Hong Kong has the big city specials like smog, odour, 14 million elbows and an insane love of clatter. But it's also efficient, hushed and peaceful: the transport network is excellent, the shopping centres are sublime, and the temples and quiet corners of parks are contemplative oases. The best thing about being in Hong Kong is getting flummoxed and fired by the confluences ...



Manchester A Quick Guide

Located in the northwest of England about 290 km northwest of London, Manchester lies at the meeting point of the Rivers Medlock, Irwell, and Irk. The Greater Manchester area comprises of ten districts, the largest of which include Salford, Trafford, and the downtown area. The downtown area has a population of 437,000, while the Greater Manchester area has a population of just over 2 million.

The city is bordered to the south by the Cheshire plain, and by the Pennine moors and to the north.Manchester was the principal city of the Industrial Revolution of the mid-19th century, and is therefore famous for being the world's first industrial city. Today it is an important centre for big business, media and the arts. The city is home to the world-famous football club, Manchester United, and hosted the 17th Commonwealth Games in 2002.Manchester has a wide variety of buildings from the Victorian era. This is due to its having been a one time global centre for the cotton trade.

Many warehouses from this era have now been converted into offices or apartments ? with the exteriors remaining untouched. The last few years have seen an increase in the building of skyscrapers in the city. One building under construction, Beetham Tower, will be the tallest building in the UK outside of London when complete.There are a number of sites that should be of particular interest to the visitor. The town is rich in monuments, plazas, squares and gardens. Many of the public monuments are to be found in two large squares ? Piccadilly Gardens and Albert Square, located in front the city's Town Hall.

Other sites of interest include the Great Northern Square, Spring Gardens, Cathedral Gardens, New Cathedral Street, and Chinatown ? the second largest Chinatown in Europe and the largest in the UK.

.Ronan Menton is the webmaster for a number of travel related websites and has been for some time in Ireland, associated with search engine optimisation in the Irish travel industry. He spends two months a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and now sees it as his second home. Among the many sites he is currently working on are the following: hotels in Bath and hotels in Boston.

By: Ronan Menton

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