Hong kong or H.K., as the locals call it, is the Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.
H.K. is geographically located on China’s southern coast, it is also bordered by the South China sea and the Pearl River Delta.
Hong Kong was an English colony from 1841 till 1997 when it was handed over to China in a “one country” “two systems” governing agreement. The head of government is Chief Executive LEUNG Chun-ying.
Hong Kong came into existence as a result of a dispute between the Brits and the Chinese in the 17th century.
The Chinese at the time were selling a lot of products to the Brits, mostly furniture, silk, and, tea. These products were highly sought by westerners in general at the time. The demand for these products from the west was so high that it led to a trade imbalance between the Brits and the Chinese.
The imbalance was as a result of the Chinese being reluctant to buy products from the United Kingdom in return. The Brits were left wondering what they would do about this imbalance.
“Enter Opium”, the Brits in an effort to balance trade decided opium (a highly addictive narcotic) was the way to go.
The Chinese had a real problem with opium during this period in their history, families in China were being decimated due to the widespread Opium addiction.
It made sense for the China not to want to buy any British sold opium so they refused efforts by the Brits to sell Opium to them.
For you history buffs, The Opium Wars: The Addiction of one Empire and the Corruption of Another by W. Travis Hanes et al might be a good resource.
This disagreement on trade would ultimately lead to the formation of a western alliance spearheaded by the Brits against the Chinese.
Of course the Chinese got a “royal ass whipping” by the alliance. As a result of losing the war, not only did they have to buy Opium from the Brits, they also had to cede the highly strategic sea port known today as Hong Kong.
That would be the beginning of how Hong Kong’s identity as a financial powerhouse, and a melting pot of Western and Asian culture began. The mantra in Hong Kong today is “Work hard and play equally hard”.
Other Useful facts about Hong Kong
- Major Languages: Cantonese, English
- Currency: Hong Kong Dollar
- International dial code: +852
- Airport code: HKG
- Transportation: Advanced metro system, Tram, Bus, Automobiles.
- Food and Beverage: Very Expensive
- Room and Board: Very Expensive
- Seasons: Winter (cool & dry), Spring, Summer and Autumn
Districts in H.K. we visited……
- Lan Kwai Fong-D’Aguilar Street
- Lan Kwai Fong-Wyndham Street
- Wan Chai
- Tsim Sha Tsui (T.S.T.)
- The Beaches
In our next post, “Hong Kong-The Cantonese Expedition (II)”, we take you on our travel trail through one of H.K.’s most famous entertainment district’s, so stay tuned to the press……