Hong Kong

Hong Kong香港

Population: 7 million
Province: Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region (HKSAR)
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong's population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups.
According to historical records, people have inhabited small villages around Hong Kong since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). They produced incense sticks, which were then shipped from a nearby harbor, hence the village gained its name Xianggang.
Hong Kong was a part of Guangdong Province until the Opium War of 1842, when it was ceded to Great Britain as a colony. Upon Hong Kong's return to China on July 1, 1997 it became a Special Administrative Region (SAR). Originally described as a 'barren rock', it is now a world-leading financial, trading and business center, as well as a
shopper’s paradise. Hong Kong is geographically and administratively divided into three main regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. The New Territories
also includes 235 outlying islands. Victoria Harbour is between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon; continually being narrowed by land reclamation. 96 percent of the population is Chinese with English and Cantonese as official languages. Hong Kong is also the world’s busiest container port, one of the world's four largest gold markets and has Asia's 3 biggest stock market. Yet not far away from all the lights of Kowloon and high rises of HK Island, you can still find tranquil fishing villages and beautiful scenic walks.
The name "Hong Kong" is an approximate phonetic rendering of the pronunciation of the spoken Cantonese or Hakka name, meaning "fragrant harbour". In 1842, the Treaty of Nanking was signed, and the name Hong Kong was first recorded on official documents to encompass the entirety of the island.
Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where "East meets West", reflecting the culture's mix of the territory's Chinese roots with influences from its time as a British colony. Hong Kong balances a modernised way of life with traditional Chinese practices.
Though it is situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Hong Kong has a humid subtropical climate. Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms, and warm air coming from the southwest. Summer is when typhoons are most likely, sometimes resulting in flooding or landslides. Winters are mild and usually start sunny, becoming cloudier towards February; the occasional cold front brings strong, cooling winds from the north. The most temperate seasons are spring, which can be changeable, and autumn, which is generally sunny and dry.

Currency Exchange 兑换
There are numerous exchange places all over HK and all banks provide exchange facilities, although most charge HKD50 commission. Virtually all ATM’s accept visa, MasterCard etc.
Credit cards are widely accepted throughout HK – most stores charge a service fee for credit card transactions.

Communications
Internet 网吧:
Pacific Coffee Houses can be found all around Hong Kong and has free internet access.

Telephone 公用电话:
You can make international calls from the hotel or buy an IP card. English instructions on the back.

Post Office 邮局:
The closest post office is on Nathan Rd, half way between Jordan and Yaumatei MTR stations. The GPO is just west of the Star Ferry Terminal HK side.

Take the Star Ferry between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon

Transport
HK is one of the easiest cities to get around.

MTR
The easiest and quickest way to get around. Well signed and announcements also in English.

Taxi 出租汽车
Taxis are relatively expensive, but they are available everywhere.

Bus 公共汽车:
Hong Kong buses, although crowded, are one of the best ways to see the city. They are well marked.

Hong Kong Attractions:
Victoria Peak太平山
  It's the best place from which to admire the lights of this Oriental Pearl. Peak Tower with its famous wok-like architecture stands at the exit of Peak Tram. The amazing Ripley's Believe It or Not! The exciting Peak Explorer Motion Simulator, and relaxing terraces and restaurants are among the favorite stops at this entertainment center.            Another favorite attraction is the Madame Tussaud Wax Museum with figures of celebrities including local movie star Jackie Chan. Additionally, on the northern hillside of the Peak, you can see the Zoological and Botanical Garden. It still remains a must in Hong Kong. There is also a wonderful, upscale Asian restaurant at the top called the Peak Café. Bring your camera and tri-pod to get a photo of the city lights. Shuttle bus from Star Ferry (HK) to the Peak Tram terminal, bus 15 or 15A from Star Ferry or a taxi (good value for 4 people).

