Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Hong Kong Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Hong Kong

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Hong Kong (Chinese: ; literally, “Fragrant Harbour or Incense Harbour”), formally the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is an autonomous enclave on China’s southern coast, near the Pearl River Estuary of the South China Sea. It has a total land and sea area of 2,754 km2 and shares a northern boundary with the Mainland Chinese province of Guangdong. Hong Kong is the world’s fourth most densely populated sovereign state or territory, with 7.2 million people of diverse ethnicities.

Following the First Opium War (1839–42), Hong Kong became a British colony, with the permanent cession of Hong Kong Island, followed by the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and a 99-year lease of the New Territories beginning in 1898. During World War II, Japan held Hong Kong until British administration was restored in 1945. Negotiations between the United Kingdom and China in the early 1980s culminated in the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which opened the way for Hong Kong’s transfer of sovereignty in 1997, when it became a Special Administrative Region with a high degree of autonomy.

Hong Kong retains its own executive, legislative, and judicial powers, as well as an independent legal system, public security force, monetary system, customs policy, and immigration policy, under the principle of “one country, two systems,” while the State Council of China is in charge of military defense and foreign affairs. Furthermore, Hong Kong builds direct contacts with other nations and international organizations in a wide variety of applicable disciplines.

Hong Kong is one of the world’s most important financial centers, with the highest Financial Development Index score and the World Competitiveness Yearbook ranking it as the world’s most competitive economy. It is also the most visited city in the world. Its service-sector-dominated economy is distinguished by free trade and minimal taxes, and it has continuously been ranked as the world’s freest market economy. While Hong Kong is in the top ten in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita, it also boasts the world’s most severe income inequality and the most costly housing. The Hong Kong dollar is the world’s 13th most traded currency, with the world’s 44th biggest economy (in purchasing power parity).

Hong Kong is well-known for its spectacular skyline and deep natural harbor. The region has the second highest density of high-rise buildings of any metropolitan agglomeration in the world. It possesses the world’s most extensive public transit network, encompassing 90 percent of the population. Air pollution and political difficulties continue to be important and troubling issues. Loose emission limits have resulted in a high quantity of particles in the atmosphere. However, when combined with other variables, Hong Kong residents have the highest life expectancy of any state and rank first in the world in a study of national IQ estimates.

Hong Kong – Info Card

POPULATION :  7,234,800
FOUNDED : • British possession 26 January 1841
• Treaty of Nanking 29 August 1842
• Convention of Peking 18 October 1860
• Second Convention of Peking 1 July 1898
• Japanese occupation 25 December 1941
to 15 August 1945
• Transfer of sovereignty
from the United Kingdom
1 July 1997
TIME ZONE :  (UTC+8)
LANGUAGE : Cantonese 90.8% (official), English 2.8% (official), Putonghua (Mandarin) 0.9%, other Chinese dialects 4.4%, other 1.1%
RELIGION : eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
AREA :• Total 1,104 km2 /426 sq mi
• Water (%) 4.58 (50 km2; 19 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 
COORDINATES : 
SEX RATIO : Male: 46.78
 Female: 53.22
ETHNIC : 93.6% Chinese
6.4% others
AREA CODE : 
POSTAL CODE : 
DIALING CODE :  +852

Tourism in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city with many personalities; the majority of the population is Cantonese Chinese, although British influence is noticeable. It is a one-of-a-kind location that has absorbed people and cultural influences from as far away as Vietnam and Vancouver, and it boldly declares itself to be Asia’s World City.

For at least a century, Hong Kong has been a significant tourist and commercial destination for people from all over the globe, and it is now also a key tourist destination for China’s increasingly wealthy mainland population. It is also a major aviation hub, providing links to many of the world’s major cities.

The People’s Republic of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is much more than a port city. The tourist who has had enough of the city’s congested streets may be tempted to call it Hong Kongcrete. Despite its misty mountains and rocky islands, this region is primarily agrarian. Much of the land is designated as a Country Park, and although 7 million people are never far away, there are patches of wildness that will reward the more daring traveller.

Hong Kong boasts a subtropical climate with at least one season that will suit your needs. It has one of the greatest airports in the world, making it a perfect stopover for travelers looking to go farther into Asia.

While Hong Kong is a part of the People’s Republic of China, it runs as a Special Administrative Region with a significant degree of autonomy, thus it is virtually a distinct nation for most tourists. Visa requirements, regulations, currency, culture, and language are distinct from those found in the rest of China. Hong Kong has functioned under the “One Country, Two Systems” philosophy since its handover from the British in 1997, keeping most laws and government institutions from colonial times. Many Western-style liberties are unheard of on the Chinese mainland, and many Hong Kong residents are proud of it. The values of a free and open society are deeply ingrained in this place.

Climate of Hong Kong

The climate of Hong Kong is humid subtropical. Summers are typically hot, lasting from June through September, with temperatures often surpassing 30°C, while nighttime summer temperatures seldom fall below 25°C. Typhoons wreak havoc on the region, as they do on the rest of southern China. Typhoons typically strike between June and September, while some may strike Hong Kong as late as October. These may put a stop to local commerce for a day or less.

