand and Hotan provide travelers with even more rugged landscapes and storied scenes from the past.

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The InterContinental Resort Sanya on Luhuitou Peninsula. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

Visiting Sanya on the Island of Hainan

Sanya, at the southern tip of the island of Hainan, is China’s hottest beach destination and a popular vacation spot throughout the year. Tourists come from around Asia to enjoy the city’s sandy beaches and balmy tropical climate. In fact, it’s the only place in China that is situated inside a tropical climate zone.

Resorts in the area are spread out amongst several different regions with the most popular being Yalong Bay. Other popular stretches of sand include Sanya Bay itself, Haitang Bay, Dadonghai and the Luhuitou Peninsula.

The InterContinental Resort Sanya on Luhuitou Peninsula. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

The InterContinental Resort Sanya on Luhuitou Peninsula. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

Hainan itself is a large island in the South China Sea just a few miles off the coast of the Chinese Mainland. While Sanya receives most of the island’s visitors, the rest of the island does have some worthwhile sights and one way to see the island is to travel on its railroad.

What To Expect

The city of Sanya itself isn’t the most impressive tourist destination, but most tourists will spend their time at one of the area’s many beach resorts and not in the city itself. The nicest resorts are on Yalong Bay, where visitors will find international chains of luxury resorts that are built to the standard one would expect from a tropical paradise.

Beaches like Dadonghai and Sanya Bay provide a more affordable alternative, as the resorts are usually Chinese chains. These two beaches are especially popular with Chinese and Russian tourists. That said, Dadonghai does have a happening nightlife and is a lot of fun.

The sandy beach of Dadonghai in Sanya. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

The sandy beach of Dadonghai in Sanya. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

Who Will Love It

Sanya will be especially appreciated by expats living in East Asia or China who are looking for an affordable tropical escape. Travelers on lengthy tours of China will also enjoy Sanya as it’s a pleasant change of pace from the busy and polluted cities of the Chinese mainland.

Who Will Be Disappointed

Even though it’s sometimes called the “Hawaii of the Orient” or “China’s Miami Beach” it doesn’t quite live up to those lofty monikers, as it is very much a developing world-type destination.

Travel Tips

The entire province of Hainan is a Special Economic Zone and it is one of the only regions in China where it is possible for international tourists to visit without having to acquire a Chinese visa beforehand. Tourists from 26 countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia and most of Europe, are allowed to visit Hainan for up to 21 days without a visa if their travels have been arranged by an international travel agency.

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Riding the Trans-Siberian Train from Beijing to Russia via Mongolia

The Trans-Siberian Railway, stretching almost 5,000 miles from Moscow to Beijing, is one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, as it has been beckoning great travelers and adventurers since being constructed in the early part of the 20th century.

There are three routes on the Trans-Siberian Railway, all of which lead from Moscow to the Pacific. The original route travels from Moscow to Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast, bypassing China altogether. A separate route travels from Moscow to Beijing via Manchuria and the city of Harbin. Finally, the third and most popular route makes the journey from Moscow to Beijing via the country of Mongolia.

This route is the most popular for a reason, as it’s absolutely amazing! From the mountain passes outside of Beijing in Inner Mongolia to the Gobi Desert and vast steppes of Mongolia, the journey manages to pack in a heap of scenery all before even arriving in frozen and beautiful Siberia.

The Trans-Siberian Railway chugging across the Mongolian landscape. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

What To Expect

Kick back and relax as the train plods its way across the exotic, barren landscapes. It seems that train travel tends to bring out the best in people, as the travelers on the trains are incredibly friendly and more than ready to strike up conversations with their fellow passengers.

The Chinese trains that make the route from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) are large and comfortable. They’re well staffed and the dining cars offer affordable food that is reasonably well tasting.

The Russian trains that make the journey onward from Mongolia into Russia, on the other hand, are quite a bit less luxurious and tend to pack in the travelers a bit tighter, which stresses the inadequately numbered train attendants.

The scenery from the Trans-Siberian just outside of Beijing on the way to Mongolia. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

Who Will Love It

Anyone who fancies themselves a great adventurer or explorer will no doubt love their time on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Whether it’s the camaraderie with the fellow passengers, enjoying the meals in the dining car or just sightseeing out the window, the trip is rarely boring. 

Who Will Be Disappointed

If you’re expecting an authentic rail journey that’s free of foreign tourists and offers insights into the everyday lives of the residents along the route, you may be disappointed. This rail journey, especially the Mongolia line, is very much for foreign tourists, as the passenger fares put the trip beyond the reach of ordinary residents and most urban dwellers would choose to fly instead of trekking across Eurasia by rail.

