Avenue of Stars
The Avenue of Stars is basically a sidewalk on the shore of Hong Kong's Victoria Bay that is modeled after the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The sidewalk and pedestrian area has the handprints and signatures of famous Hong Kong actors such as Jackie Chan and metal sculptures of Hong Kong actors or film industry figures such as Bruce Lee. It stretches for about 440 meters along the shoreline, and there are benches and decorative plants. To keep people from falling into the ocean below, there is a metal handrail along the sidewalk. Some local people go there to enjoy the sight of the bay and the passing ships, jog, and enjoy the harbor air, and tourists go to see the light show at night and to take photographs. This sidewalk attracts a lot of mainland Chinese. You can see most of the tall buildings on Hong Kong Island here, and at night as part of the light show, music and dialogue are played.
The Avenue of the Stars is also a great place to see A Symphony of Lights, a spectacular light and laser show synchronized to music, staged every night at 8:00pm. This is the "world's largest permanent light and sound show" as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
A Symphony of Lights is put on at 8 PM for about 15 minutes when the weather is fair. The Avenue of the Stars is a good place to watch it, but it is best watched from a boat. Lasers, skylights, searchlights, LED effects and some fireworks are used for visual effects. Amplifiers add music and narration. About fifty of the big buildings on both sides of the harbor participate. The technology was developed by an Australian firm, and the show cost about 5 or 6 million USD to develop. The Guinness Book of World Records says that the Symphony of Lights is the world's largest permanent light and sound show. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the narration is in English. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, it is in Mandarin. On Sunday, it is in Cantonese.
The Avenue of Stars' main theme is the history and accomplishment of Hong Kong's film industry. Tablets for about 70 movie celebrities are set in the sidewalk, and there are about 30 pairs of handprints. At the entrance to the avenue is a big metal statue of a woman and a small stage for performances and activities.
The Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront area next to the Star Ferry Terminal and behind the Museum of Art, the Space Museum and the Hong Kong Cultural Center. The pedestrian area starts at Salisbury Garden that is a small public garden and ends at the Star Ferry docks.
In order to promote tourism and the large Hong Kong film industry that is influential in Asia, the Hong Kong Tourism Board and some branches of the Hong Kong government built this pedestrian area. The opening ceremony was held on April 27, 2004. The project cost about 5,000,000 USD. Actors, singers, directors and other stars put their handprints in cement, and these cement blocks are inlaid in the sidewalk.
- Sculptures, handprints and signatures of famous people in the Hong Kong film and music industry.
- A big light, music, and fireworks show that starts at 8 pm every day when the weather is OK.
- A pedestrian area for exercise and strolling. There are some benches.
- A very good view of the harbor, the passing boats, and Hong Kong Island.
- The major Hong Kong attractions of the Museum of Art, the Space Museum, and the Hong Kong Cultural Center are next to it.
- Enjoying the fresher air and the sunshine on the bay.
- Photographic opportunities with friends and family.
- Watching the passing boats and admiring the skyline.
- Visiting the Space Museum and the Museum of Art. Admission to the museums is free on Wednesdays.
- Visiting the Kong Kong Cultural Center
- Going to the Space Museum and catching an OMNIMAX style movie in their IMAX Theater. The standard ticket price is 3 USD or 4 USD depending on the seat.
- Best Time to Visit: Hong Kong is still fairly warm and is drier in October and November. The light show starts at 8 PM, but the evening sunset views are great. If there is a storm warning of Level 3 or above after 3 PM in the afternoon, the Symphony of Lights is canceled.
- Hours: It is an open sidewalk, but generally people come between dawn and 10 PM.
- There is no admission fee.
Nearby in the Tsim Sha Tsui area are four of Hong Kong's best museums and the Hong Kong Cultural Center. The sidewalk is behind the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the Space Museum. About a twenty-five minute walk away from the Avenue of the Stars are the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Science Museum.
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