Hong Kong has developed from a small fishing village in the 1800s into a dynamic and thrilling 21st century cosmopolitan metropolis. The city is full of impressive high rises, has a busy harbor and is an important financial and economic center.
Hong Kong’s many industries are leaders in their field, including economic, telecommunication, technology, transportation, and entertainment. The most famous one is the movie industry, which has greatly influenced the movie industry worldwide.
Hong Kong is a fusion of many cultures. Remnants of its colonial past and the British culture and values share space with the Chinese traditions.
The gray Confucian temples edge against the western style churches, traditional Chinese festivals such as the Spring Festival and Moon Festival are celebrated along with Christmas, Chinese opera and Canto-pop music lead a peaceful coexistence.
Hong Kong is also a land of ferocious contrasts. Beneath the ornate exterior of impressive skylines and lightning-paced lifestyle beats the heart of old Hong Kong. CEOs and entrepreneurs light incense sticks at home and worship in front of a Buddha in temples for good luck and wealth.
The fact that many visitors come to do some serious shopping in Hong Kong may surprise many people. But if you have experienced the pleasurable shopping environment and mind-boggling shopping options, you will probably admire those discerning travelers.
Hong Kong is a shopping paradise which brings together all the world famous brands. Shopping malls, department stores, and boutiques cluster around the island.
Few visitors will have problems getting around in Hong Kong, English is widely spoken and almost all the street signs are bilingual.
About 70 percent of Hong Kong's 1,100 square kilometer territory is undeveloped country park land and there are many large areas to hike, camp, canoe, swim, surf, and have fun in.
There are four main areas with natural parkland or islands that are big enough to really enjoy yourself and get to where you won't see people or houses: in Sai Kung in the eastern part of Hong Kong, in the country park area north of Kowloon, on Lantau Island, and on Hong Kong Island. See Hong Kong hiking guide.
With an area of 1,110 sq.km, Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories and a group of 260 outlying islands.
Population: 6,600,000, 96% are Chinese.