More Fun Facts about Hong Kong
Culinary Hong Kong
Spoilt for choice
With one restaurant for every 300 people, Hong Kong boasts one of the highest per-capita concentrations of cafes and restaurants in the world. And with every kind of world cuisine on offer, it's a foodie's paradise.
Hong Kong (along with Macao) was the first city in China and the second in Asia to become a Michelin city. It also has some of the most affordable Michelin restaurants in the world, with some star-rated dishes costing less than US$2!
Hong Kong people love their tea and boast the highest tea consumption among all Asian cities at 1 360 grams per capita - twice the world's average. Hong Kong people also like to get a boost with a glass of herbal tea made with exotic blends of traditional herbs.
Hong Kong is Asia's premier wine hub and among the top three wine auction centres in the world, noted for the trade in deluxe wines. According to the International Wine & Spirit Research, Hong Kong is the wine drinking capital of Asia, with a typical adult Hong Kong person downing 5.4 litres of wine every year.
Poon choi or “basin food” is a traditional dish originating in the Hakka walled villages of the New Territories. Combining more than 10 ingredients cooked separately and arranged in layers in large metal bowls or wooden basins, a good-sized poon choi can feed 10 to 12 people at festive tables.
Connected Hong Kong
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of the world's busiest passenger airports and the busiest international air cargo gateway. Over 100 airlines operate flights at HKIA to and from 220 destinations worldwide, including more than 50 destinations in the Mainland of China. HKIA has won more than 60 best airport awards from various international and regional organisations. In 2016, it handled 70.5 million passengers and 4.52 million tonnes of cargo.
The Peak Tramway is one of the steepest and oldest cable railroads in the world, and has been in service since 1888. While riding up from Central to The Peak, the highest part of Hong Kong Island, passengers will also experience a unique visual illusion of skyscrapers tilting towards the Peak.
Old-fashioned double-decker trams have been operating on Hong Kong Island since 1904 and still carry around 200 000 passengers every day along the northern part of the island from east to west.
Lo Wu checkpoint between Hong Kong and the Mainland of China is one of the busiest in the world, with around 230 000 people crossing daily, and exceed 260 000 people crossing on weekends and festive periods.
One of the world's largest fleet of high-speed ferries links Hong Kong with Macao, Zhuhai and other neighbouring cities in the Pearl River Delta region.
Ultra-modern cruise terminal
The ultra-modern Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, capable of handling the world's largest cruise vessels, is helping to make Hong Kong a premier cruise hub in the region.
Green Hong Kong
Next to nature
Green Hong Kong is right on the city's doorstep. Hiking, swimming, scuba-diving and sailing are all just a short journey from town. About 40 per cent of Hong Kong's total land area is protected country park and special areas.
Hong Kong has huge biodiversity for its size – 3 300 species of vascular plants, over 540 species of birds (over a third of total bird species of China), more than 230 species of butterflies, around 200 species of freshwater fish and 50 species of terrestrial mammals.
Hong Kong Wetland Park
With 61 hectares of reserve and a 10 000 square metre visitor centre, Hong Kong Wetland Park is the first and the largest of its kind in Asia.
The Mai Po Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site is one of Asia's most important bird and nature reserves as well as a vital transit stop in winter, when it becomes a home away from home for hundreds of thousands of migrating water birds, including globally endangered species.
The 5 000-hectare Hong Kong Global Geopark of China on the eastern coastline offers spectacular rock formations, including hexagonal columns taller than those found at the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Hong Kong is a sanctuary for some rare species such as the black-faced spoonbill, Saunder's Gull and the Chinese white dolphin. The Romer's Tree Frog, first discovered in Hong Kong, is the territory's smallest amphibian, with an average length of just two centimetres.
100 kilometre hike
Hong Kong is surrounded by mountains, with myriad trails meandering throughout the country parks offering spectacular hiking. Most famous is the MacLehose Trail, which stretches for over 100 kilometres across the New Territories.
The Bauhinia, whose magnificent blooms grace the city in the winter months, is the official flower of Hong Kong. Botanists believe that all Bauhinia trees across Hong Kong derive from one tree at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
Lifestyle Hong Kong
Busy but green
Hong Kong's population is concentrated in urban areas, which take up less than 30 per cent of the total land area. Mong Kok district in Kowloon is one of the busiest, during peak hours, the pedestrian flow at Sai Yeung Choi Street is up to about 20 000 pedestrians per hour. However, the urban area is dotted with parks and 40 per cent of Hong Kong's land area is protected country park.
Hongkongers enjoy among the longest life expectancies in the world – in 2016, the provisional figure of average life expectancy was 81.3 years for men and 87.3 years for women.
Awesome animation and special effects
Hong Kong's animators have won fame far and wide. Animator Raman Hui was a key creative figure behind the Shrek movies and Kung Fu Panda. A Hong Kong-listed digital production company was behind Iron Man 3 and X-Men: Days of Future Past, which were nominated for the Oscar's “Best Achievenment in Visual Effects” award.
