Avenue of Stars
Located on the very upscale Victoria Harbor promenade, Tsim Sha Tsui (which has no immediate English-language translation), on Hong Kong's "mainland" peninsula, Kowloon, the Avenue of Stars is modelled after its Hollywood forerunner, the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Just as with the latter promenade, Hong Kong's Avenue of Stars has a special metal star embedded in a plaque that is inset in the sidewalk for every major Hong Kong film celebrity, with the hand prints of a number of the celebrities in question alongside the embedded metal star. The list of film industry celebrities honored on the Avenue of Stars includes not only actors, but also producers, directors and other well-deserving members of the Hong Kong film industry.
Not surprisingly, given that Hong Kong has long been the showcase of the film industry in the Far East (Hong Kong is often referred to as the "Hollywood of the Orient"), Victoria Harbor's Avenue of Stars is one of the city's most popular attractions, both with the local residents as well as with visitors from mainland China and from abroad. In all, 73 of Hong Kong's film-industry celebrities have been singled out for Avenue of Stars recognition, 30 of whom also have their hand prints (an impression of the celebrity's hands in wet cement) – some with an autograph – shown alongside the metal star embedded in the sidewalk in their honor. The main reason why there are not hand prints for all of the celebrities on the Avenue of Stars is that many of them were honored in this way posthumously, the Avenue of Stars being a relatively recent Hong Kong creation; work on the promenade, or Tsim Sha Tsui, began in 1982, while the Avenue of Stars project commenced first in 2003 and was opened to the public in 2004.
At the Salisbury Gardens entrance to the Avenue of Stars stands an oversized (4 ½ meter high) Hong Kong Film Awards Association statue, in bronze, the Hong Kong equivalent of Holywood's famous Oscar trophy. On the avenue is also a life-sized statue of Hong Kong's perhaps most famous actor, the legendary Kung-Fu star, Bruce Lee. A small theatre stage is situated on the avenue, used for special performances and for special media events. The promenade is tastefully dotted with souvenir and snack shops, and interspersed with park benches where one can pause and enjoy the view of the harbor. In among the shops and the park benches are various film-industry-related sculptures, which enhance the artistic atmosphere of the Avenue of Stars. As a unique and fresh feature - albeit, reminiscent of city parks in California in the US - "mobile" (i.e., on roller skates) tourist guides, aptly called Star Ambassadors, are at the beck and call of tourists in need of orientation, or who are curious about the various celebrities represented on the Avenue of Stars (many of the celebrities honored here are not widely known outside China).
Strolling along the Avenue of Stars, the visitor can enjoy the beauty of adjacent Victoria Harbor itself, as well as the famous skyscraper skyline of Hong Kong Island across Victoria Channel. In addition, the evening multimedia experience, "A Symphony of Lights", that lights up Hong Kong Island's skyscraper skyline, replete with music and fireworks, is best viewed from the Avenue of Stars, as the perspective is unparalelled from across the channel, and the multicolored reflections that dance on the waves below provide an added dimension to this unique multimedia experience.
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