Postcard 26 was headed for Hong Kong or Fragrant City! One of the administrators of this blog, Ana Losada, visited this city a few years ago. She has told us many interesting things about HK which have helped us select useful information in order to write this entry. Hope you like it!
WHERE IS HONG KONG?
Hong Kong, officially Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory on the southern coast of China at the Pearl River Estuary and the South China Sea.
|Location of Hong Kong. Wikipedia|
Hong Kong is known for its skyline and deep natural harbour. It has a land area of 1104 km2 and shares its northern border with Guangdong Province of Mainland China. With around 7.2 million inhabitants of various nationalities. Hong Kong is one of the world's most densely populated metropolises.
|Hong Kong Harbour. MK2010. Wikimedia Commons|
HONG KONG IS FAMOUS FOR...
… being the place where “East Meets West”, reflecting the influence of the British during its time as a colony (1841-1997). Hong Kong handover ceremony took place on July 1st , 1997. Hong Kong belongs to China but has political autonomy in all matters except foreign relations and military defence.
|A street in HK island that conmemorates 1997 transfer of sovereignity. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
…being the "Cantonese Speaking Capital of the World."
|Cantonese writing system. Freelanguage.org|
… being the world's most vertical city, with two hundred and ninety-three buildings higher than five hundred feet -- sixty more than second-place New York City.
|HK skyscrapers. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
… And last but not least, Hong Kong stands as the 3rd most important financial center, after London and New York City. The Hong Kong dollar is the eighth most traded currency in the world.
|HK dollars. Norman Can. Shutterstock|
PLACES TO VISIT
Hong Kong Harbour
|Night view of HK harbour from The Peak. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
HK has the world’s largest fleet of ferries and double-deck trams. Taking the ferry is very cheap, the Star Ferry Route connects HK Island with Kowloon District for less than 1 euro.
|The Peak Tram. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
The Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island, which has been the city’s most exclusive neighbourhood since colonial times – back then it was the cooler air that attracted the rich and famous; in the post air-conditioning era, the views of one of the world’s most spectacular cityscapes keep them coming. That view is also what makes The Peak one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong.
|Ladies' Market. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
With over 100 stalls of bargain clothing, accessories and souvenirs, the Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street provides a one-kilometre stretch on which to practise your haggling skills. It gets its name from the huge amount of clothing and accessories on sale for women of all ages; however, with watches, cosmetics, bags, home furnishings, CDs and trinkets also up for grabs, you don’t need to be just in the market for a pair of nylon stockings to find something within its crowded aisles.
The Old Clock Tower
|Old clock tower. Discover Hong Kong|
The old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. The once-bustling station is long gone, but this red brick and granite tower, now preserved as a Declared Monument, survives as an elegant reminder of the Age of Steam. It has also been a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through the terminus to begin new lives not just in Hong Kong, but in other parts of the world via the city’s harbour.
Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha
Reached by a 25 minute ride by cable car, Lantau island includes wonderful sites like the Gnongs Ping Village, Giant Buddha (1993), Po Lin Monastery and Wisdom Path.
|Giant Buddha. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
|Giant Buddha. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
|Po Lin Monastery. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
Hong Kong is a city where “East Meets West” and “Past times meet the present day” While the city is full of ultra-modern buildings, remnants of old Hong Kong remain apparent in its many historical buildings.
|Hong Kong Park. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
Another popular tradition the city preserves is Dim Sum: a typically Hong Kong breakfast that many restaurants start serving as 5am, it’s a must!
|Dim sum. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
It is said that New York is the city that never sleeps; well, the same can be said of Hong Kong: restaurants, supermarkets and other types of shop are open 24/7.
|Hong Kong Tam.. Photo courtesy of Ana Losada|
Thank you Ana for your help!
|Ana with her Hongkonese friends, Perry and Mei|
Watch this video to discover "hidden" Hong Kong: