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Today is June 21, 2018

The Hong Kong Portal

Flag of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong SAR Regional Emblem.svg
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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 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.

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.

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

Long Hair

Leung Kwok-hung (born 27 March 1956), widely known by his nickname "Long Hair", is a Hong Kong political activist. He is currently a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (Geographical constituency, New Territories East). In 2006, he joined the League of Social Democrats.

He is best known for his long, below shoulder length hair, his frequent and flamboyant public protests, and nearly always wearing a T-shirt with the image of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. Leung has vowed not to cut his hair until the government of People's Republic of China apologizes for its crackdown on the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, although it was cut once against his will when he was briefly imprisoned following a political action.

Selected picture for June

Hong Kong Bay.jpg

Aeral photograph of Ma Wan. The small island in the upper part is Tang Lung Chau.
The Lantau Link and the Park Island apartment complex are clearly visible.
Photo credit: Thierry [1]

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I. M. Pei

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