Winters in Hong Kong are typically moderate, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C, however they may dip much lower at times, particularly in the countryside. In comparison to many Western nations, Christmas in Hong Kong is considered warm. Because winter in Hong Kong tends to start pleasant and dry and then become chilly and wetter later, Chinese New Year is known for cold, rainy weather.

Spring in Hong Kong lasts from March to May, while autumn lasts from September to November, with average temperatures ranging from 20 to 25°C. Autumn is seen as a more agreeable season than spring, which is more humid and wet.

Although most buildings in Hong Kong have air conditioning to combat the summer heat, winter heating is a rarity. On the coldest days, most residents just wrap up extra, even inside. It is fairly uncommon to see clients dining at restaurants wearing jackets and scarves. Furthermore, several bigger Chinese restaurants keep their air conditioning on throughout the winter, but the temperature in air-conditioned shopping malls remains constant regardless of the season or weather outside.

Geography of Hong Kong

Hong Kong lies on China’s south coast, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Macau on the other side of the Pearl River Delta. It is bounded to the east, south, and west by the South China Sea, and it borders the Guangdong city of Shenzhen to the north across the Shenzhen River. The 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) region includes Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories, and over 200 offshore islands, the biggest of which being Lantau Island. The whole area is made up of 1,054 km2 (407 sq mi) of land and 50 km2 (19 sq mi) of inland water. Hong Kong claims territorial seas out to three nautical miles (5.6 km). Hong Kong is the 179th biggest populated territory in the world by land area.

Because majority of Hong Kong’s geography is hilly to mountainous with steep slopes, less than 25% of the territory’s landmass is developed, with around 40% of the remaining land area conserved as country parks and natural reserves. Because the original forest was largely cut during WWII, low-altitude vegetation in Hong Kong is dominated by secondary rainforests, whereas higher elevations are dominated by grasslands. The majority of the territory’s urban growth is concentrated on the Kowloon peninsula, along the northern coast of Hong Kong Island, and in dispersed communities spread across the New Territories. Tai Mo Shan, at 957 metres (3,140 feet) above sea level, is the greatest elevation in the area. Hong Kong’s lengthy and uneven coastline is home to several bays, rivers, and beaches. The Hong Kong National Geopark was added to UNESCO’s Global Geoparks Network on September 18, 2011. The Hong Kong Geopark consists of eight Geo-Areas spread over the Sai Kung Volcanic Rock Region and the Northeast New Territories Sedimentary Rock Region.

Despite Hong Kong’s image as a densely populated city, the territory has made efforts to maintain a natural environment. Furthermore, increased public concern has resulted in significant restrictions on additional land reclamation from Victoria Harbour. Environmental awareness is expanding as Hong Kong suffers from rising pollution, which is exacerbated by the city’s location and towering buildings. Approximately 80% of the city’s haze is caused by other regions of the Pearl River Delta.

Economy of Hong Kong

Hong Kong has a significant capitalist service economy characterized by low taxes and free trade as one of the world’s main international financial hubs. As of 2010, the Hong Kong dollar was the eighth most traded currency in the world. Milton Friedman originally labeled Hong Kong as the world’s biggest experiment in laissez-faire capitalism, but it has subsequently adopted a regulatory structure that includes a minimum wage. It has a highly developed capitalist economy and has been classified as the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom every year since 1995. It is a key center for international banking and commerce, having one of the highest concentrations of company headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, and is renowned as one of the “Four Asian Tigers” for its fast rise from the 1960s to the 1990s. Between 1961 and 1997, Hong Kong’s GDP climbed 180 times, while per-capita GDP increased 87 times.

As of December 2009, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was the seventh biggest in the world, with a market value of US$2.3 trillion. In that year, Hong Kong raised 22 percent of global initial public offering (IPO) money, making it the world’s biggest IPO center and the simplest location to raise cash. Since 1983, the Hong Kong dollar has been tied to the US dollar.

The Hong Kong Government has always played a relatively passive role in the economy, with no industrial policy and essentially no import or export regulations. Market forces and the private sector were given free rein to shape practical progress. Hong Kong is often mentioned as an example of laissez-faire capitalism under the government doctrine of “positive non-interventionism.” Following the Second World War, Hong Kong quickly industrialised as a manufacturing powerhouse driven by exports, before swiftly transitioning to a service-based economy in the 1980s. Since then, it has evolved to become a premier provider of management, financial, information technology, business consulting, and professional services.

Hong Kong evolved to become a financial hub in the 1990s, but was severely impacted by the Asian financial crisis in 1998 and the SARS pandemic in 2003. A rebound of external and internal demand has resulted in a significant recovery, as cost reductions have increased the competitiveness of Hong Kong exports and a protracted period of deflation has ended. Government involvement has progressively risen since 1997, with the implementation of export credit guarantees, a mandatory pension system, a minimum wage, anti-discrimination legislation, and a public mortgage backer.

