The first thing that strikes most visitors to Hong Kong are the very different cultures and societies at work here. It would be easy to dismiss Hong Kong simply as a fascinating combination of East and West but it is much, much more than this with a unique and distinctive culture of its own.
Over the years, Hong Kong has maintained and established a fascinating and intriguing Chinese culture. Traditional food, clothing, ceremonies and values existing here are an almost idealized version of Chinese culture as it is seen in the west. From the active little Temples such as the Man Mo on Hong Kong's winding streets, to the bustling alleys in Mongkok, the existence of a very genuine and real Chinese way of life is evident here.
Sitting side by side with this traditional culture, is a vibrant, efficient and modern side to the city. Hong Kong is incredibly productive and advanced. The economy here, (while no longer booming as it was in the 1980s) is still remarkably buoyant despite the threat from Shanghai on the mainland. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the center of financial power in East Asia and the thousands of well dressed workers who pour in and out of Central's office buildings and banks every day are a living symbol of the wealth at work in the city. In terms of commerce, the selection of shops and the range of goods and clothing available here is among the best in the world. The subway, trams, train system and business centers are remarkably efficient and among the best in the world. Hong Kong's new architecture too is a fabulous example of the fashionable and contemporary importance of this territory. The Bank of China and the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank are design masterpieces recognized throughout the world. The people living this modern way of life are a unique bunch too.