Hong Kong

3.4051546391943 (1940)
Posted by bender 04/01/2009 @ 16:12

Tags : hong kong, china, asia, world

News headlines
PRESS DIGEST - Hong Kong - May 20 - Reuters
HONG KONG, May 20 (Reuters) - These are some of the leading stories in Hong Kong newspapers on Wednesday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. -- Chief Executive Donald Tsang on Tuesday said his salary and those...
HSBC, Bank of East Asia Win Approval for Yuan Bonds - Bloomberg
By Tom Kohn and Cathy Chan May 19 (Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc and Bank of East Asia Ltd. won approval to be the first foreign banks to sell yuan bonds in Hong Kong from Chinese regulators, who want to boost the currency's international role....
Hong Kong a place of superlatives - Canada.com
By Elaine Yong, Special to The SunNovember 19, 2008 What is there not to love about Hong Kong? It's brash, bold, vibrant, eclectic, unpredictable and fun, not to mention a world-class destination for some serious shopping. It's full of superlatives...
Hong Kong's Stocks Retreat, Reversing Gains; Geely Declines - Bloomberg
Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's biggest carrier, jumped 6.1 percent after Goldman, Sachs & Co. recommended investors buy the stock. The Hang Seng Index lost 116.70, or 0.7 percent, to 17427.33 as of 10:21 am local time, after rising as much as...
STOCKS NEWS ASIA-Stocks set for shaky start on US data - Forbes
DIARIES & DATA: IPO diary/data Asia earnings diary US earnings diary European diary Hong Kong diary Wall Street Week Ahead Eurostocks Week Ahead LIVE PRICES & DATA: World Stocks Asian Stocks Dow Jones/NASDAQ / Nikkei FTSE 100 Debt Currency rates...
Hong Kong's jobless rate creeps up to 5.3 per cent - Monsters and Critics.com
Hong Kong - Hong Kong's unemployment rate climbed to 5.3 per cent, officials announced Tuesday, defying expectations that it would rise more steeply. The jobless rate for the period from February to April rose just 0.1 per cent from the January to...
HSBC set for buying binge - The Standard
Geoghegan said Hong Kong's economy will probably contract this year but should stabilize by the end of the year. Recovery is likely in 2010, he said. Stimulus packages should spur domestic demand in Asian economies even though exports "may struggle for...
Critical Shopper | Derek Lam Luxury in a Bell Jar - New York Times
This recipe for femininity looks, to me, as if it is aimed toward a stereotypical Hong Kong billionaire's wife. The clothes evoke a demure, under-control, decidedly non-rowdy (read: non-Western) type of woman who appreciates her role as an ornament of...
Director given French honour - Straits Times
CANNES (France) - HONG KONG film-maker Johnnie To, whose latest movie 'Vengeance' is competing for the Cannes festival's Palme d'Or, on Monday was made an officer of the French Order of Arts and Letters. Culture Minister Christine Albanel,...
Hong Kong holiday has something for everyone - Liverpool Echo
But you can now think a bit further afield when planning a quick break, so should you find yourself with four days on your hands and nowhere to go, Hong Kong should merit serious consideration. It'sa 12-hour flight, but pack a couple of decent books to...

Hong Kong

Hong Kong's tram system is the only one in the world that runs exclusively with double-deckers.

Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a territory located in Southern China in East Asia, bordering the province of Guangdong to the north and facing the South China Sea to the east, west and south. It has a population of 7 million people but only 1,108 km2 (428 sq mi) of land, making it one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Beginning as a trading port, Hong Kong became a dependent territory of the United Kingdom in 1842, and remained so until transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China in 1997. Along with Macau, Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions under the "one country, two systems" policy. As a result, Hong Kong is largely self-governing, has its own currency, legal and political systems, a high degree of autonomy in all areas except foreign affairs and defence, and is generally not considered part of mainland China.

