Today is August 30, 2014
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.
MTR, or Mass Transit Railway, is the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong. The MTR first began service in 1979 and officially merged with the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR) on 2 December 2007, still bearing the same name in English. The network includes 211.6 km of rail with 150 stations, including 82 railway stations and 68 light rail stops. The MTR system is currently being operated by MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL). Due to its efficiency and affordability, the MTR system is a common mode of public transport in Hong Kong, with over 4 million trips made in an average weekday. The integration of the Octopus smart card fare-payment technology into the MTR system in September 1997 has further enhanced the ease of commuting on the MTR.
In 1967, construction of the MTR was prompted by a government-commissioned study. The Hong Kong Government had previously commissioned a study in the 1960s to find solutions to the growing traffic problem caused by the expansion of the territory's economy. Construction started soon after the release of the study, and the first line was opened in 1979. The MTR was immediately popular with residents of Hong Kong; as a result, subsequent lines have been built to cover more territory. There are continual debates regarding how and where to expand the MTR network. (Read more...)
Jackie Chan (born 7 April 1954) is an actor, action choreographer, film director, producer, martial artist, comedian, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer from Hong Kong.
Chan is one of the best-known names worldwide in the areas of kung fu and action films. In his films, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons and innovative stunts. Jackie Chan has been acting since the 1970s and has appeared in over 100 films. Chan has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. As a cultural icon, Chan has been referenced in various pop songs, cartoons and video games. Besides acting, Chan is a Cantopop and Mandopop star, having released 20 albums since 1984 and sung many of the theme songs for the films in which he has starred. In 2008, Chan, along with Andy Lau, Liu Huan and Emil Chau, performed the farewell song "Hard to Say Goodbye" at the 2008 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
Selected picture for August