Hong Kong informationHong Kong is one of two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. Hong Kong is a city-state, situated on China's southern coast, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea. The city is recognizable for its sophisticated high-rise towers standing out in the skyline. It has a deep natural harbour. Its metro area amounts to 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, according to the 2010 census. Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The population consists of 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent other ethnic groups.
After the First Opium War (1839-42), Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire. It was located on the Hong Kong Island at that time, but later it was extended to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and then the New Territories in 1898. During the Pacific War it was occupied by Japan, but at the end of II World War the British resumed control until 1997, when China took over the sovereignty. Hong Kong has a kind of political system that differs from the Chinese model. The principle "one country, two systems" applies only to Hong Kong.
According to the basic law of Hong Kong - its constitutional document, Hong Kong has acquired high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign affairs and military defence. Hong Kong is a leading international financial centre, its economy is characterised by low custom duties and free trade. The currency is Hong Kong dollar, the eighth most traded currency in the world. The name Hong Kong is derived from the pronunciation of the spoken Cantonese name, meaning "fragrant harbour".
Hong Kong locationThe coordinates: 22°16’42’’N 114°09’3200E
Hong Kong is located on China's southern coast, 60 km (37 mi) east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta. It is surrounded by the South China Sea in the east, in the south and west it is bordering the Guangdong city of Shenzhen, located to the north over the Shenzhen River. The metropolitan area is occupying 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) consisting of Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, the New Territories and over 200 offshore islands, of which the largest is Lantau Island.
The land spreads over 1,054 km2 (407 sq mi) and inland waters spread over 50 sq km (19 sq mi). Hong Kong claims the territorial sea waters to a distance of 3 nautical miles (5.6 km). As the surroundings of the city is either hilly or mountainous with steep slopes, less than 25% of the territory could be inhabited, therefore countryside abounds in parks and nature reserves. The most developed urban area comprises Kowloon peninsula, the northern part of Hong Kong Island and scattered settlements throughout the New Territories. The highest elevation in the territory is at Tai Mo Shan, 957 metres (3,140 ft) above sea level. Hong Kong has a long and irregular coastline with many bays, rivers and beaches.
Hong Kong weather
Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate . Summers are hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms and the warm air coming from the southwest. Typhoons can occur during summer, sometimes provoking damage from flooding or landslides. Winters are mild but sometimes the occasional cold fronts bring strong, cool winds from the north. Springs are moderate with changing weather while autumns are generally sunny and dry.
The annual average high temperature amounts to 25.6°C while the annual average low temperature amounts to 21.1°C. The highest ever recorded temperature was 36.1 °C (97.0 °F) and the lowest one ever recorded was 0 °C (32.0 °F).
The annual average precipitation amounts to 2,382.7 mm (93,807 in).
The number of sunshine hours per year is 1,842 hours.
Hong Kong history
In 1839 the sovereign members of Qing Dynasty forbade the import of opium what resulted in the First Opium War between China and Britain. Hong Kong Island was occupied by British forces on 20 January 1841.
Under the Convention of Peking, after China had been defeated in the Second Opium War, Britain acquired sovereignty over the Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutter's Island in 1860.
During the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was a free port, at disposal of the British Empire. The British introduced their own educational system, while the local Chinese population had little contact with the European community.
In 1983, the status of Hong Kong was changed from the position of British colony to the status of dependent territory. The governments of the United Kingdom and China were already discussing the issue of Hong Kong's sovereignty. An agreement in the form of the Sino-British Joint Declaration that prescribed the transfer of sovereignty to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 was signed in 1984. It stipulated that Hong Kong would be governed as a special administrative region, retaining its laws and a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer.
On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty from United Kingdom to the PRC occurred, officially ending 156 years of British colonial rule. Hong Kong became China's first special administrative region.
Hong Kong tourist attractions
The city is at the top of the world cities according to the number of 7,650 of skyscrapers and high-rise towers. There are more buildings higher than 35m (or 100m, or 150m) than in any other city. The lack of the ground suitable for construction, due to the steep hills of Hong Kong Island stretching at a distance of 1.3 km (0.81 mi) from the harbour, has caused the high density and tall skyline of Hong Kong's urban area.
The city has become a very interesting centre of modern architecture. The International Commerce Centre (ICC)- 484 m (1,588 ft) high, is the tallest building in Hong Kong and the third tallest in the world. It took over the leadership of The International Finance Centre - 415 m (1,362 ft) high. Other recognizable skyline features include the HSBC Headquarters Building, the triangular-topped Central Plaza with its pyramid-shaped spire, The Centre with its night-time multi-coloured neon light show, and I. M. Pei's Bank of China Tower with its sharp, angular façade.
Hong Kong attracts thousands of businessmen and tourists from all over the world. The Hong Kong government supports cultural institutions such as the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Hong Kong offers wide recreational and competitive sport opportunities despite its limited land area. The city’s steep grounds and extensive trail network attract hikers and its rugged coastline provides many beaches for swimming.