Museum of History历史博物馆
A modern and well-presented display of relics. Also contains a model of a C19 street scene

Lei Cheng Uk Museum李郑屋博物馆
Near the Chang Shan Wan MTR stop (exit A2) on Tonkin Street. Built over a Han dynasty tomb, which was discovered when workers in 1955, The museum gives a unique look at an older side of Hong Kong’s history.

Yuen Po Street Bird Garden园圃街雀鸟花园
In case you are in the market for a pet bird or grasshopper. Near the intersection of Prince Edward Rd. W. & Yuen Po Street (a few minutes’ walk from the Prince Edward MTR stop). Aside from buying and selling pets, this garden is popular for older men to take their pet birds (locked in tiny cages) for fresh air and to gossip or play chess.

Victoria Bay:维多利亚港
Enjoy the open-bar hospitality at Hong Kong harbour, get onboard to a very unique cruise offering wonderful HK symphony of lights night shows. Here's your virtual guide to secure a perfect view spot and how to get there.
Situated between the Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong, Victoria Bay is the largest harbour in China and the third in the world, following San Francisco of the United States and Re de Janeiro in Brazil. The Harbour bustles with all manner of watercraft – from the historic Star Ferries to cruise liners, cargo ships, and wooden fishing vessels day and night.

Hong Kong Disneyland:迪斯尼乐园
Located on the Lantau Island, the Disneyland Resort is a must-see because of its special attractions and the inimitable sense of Chinese culture. Come here, you can find the golden past and the glorious future! Accompanied by Mickey Mouse and other Disney friends, you start a fantastic and magical journey.
 
Lantau Island: 大屿山
Lantau Island is one of the most remote and scenic areas of Hong Kong. See the dramatic Ngong Ping plateau at 460 meters above sea level where monks settled in the early part of the 20th century to establish Po Lin Monastery. Few statues anywhere in the world have such a powerful pull on the imagination as the Giant Buddha gazing serenely on the Po Lin Monastery from its hillside site at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. Enjoy a vegetarian lunch served by the monks before visiting Cheung Sha Beach, ShekPik Reservoir and Tai O Fishing village.
The Giant Buddha天坛大佛
The Giant Buddha is the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha. The Statue sits serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau in the middle of wonderful mountain scenery of Lantau Island. The majestic figure of the seated Buddha (or Tian Tan) is 34 meters high, was cast in China and took 10 years to complete. Weighing 220 tons, it was unveiled in 1993. Also, visit the Wisdom Path, an outdoor replica of the centuries-old Heart Sutra, one of the world's best known prayers that is reserved by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoist alike. The Sutra is displayed in wooden pillars placed in the form of infinite figure that symbolize the immeasurable splendor and infinity.

Shopping
Tsim Sha Tsui尖沙咀
Nathan Road (the Golden Mile) runs from the tip of Kowloon Peninsula through the heart of TST. Its shops contain every conceivable product from shoes to cameras, tailors to books and VCDs.

Yau MaTei & Mong Kok油麻地&旺角
Continue north along Nathan Road for a glimpse of traditional HK urban life (and its most densely populated). The side streets here house a wonderful array of markets specializing in plants, jade, fish, shoes….

Temple Street Night market庙街夜市
Cheap gear, clothes, CD’s, and kitschy trinkets (not to mention street food and fortune telling)

Mongkok Computer Center旺角电脑中心
Famous for software bargains, but much of the software is pirated and technically illegal to bring home.

The Jade Market玉器市场
Kansu and Battery Roads is a great place to bargain for jade of varying quality, as well as other kinds of jewelry and “antique” knick-knacks.

Central中环
Home to the business and financial world, it is also a major
shopping district and boasts many excellent restaurants

Stanley Market赤柱市场
Ubiquitous Chinese trinkets or cheap Western brand-name clothing. A quick escape from the rush the city, located on the south side of Hong Kong Island. Home to expats and wealthy locals; often crowded with day-trippers from town, it seems far from Hong Kong until you step into the Bazaar.