Hong Kong is one of the two Special Administrative Regions of the Peoples Republic of China, the other being Macau. It is situated on Chinas south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea. Hong Kongs population is 93.6% ethnic Chinese and 6.4% from other groups. Hong Kongs Cantonese-speaking majority originate mainly from the neighbouring Canton (now Guangdong) province, in which many of them fled from China to Hong Kong to escape wars and Communist rule from the 1930s - 1960s.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839 - 42). The Hong Kong Island was first ceded to the UK in perpetuity, followed by Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and then the New Territories was put under lease in 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War (1941 - 45), after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China resumed sovereignty. The region espoused minimum government intervention under the ethos of positive non-interventionism during the colonial era. The time period greatly influenced the current culture of Hong Kong, often described as East meets West, and the educational system, which used to loosely follow the system in England until reforms implemented in 2009.
When to go:
October to April, it is hot and rainy from June to August.
Average monthly temperature (°C)
Cantonese and English.
Hong Kong Dollar.
British passport holders are not required a visa to enter Hong Kong for tourist stays up to 28 days only. Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid immunisation are recommended for protection against disease. Please contact the Hong Kong Tourist Office on 020 7533 7100 for up to date information.
A fantastic choice of flight options to reach Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific offer up to 4 daily direct services to Chek Lap Kok airport. Other direct carriers include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas with average journey times of just under 12hrs. Emirates offers 6 UK departure points via Dubai and KLM operate via Amsterdam allowing you to start your holiday from your local airport.
For the latest update-to-date Hong Kong travel advice, click here.
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