Portal:Hong Kong

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Today is July 28, 2014

The Hong Kong Portal

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Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and famous for its energetic metropolitan area. It has a population of seven million and has been continuously occupied for over five millennia. The modern city was a British colony from 1842 to 1997.

Despite its high population density, only about 17% of its land is built up, and greenery is everywhere. It is a place of contrasts - frenetically urban adjacent to pristine greenery; extremely rich next to dirt poor; Western culture and Chinese culture. Victoria Harbour is world famous for its splendid nightview from the Peak. The central business district is heavily urbanised with skyscrapers all around, but the country parks and beaches are just kilometres away. Traditional towns and villages, as well as natural reserves, are common in the suburban and rural New Territories, including the outlying islands. Public transport is very efficient, convenient, comfortable and reliable.

Hong Kong is currently a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China, with its own government, judicial system, stamps, passports, customs policy, immigration control, currency etc. The rule of the road is different from the rest of China, and it has its own delegations to various international organisations and sport events.

Hong Kong is officially bilingual, with English widely spoken in business and education. The majority of the population speak Cantonese as mother tongue, with a few speaking Mandarin and other European and Asian languages. English and Chinese are used in all official matters. The popular culture of Hong Kong is best represented by cuisine, pop music and films. Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, are all common. Focusing on trade, tourism, banking and finance, Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest economies in the world.

Selected article

Octopus Card reader in a restaurant

The Octopus card is a rechargeable contactless stored value smart card used to transfer electronic payments in online or offline systems in Hong Kong. Originally launched in September 1997 to collect fares for the city's mass transit system, the Octopus card system has since grown into a widely used payment system for virtually all public transport in Hong Kong. It is also used for payment at convenience stores, supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, on-street parking meters, car parks, and other point-of-sale applications such as service stations and vending machines. The Octopus card has been internationally recognised, winning the Chairman's Award of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance's 2006 Global IT Excellence Award for being the world's leading complex automatic fare collection and contactless smartcard payment system, and for its innovative use of technologies. According to Octopus Cards Limited, operator of the Octopus card system, there are more than 14 million cards in circulation, twice the population of Hong Kong. The cards are used by 95 percent of the population of Hong Kong aged 16 to 65, generating over 10 million daily transactions worth a total of about HK$29 billion (US$3.7 billion) a year.

Selected biography

Chung Sze Yuen (Sir S.Y. Chung, GBE, GBM) (Chinese: 鍾士元) (b. 3 November 1917), mechanical engineer, industrialist and Hong Kong politician. He succeeded Sir Yuet Keung Kan, GBE (簡悅強), as the Senior Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council and Executive Council in 1980 and served in the latter body until his first retirement from politics in 1988.

He has been more influential in Hong Kong politics when Tung Chee Hwa became the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, when he was invited by Tung as the convenor of the non-official members of the Executive Council.

Selected picture for July

HK KamShanCountryPark RhesusMacaque.JPG

Monkeys at the Kam Shan Country Park
Photo credit: Chong Fat

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