Father of fibre optics
Professor Charles Kao, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009, is widely regarded as the “Father of Fibre Optic Communications”. Without fibre optics, we wouldn't have the Internet or e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.
Over the years, Hong Kong has created a unique brand of popular music that has spread across the region and is known for its catchy tunes and universal themes.
Lamma Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong's central business district, is home to about 6 000 people.
Destination Hong Kong
Exciting theme parks
Hong Kong has two world-class theme parks – Ocean Park Hong Kong and Hong Kong Disneyland. Ocean Park is developing an all-weather indoor-outdoor waterpark, which is expected to be completed in 2018. Hong Kong Disneyland has enhanced guest experience with new themed areas, attractions and entertainment offerings. The much-anticipated “Iron Man Experience” and the “Disney Explorers Lodge” resort-style hotel opened in 2017.
Reaching 34 metres high and weighing 250 tonnes, the Tian Tan Buddha on Hong Kong's Lantau Island is the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha and a favourite with tourists.
A Symphony of Lights
Every evening Victoria Harbour comes alive with the world's largest permanent sound and light show (Guinness World Records), with laser beams and searchlights streaming from more than 40 buildings on both sides of the harbour.
Hong Kong is the home of Kung Fu movies. Legends Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen all started out in Hong Kong: Bruce Lee in The Big Boss (1972), Jackie Chan in Drunken Master (1978), Jet Li in Shaolin Temple (1982) and Donnie Yen in Drunken Tai Chi (1984).
Hong Kong Sevens
The world's premier international rugby sevens tournament is held at Hong Kong Stadium annually, attracting top rugby teams and tens of thousands of rugby fans from around the globe.
Throughout the year, Hong Kong celebrates a variety of exciting festivals. The Cheung Chau Jiao Festival (Cheung Chau Bun Festival), Tai O Dragon Boat Water Parade, Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance and Yu Lan Ghost Festival have been inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Every winter the bauhinia flower, Hong Kong's emblem, brings an explosion of colour to parks and gardens throughout the city. It also lends its name to Golden Bauhinia Square, which commemorates Hong Kong's return to the Motherland in 1997 and has become a must-see destination for Mainland tourists.
Hong Kong is one of the world's safest cities with one of the lowest crime rates.
Bold Hong Kong
Hong Kong skyline was crowned the best in the world in terms of visual impact by Emporis. Given its over 1 300 skyscrapers (outstripping New York's 739 and Tokyo's 490) with a marvelous mountain backdrop, the global provider of building information also found Hong Kong's skyline by far the most impressive.
Tsing Ma Bridge
The 2.16 kilometre Tsing Ma Bridge is the world's longest road and rail suspension bridge. Its central span of 1 377 metres is longer than that of San Francisco's famous Golden Gate Bridge (1 280 metres).
Longest outdoor escalator
Built to help people scale the steep slopes behind the city centre, the Central-Mid-Levels escalator is the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, its 800 metres snaking up 135 metres vertically. Every day, around 78 000 people use it.
The International Commerce Centre is the tallest building in Hong Kong and the 10th highest in the world at about 490 metres. The world's highest hotel Ritz-Carlton occupies floors 102 to 118 – now that's what we call a room with a view!
With a main span of 1 018 meters, the 1.6 km Stonecutters Bridge boasts one of the world's longest cable-stayed spans.
Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge
The bridge spans 41.6 km from the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities to the Zhuhai-Macao Boundary Crossing Facilities. The longest bridge-cum-tunnel sea-crossing in the world will make it possible to travel from Hong Kong to Macao and Zhuhai in one hour, within three hours to most of the major towns and cities of the Western Pearl River Delta and about one day to major cities in Indochina.
Hong Kong Trivia
High speed Internet
Hong Kong has an average peak connection speed of 129.5 Mbps, the fourth highest in the world.
Hong Kong uses the solar and lunar calendars, with big celebrations welcoming the arrival of both new years. We celebrate traditional Chinese festivals as well as Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Valentine's Day.
In Cantonese, the words for Hong Kong mean fragrant harbour. Historians suggest the name is derived from its former export of fragrant incense.
Visitors are often amazed at the sight of bamboo scaffolding rising high up the sides of Hong Kong's skyscrapers, and the gravity-defying skills of local bamboo scaffolders, often called “spiders”.
An Octopus card can be used to pay for almost all public transport all over Hong Kong and even to settle payments at many retail, dining and convenience stores.
Some 3 000 swimmers, including elite international athletes and local amateurs, race across Victoria Harbour in the annual New World Harbour Race.
Elevated pedestrian corridors connect many office towers and shopping malls in Hong Kong's Central business district, making it possible to criss-cross the area free from traffic at street level, come rain or shine.
Heart of Asia
Half of the world's population live within a five-hour flight of Hong Kong.