Whenever Hong Kong is mentioned in a conversation, the first image that jumps into the mind is a vibrant hub of finance and commerce, a cultural melting pot located in a beautiful bay in the South China Sea. However, Hong Kong is also well known for the perpetual smog formed from the exhaust of the dense traffic on its ever busy streets, But Living in Hong Kong is also exciting, safe and dynamic. Here is our insight to living in a town we all call home.
Hong Kong is located in the South of the Chinese mainland, on a peninsula that extends into the South China Sea. What most people don’t know is that the 230 islands near the Hong Kong peninsula are considered part of the city. Hong Kong had been part of the British Empire in the Far East long after the Chinese mainland had received autonomy from the British. It was in 1997 that Hong Kong became part of the mainland when it became a special administrative division. This special recognition arose from the fact that the governing system that had been enforced in Hong Kong was based on the British democratic capitalist system, whereas mainland China had continues to follow the centuries old dynastic system synonymous to communism. Therefore, the provision allowed for the governance of Hong Kong as a separate state.
Due to this unique set of conditions under which Hong Kong has developed, the city boasts of a set of unique qualities that have made it a favorite among many international investors and tourists. For starters, Hong Kong is both politically and financially stable. Secondly, the presence of the British for a much period had the effect of making English one of the 2 dominant languages in the peninsula. This is why all the signs and maps in this city are bilingual which makes it easy to navigate around the city. Finally, the expansive and efficient transport network within the entire Hong Kong peninsula is ranked as one of the best in the world. These are just some of the reasons why Hong Kong is the preferred Asian headquarters for many multinational companies.
The business environment in Hong Kong has been termed as one of the most conducive in the world. This is why so many businesses found it easy to set up shop in this city. Consequently with the ever increasing presence and entry of multinational and foreign owned companies, Hong Kong is a city that has one of the highest numbers of foreign residents of any city in Asia. This is why Hong Kong exudes such a trendy and modern cosmopolitan feel. Hong Kong is truly a city that has a 24 hour economy since it virtually never sleeps. The city boasts impressive numbers of world class trendy night clubs, exquisite restaurants, popular bars, extensive malls, high-end fashion outlets, evergreen parks and beautiful white sands beaches. In Hong Kong it’s never too late to go out shopping, never too risky to go out clubbing never too far to your favorite restaurant. Hong Kong is well known for its 5 star restaurants and hotels that combine unique Chinese hospitality with infinite culinary options to satisfy even the most sophisticated palette. In addition to Chinese cuisine, cuisines from all over the world, prepared by expert expatriate master chefs, are availed to lovers of good food.
Land in Hong Kong is definitely premium real estate considering that the city hosts over 7 million residents. However, despite the population density the city is ever changing. Hong Kong real estate is divided into 4 main regions. These regions are Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, The New Territories and the offshore islands.
Hong Kong Island was the seat of British rule as can be seen from the colonial court house, jail house and the governor’s mansion overlooking the main Victoria Harbor. Hong Kong Island can be further divided into Central and Western district, Wanchai district, Southern district and Eastern district. The skyscrapers, 5 star hotels and malls are found on the Central and Western districts while quiet and rural villages are found to the south of Hong Kong Island. The Hong Kong country club and Ocean Park are found to the East of the island. Most of the open spaces remaining on the island are to be found on the island’s central hills.
Kowloon district is further divided into the Kowloon peninsula and New Kowloon. The New Kowloon region extends to encompass a minor potion of The New Territories. Kowloon boasts a less spectacular skyline due to height restrictions on building. The restrictions had been enforced when the Hong Kong airport was within Kowloon immediate vicinity. Some new residential developments offering luxury apartments have been established with Kowloon Tong becoming a popular residential area for Hong Kong celebrities and actors. The southernmost reach of Kowloon known as Tsim Sha Tsui has evolved into a tourist centric shopping and cultural district. Other notable areas include the Sham Shui Po electronics markets and the Cheung Sha Wan Road wholesale markets.
The Kowloon region and Hong Kong Island border The New Territories on three sides. The New Territories includes the islands defined by the Pearl River Delta which extends slightly into the South China Sea. The New Territories have exponentially transformed from the initial extensive agricultural fields into planned communities and a number of satellite towns. This change was sparked by the similarly exponential population growth on Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. However some parts of The New Territories still possess much of the traditional Chinese rural look of monasteries and beautiful ancient village.
Hong Kong has over 200 outlying islands with Lantau being the biggest. This island is the most economically significant in that it hosts the Chek Lap Kok international Airport and the Hong Kong Disney Land. It also boasts of the famous bronze stature of Big Buddha. An increasing number of the smaller outlying islands along the coast of the mainland have become host resort styled residential developments. This is in response to the growth of an increasingly effluent middle class in Hong Kong. However, it is important to know that an increasing number of the outlying islands are inhabited by small fishing communities.