Hong Kong is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The name Hong Kong means “Fragrant Harbor” in Cantonese, echoing its history as a vital Chinese harbor city. Hong Kong has a fascinating mixture of ancient history and cutting-edge modern technology to take in; from the towering skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island proper to the scenic mountains of Lantau Island, Hong Kong is overflowing with natural beauty and man-made marvels.
While Hong Kong is not a country - technically, it is known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China - this city has a strong enough cultural identity that it is often treated as its own nation. Hong Kong is operated with a great deal of independence from mainland China, and has its own laws, entry and exit customs, and historical traditions.
Hong Kong Island was first occupied by the British Empire in 1840 - until then, it had been a region of China with a small population of fishermen and farmers. Hong Kong remained a British Colony until 1997, when it became officially known as the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
Hong Kong has a population of 7.4 million people. The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English, although Cantonese is also commonly spoken. Over 90% of Hong Kong citizens are ethnically Chinese - the rest of the population is a mixture of Filipino, Indonesian, and other demographics. Hong Kong is world-famous for its many towering skyscrapers, and has the highest number of skyscrapers in the world. Citizens of Hong Kong also have the highest life expectancy out of every other country.
While Hong Kong Island is the part of Hong Kong that most tourists and travelers focus on, the outlying regions and islands around Hong Kong Island itself are absolutely worth visiting for their breathtaking beaches, mountains, and idyllic villages.