Hong Kong Travel Guide
The name "Hong Kong" literally "Fragrant Harbour" in Chinese is derived from the area around the present-day Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island's south. This is an area where fragrant wood and incense products trades were once flourished. The narrow sea strip which separates the Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula is known as Victoria Harbour and is one of the deepest natural maritime ports in the world.
Despite the city's reputation of being intensely urbanised and densely populated, the territory has made much effort to promote a green environment. Much of the territory remains undeveloped as the terrain is mostly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes. Of the total land area less than 25% is developed ; the remaining land is remarkably green with about 40% of the landmass reserved as country parks with hiking treks and nature reserve zones, of which Mai Po Wetland Nature Reserve Zone is the largest. Most of the territory's urban development exists on the Kowloon peninsula, along the northern shores of Hong Kong Island and in scattered "new towns" throughout the New Territories.
Hong Kong's long and winding coastline also affords the territory with many bays, rivers and beaches, where many of them are the best places for yacht lovers, fishermen and swimmers. The environmental awareness is growing as Hong Kong's air ranks as one of the most polluted; approximately 80% of the city's smog originates from other parts of the Pearl River Delta.
Hong Kong is about 60 km east of Macau Special Administrative Region on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta. The highest elevation in the territory is at Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 m (3,142 ft) above the sea level and the Lantau Peak in Lantau Island at 934 m is ranked second. Low-lying areas exist in the north-western part of the New Territories.
Hong Kong lies in the subtropical climate zone and it's prone to monsoons, with a blend of continental and maritime airstreams. Unlike most part in the Mainland China, the winter is much milder and there is no need to wrap up much except a few cold and gloomy days with daily temperatures around 10ºC -12ºC (50ºF-54ºF), and many people there are wearing T-shirts during warm days. The cooler period lasts from around December to early March ; very warm, wet and foggy in spring until early May ; hot, humid, sunny and often rainy in summer ; and it is warm, sunny, and dry in autumn which really begins long after the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival and many people regard the season is the best time of the year. Tropical cyclones are occasionally struck in the summer and early autumn.
The ecology in the territory is mostly affected by the results of climatic changes. Hong Kong's climate is seasonal due to the changing wind directions between winter and summer. Hong Kong has been geologically stable for millions of years, though landslides are common especially after heavy rainstorms or typhoons. Flora and fauna in Hong Kong are altered by seasonal changes, sea level alternation and the impact of human activities. As the trend of global warming, Hong Kong's winter is getting milder.
The average temperature in the coldest month, January, is 16.1ºC (61.0ºF) while the average temperature in the hottest month, July, is 28.7ºC (83.7ºF). In winter, strong and cold winds of continental northeast monsoons cool the city ; in the summer, the wind's prevailing direction changes and brings the warm and humid air in from the southwest, but drier and hotter when the light wind is from the northwest and to bring polluted particles to the territory as well. This climate can support a tropical rainforest, which has made forest parks possible in the countryside.
So, the best time to visit Hong Kong is from October to May with an exception of the Chinese New Year, when many shops and restaurants will be closed for holiday.
Chinese occupies 95% of Hong Kong's total population, the majority of which are Cantonese descent with immigrants from other provinces. A South Asian population comprised of Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese, as well as some Vietnamese refugees have become permanent residents. Approximately 140,000 Filipinos work in Hong Kong as foreign domestic helpers. An increasing number of domestic workers originate from Indonesia. There are also a large expatriate community of Europeans, Americans, Australians, Canadians as well as Japanese and Koreans working in Hong Kong's commercial and financial sector.
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