2. Hong Kong
“Is it part of China or not?” “Is it one island or two?” “Is it English-speaking or Mandarin-speaking?” This territory, made of multiple islands, returned to China’s possession in 1997 after more than a hundred years of British occupation. Upon its reunification with China, Hong Kong added certain stipulations that provide a unique degree of autonomy. For instance, the official currency remains the Hong Kong dollar, and English and Cantonese are the official language. In short, China and Hong Kong observe a “one country, two systems” policy that can have many foreigners scratching their heads. But don’t question it. Just accept it and enjoy everything this territory has to offer. Hong Kong sets itself apart from its Chinese family, like Shanghai and Beijing, with its vibrant, multifaceted culture and stunning cityscape. This British-Chinese hybrid astounds visitors with its striking skyscrapers and lush parklands. From sandy beaches to rugby pitches, there’s more fresh air than most travelers expect. As a world-class metropolis, Hong Kong boasts many urban diversions such as culinary hot spots and museums and markets.