City Hopper: Hong Kong, China
My next stop on my trip around the world is Hong Kong. Hong Kong is located on China’s south coast. It is known for its deep natural harbor and its expansive skyline. Hong Kong has a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of around seven million people and with that it is one of the most densely populated places in the world!
Some interesting facts about Hong Kong are that it is one of the world’s leading international centers and its dollar is the eighth most traded currency in the world. Also, because of the population and the lack of space it has turned into the world’s most vertical city. Another surprising fact is that according to both the UN and WHO 2012 estimates, Hong Kong has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world.
Hong Kong’s official language is Cantonese but English is also the official language. You will find throughout the city signs in both languages and about 40% of the population speaks English on a daily basis as their second language. In secondary schools here the students are encouraged to be bi-lingual and even tri-lingual with Cantonese, English, and Mandarin being emphasized.
Hong Kong is often referred to as the place where East meets West and that is because of the British influence and rule for so long. However many Chinese traditions still are very prominent such as the use of Feng Shui in buildings. It is thought that Feng Shui use in a business can either make or break that business and it is taken very seriously. Also, in buildings you will not find any floor with a reference to the number four due to the very close similarity to the word for ‘die’ in the Cantonese language.
So what is there to do here? Hong Kong has many museums as well as the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra which has many performances to attend. You can also see a statue of Bruce Lee on it’s Avenue of Stars which pays tribute to its martial arts history.
Here’s a great little video that covers what to do and see in Hong Kong. I hope you enjoy it.