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Life in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has a rich history and geography making it an Asian jewel steeped in European influence.

History 

Culture

Geography


 

History 

Hong Kong has a unique Chinese and European history which makes it the culturally diverse region that it is today.


Until 1842 Hong Kong, as we now know it, was part of China. In 1842 Hong Kong Island became a British colony. Colonisation extended to Kowloon and the New Territories between 1860 and 1898.

For centuries Hong Kong was an important centre for international trade, for manufacturing and as a major port, and remains so today. By the 1980s it had also established itself as one of the world’s leading financial centres.

Hong Kong remained part of the British Empire until 1997, when it returned to Chinese rule, becoming a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People’s Republic. It is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

While today it is formally part of China, Hong Kong retains its own systems such as currency, legal system, free trade and freedom of speech that had developed while under British rule.


 

Culture

The rich history of Hong Kong has given way to a vibrant culture deeply and equally influenced by Asia and Europe. It is a safe, modern and bustling city, with a mix of traditional and modern high rise buildings. Hong Kong couples a lively, active lifestyle, with a secure family environment; allowing the city to meet the varying needs of those who live here.

The “official” languages of Hong Kong are Chinese (Cantonese) and English. Locals primarily speak Cantonese, but English is widely spoken throughout the region by the many expatriates living in Hong Kong. 

As a multi-cultural region with a mixed history, Hong Kong also has many varied religions and is therefore a tolerant culture for a range of different belief systems. Within Hong Kong you can expect to find people practicing Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Confucianism, amongst others.


Geography

Hong Kong sits to the South of China, in the South China Sea. It is in part attached to the Chinese mainland (the areas known as the New Territories and Kowloon), and also made up of 284 islands of which the largest and most populated of the islands is Hong Kong Island, home to the central business district largely concentrated in Central/Admiralty.

While Kowloon is fairly flat and densely populated, the rest of Hong Kong is hilly and mountainous in places, making for a sharp contrast between the densely populated city spaces and the surrounding areas.

About three quarters of Hong Kong is countryside, with over 44,000 hectares of dedicated country parks and special areas for nature conservation. This makes for excellent outdoor activities such as hiking or cycling 

To the south of Hong Kong Island and to the east of the New Territories are excellent beaches which provide a relaxing contrast to the bustle of the Kowloon and the central business district on the north side of Hong Kong Island. 

Hong Kong is regarded as one of the most densely populated parts of the world, with high-rise buildings and bustling streets giving the impression of a crowded metropolis. However, over half of the population live in the New Territories. 

 

District

Per cent of population living there *

Hong Kong Island

18%

Kowloon

30%

New Territories

52%

* http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/factsheets/docs/population.pdf

 

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