Hong Kong is an incredible city, full of seeming contradictions resulting from the mixture of Cantonese, Mandarin and British influences. This beautiful city offers visitors numerous things to see and do, though you will need to know what each of the city's disparate districts has to offer in order to make the most of your stay in the city.
Here is a brief guide, helping you understand what you will find in the city's districts.
Hong Kong Island
The island portion of the city is the site of the original British settlement and is also home to the largest concentration of skyscrapers. Hong Kong Island is the place most westerners picture when they think of Hong Kong. Here, you will find the main shopping and business district, as well as the busiest nightlife. The northern portion of the island is more heavily populated and more given over to business, while the southern portion is the place to go for beach and leisure activities.
Kowloon is one of the most heavily populated places on earth and is home to the majority of the city's residents. While the area is heavily residential, visitors can still find some great shopping and dining options. Most of the tourist attractions are located on the MRT line; venturing too far from the MRT will put you in more residential areas. However, signs and directions are posted in English and Mandarin, so you can usually find your way around.
The New Territories
Christened the "New Territories" in 1898, the area is an odd mixture of industrial and rural areas. Numerous museums dot the area, as do abandoned villages and industrial parks. The New Territories are also home to many of the most amazing temples in Hong Kong, with several being preserved as active historical sites. This is the area for farms and rural life, as well. Visitors will find tea plantations, local farms and even large-scale farms throughout the territories; the picture formed by the patchwork of fields is truly beautiful.
The Outlying Islands
The 234 islands scattered around Hong Kong make up the final district of the city. Most islands are home to rustic fishing villages, authentic monasteries and little in the way of tourist attractions. However, if you want gain a better understanding of rural life and historical village construction in the area, these islands are a great way to do just that.