Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated regions in the world and famous for its energetic metropolitan area. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The modern city was a British overseas territory from 1842 to 1997. It has a population of seven million and has been continuously occupied for over five millennia.
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 destitute 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.
Under the Basic Law, its constitution, Hong Kong's government, judicial system, stamps, passports, customs policy, immigration control and currency are to greater or lesser degrees independent of the People's Republic of China's. The rule of the road is different from the rest of China, and it sends its own delegates to various international organisations and sporting events.
The official languages of Hong Kong are English and Chinese, with English widely used in business and education. Most residents speak Cantonese as their mother tongue, followed in significance by English, Mandarin and other Chinese regional dialects, as well as other Asian languages. The popular culture of Hong Kong is best represented by its cuisine, pop music and films. Atheism, Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity & Islam all co-exist in a state of general harmony. Focusing on trade, tourism, banking and finance, Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest economies in the world.