AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI51 Clockwise from top left: the imposing exterior of the Landmark Hotel; the Salon de Ning lounge at The Peninsula; the lobby at the LKF hotel; Lantau's Giant Buddha; a traditional junk boat; WasabiSabi sushi bar; Hutong restaurant; views from The Peak; sky- high drinks at the Excelsior featuring a 32,000- piece crystal chandelier, live sharks in an aquarium and Damien Hirst paintings, it's certainly a talking point, although the prices may leave you speechless. Salon de Ning at The Peninsula is also a glamorous lounge to frequent. CULTURAL ACCLAIM Despite its world- famous skyscrapers, designer boutiques and glitzy hotels, the city's most popular attraction belongs to Mother Nature, albeit heavily enhanced by mankind. The Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island and was a signalling post for ships in the 19th century. Today it has a tram, sky terrace, historical gallery, a tower ( with shops, restaurants and entertainment), superb views and beautiful nature walks as, despite its city status, Hong Kong's land mass is 70 per cent natural countryside. A trip across Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry is also a must; or cruise to the nearby island of Lantau where the Giant Buddha reigns supreme and the Tai O fishing village ( a sea communitybuilt on stilts) makes for an alternative day out. For journeysof a more lofty nature, the Ngong Ping 360 experienceis a scenic cable car trip offering wonderful views on a 25- minute trip from Tung Chung to Airport Island towards North Lantau. TIME OUT The finest spas in the city tend to be found wallowing deep in the tranquil hearts of the leading hotels. The Mandarin Oriental prides itself on honouring healing therapies of traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic philosophies, but at no expense to luxury. The Four Seasons has 17 treatment rooms and two spa suites each with a vitality pool for two, daybed, LCD television, private bar and bathroomand rain shower. The Elemis Day Spa on D'Aguilar Street is also a haven for restoring travel- weary bodies. Golfers visiting the island are also well catered for. There are three 18- hole courses at Fanling's Hong Kong Golf Club ( a hallowed institution since 1889; formerly the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club), a nine- hole course at Deep Water Bay, and further courses at Discovery Bay and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. IT'S A CLICHÉ BUT. Take a cruise on a Chinese junk - the wooden boats will take you back in time while the skyline brings you back to the future. ¦ Photography: © 2007 Hong Kong Tourism Board
New Zealand is renowned for its cultural wealth, that results from the seamless integration of traditional Maori culture with Western civilisation, whilst the two retain their core identities. Local artefacts are a testimony to such balance, with nature as a source of inspiration - exemplified by the artefact featured above - Frangipani Woven Waka by Peter Collis.