Country - Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Hong Kong Country Information

Hong Kong is one of the busiest trade capitals of the world and is abuzz with commercial activity. It is an upscale metropolis famous for maximum number of skyscrapers in the world. The entire region comprises mainly three territories Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories.

Hong Kong was a former British Colony and was handed over to China by Britain in 1997 on expiry of the lease period for 99 years. Since then, the erstwhile British Colony gained the status of special administrative region of China and its own system of self-governance and high degree of autonomy under the principle “One Country – Two Systems” under which China has consented to preserve economic and social systems of the zone for fifty years with effect from the date of handover on July 1st, 1997.

As per the estimate in 2018, the total population of Hong Kong was 7,448,900 and the average density of population very high at 6777 per square kilometer ranking 4th in the world. The per capita GDP (nominal) was recorded as US $48,231. The country is of mixed economy featuring least intervention by government in trade practices. Hong Kong is deficient in fertile land and natural resources and is largely dependent on imports even for food materials. The strategic importance of geographic location of the city and the ever increasing quantum of shipment made the seashore of Hong Kong which was once serene and under-populated one of the busiest harbours in the world.

Hong Kong exports mainly electric machinery and appliances, textiles, apparel, footwear, watches, precious and printed materials. The chief imports include consumer goods, raw materials and semi-finished goods, food stuffs and capital goods. Hong Kong imported goods worth US $550 billion and exported merchandise priced at US $120 billion in 2016, with a trade deficit of US $430 billion.

In addition to being a busy hub of commercial activity, Hong Kong is the centerpiece of several tourist attractions. The most striking iconic statue is the 34 meter-tall Buddha which is considered as the highest sitting bronze idol (seated outdoors) in the world. To reach the feet of the statue, one has to climb up 268 steps to get a close-up view of the mammoth form. An aerial view at the statue gives the impression that Buddha is meditating peacefully by the water front, while all the big trees in the vicinity seem to occupy a large area of vegetation like dense thickets.

The Star Ferry is the best trip between Hong Kong and Kowloon while viewing the skyline of Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour. The ferry ride is said to be extremely cheap as against the cost of living in Hong Kong. The scene of the distant conglomeration of buildings is familiar sight that appears occasionally in Hollywood movies.

 

The passing show of Hong Kong’s skyscrapers can be enjoyed from the ascent of slope in a tram ride which takes the passengers to the highest peak of the land, at 1300 feet above sea level. At the summit, the viewing deck in the shape of anvil-shaped tower is the best suitable point for beholding the aerial view of the metropolis.

The Temple Street is littered with small vending shops selling multifarious knick-knacks, electronic gadgets, clothes, wall hangings and several miscellaneous items. A walk along four kilometer from the Temple Street leads to the hub of entertainment, called LKF.  Every nightfall brings a sudden upsurge of recreational activities in the area of LKF (Lan Kwai Fong) where people after a day of work gather for relaxing and pampering themselves to enjoy the hype of jubilation.

The most colourful and attractive sight in Hong Kong is “the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery”. Visitors are required to climb 431 steps or walk on the adjacent gradient walkway to reach the top of the monastery. The entire walkway is flanked on both sides by the life-size statues of gold painted Buddhist monks, some of them seated in Lotus position and some of them  riding various quadruped mammals. Some of them even seem to greet the visitors to preach divine secrets earnestly all along the way to the apex of the site. The red walled monastery building carved in with the figure of a plumpy Buddhist monk (Man Fat Size) houses an array of 12000 gold painted Buddha statues.

One of the top ten bars in the world, The Old Man, takes pride in serving the customers its own composition of blended beverages which are of unique taste to savour.  When the tavern is said to win the world-class rankings, it naturally attracts the attention of international tourists keen on testing different tastes.

The Ocean Park is a big campus nurturing wide variety of marine animals and terrestrial life. More popular among the furry mammals are the cute pandas chewing their favourite bamboo leaf blades. The Grand Aquarium consists of 5000 species of fishes and the visitors can personally get playsome with dolphins, watch in admiration crawling seals and pootling penguins.

Victoria Harbour is a centre of attraction in itself. But when the Chinese New year approaches, the place gets profusely illuminated with fireworks. Curious visitors from all over the world and locals swarm together to watch the extravaganza without batting an eye lid when pyrotechnics unfurl the spectacular display of brilliant colours and non-stop continuous blast of multi-chromatic recreative explosions that last about half of an hour in the night sky. The entire area of Victoria Harbour gleams up under the shade of fantastic luminescence. The happiness that is supposed to be enjoyed all through the year seems to be shrunk to a single day.

The offshore island called Tung Ping Chau is a natural wonder that amuses visitors with mysterious rock formations in esoteric shapes. The island is to the northeast side of Hong Kong and pretty close to Shenzhen of China. The boat ride to the island from Ma Liu Shui is a pleasant journey enjoyable by tourists long before reaching the Tung Ping Chau Island. The weird formation of rocks and scenic surroundings are the exclusive lure of the site.

All the possible shades of colours in the universe seem to converge at the Dragon Boat Festival on the eve of the traditional Chinese Festival. It is a vast sea of humanity gathered to watch the large celebration that occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of Lunar Calendar Year (coming usually in May or June). Conglomeration of thousands of visitors/ participants has forced the festivities to spread recently to various beaches like Victoria Harbour and Stanley Beach.

Every year, the greatest detonation of music comes up in Hong Kong in the form of deafening sound fete called “Clockenflap” which is perceived by some as the Southeast Asian counterpart to Coachella of USA and Glastonbury of England. Clockenflap was the series of entertainment by as many as 31 music bands that handled the repertoire in 2018. To understand the enormity of the extravaganza, it is appropriate to cast a glance over the details of different groups of orchestra from all over the world.

The line-ups mind-bogglingly comprised 31 groups of musicians in 2018  like Interpole (USA), David Byrne (USA), Khalid (USA), Anpu (Taiwan), Caribou (Canada), The Vaccines (United Kingdom), Wolf Alice (United Kingdom), Amadou and Marium (Mali), Cornelius (Japan), Rhye (Canada), Alvvays (Canada), Eats Everything (United Kingdom), Peking Duk (Australia), Mija (United States), Blawan (United Kingdom), GDJYB (Hong Kong), Roni Size (United Kingdom), Rone (France), Swindle (United Kingdom), Sunfower Bean (United States), Youngr (United Kingdom), Shame (United Kingdom), D.A.N. (United Kingdom), 9M88 (Taiwan), Chancha Via Circuito (Argentina), Bodega (United States), Blue Hawaii (Canada), Lydmor (Denmark), Bohan Phoenix (China), Cifika (South Korea) and Cocoonics (Hong Kong).

Hong Kong is superabundant in sightseeing places and the venues of entertainment, too numerous to remember. The land is hyper active not only in commercial and trading activities but in international tourism as well. Visitors to this vibrant land are advised to earmark sufficiently long spell of time to make their trip truly eclectic.