Hong Kong is often called the "Oriental Pearl", deriving it's name from the Xiangjiang River. The two Chinese characters in the name "Xiang (?)" and "Gang (?)" together mean the "Fragrant Harbor". Hong Kong was originally the name of the small settlement of present day Aberdeen. It was an important fishing and transit port before the colonial period. Some historians say that its Chinese name was derived from the fragrant incense that frequently wafted around the waterways.
With an area of 1,110sq.km, Hong Kong consists of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, The New Territories and a group of 263 islands. Located on the southeast coastline of China, it is to the east of the mouth of Pearl River and about 200 km away from Guangzhou city, faces Macao across the sea in the west, and boarders Shenzhen city in the north.
Hong Kong has a population of 6,900,000 of which 96% are Chinese. July 1st 1997 saw an end to British colonial rule when it was returned to China under the "One Country, Two Systems" policy. The Cantonese language is the mother tongue of the Hong Kong people but Mandarin language is becoming more popular and is taught in all schools. It has become a 'special administrative region of the People's Republic of China'. Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy with its own currency, laws and customs.
Hong Kong has developed into a very modern society. Many industries are leading the world, particularly in, telecommunication, banking, insurance and technology. It is one of East Asia's leading trading and transshipment centers. It has become renowned for its lifestyle and entertainment being amongst the world’s best.. Another aspect to this development and now gaining world-wide recognition is the movie industry. Many productions are now being screened around the globe.
Of course Hong Kong has always been famous destination for gourmets being noted for its restaurants and especially its Cantonese cuisine. But visitors can taste fine wine and food from every corner of the world. With its bustling and crowded shopping malls and stalls, if you can't find 'it' in Hong Kong then it isn't available anywhere. This vibrant city is "Shopper's Paradise".
Thanks to its advantageous geographical position, Hong Kong is well-known as an important world financial, shipping and trading centre for international business. It has a monsoonal climate with cool, dry winters and a summer wet season, it is easy to enjoy at all times
Full Name: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
International Telephone Code: 852
Post Code: 999077
Area: 1092 sq.km
Currency: The legal currency is Hong Kong dollar which is linked to the US dollar. Approximately 7.8 HK dollars equals one US dollar.
Time Zone: GMT +8, and the same as mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore.
Languages: Chinese (Cantonese) and English are the official languages. Written information is Chinese and English. Cantonese is the most widely spoken Chinese dialect and many young people, especially in shops, hotels, and service industries, can speak both Mandarin and English.
Regionalization : Hong Kong has eighteen districts, including Hong Kong Island's Mid Western District, Wan Chai District, Eastern District and Western District, and Yau Tsim Mong District on Kowloon.