The truly cosmopolitan city of the world – that’s Hong Kong. Indigenous currency, passport and legal network; yet, you see Chinese flags fluttering from its buildings and the governance being conducted by the Chinese government; still it doesn’t seem altogether Chinese. Confusing indeed!
Hong Kong was under British governance until 15 years ago. It was handed over to China in 1997. Officially referred to as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), the Island forms a sector of China, albeit with an enormous number of clauses and warnings.
Under the transference agreement between Britain and China, the Basic Law of Hong Kong permits it to continue with its own currency (the Hong Kong dollar), legality and system of governance for a time period of 50 years.
Thus, Hong Kong creates the impression of being a separate and independent country. Even for a visitor who is allowed free visa entry here, visa formalities are mandatory to visit China from Hong Kong.
Chinese citizens too need permits to gain entry and both the countries have separate borders and separate system of law . The Chinese government has an embassy here, managed by the ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. The Chinese currency is not acknowledged for trading in most places in Hong Kong and vise versa.
Main Tourist attractions
When you travel to Hong Kong, do visit the Victoria Peak – a huge peak tower which resembles a wok – and be blown away by the brilliant view. The Peak was a symbol of affluence during British occupation when it was an exclusive residential area for the wealthiest citizens.
The local populace was denied permission to reside here till the conclusion of World War II. The Peak Tower performs dual functions – it’s a platform which offers a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong and also has museums and a mall that offers some of the finest shopping and dining experiences. The traveler can reach the top in the Peak Tram that transports you through the length of the tower.
Holiday must visits
Views of Kowloon and Victoria Harbour can steal your breath away with their beauty; but be warned as air pollution can spoil the fun. So don’t waste your money to visit the observation deck. The numerous walk ways circulating the Peak Tower can provide you with equally if not more stunning scenes of all sides of Hong Kong.
Visit the Lion Pavilion Lookout situated on Findley Road. Its barely a minute’s walk from the Peak Tower. If you time your visit around 8PM, you can enjoy the laser show too. The rickshaw ride along the Findley Road offered by an elderly person outside the pavilion for HK$100 is another high point of this visit. This ride on a sunny day would undoubtedly be one of the traveler’s most cherished memories of Hong Kong.
Where is it?
Geographically, Hong Kong lies to the southern coast of China. It is 60 km to the east of Macau to the opposite of Pearl River Delta. Located in the South China Sea, it has the Guangdong city (Shenzhen) to the north over the Shenzhen River. The Hong Kong Islands encompasses 1,104 km² or 426sq.m. of the total territorial area, the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories including more than 200 offshore islands with Landau being the largest. 1,054km² or 407sq.m. of this consists of land with 50km² forming inland waters. The country lays claim to 3 nautical miles of territorial waters. Area wise, Hong Kong is the 179th largest territory in the world which is inhabited.
|Hong Kong map|