Take a tour to Hong Kong and learn about its night life, where you can choose from clubs and bars of all styles and prices.
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The central plaza in Wan Tsai is the world’s tallest reinforced concrete building. It’s 78 storeys high and its observation deck is open to the public between 9:00 and 5:00. Looking down from there, the bird shaped convention center preens its feathers at our feet. A couple hundred meters from the plaza, on Gloucester Road, is the famous Noonday Gun, the cannon that fires a shot everyday at noon. Originally, the shot was only fired with the emperor arrived in Hong Kong or left the city. But it was made so famous by the song, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, that tourists pay to be allowed to fire the cannon instead of the soldiers. This turned into a tradition and the money made is given to charity. The place was made famous not only by the song but also a book and the film made from it. Richard Mason’s novel, The World of Suzie Wong takes place in the Wan Tsai quarter. Undoubtedly, generations of sailors tried to sleep off the effects of drinking too much rum or decided to kill some time or some of their fellow sailors in the brothels around Victoria Harbor. However, this world ended at least 40 years ago and is only remembered in novels that can be bought in the shining malls. Only two blocks from the once infamous Lockhart Road is Harbor Road that leads from the convention center to the Wan Tsai Sports Center. Nightlife in Hong Kong is bustling and not only on the nighttime market. We can choose from clubs and bars of all styles and prices. You probably won’t try Gaddi’s or the Veranda as these are the places frequented by heads of state, monarchs, millionaires and celebrities. 1 Harbor Road is also not a cheap place but this is where the Cantonese cuisine is most refined. While Mat the Fringe is a real eccentric bohemian place. Loose Jimmy’s Kitchen brings back the 70s and the nightclub, Bottoms Up is also reminiscent of these times. Some of the episodes of the James Bond adventure, the Man with a Golden Gun was filmed here at that time and the place hasn’t changed much since then. The Feather Boa is an entirely different art nouveau style bar frequented mainly by artists, TV personalities and musicians. The jazz club has a capacity of a hundred guests. Miles Davis made an appearance here once and no jazz star ever comes to Hong Kong without giving a performance here. The city’s most magnificent new club is The Key on Wellington Street. It’s not easy getting in here. When evening falls, it’s also worthwhile to return to the summit where a completely different panorama awaits us than in daytime. Hong Kong is only a small island secured to England by the Treaty of Nanking after the war of 1842. In a few years, the colonizing genius of Great Britain had established there an important city and created Port Victoria. This island is situated at the mouth of the Canton River and only 16 miles separate from the Portuguese city of Macau built on the other shore. Hong Kong must necessarily vanquish Macau in a commercial struggle and now the greatest part of the Chinese transportation is done through the English city. Docks, hospitals, wharfs, warehouses, a gothic cathedral, a government house and – streets, all would lead one to believe that one of the commercial cities of the counties of Kent or Surrey, traversing the terrestrial sphere had found a place at this point in China, nearly at its antipodes, writes Jules Verne in his classic 80 Days Around the World. 135 years have passed since the book was first published and now, Hong Kong’s capitalist economy works independently from the government. Because of the low taxes, many international companies have moved their headquarters here and thanks to this, the country has become a center of international financial and commercial life. With its high GDP, Hong Kong is China’s richest city and the region’s industrial, commercial and financial center. Financial life plays a considerable role in the economy. Many believe that before the arrival of the Brits, there was no real life on this now prosperous piece of land but archeological excavations proved that there was a human settlement on this seemingly desolate rock as early as the Paleolithic age. The region has been a part of China since the 3rd century BC. In 1127, when the marauding Mongolians chased the imperial family from the capital, one of the princesses escaped to today’s new territories and there married into the huge Tung Clan. The very first European visitor of Hong Kong was the Portuguese sailor Jorge Alvares in 1513. The Portuguese as the first European power had had a secure base on Hong Kong’s neighbor, Macau since 1557. The English however, only established their own settlement in Canton in 1669 and started exporting Chinese tea, silk and porcelain. Their beautiful and swift clippers never returned empty and their main import was wool and opium. The love of opium not only ruined the health of thousands of Chinese people but also led to the outflow of huge amounts of silver that was used to pay for the drugs. Emperor Xuan Tseng took severe action and had his soldiers destroy more than 1000 tons of opium belonging to the British. The Brits in return started firing at the harbor with their cannons. At the beginning of the 1800s, only Tsung Po-tsai, the notorious pirate kept the commercial ships of the coastal waters in fear. But by 1840, a war causing enormous damage broke out. The British flag was erected by Charles Elliot, captain of the Navy. With this, he claimed new valuable territories for the queen and fame for himself. It was dawn, a gray and frosty Thursday, the 26th day of January 1841. As he walked along the main deck, Struan glanced at the coast and shook with excitement. The war against China was over just as he had planned with victory, just as he had predicted. He had been yearning for the prize of victory, the island for 20 years and now, he would soon disembark to witness the act of occupation and to see with his own eyes as a Chinese island became the jewel of the crown of her majesty Victoria, Queen of Great Britain. This island was Hong Kong. 30 square miles of rocky hills on the northern side of the pearl river delta, the mouth of the south China’s great river, a thousand yards from the mainland, rugged, barren, its south coastline uninhabited except for a couple of small fishing villages. Precisely in the middle of the path are the terrible storms that break in every year from the Pacific Ocean. On the east and west, dangerous mud banks and reefs worthless to the Mandarin whose province it belonged to. On the other hand, the most important harbor of the whole world and also Struan’s springboard to China. These are the first lines of James Clavell’s historical adventure novel, Tia-Pan that also had great success as a film. After the first opium war, China was forced to sign the Nanking Treaty according to which Hong Kong and several smaller islands were placed in the possession of the British crown. Following the second opium war, the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutter’s Island were given to the British under the 1860 convention of Peking and finally areas north of these, the so called new territories were handed over to them for 99 years under the second convention of Peking in 1898. The English established a serious stronghold in the eastern region of the island in Laymun. Hong Kong has maximum protection from the sea. But in 1941, Japanese troops attacked it from the mainland and kept it occupied for three years. After 1949, from a military point of view, it wouldn’t have been a problem for the Pekinese government to occupy the British colony but an attack was never carried out. Following unsuccessful negotiations on the extension of the lease of Hong Kong to the British, a bilateral contract was drawn up in 1984 that stipulated that the whole of Hong Kong would be returned to China after the lease expired. However, it was also stated that the one country, two systems policy would be kept in place for 50 years. The British flag was removed on June 30, 1997 and a day later, the island was reannexed to the People’s Republic of China and is the country’s most developed part even today. Hong Kong is colorful by daylight and at 8 o’clock in the evening, a spectacular light and laser show delights its visitors.