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Facts About Hong Kong That'll Pretty Much Grab Your Interest

Facts about Hong Kong
A majority of people are confused whether Hong Kong is a city or a country. This region in Asia has a very unique kind of governance policy which was adopted by a treaty between the British and the Chinese. This article consists of some interesting facts about the vibrant Hong Kong!
Stephen Rampur
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
It is said that Hong Kong is one of the most developed places on the globe. It is amongst the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China; the other one being Macau. You will find that this country is located in the eastern part of the Asian continent, on the south coast of China. It is quite famous for its natural harbor, cultural heritage, an extended skyline, and scenic beauty. Most of us might wonder if it is a proper city, a region or a separate country altogether. One of the most interesting facts about Hong Kong is that until 1997, it was under the rule of the United Kingdom and was run by a governor. During its handover by the UK to China in 1997, there were about 30,000 Britishers staying there. Geographically, it is a part of China, but functionally it is not.

Hong Kong Governance - The Basic Law

The Basic Law is a contract between China and UK regarding the overall administration. It follows the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle, which is why there are many debates on the ownership of Hong Kong as a separate region or a part of China. As per law, the socialism adopted in China is not applicable in Hong Kong. A capitalist system is implemented instead. It also includes clauses that Hong Kong will have its own separate currency and government system for 50 years from 1997. This is where this city is different from China in terms of governance. Remember that China has control over the city's defense and foreign affairs, but is not involved in financial and social matters.

Hong Kong Travel and Immigration Laws

Residents have to possess a separate passport, termed as the HKSAR passport. Tourists to the city from countries like USA, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and Singapore are granted a 90-day visa-free stay. For UK citizens, this period extends to 180 days, whereas for Indians, it is 14 days. Any foreigner thinking of staying in this country for more than the visa-free period will have to apply for a visa. Surprisingly, traveling from Hong Kong to China also requires a Chinese visa. Those who want to visit the city from China will need an exit-entry permit.

Interesting Facts about Hong Kong

★ Owing to the Basic Law, this city uses the Hong Kong dollar as currency. It is not valid in other Chinese regions. The Renminbi, which is the Chinese currency, cannot be used for trade in Hong Kong, except at a few places.
★ The word 'Hong Kong' relates to Fragrant Harbor, with the official name for the city being Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or simply Hong Kong SAR.
★ Cantonese and English are the official languages of this city, though you may find people not that good at English.
★ With above 8000 buildings which are more than 14 floors high, the city is regarded as one with the most skyscrapers.
★ Even though it is a city, it is believed to be the 11th largest trading economy in the world, with a majority of trade being done with mainland China.
★ The Hong Kong SAR comprises other regions as well; such as the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, Lantau Island, and miscellaneous islands. It consists of the Victoria Harbour, which is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.
★ You will be surprised to know that vehicles in this country are driven on the left side, whereas those in China on the right.
★ As per a 2010 survey, about 7,055,000 people are residing in just 426 square miles.
★ According to its culture and beliefs, if long noodles are eaten on a person's birthday, he lives longer.
★ People and businessmen in the city are strong believers of Feng Shui.
★ A funeral ceremony includes burning of things that are believed to help the deceased in their life after death.
★ There is an annual bun festival held in Cheung Chau Island between April and May to please the hungry spirits that people consider to be wandering around the island.
★ You know something? Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan come from this country.

Due to the implementation of the Hong Kong Basic Law, there have been many differences in the administrative system of China and that of this city. If you want to visit a place with a mix of eastern and western cultures, Hong Kong is the place to be!
Rice noodles stir fried Hong Kong
Aerial view of the Hong Kong cityscape
Hong Kong Passport