Hong Kong's postcard-perfect views are legendary, but look closer and you'll find traditional life, tranquil islands and beautiful temples.

Cast your eye over this city of towering skyscrapers from the top of the Peak or from the promenade across Victoria Harbour and you could be forgiven for thinking you were looking at a vast urban forest that has left behind the history, tradition and culture of what was once a set of fishing villages.

The neon lights burn bright, but delve deeper into Hong Kong and you'll find a captivating and multi-layered city. In Kowloon the markets of Mong Kok offer fascinating glimpses into local life, which itself takes a different form as you discover the fishermen of Abderdeen and the beautiful temples sat in the shadows of gleaming towers and frequented by devoted worshippers.

Within easy reach of Hong Kong are forest-covered islands preserving traditional fishing communities, exotic eco-systems and idyllic empty beaches. Head across the water to Macau and you'll find a little slice of Portugal, overlaid by Chinese influences and joined by gleaming casinos.

The views here are astonishingly spectacular, but they only serve to set the scene for what is a dynamic and intense, yet traditional and surprising city. Twenty years after being handed back to China by Britain, Hong Kong is still following its own path.

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