Once home to fishermen and farmers, modern Hong Kong is a teeming, commercially-vibrant metropolis where Chinese and Western influences fuse. The former British colony became a special administrative region of China in 1997, when Britain's 99-year lease of the New Territories, north of Hong Kong island, expired.
Hong Kong Tourist Attractions
Hong Kong is governed under the principle of "one country, two systems", under which China has agreed to give the region a high degree of autonomy and to preserve its economic and social systems for 50 years from the date of the handover. Victoria Peak offers spectacular vistas
Hong Kong attractions
Hong Kong's constitution, the Basic Law, provides for the development of democratic processes. However, Beijing can veto changes to the political system and pro-democracy forces have been frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of political reform. China controls Hong Kong's foreign and defence policies, but the territory has its own currency and customs status. Hong Kong's economy has moved away from manufacturing and is now services-based.
Hong Kong tourism
The region is a major corporate and banking centre as well as a conduit for China's burgeoning exports. Its deepwater port is one of the world's busiest. Companies based in Hong Kong employ millions of workers in the neighbouring Chinese province of Guangdong. China ceded Hong Kong island to Britain in 1842 after the First Opium War. Britain later added parts of the Kowloon peninsula and the many smaller islands surrounding Hong Kong to its holdings. In the 19th and 20th centuries Hong Kong's population was boosted by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants from China, many of whom were fleeing domestic upheavals. Salzburg
Hong Kong travel
Industrialisation gathered pace, and by the 1970s Hong Kong had become an "Asian tiger"; one of the region's economic powerhouses. With little room for expansion across its hilly terrain, high-rise Hong Kong has among the highest population density in the world; some 6,300 people per square kilometre. Skyscrapers and temples, shopping malls and traditional markets sit cheek-by-jowl. But amid the urban hustle there are quiet parks and green spaces, beaches and mountain-top views.
hong kong flag
hong kong map
Territory: Hong Kong
Status: Semi-autonomous, special administrative region of China
Population: 6.9 million (via UN, 2006)
Area: 1,098 sq km (424 sq miles)
Major languages: Chinese (mainly Cantonese), English (both official)
Major religions: Buddhism, Taoism
Life expectancy: 79 (men), 85 (women)
Monetary unit: Hong Kong dollar
Main exports: Electrical and electronic goods, clothing
GNI per capita: $27,670 (World Bank, 2006)
Internet domain: .hk
International dialling code: +852