Hong Kong (meaning “fragrant harbor” in Cantonese) is a extraordinary city with multiple personalities, as a result of being both Cantonese Chinese and under a long-time British influence. In many regards, the ideal merging of two worlds.
Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions (SARs) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau. Situated on China’s south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. With a landmass of 426 square miles and a population of 7 million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong’s population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony’s boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories by 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when the PRC regained sovereignty.
As one of the world’s leading international financial centers Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the ninth most traded currency in the world.
Designed & Edited by Marie Havens
Photography by Marie Havens
Hong Kong, May 2011, Photography by Marie Havens