Conference participants are encouraged to tour the following Chinese cities neighboring Hong Kong either prior to or after the conference, in order to get a more comprehensive perspective of the Chinese culture and to learn more about South China in general. Below are only some suggestions. Those who are interested are urged to plan their trips ahead of time, and to make sure the relevant immigration procedures are followed and the necessary and proper visa/permit requirements are met before they attempt to enter the city they intend to visit.
For attendees who are interested in exploring another post-colonial culture with a more laid-back atmosphere, Macau is a good option. A full day's excursion to the former Portuguese colony, Macau, which used to be the oldest European settlement in the Orient is well worth the investment of extra time and money. The enclave was reunited with China as a Special Administrative Region in December 1999. A sightseeing tour to Macau is guaranteed to be full of historical interests and cultural flair. Under Portuguese sovereignty for four centuries, tiny Macau has accumulated many historical monuments, such as the famous Ruins of St. Paul's, referring both to the facade of the original Church of Mater Dei and the ruins of the adjacent St. Paul's college. On the other hand, modern Macau is also well known as a casino hub, having surpassed other similar cities such as Las Vegas, Nevada in the U.S. as number one in terms of the scale of gambling operation responsible for driving the city's economy. It is the only city in China where gambling has been legalized.
To get to Macau, the TurboJet offers daily ferry routes between Hong Kong and Macau that takes roughly an hour's time by their high-speed vessels. Cotal Water Jet and Chu Kong Passenger Transport Company offer similar, albeit slower, ferry services. The ferries leave Hong Kong from the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central, the Hong Kong-China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui, and the Hong Kong SkyPier at the Hong Kong International Airport in Lantau.
For official tourism information about Macau, please refer to their Macao Government Tourism Office website.
Guangzhou's history predates the birth of Christ by more than a century, and is a bastion of the southern Chinese heritage. It is gradually developing into a major economic hub of the Pearl River Delta area, and has been ranked by the Forbes magazine as the second largest city in China for two consecutive years. If you want to get a feel for China’s incredible economic growth, you can find the answer in the sleek skyscrapers, fast cars and air conditioned malls of Guangzhou. Tourist attractions such as the Canton Tower, Asian Games town, Pazhou International Convention and Exhibition Center, Guangdong Science Center, and Chimelong Tourism Resorts are all testimony to China's incredible metamorphosis into a modern city. There is also the elegant and historical architecture of the Shaiman Island, where British, American and French companies traded from in the 19th century. Other popular attractions for visitors to explore are the Nanyue King's Museum, Guangxiao Temple, Baiyun Mountain, Zhenhai Tower, and Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Traditional entertainment such as Cantonese opera and circus might be of interest to those who would like a taste of the South Chinese culture.
One can travel from Hong Kong to Guangzhou by train, by coach bus, or by air. Maximum one-way travel time should normally be no more than a few hours.
For official information for visitors to Guangzhou, please refer to the website of the Tourism Administration of Guangzhou Municipality.
Shenzhen is the first Special Economic Zone in China. It is famed among travelers for its long coastline of more than 270 kilometers, which features many fine beaches. Strategically located in the South of China, Shenzhen serves as a portal for visitors passing in and out of the country. The city also boasts spectacular mountain scenery. Set just across the Chinese border, Shenzhen is less than hour away from any MTR station on the Hong Kong side. One extra travel advantage for tourists is that some citizenships and nationalities enjoy easy access to the special 5-day Shenzhen Economic Zone visa, requiring only the visitor's passport and an application fee as supporting materials, which cuts down on paperwork and the costs.
To get to Shenzhen, it is most convenient by train from Hong Kong via the MTR East Rail line
For information for visitors to Shenzhen from Hong Kong, please refer to the relevant webpages of the Hong Kong Tourism Board.
Situated in the northeastern corner of the Guangxi Autonomous Region, the city of Guilin is famous all over the world for its green hills, clear waters, fantastic caves and spectacular rocks. It is one of China's best-known tourist scenic cities, claiming to possess the "finest mountains and rivers under heaven".
To get to Guilin, one can go by the following route:
For some information on tourism provided by the Guilin Tourism Development Committee, please refer to their official website.
Zhuhai is predominantly a migrant city and another Special Economic Zone. It is located in the Pearl River Delta Estuary, soon to be linked to Hong Kong by land when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge project goes to fruition. For those interested in getting a glimpse of daily life in a typical Chinese city, Zhuhai provides a good snapshot. It is less developed than first-tier cities in the country such as Shenzhen or Guangzhou; and with its many islands and beautiful coastline, so that people tend to be much more laidback. The city is a popular getaway for many Hongkongers, and restaurants and bars have sprung up along the beaches and boardwalks to cater to the tourists.
Visitors can get from Hong Kong to Zhuhai by ferry. The Chu Kong Passenger Transport company offers routes between Hong Kong and Zhu Hai daily, leaving from both the China Ferry Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and the Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal in Central. Total one-way journey should not exceed an hour's time.
For official information to visitors provided by the Zhuhai Culture Sports and Tourism Bureau, visit their website.