Hong Kong: The Fragrant Harbour of the World
Situated in the southern coast of China at the confluence of Pearl River estuary and South China Sea, Hong Kong is embedded with an exquisite coastline and natural harbours. This city, an autonomous territory of China, is widely considered as the best tourist destination there is. Diverse cultures, modern architecture, and natural beauty makes it one of the best places you will ever visit.
1. History of Hong Kong
Starting out as a territory under the Qing Empire of China, Hong Kong served as the battlefield for the first Opium War (1839). Under a 99-year lease to the British, it flourished as a city, owing to the free-port status that attracted trade and culture throughout the world. After a brief siege under Japan, British regained control of the city at the end of extensive talks and declarations.
The city currently thrives as an autonomous territory under China and is ruled by the Basic Hong Kong Law.
2. Night Life of Hong Kong
It offers a lavish array of options for nocturnal tourists. Delve into the illustrious culture of China by enjoying the Chinese melodies of Hong-Kong Chinese orchestra or be fascinated by the Hong-Kong Ballet. The city also provides ample opportunities for the party-lovers. Club at SoHo or Lan-Kwai-Fong and get ready for the high octane entertainment that Asia’s world city has to offer.
This city is also an international avenue for several festivals. If you get an opportunity, do not miss the Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong International Film Festival or the Winterfest.
3. Safety in Hong Kong
It is a safe city with low criminal rates. While, organized crime is virtually non-existent, petty thievery and pickpocketing are not unheard of. Therefore, it is advised to take general precautions to avoid any mishappening. Dial 999 in case of any emergency. The police system is very polite, friendly and helpful.
It is also advised to bath only in the shark-free beaches of the city to avoid any mishap.
4. Living Expenses in Hong Kong
Due to the high population density, it is fairly an expensive city to live in. While there is a high cost of living, the wages received are also significantly more. The city ranks 4th in the world for the millionaires per capita index.
Renting a 3 bedroom apartment at city center can cost nearly HK$ 38,082 (USD 4891.28) and roughly HK$ 23,341 (USD 2997) outside city centre. Tariff at a budget hotel is around HK$ 700 (USD 90), however if you feel like being lavish, Ritz-Carlton offers a stunning King-Suite at HK$ 10,000 (USD 1284) per night.
5. Cuisines of Hong Kong
Primarily influenced by Cantonese and Hakka cuisines, this city has a lot of hybridised and exquisite cuisines to offer. It is often regarded as ‘Asia’s Gourmet Paradise’.
The main staple food of the city is based on carbohydrates like rice or noodles. Due to the high population density, the restaurant industry is quite competitive. Gastronomy is a part of the culture with Hongkongers having 5 meals per day.
While you’re here, make sure you try the Beef Brisket at Sister Wah, Egg Tart from Hoover Cake Shop in Kowloon City, Hot Pot at Megan’s Kitchen and if you’re feeling a little adventurous, try out the Snake Soup from Ser Wong Fun.
6. Statistics of Hong Kong
It is the 4th most densely populated city in the world with 6,845 people per square kilometer. The population is roughly 7.3 million as of mid 2015. A majority of population (80%) claim to have no religious beliefs. Religions practiced include Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity.
7. Public Transport in Hong Kong
It offers one of the most hassle-free and extensive public transport system in the world. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is used by a majority of commuters. It is cheap and fast. Make sure you get an Octopus card made as soon as possible and it can be topped up online.
Other methods of transport include ferries and taxis. Both are relatively cheap. However, do try the funky tram at least once, it will be a great experience for sure.
Pollution in Hong Kong: It has been a forerunner in curbing pollution through various technological advances. The PM 2.5 levels are about 71 ppm which are a bit over the norm. In comparison, Delhi’s PM 2.5 levels stand at 180 ppm.
8. Weather of Hong Kong
The city experiences a monsoon-influenced maritime subtropic climate characterised by more or less uniform temperature and gentle rainfall. The annual precipitation averages at 2,400 mm.
Summer: February to April. Average Low: 18°C Average High: 23°C
Monsoon: May to August. Average Low: 21°C Average High: 30°C
Spring: October to November. Average Low: 16°C Average High: 22°C
Winter: December to February. Average Low: 12°C Average High: 20°C
It is generally recommended to visit this city during the winters.
9. Culture of Hong Kong
It has a rich culture which is vastly influenced by the Cantonese and European lifestyle. It is aptly termed as the place where “East meets West”. Feng-Shui is given a lot of importance in the modern day architecture.
The cuisine reflects the hybridised culture of the Pearl of the Orient. The city is also touted as an “Entertainment Hub”. Martial arts stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan hail from this city and therefore it is a premier hub for film-making. The government also supports cultural institutions like the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Make sure you visit the Hong Kong International Literary Festival if you have the opportunity to do so.
It is also a place for sporting events and hosted the equestrian and swimming events in the 2008 Olympics. The Hong Kong Coliseum and MacPherson Stadium provide multipurpose venues for sporting events.
10. Places to visit in Hong Kong
Things to do in Hong Kong: Jump into a tram to watch the view from Victoria Peak; try the dim-sums either at Tim Ho Wan or Luk Yu Tea House; ride the Star Ferry into the sunset; shop at Cat Street for antiques or Apliu Street for electronics; bet on a jockey at the Happy Valley Racecourse (Best of luck!); have high tea at The Peninsula and club till the sun goes down at SoHo.
Things to do for Kids in Hong Kong: Spend a day at the Disneyland Theme Park, ride the Ding Ding Cable Cars, visit the Hong Kong zoological and botanical garden, get fascinated at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Your little nomads will never get bored at this amazing city.
Museum and Galleries: Revel in the great culture of this city by visiting the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, spend time the Museum of Art; get enthralled by the vastness of the Hong Kong Space Museum. Relish the moves at Hong Kong National Ballet and make sure you visit the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
Places nearby: Take a day off to visit the Lantau Island, preferably on a ferry and pay homage to great Tian Tian Buddha. Hike to Dragon’s Back in the Hong Kong Trail. An escape to the Repulse Bay is also a must.
Offbeat places: Kadoorie organic farms are a great escape from the ho-hum of the city. Teaware Museum, although not frequented by tourists, is a great place for antique lovers.
A New York minute is same as a Hong-Kong second
is often told by Hong Kong expats. With great architecture, traditions and culture, this vibrant and dynamic city is teeming with energy that will offer you experiences which will be hard to forget.
|Languages||Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, English|
|Currency||Hong Kong Dollars (1 HK$= 0.13 USD)|
|Time Zone||DST (UTC+8)|
|Driving||Left Hand Driving, Right Hand Traffic|
|Helpline||Emergency – 999
Don’t forget to PROMOTE your Incredible Hong Kong using the Share buttons.