Quelques informations sur Hong-Kong

Publié le par AR & EG

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Quick Facts

Capital

Hong Kong

Government

Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of  China

Currency

Hong Kong dollar (HKD)

Area

 

total: 1,092 sq km
water: 50 sq km
land: 1,042 sq km

Population

7,303,334 (July 2002 est.)

Language

Chinese (Cantonese), English; both are official

Religion

eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%

Hong Kong (香港 Heūnggóng in Cantonese, Xiānggǎng in Mandarin) is a place with multiple personalities, as a result of being Cantonese with a long-time British influence and increasingly more China connections. Perhaps the hallmark of this city is the frenzied vibrancy, marvellous skyline, and the world class cuisine.

 On the surface, it's an urban landscape without the charm of what one would consider "China." It offers the same upscale shopping malls and boutiques found in Paris, London or Shanghai. But the small curious nooks are what makes it unique, as well as the beautiful greenery and hiking trails largely unknown to tourists. The city is also known for its incredible efficiency, almost to a fault, as a result of its convenient transport, quick customer service and fast pace.

 History

Occupied by the United Kingdom in 1841, Hong Kong was formally ceded by China the following year. The New Territories - originally the rural area to the north of Boundary Street in Kowloon - were added in 1898 under a 99-year lease. This lease was due to run out in 1997, so pursuant to an agreement signed by the People's Republic of China and the UK on 19 December 1984, Hong Kong became the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the PRC on 1 July 1997. In this agreement, China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, Mainland China's socialist economic system and Communist dictatorship will not be imposed on Hong Kong and that Hong Kong will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years. According to pro-democracy supporters, the phrase a high degree of autonomy has become something of a standing joke since.

People

With an over 95% share of the population, Hong Kong is solidly Chinese. The next largest minorities are Filipinos and Indonesians, many of Chinese descent, and only fourth on the island are Europeans and their descendants.

Climate

Hong Kong is a little chilly in the winter and notoriously hot and humid in the summer. The best times of year to visit are thus spring (March-April), when temperatures average around 25°C and not too humid, and fall between September and November — just beware of the typhoons that tend to batter the port, bringing everything to a standstill.

Districts

Hong Kong is divided into a number of distinctly different districts.

  • Hong Kong Island — The Island is Hong Kong's urban center, the heart of the city where everything happens.
  • Kowloon — Kowloon is the strip of mainland next to the Island, the most densely packed city in the world.
  • New Territories — The New Territories (thus named when acquired in 1898) are Hong Kong's residential hinterland.
  • Outlying Islands — The 234 other islands in the territory, part of the New Territories, ranging from Lantau (twice the size of the Island) to rocks poking out of the sea.

Map of Hong Kong

Talk

Cantonese is the language spoken by 90% of the people in Hong Kong. Though Hong Kong is a former British colony, the degree of English proficiency is limited among non-professionals such as restaurant workers. However, most taxi drivers, street vendors, etc. are fluent enough for sufficient communication. English is fluently spoken among the business community and at tourist destinations such as hotels and certain restaurants.

Most Hong Kongers are not fluent in Mandarin, but can comprehend it to a certain degree. Mandarin proficiency is increasing, especially after the reunification with the mainland.

All official signs will contain English, some of them contain English only. Most shops and restaurants will also have English signage, though don't expect this from the more local or obscure establishments.

See

See the stunning Island skyline seen from Kowloon. Take the Peak Tram (http://www.thepeak.com.hk/), a train line going to the highest point on Hong Kong island for a great view of the natural landscape in stark contrast with the city (if it's not too cloudy). The tram also makes a few stops, so it's possible to go half-way and hike the winding roads on the sloping geography. Follow the signs from Central Station to find the Peak Tram. Also worth seeing are the parks near Central station, the Memorial Gardens, Statue Square and the Chater Gardens for a refreshing break, as well seeing the Cenotaph for the fallen soldiers of WWII. City hall is also nearby. A ten minute-walk away from Central is the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks/hkzbg/en/index.php), a small, free zoo with reptiles, primates, a jaguar, and rare and endangered birds and plants. Across from the World Trade Center near Causeway Bay, is the historical Noon Day Gun, deemed thus because it is fired off every day at noon. To access the Noon Day Gun enter the underground tunnel between the World Trade Center and the Excelsior Hotel and follow the signs.

Local life

The most effective way to know how Hong Kong people live is to experience the local life of an ordinary Hong Kong resident.

Traditional heritage

There are many traditional heritage locations throughout the territory.

  • Kowloon Walled City Park  in Kowloon (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks/kwcp/en/index.php)
  • Hong Kong Heritage Museum  in New Territories (http://www.heritagemuseum.gov.hk/)
  • Tsang Tai Uk  in New Territories (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/touring/hkwalks/ta_walk_walk4.jhtml)
  • Che Kung Temple  in New Territories (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/touring/hkwalks/ta_walk_walk4.jhtml)
  • Man Mo Temple and Fu Shin Street Traditional Bazaar  in New Territories (http://www.discoverhongkong.com/eng/touring/hkiidistricts/ta_dist_taip3.jhtml)
  • Po Lin Monastery and the Tien Tan Buddha Statue. To reach the Buddha statue, take Lantau bus #23 from MTR Tung Chung station or Lantau bus #2 from Mui Wo ferry pier. The "Big Buddha" is 26.4 m tall and is the World's largest outdoor bronze Buddha. Open:10AM to 6PM. While entry to the statue is free, there is an entrance fee for the museum. A snack at the vegetarian restaurant costs HK$23, a normal meal HK$60, while a deluxe meal will put you back HK$100. A cable car from Tung Chung should be up and running by the beginning of 2006.

Museums

There are a variety of museums (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/cs_mus_lcsd.php) in Hong Kong with different themes.

Nature

Hong Kong is not all skyscrapers, and it's worthwhile to go to the countryside, including the country parks (http://parks.afcd.gov.hk/newparks/eng/country/index.htm) and marine parks (http://parks.afcd.gov.hk/newmarine/eng/index.htm).

  • Lantau Island is two times as big as Hong Kong and is well worth checking out if you want to get away from the bright lights and pollution of the city for a spell. Here you will find open countryside, traditional fishing villages, secluded beaches, monasteries and more. You can hike, camp, fish and mountain bike, amongst other activities.

Theme parks

  • Hong Kong Disneyland, the first in China, opened on September 2005 on Lantau Island.
  • Ocean Park (http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/f_index.html) is a spectacular attraction of Hong Kong. Marine biodiversity in the Atoll Reef and Shark Tank just as breathtaking as Sea World of San Diego, and thrill rides will satisfy children and adults alike. However, it is often full of tourists from mainland China, some of whom are lacking in manners and are loud and noisy.

 

Publié dans Stop-overs en Asie

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