Hong Kong is an autonomous territory on the Pearl River Delta of China, and with around 7.2 million Hong kongers of various nationalities, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most vibrant cities. Nicknamed “Pearl of the Orient”, Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbor, which enables ready access by international cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with a very high density of skyscrapers; the territory boasts the second highest number of high rises of any city in the world.
Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of pseudo-sovereignty to Hong Kong in 1997.
WONG TAI SIN TEMPLE
Although officially a Taoist establishment, the majestic Wong Tai Sin Temple also houses Buddhist and Confucian texts. The shrine is said to be especially good at answering prayers and devout worshipers flock here to pay their respects (especially during major festivals) or to reflect on their sins. Fortune-telling is popular at Wong Tai Sin, particularly through a practice known as kau cim, where wooden sticks inscribed with oracles are shaken in a bamboo cup. Even if you're not religious or superstitious, this temple is worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and cultural significance.
Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where "East meets West", reflecting the culture's mix of the territory's Chinese roots with Western influences from its time as a British colony. Concepts like feng shui are taken very seriously, with expensive construction projects often hiring expert consultants, and are often believed to make or break a business. Other objects like Bagua mirrors are still regularly used to deflect evil spirits, and buildings often lack any floor number that has a 4 in it, due to its similarity to the word for "die" in Cantonese. The fusion of East and West also characterizes Hong Kong's cuisine, where dim sum, hot pot, and fast food restaurants coexist with haute cuisine.