Travel Tips

Be prepared for long stops at the international borders of at least five hours each. While there is a duty-free shop and plenty to buy at the Chinese-Mongolian border, it’s a different story at the Russian-Mongolian border where the town is shockingly short of tourist-friendly amenities. More so, the train from Ulaanbaatar to Irkustk in Siberia does not have a dining car, so make sure to bring plenty of snacks!

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A panda lying on its back and eating bamboo underneath a tree.

Visiting The Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

China is world famous for its giant pandas, but unfortunately there’s not many left in the wild. Current estimates put the total number of pandas in the wild at less than 2,000. This is due to a combination of factors including China’s rapid industrialization, the limited amount of bamboo forests suitable for their habitat and the panda’s slow breeding process. But before you declare the battle to conserve the giant panda over, rest assured that China is doing everything possible to save its beloved national icon.

At the aptly named Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in Sichuan Province a lot of work is being done to breed giant pandas and release them back into the wild. The center welcomes visitors to help fund their research and while it’s not as exciting as seeing a panda in the wild, this is probably the best opportunity travelers to China will have to get up close and personal with a panda bear.

A panda lying on its back and eating bamboo underneath a tree.

A lazy day at the Panda Breeding Center in Chengdu.

What To Expect

The panda center is sort of a large zoo dedicated entirely to giant pandas and no single location in the world has a larger number of captive pandas. There are over 100 acres of natural enclosures for the animals where tourists can witness the pandas sleeping, playing and eating bamboo (so cute!). There is also the medical center where the breeding and research takes place. Visitors are able to feed and even hold baby pandas for approximately $150 US depending on availability.

The Research Center also has super cute red pandas! Photo credit Ariel Ophelia / CC BY-SA

Who Will Love It

Panda fanatics will be thrilled to visit the center. Families and children will also enjoy the center’s museum which has a number of modern and interactive exhibits dedicated to increasing knowledge of the giant panda.

Who Will Be Disappointed

Anyone expecting an authentic panda viewing experience will be disappointed. To be clear, these pandas are not in the wild, as the center has a zoo-like setting. While it’s a nice zoo by Chinese standards, it doesn’t compare setting wise with internationally renowned zoos like Singapore or San Diego.

Travel Tips

Visitors with plenty of time and money can get off the beaten path a bit and travel north to Shaanxi Province to the Foping Nature Reserve. Amongst the reserve’s beautiful mountainous scenery and bamboo forests lies the largest concentration of wild pandas in the world. Safari treks spend as long as one week in the park in the hopes of spotting a panda in the wild.

Panda’s live stress-free lives in the trees. Photo credit Hugh / CC BY-SA.

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Two pandas munching on bamboo in China.

On The Panda Trail in Shaanxi

Escape from the polluted and over-populated cities on China’s densely populated coast and head inland to Shaanxi Province to experience some of the country’s most pristine natural beauty and, if you’re lucky, to see the country’s most famous wild resident, the Giant Panda.

It’s not a stretch to say that Giant Pandas are the international symbol of China, as the bears instantly conjure up images of China’s extensive bamboo forests. Inside China, as well, the bears are absolutely adored for their serene temperaments and beauty.

Unfortunately, as most know, pandas are notoriously slow breeders and are now on the verge of extinction. Domestic and international non-profit organizations have literally been throwing money at the problem for decades now, but still the pandas numbers continue to dwindle and there are only an estimated 2,000 of the bears remaining in the wild.

Two pandas munching on bamboo in China.

Giant Pandas are known throughout the world as a lovable symbol of China.

The best chance travelers have to see a giant panda in the wild is at the Foping Nature Reserve in Shaanxi Province. This reserve is three hours by car from the provincial capital of Xi’an and is home to the world’s highest density of giant pandas.

Situated deep in the Qinling Mountains and amongst peaks that soar up to 3,000 meters in height, the Foping Nature Reserve has an astounding array of fauna and flora in its temperate forest that is rich with bamboo.

To catch a glimpse of the giant pandas in the wild tourists must spend a fair bit of time in the reserve, often on week-long nature treks through the forests. Because the pandas live high in the trees of the dense bamboo forests, it takes a bit of patience to spot one. Still, witnessing their trademark white and black coats in the wild is such a rare and amazing experience that it’s worth all of the effort.

Other animals in the park include red pandas, giant salamanders and golden takins (a beautiful oxen-like creature). Birdwatchers will also enjoy the nature reserve, as it is rich in bird life.

All in all, the Foping Nature Reserve is a world away from the densely populated cities that China is known for and is a rare bit of wilderness in the world’s most populous country that should absolutely not be missed.

