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'''Hong Kong Island''' is the island that gives this SAR its name. Although it is not the largest part of the territory, it is the place that many tourists regard as the main event. The parade of buildings that make the Hong Kong skyline has been likened to a glittering bar chart that is made apparent by the presence of the waters of Victoria Harbour. To get the best views of Hong Kong, leave the island and head for the [[Hong Kong/Kowloon|Kowloon]] waterfront.
The great majority of Hong Kong Island's urban development is densely packed on reclaimed land along the northern shore. This is the place the British colonisers took as their own and so if you are looking for evidence of the territory's colonial past, then this is a good place to start. Victoria was once the colony's capital but has been rebranded with a more descriptive name, Central. Here you will find the machinery of government grinding away much as it always has done, except Beijing, not London, is the boss that keeps a watchful eye. Seek a glimpse of government house (香港禮賓府) which was formerly home to 25 British governors and is now the residence of the man they call "Bow Tie", the Chief Executive. Nearby, the Legislative Council (Legco) continues to make the laws that organise the territory.
Leading up from Central is the Escalator and the Peak Tram. The famous escalator passes through the hip district of '''Soho''' and takes you into the residential neighbourhood known as '''Mid-Levels''' because it is neither up nor down the mountain. Up top is '''The Peak''', the tallest point on the island where foreign diplomats and business tycoons compete for the best views of the harbour from some of the most expensive homes to be found anywhere. Most tourists don't go much further than the Peak Tram, but take a short walk and you will escape the crowds and be rewarded with some of the best harbour views. It is worth investing in a good map from leading bookshops in Central if you want to enjoy some of the superb footpaths that crisscross the island.