Hong KongFor an island which is no more than 430 square miles in size, Hong Kong has many different aspects to it, and this mish-mash of influences and styles, combined with a tempo that is at times dizzying, makes it one of the most interesting little islands in the world – one that should be on any travel enthusiast’s to-do list.

Aside from a brief occupation by Japan during the Second World War, Hong Kong was actually a colony of the British Empire for 150 years, only returning to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. Culturally therefore, the island grew throughout the 20th century with an East-meets-West identity, as Chinese traditions merged with British systems. While some reforms have been made in line with the Chinese way of doing things, the fact that Hong Kong retains its own political system means that it has in no way become just another part of China.

Hong Kong is a major global financial center, and so boasts some of the finest hotels you’re likely to find anywhere. While small in size there is plenty going on, so it’s ideal for either a short stop-over on your journey or a longer break. If Hong Kong is on your travel list (as it should be), here are some of the best sights to look out for:

The Peak

Towering high above the claustrophobic hustle and bustle of the city skyscrapers is the Peak, the highest point on the island (it was this feature that led it to become the island’s most exclusive area, as the rich moved to higher ground for cooler, cleaner air). In the day you’ll enjoy the relaxing sight of the harbor waters giving way to the cityscape and the green hills of the New Territories, and as night falls the lights of the city slowly come through, merging together to create an astonishing galaxy of shimmering colors.

The Avenue of the Stars

Film fans have plenty to discover on the Avenue of the Stars, which celebrates the names that made Hong Kong the ‘Hollywood of the East’. Celebrity hand prints, plaques, movie memorabilia and tributes to stars such as Bruce Lee are dotted along the street, which winds around the stunning harbor.