Autumn travel is for colour, culture and smaller crowds – as these six destinations prove. When Britain’s summertime ebbs away to autumn,
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most modern and dynamic cities, yet beneath its gleaming skyscrapers and aside from its streets and shopping arcades of neon, Hong Kong can still give an insight into ancient Chinese customs and traditions. Explore the maze of streets around Western District on Hong Kong Island or Mongkok in Kowloon, with their street food stalls, flower and bird markets or venture into the little known green hills of the New Territories with their traditional small villages. Hong Kong’s transport system is a highlight in itself, especially the Star Ferry across the harbour or the Peak Tram which offers amazing views of the whole city.
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Situated at the mouth of the Pearl river, Macau is the oldest European settlement in the Far East, founded as a trading port by the Portuguese in 1557. Board a high-speed catamaran to Macau, a journey of less than an hour, and discover the city of Macau beyond the casinos. Visit the ruins of St Paul, formerly one of the greatest of Macau's churches. All that remains today is its magnificent stone facade and grand staircase, now a landmark in the city. Climb to the hilltop Penha Church to enjoy sweeping views over the inner harbour and city. Be sure to visit the Temple of Goddess A-Ma (Ma Kok temple), from where the name Macau originated, the Senado Square in the Unesco-listed Historic Centre of Macau, and the Grand Lisboa Casino.
Take the steep funicular tram up to Victoria Peak, from where there are superb views of the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island below, with Kowloon and the mountains of the New Territories in the distance. You can also see south and west over the South China Sea towards the outlying islands of Lantau and Lamma. Traverse the twisting roads of the south of the island towards the harbour of Aberdeen. Board a sampan (traditonal Chinese flat-bottomed boat) and paddle through Aberdeen harbour, where families still live on junks among pleasure cruisers and fishing boats. Leave the boat and take a stroll through the Stanley area of Hong Kong Island, where you can browse in the market or relax in one of the many restaurants and bars on the main street.
Escorted by an expert local guide, wander through the neighbourhoods of old Kowloon. Visit Wong Tai Sin, one of Kowloon's most colourful and popular temples. As Wong Tai Sin is the god of good fortune, worshippers come here not only to pray but also to have their futures told. Stroll through the bird market, a fascinating open-air park with stalls selling and trading all types of domesticated birds. Beautiful bamboo cages, seeds, and bags of grasshoppers and worms are also sold here. The Chinese hobbyists are particularly fascinated by song birds and birds that can speak. They will quite often take their feathered friends along to meet friends in the park or to accompany them while they eat breakfast in a restaurant. The nearby jade market is packed with dealers selling all manner of carved jade including bangles, earrings, ornaments and intricately detailed pendants.
See the spectacular skyline of Hong Kong from the air, flying in style in a private helicopter. Launching from the helipad of the iconic Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon, fly over Victoria Harbour to the high-rise buildings of Hong Kong Island's central business district and the Causeway Bay shopping district. Head south from Hong Kong Island to take in views of the coastline and beautiful bays, beaches and mountains beyond the city. Turn back towards the city and fly over Hong Kong's busy ferry terminal. End your aerial adventure back in Kowloon.
Avoid seasonal extremes, enjoy sweet-scented blossoms and spend Easter somewhere new, when you travel in spring. As winter thaws and new life
Whether you wish to embrace the season or escape it, these destinations guarantee an unforgettable winter journey. Contemplating a winter holiday? Then
Truly exclusive and exceptionally luxurious.
Very high class accommodation with superb facilities and service.
High standard accommodation, service and facilities.
Good standard accommodation, service and facilities.
Clean and comfortable with en suite bathrooms but limited facilities.
Very modest with shared bathrooms and minimal facilities