HongKong Travel Guide
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong's population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups.
According to historical records, people have inhabited small villages around Hong Kong since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). They produced incense sticks, which were then shipped from a nearby harbor, hence the village gained its name Xianggang.
Hong Kong was a part of Guangdong Province until the Opium War of 1842, when it was ceded to Great Britain as a colony. Upon Hong Kong's return to China on July 1, 1997 it became a Special Administrative Region (SAR). Originally described as a 'barren rock', it is now a world-leading financial, trading and business center, as well as a
shopper’s paradise. Hong Kong is geographically and administratively divided into three main regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. The New Territories
also includes 235 outlying islands. Victoria Harbour is between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon; continually being narrowed by land reclamation. 96 percent of the population is Chinese with English and Cantonese as official languages. Hong Kong is also the world’s busiest container port, one of the world's four largest gold markets and has Asia's 3 biggest stock market. Yet not far away from all the lights of Kowloon and high rises of HK Island, you can still find tranquil fishing villages and beautiful scenic walks.
The name "Hong Kong" is an approximate phonetic rendering of the pronunciation of the spoken Cantonese or Hakka name, meaning "fragrant harbour". In 1842, the Treaty of Nanking was signed, and the name Hong Kong was first recorded on official documents to encompass the entirety of the island.
Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where "East meets West", reflecting the culture's mix of the territory's Chinese roots with influences from its time as a British colony. Hong Kong balances a modernised way of life with traditional Chinese practices.
Though it is situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate. Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms, and warm air coming from the southwest. Summer is when typhoons are most likely, sometimes resulting in flooding or landslides. Winters are mild and usually start sunny, becoming cloudier towards February; the occasional cold front brings strong, cooling winds from the north. The most temperate seasons are spring, which can be changeable, and autumn, which is generally sunny and dry.