Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hong Kong Overview

As the Chinese New Year celebrations are over, let’s start to get familiar with Hong Kong with some basic facts. We will then follow by ‘where to stay’, ‘where to go’ and ‘where to eat’.

Best Time to Travel Hong Kong
Autumn - October and November. These two months are relatively cool and without much rain. If you come in the rainy season of June, July and August, you would have to put up with high temperature (over 30°C) and humidity, heavy rain or even typhoon.

Hong Kong Geography
At the southeast coast of China, Hong Kong is basically built around the world famous Victoria Harbour. It consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and some outlying islands. Total area is around 1,092 square km. However we have a population of almost 7 million. So when you travel Hong Kong, you would expect to see a lot of people everywhere.

The Hong Kong International Airport is located on one of the largest outlying islands Lantau. It went into operation in 1997 and has been continuously voted as the World’s Best Airport since 2001. It is connected to the city in Central by Airport Express and the whole journey is only 23 minutes.

click picture for larger view

Hong Kong is a completely bilingual city. Chinese and English are the official languages. Most of locals speak Cantonese. As a matter of history, English is widely spoken and you would have no difficulties traveling here speaking English.

Hong Kong Dollar. Packed exchange rate HKD 7.8: USD 1 – since 1983.

Brief History
Hong Kong, one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, was actually a small fishing village some 150 years ago. Opium War in the 19th Century was responsible for all the changes – when British took over the sovereignty, turned this quiet, out-of-the-way village into a modern, vibrant and sparkling jewel of a city which is nowadays Asia’s World City.

In July of 1997, China re-gained her power of sovereignty over Hong Kong and established a Special Administrative Region (or SAR). In the exchange, China agreed with the British Government that until 2047, Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters, except foreign and defense.

More of Hong Kong history – visit my other Hong Kong Travel website

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