Hong Kong is the epitome of the modern city and a crossroads between eastern and western cultures. Today the city is most famously characterized by its breathtaking skyscraper skyline, dominating its "fragrant" harbor. The hundred-year-old Star Ferry, which continues to ply the seven-minute route between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula, enhances the nocturnal magic of this unique maritime city, composed of China's southernmost peninsula and an archipelago of over two hundred islands. Hong Kong has always been something of an anomaly, and an outpost of empire, whether British or Chinese. Once described as a "barren island," the former fishing community has been transformed by its own economic miracle into one of Asia's World Cities, taking in its stride the territory's 1997 return to Chinese sovereignty. Beneath the surface of Hong Kong's clichéd self-image as Pearl of the Orient and Shopping Paradise, Michael Ingham reveals a city rich in history, myth, and cultural diversity.
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