Because the area has limited arable land and few natural resources, the majority of its food and raw materials are imported. Imports account for more than 90% of Hong Kong’s food supply, including virtually all of its meat and grains. Agricultural activity, which accounts for just 0.1 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP, consists mostly on cultivating premium food and flower types. Hong Kong is the world’s tenth biggest commercial entity, with total imports and exports surpassing the country’s GDP. It is the world’s biggest re-exporting facility. The majority of Hong Kong’s exports are re-exports, which are items manufactured outside of the territory, mostly in mainland China, and distributed via Hong Kong. Because of its geographical position, the city has been able to create a transportation and logistics infrastructure that includes the world’s second busiest container port and the world’s largest international cargo airport. Even before the handover of sovereignty, Hong Kong had built substantial economic and investment relations with the mainland, allowing it to currently act as a point of entry for mainland investment. At the end of 2007, there were 3.46 million full-time workers, with the unemployment rate averaging 4.1 percent for the fourth year in a row. Hong Kong’s economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for more than 90% of its GDP, while industry contributes for 9%. In 2007, inflation was 2.5 percent. The top three export markets for Hong Kong are mainland China, the United States, and Japan.

Hong Kong is the eighth most expensive city for expatriates in 2010, down from fifth the previous year. With 8.5 percent of all families holding at least one million US dollars, Hong Kong ranks fourth in terms of the largest proportion of millionaire households, after only Switzerland, Qatar, and Singapore. Hong Kong is also rated second in the world for the number of billionaires per capita (one for every 132,075 people), behind only Monaco. Hong Kong was placed second in the Ease of Doing Business Index in 2011, after only Singapore.

The Economist’s Crony Capitalism Index ranks Hong Kong first in the world.

Hong Kong was the tenth most popular international tourist destination among nations and territories worldwide in 2014, with a total of 27.8 million visitors contributing US$38,376 million in international tourism earnings. Hong Kong is also the most popular tourist destination, with roughly double the number of visitors as its next rival, Macau.

Internet, Comunication in Hong Kong

POST

Postal services are reliable and of excellent quality. Post offices are everywhere, and coin-operated stamp vending machines are available while the post offices are closed. Many convenience shops, such as 7-Eleven and Circle K, sell stamp sets of ten (OK).

INTERNET ACCESS

Unlike in Mainland China, Internet access in Hong Kong is not censored. In Hong Kong, all websites are accessible.

INTERNET CAFES

Because more individuals have smartphones and wifi-enabled gadgets, internet cafés are becoming increasingly scarce. When they are accessible, internet cafés charge between HK$20 and HK$30 per hour.

MOBILE DATA

Many providers provide limited-time 3G plans for as cheap as HK$78 per week. Getting a sim card is simple and painless: just go to a mobile phone store and purchase a card. There is no need to register.

TELEPHONE

Hong Kong’s country code is 852 (as opposed to mainland China’s (86) and Macau’s (853)). Local phone numbers (including mobile and landlines) are normally 8 digits long, with no area codes. All numbers starting with the letters 5, 6, 8, or 9 are mobile numbers, while those beginning with the letters 2 or 3 are fixed line numbers. The typical IDD prefix for calls from Hong Kong is 001, thus dial 001-(country code)-(area code)- (telephone number). Calls to Macau or mainland China must be made using an international dialing code. Dial 1000 to reach the operator. Dial 999 for police, fire, or ambulance services.

MOBILE PHONES

Hong Kong has first-rate communication infrastructure. The cost of using a mobile phone is low.

There are several cellphone operators in Hong Kong. Three, SmartTone, and CSL are the best options for travellers. Prepaid SIM cards are available from all three providers in micro, nano, and normal sizes. Recharging your credit card online (both Three and one2free accept credit cards from anywhere, though Three imposes a two-day delay on any online credit card recharge while one2free is instant) or by purchasing vouchers from retail stores, resellers, convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, and supermarkets. Plans with unlimited data typically cost approximately HK$28 per day. Some service providers, such as One2Free, provide unlimited 3G connection for a week for $78. Some carriers also provide LTE service. China Mobile provides a HKD $80 card with 5 days of 4G connectivity, albeit their network type is not compatible with all phones.

Mobile phone numbers are eight digits long and begin with the numerals 5, 6, or 9. It should be noted that the telephone system is independent from that of Mainland China, and using a Chinese SIM card will result in roaming costs. China Mobile does provide a reduced rate option for Hong Kong to its mainland prepaid users; a set charge of 2.9RMB daily or 9 RMB weekly reduces per-minute and per-SMS rates to mainland levels, while incoming calls and SMS become free. Data, on the other hand, is priced separately at 30RMB per day for unlimited usage.

Renting a Samsung Galaxy Note or Nexus phone at counters A03 or B12 in Hong Kong International Airport’s Arrivals Hall costs HK$68 per day and includes all local and international calls, 3G internet access, and a built-in city guide.

It should be noted that ALL mobile phone operators charge for BOTH incoming and outgoing calls (similar to USA, but different from most European countries, Japan, Taiwan, or South Korea). Except in inaccessible hilly places, coverage is great. Almost all operators give a decent signal, even when underground in areas like the MTR system, trains, and cross-harbour and other traffic tunnels.

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