20 Fun Facts About Hong Kong

Fun Facts About Hong Kong

Hong Kong, located on China’s south-east coast, enjoys a coveted position on the world’s tourist map. With its bustling streets and iconic skyline, Hong Kong captures the imagination and leaves an indelible impression on everyone who visits. The multifaceted metropolis, with its endless shopping options, vibrant nightlife, and delectable cuisine, is a kaleidoscope of experiences waiting to be explored. Hong Kong is unique and will surprise you in many ways. As you walk through the labyrinthine alleys of this dynamic city, you will be intrigued by the rich tapestry of culture, where ancient temples coexist seamlessly with looming skyscrapers and the buzz of a global financial hub reverberates in every corner.

During my visit to Hong Kong, I discovered fascinating titbits and facets that captured the city’s essence. Whether you are unfamiliar with the city or have lived there for years, I am sure that you will learn something new from our list of fun facts about Hong Kong.


1).  It’s Made of over 200 Islands

Hong Kong is more than just a city; it has a total of 263 islands, over 100 of which are uninhabited. Scattered across 1092 square kilometers, it covers Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and several other smaller islands. Some of them, such as Lantau, Peng Chu, and Cheung Chau, are accessible by ferry, while others are completely inaccessible and uninhabited.

2).  Hong Kong is Not a Country

Hong Kong, despite having its own government, currency, and economy, is not an independent country. When the British Empire’s lease expired in July 1997, Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule. It is now an autonomous region of China until 2047, with a high level of liberty. This means it maintains separate governing and economic systems under the principle of one country with two systems.

3).  Among the Most Densely Populated Regions

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities, with roughly 6750 people per square kilometer. The city is home to approximately 7.7 million people.

4).  Not As Urban As You Believe

When you think of a country with 9000 skyscrapers and a population of 7.7 million, you envision a concrete jungle. However, the city is surrounded by mountains and beaches. 40% of the landmass is made up of country parks, hills, reservoirs, nature reserves, and beautiful coastlines.

5).  Hong Kong means ‘Fragrant Harbour’

The city’s name is derived from a Cantonese phrase meaning ‘fragrant harbor’. The name was given to the city by early mariners who were captivated by the intoxicating aroma of incense that permeated the air from the incense factories that lined the coast of northern Kowloon.

6).  Cantonese is the Preferred Language

The official language of Hong Kong is Cantonese. It is also the most widely spoken dialect (over 90%) in Hong Kong, though many people speak Mandarin and English as well. Hong Kong requires students to learn English as an additional language, but many of them are reluctant to converse in English.

7).  World’s Most Skyscrapers

Given geographical constraints, the architects have cleverly responded to the need for space by opting for vertical urbanization. Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world, easily surpassing New York. There are around 9,000 towering structures in the city, with over 500 skyscrapers standing taller than 150 m.

8).  The City of Rolls Royce

Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce per person than any other metropolis in the world. This is owing to Hong Kong’s history as a former British colony, where the status-conscious elite prefer to import Rolls Royce and travel in luxury.

9).  World’s Longest Covered Escalator

The city boasts the world’s longest-covered escalator. The Mid-Levels Escalator runs for a half-mile through the streets of a steep hillside, with an elevation of approximately 135 meters. It follows the slope of a hill, so you are essentially riding the system to ascend a mountain. The escalator system takes about 20-25 minutes to ride one way. This covered escalator, with 14 entrances and exits, is used by over 85000 people every day.

10).  There is no Fourth Floor

Omitting the number 4 is common in Hong Kong because ‘four’ sounds like the word ‘death’ in Chinese and is therefore considered unlucky. As a result, many buildings do not have a fourth floor. This means that when labeling the floors, they eliminate the ‘four’ number. On the contrary, ‘eight’ represents wealth and is considered lucky.

11).  Among the Richest Cities in the World

Hong Kong residents are known for their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to succeed financially. And you can see the results. With 66 billionaires overall, Hong Kong has the sixth-highest number of billionaires worldwide, according to Forbes data. Furthermore, Hong Kong has the greatest number of billionaires per million people.

12).  People Eat Noodles on Their Birthdays

Noodles are a staple food for Hong Kong residents. Eating noodles on your birthday is part of the tradition. It is supposed to grant them a long, blessed, and prosperous life.

Big Buddha.      discoverhongkong.com

13).  One of the Largest Buddhas is in Hong Kong

The bronze Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) sits on Lantau Island. At 34 meters tall, this is one of the largest seated Buddhas in the world. You must climb 268 steps to reach the top to pay homage to the holy icon, adding a sense of pilgrimage to the experience. You get stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and urban marvels from the top.

14).  Feng Shui is Still Practiced Here

Despite being highly Westernised, the mystical art of Feng Shui is still widely practiced in Hong Kong today. It serves as the foundation for building designs in the region and even influences skyscrapers. Feng Shui is believed to help ward off unlucky energy and to enhance opportunities and luck.

15).  There is a Prolonged Typhoon Season

Typhoons are frequently experienced in Hong Kong, and the typhoon season lasts from May to November. Typhoons can be catastrophic but the city has a highly effective system in place to deal with them. An approaching storm is indicated by a variety of signs and warnings, along with safety measures that everyone needs to follow.

Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge

16).  It has the Longest Sea Crossing Bridge

The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge went into operation on October 23, 2018. This bridge-tunnel system spans 55 km across the Pearl River Delta, connecting three major Asian cities. It is the world’s longest sea-crossing as well as the longest open-sea fixed link.

17).  Foodie’s Delight

Hong Kong is a foodie’s paradise, with a diverse range of delectable offerings that entice both locals and tourists. It has the highest number of food joints per capita. Hong Kong has over 15,000 restaurants, with 77 listed in the Michelin Guide for 2023. It has some of the world’s most affordable Michelin-starred restaurants.

18).  Dim sum Originated in Hong Kong

Dim sum evolved in the region thousands of years ago and is now a staple of local cuisine. The popular dish was created as a bite-size snack for travelers using Hong Kong as a pitstop on their way to China via the Silk Road.

19).  Hong Kong Faces a Housing Crisis

Hong Kong leads the list of the most expensive cities to buy a home in 2023. The scarcity of land combined with a population density of 6,750 people per square kilometer, has fuelled demand for housing, resulting in skyrocketing prices. The majority of people in Hong Kong live in cramped apartments, sweltering rooftop huts, and cage homes.

20).  Mass Exodus

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Hong Kong residents have been leaving the city in droves, triggered by strict policies and a clamp down on civil liberties. The exodus of tens of thousands of professionals from Hong Kong is accelerating a “brain drain” of skilled workers. The majority of those leaving are headed to Singapore. Even though the government has since relaxed its policies, many locals who left have yet to return.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Sue

    Wow, 9000 skyscrapers! I can’t imagine. sounds fascinating and I really want to visit someday! Thanks for the great article.

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