China Daily (Hong Kong) - - IMAGE -

Vis­i­tors to The Peak on Hong Kong is­land look out over Vic­to­ria Har­bor, be­yond which lies the Kowloon dis- trict and the bor­der with the main- land. The ur­ban space be­low, once known as Vic­to­ria after the Bri­tish queen, formed the core of the Bri­tish set­tle­ment after Hong Kong is­land was handed over as a colony by the Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911) in 1842 fol­low­ing the First Opium War (1840-42). To­day as Hong Kong just had the 20th anni- ver­sary of its re­turn to China, the water­front re­mains a bustling com- mer­cial and fi­nan­cial cen­ter as well as the lo­ca­tion of the city leg­is­la­ture and other main gov­ern­ment of­fices. How- ever, along the streets that an­gle sharply up to Vic­to­ria Peak above, a more re­laxed pace of life en­dures, with bars, restau­rants, bou­tiques and more tra­di­tional shops lin­ing the nar­row lanes. Street art bright­ens many of the ex­te­rior walls with a whim­si­cal feel.

From left: A man walks down the slope in Cen­tral district, Hong Kong; a man in­side a bar looks to­ward a woman; pi­geons walk on the slope; a woman stands in front of a mu­ral on the slope.

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