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Visiting The Peak in Hong Kong

Victoria Peak, or “The Peak” as it's colloquially known, is one of the staple attractions of Hong Kong. From its perch 1400 feet above the city tourists are treated to a stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Harbour that is magical both during the day and at night.

The neighborhood surrounding the Peak was once the haunt of Hong Kong's colonial elite and is still dominated by hundred-million-dollar mansions and ultra-luxurious condominium blocks. In fact, famed Canadian architect Frank Gehry recently unveiled a new residential building on the Peak, OPUS, which was his first building in Asia.

What To Expect

Getting to the Peak is one of the best parts of the trip and a truly memorable public transportation experience, as the Peak Tram has been climbing the mountain from Central since 1888. The iconic red tram and its slow ascent up to the Peak gives tourists the chance for plenty of pictures and to soak up the views. To make the most of the experience, however, tourists should make sure to sit on the right side of the tram as it ascends or the left as it descends, as these are the seats with city views.

The iconic Peak Tram making its ascent from Central to the Peak Tower.

The tram's final destination is the Peak Tower. Just below the summit, this tower offers excellent views from its top-floor viewing deck. Inside there are a number of restaurants and tourist-oriented shops for souvenir hunting.

Who Will Love It

Anyone looking for fantastic views and a better perspective of Hong Kong's unique geography. The views are literally to die for and the Peak is one Hong Kong attraction that rarely, if ever, disappoints.

With views like this, how can anyone be disappointed with visiting the Peak?

Who Will Be Disappointed

Well it certainly isn't a serene vantage point, as the Peak is almost always crowded with tourists and tour groups. The Peak Tower itself is a bit of a tourist trap, which may disappoint some travelers.

Travel Tips

Get out from the tourist mania of the Peak Tower for a nice walk around the Peak on the Hong Kong Trail. This circular path makes a loop starting from the Peak Tower that takes one hour to walk and offers some relatively serene viewpoints of Central and South Hong Kong Island.

Stick around for dinner afterward at the Peak Lookout. There are some nice views from its peaceful garden terrace and the food is delicious, both of which make it a great place for a romantic candle-lit dinner.

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Exploring the Many Hutongs of Beijing

Amongst the giant tourist attractions—Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square—and sprawling freeways travelers to Beijing often find themselves wishing for an escape from the bustle of the city. However, in central Beijing—the most unlikely of places—visitors can find a tranquil peace of the city’s historic past.

Hutongs are the name given to a type of traditional small streets or alleyways, which are usually surrounded on both sides by shop houses and traversed primarily by bicycles. At one time most of Beijing consisted of residential areas and hutongs, but modernity and China’s rapid industrialization have taken their toll and now the city’s hutongs are limited to a few concentrations east of the Forbidden City.

A traditional hutong in Beijing. Photo credit Caroline Angelard

Start your exploration with a nice walk or bike ride through the Beixingqiao Hutong. This is one of the city’s biggest hutongs, as it spans more than 20 turns. Not far away the Qian Shi Hutong is the narrowest of the city’s hutongs and at its smallest point the alleyway is only 16 inches wide!

Of course there’s more to do in the hutongs than just walking around appreciating the tranquil history of Beijing. The Dali Su Restaurant (+86 10 8404 6913) is a Yunnan-style restaurant in the historic Xiaojingchang Hutong. The restaurant doesn’t have an a la carte menu, but instead patrons are served a set menu chosen by the restaurant’s excellent chef.

A bicycle rickshaw in a hutong. Photo credit Caroline Angelard.

For a more low-key dining experience check out the Islamic/Chinese restaurant inside the Nan Dou Ya Mosque (4 Douban Hutong) in the Douban Hutong. This restaurant’s house specialty is roasted lamb and lunch/dinner is very affordable.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the Yan Dai Xie Jie Hutong. This famed hutong’s name roughly translates as “tobacco pouch street,” as historically it was known for its opium-pipe shops. Today the opium-inspired shops have been replaced with cafes, tea houses and bars. Visit at night to see a sea of colors.

Can’t get enough of the hutongs? Spend a night or two immersed in the residential neighborhoods from the comforts of the Red Wall Garden Hotel. Situated in the Shijia Hutong, this charming hotel is surrounded by the historic hutongs but also incredibly close to the Forbidden City, which makes it a great base for sightseeing.

Stepping away from the immediacy of the hutongs for a bit, to the northwest of the Forbidden City and the hutong district visitors will find the Shi Chi Hai historic district. This area is situated amongst three small lakes and its streets are lined with historic temples and mansions. The big attraction is the Prince Gong Mansion (17 Qianhai West Street). Built in the 18th century, this mansion is a great example of Qing-Dynasty architecture and has some pleasant gardens

Visitors in the gardens at the Prince Gong Mansion. Photo credit Bridget Coila / BY-SA

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Visiting West Lake in Hangzhou

West Lake, in the center of Hangzhou, has been a top tourist attraction in China for centuries, having been immortalized in Chinese literature and art and appearing in countless landscape paintings and poems. While it may not have the same serene qualities that once attracted great philosophers and nature lovers, there’s no denying that West Lake is still an attraction of immense beauty that should not be missed.

