Heading to Hong Kong for business, for holiday, for shopping, or even to live? Here are some key primers to quickly get your head around Hong Kong’s geography, climate, and demographics so you can get on navigating this amazing region with ease.
Introduction to Hong Kong
Hong Kong is perhaps one of those most fascinating regions on the planet for so many reasons and on so many levels. Let’s consider its history and being at the forefront of east meets west, its vibrant and unique local culture, the adoption and fusion of British culture, the adoption of western values and beliefs whilst having a parent nation that is diametrically opposed to such.
Then, look out into the future. The slow process of Hong Kong merging back into mainland China would mostly appear to be well underway perhaps marked by the opening of the XRL line from mainland China into Hong Kong that will enable fast passenger flows between the regions and the overall plan for the Greater Bay Area. It’s a very interesting time.
Politics aside, Hong Kong is one the most visited destinations in Asia.
|Total visitor arrivals||58 472 157||+3.2%|
|– Overnight arrivals||27 884 543||+5.0%|
|– Same-day arrivals||30 587 614||+1.6%|
|Average hotel occupancy rate||89%||+2 percentage points|
|Average achieved hotel room rate||HK$1,288||+0.1%|
|Average length of stay of overnight visitors||3.2 nights||-0.1 night|
|Overnight visitor per capita spending||HK$6,443||-2.4%|
|Total tourism expenditure
associated to inbound tourism
Source: Hong Kong Tourism Board
It’s a city that welcomes visitors from all nations, many of whom have migrated here, and offers a cosmopolitan destination with a very rich and well-loved local culture that emphasizes family, modesty, and food. While HK’ers share Cantonese culture with their southern mainland counterparts throughout Guangdong Province, they have also developed very a very distinct, and uniquely Hong Kong Cantonese culture.
Staying on the topic of Mainland and Hong Kong, the official languages of the city are English and Chinese, yet it gets quite complicated as I’ll explain. The most commonly spoken Chinese dialect is Cantonese which is shared with its neighbors in Guangdong Province while the official language for mainland China is Standard Mandarin and the two are unintelligible to each other. Furthermore, some Cantonese speakers from mainland China will have some trouble understanding spoken Cantonese of a Hong Kong native due to dialect variances. Written Chinese in Hong Kong flips and flops between Simple Chinese and Written Cantonese.
Of course, English is widely spoken and widely used as a written language throughout Hong Kong in media, signage, restaurants etc albeit there are many very local restaurants that have Chinese only menus.
|Language proficiency in Hong Kong (1996, 2016)|
Hong Kong has a large immigrant population that consists mainly of mainland Chinese, Westerners, Indian, Filipino, Indonesian, and several other Asian nations.
|Ethnic group||2006 By-census||2011 Census||2016 By-census|
|Chinese||6 522 148||95.0||6 620 393||93.6||6 752 202||92.0|
|Filipino||112 453||1.6||133 018||1.9||184 081||2.5|
|Indonesian||87 840||1.3||133 377||1.9||153 299||2.1|
|White||36 384||0.5||55 236||0.8||58 209||0.8|
|Indian||20 444||0.3||28 616||0.4||36 462||0.5|
|Nepalese||15 950||0.2||16 518||0.2||25 472||0.3|
|Pakistani||11 111||0.2||18 042||0.3||18 094||0.2|
|Thai||11 900||0.2||11 213||0.2||10 215||0.1|
|Japanese||13 189||0.2||12 580||0.2||9 976||0.1|
|Other Asian||12 663||0.2||12 247||0.2||19 589||0.3|
|Others||20 264||0.3||30 336||0.4||68 986||0.9|
Hong Kong Primers