What to Expect

Hangzhou is a modern city absolutely teeming with life, but in the midst of it all there’s West Lake and its tranquility. Surrounded by greenery, cycling trails and walking paths, the customary itinerary is to walk around the lake stopping to visit the many temples, restaurants and museums that surround the lake.

A scenic view of West Lake in Hangzhou. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

The east side of the lake is closest to the city and it’s lined with luxury restaurants and attractions like laser-light shows and dancing fountains. The north side is more remote and has a few pagodas and the burial mounds of General Yue Fei. The big attraction on the southern side of the lake is the Leifeng Pagoda, the top of which offers spectacular views of the lake. 

The burial mounds of General Yue Fei on West Lake. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

Don’t miss an opportunity to watch the sunset over West Lake from the eastern side of the lake. Treated as a daily light show of sorts, the sunset sees thousands of spectators flock the shores of the lake to enjoy the colorful reflections on the water.

Who Will Love It

Most travelers will greatly enjoy their trip to West Lake. From boat tours on the water to long walks down shaded paths, there’s a lot to like. Those interested in the cultural significance of the sites surrounding the lake will no doubt have an even better time.

Who Will Be Disappointed

Those expecting a tranquil experience in nature will most likely be disappointed. Like most other tourist sights in China, West Lake has seen a significant boom in recent years and the addition of tourist-oriented shops like Starbucks, Baskin-Robbins and more. More so, travelers who aren’t in good physical shape may find it difficult to walk around the lake in Hangzhou’s intense heat.

Travel Tips

Get off the beaten trail a little bit and explore the tea growing fields to the southwest of West Lake on Longjiang Road. This area is world famous for its Longjing Tea and travelers can visit some of the small tea-growing villages to watch the farmers in action and taste some of the heavenly tea.

The hillside fields where China’s most famous tea, Longjing, is grown. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

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The Other Side of Hong Kong Island

The perception of Hong Kong is that it’s a concrete jungle; a place where taxis clog the skyscraper-lined streets and shopping malls are substitutes for outdoor activities. That perception has some truth to it, but with a catch, it’s only the case for Kowloon and the northern side of Hong Kong Island. On the other side of Hong Kong Island, South Island, visitors will instead find small waterfront towns, beaches, hiking trails, markets, and a rustic, rugged coastline.

For the most dramatic introduction to the south side of Hong Kong Island start your day with the Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail. Situated on the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, high above the beach town of Shek O, this hiking trail was named one of the world’s best urban hikes by Time Magazine. It’s easy to see why. The trail ascends the 284-meter tall Shek O Peak and follows a ridge, all the while offering panoramic views of the coast, Shek O, Stanley and Big Wave Bay. It even travels through a forest and past several running streams before returning to the road.

The Dragon’s Back Hiking Trail high above the beaches of Shek O. Photo credit Dakota Smith.

The waterside town of Stanley is the perfect place to relax after your hike and have lunch. This picturesque town is situated on a peninsula that juts south from the island and is a popular stop for day-trippers. The big attraction is the Stanley Market, which is a small open-air market that winds through the small lanes of Stanley and has tons of vendors selling beachwear and souvenirs. After exploring the market head to the waterfront promenade for a seafood lunch at one of the many restaurants.

The small shops of Stanley Market.

In addition to its beach setting, Stanley also has some historical attractions. It was the first colonial capital of Hong Kong before the capital was moved to Central and it was also the site of the British Empire’s surrender to the Japanese forces during World War II on a day that would come to be known as “Black Christmas”. To learn more about Stanley’s fascinating history check out the Murray House, which is an original 19th century building that has been converted into a museum.

The Stanley Waterfront with the Murray House on the right. Photo credit Tegan Woo.

Another cool stop in South Hong Kong Island is the Jumbo Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen. This restaurant, with its bright and ostentatious neon lights, is situated on a platform in the middle of the Aberdeen Channel and is an easily recognizable symbol of Hong Kong. Check out the top floor of the floating restaurant, which is a seafood restaurant named Top Deck. Top Deck has an impressive set up with couches and tables outside, great views and a delicious seafood menu. Access to the floating restaurant is via a free ferry service from the Aberdeen waterfront.

The Jumbo Floating Restaurant sits in the middle of the Aberdeen Channel. Photo credit Tegan Woo.

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