Renowned for its expansive skyline and natural setting, Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial capitals, a major business and cultural hub, and maintains a highly developed capitalist economy. Its identity as a cosmopolitan centre where east meets west is reflected in its cuisine, cinema, music and traditions, and although the population is predominantly Chinese, residents and expatriates of other ethnicities form a small but significant segment of society.

The name "Hong Kong" in the English language is an approximate phonetic rendering of the Cantonese or Hakka pronunciation of the Chinese name "香港", meaning "fragrant harbour or port".

The original "fragrant harbour" was a small inlet between the island of Ap Lei Chau and the south side of Hong Kong Island, now known as Aberdeen Harbour in English, but still called "Heung Gong Tsai" (Little Hong Kong) in Cantonese.

It is not certain why Hong Kong harbour is so named. The reference to fragrance may refer to the harbour waters sweetened by the fresh water esturine influx of the Pearl River, or to the incense factories lining the coast to the north of Kowloon which was stored around Aberdeen Harbour for export, before the development of Victoria Harbour. The village of Heung Gong Tsuen on Ap Lei Chau is perhaps the earliest recorded use of the name.

Human settlement in the area now known as Hong Kong dates back to the late Paleolithic and early Neolithic era, but the name Hong Kong (香港) did not appear on written record until the Treaty of Nanking of 1842. The area's earliest recorded European visitor was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese mariner who arrived in 1513.

In 1839 the refusal by Qing Dynasty authorities to import opium resulted in the First Opium War between China and Britain. Hong Kong Island became occupied by British forces in 1841, and was formally ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Nanking at the end of the war. The British established a Crown Colony with the founding of Victoria City the following year. In 1860, after China's defeat in the Second Opium War, Kowloon Peninsula south of Boundary Street and Stonecutter's Island were ceded to Britain under the Convention of Peking. In 1898 Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island and the adjacent northern lands, which became known as the New Territories.

During the first half of the 20th century, Hong Kong was a free port, serving as an entrepôt of the British Empire. The British introduced an education system based on their own model, while the local Chinese population had little contact with the European community of wealthy tai-pans settled near Victoria Peak.

In conjunction with its military campaign in World War II, the Empire of Japan invaded Hong Kong on 8 December 1941. The Battle of Hong Kong ended with British and Canadian defenders surrendering control of the colony to Japan on 25 December. During the Japanese occupation, civilians suffered widespread food shortages, rationing, and hyper-inflation due to forced exchange of currency for military notes. Hong Kong lost more than half of its population in the period between the invasion and Japan's surrender in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony.

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly as a wave of mainland migrants arrived for refuge from the ongoing Chinese Civil War. With the proclamation of the People's Republic of China in 1949, more migrants fled to Hong Kong in fear of persecution by the Communist Party. Many corporations in Shanghai and Guangzhou also shifted their operations to Hong Kong. The colony became the sole place of contact between mainland China and the Western world, as the Chinese communist government increasingly isolated itself from outside influence.

As textile and manufacturing industries grew with the help of population growth and low cost of labour, Hong Kong rapidly industrialised, with its economy becoming driven by exports, and living standards rising steadily. The construction of Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate program, designed to cope with the huge influx of immigrants. Trade in Hong Kong accelerated even further when Shenzhen, immediately north of Hong Kong, became a Special Economic Zone of the PRC, and established Hong Kong as the main source of foreign investment to the mainland. The later decades of the 20th century saw the economy shift from textiles and manufacturing to mainly services-based, as the financial and banking sectors became increasingly dominant.

With the lease of the New Territories due to expire within two decades the governments of the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China discussed the issue of Hong Kong's sovereignty in the 1980s. In 1984 the two countries signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, agreeing to transfer sovereignty to the People's Republic of China in 1997, and stipulating that Hong Kong would be governed as a special administrative region, retaining its laws and a high degree of autonomy for at least fifty years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, which would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer, was ratified in 1990, and the transfer of sovereignty occurred at midnight on 1 July 1997, marked by a handover ceremony at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Hong Kong's economy was affected by the Asian financial crisis of 1997 that hit many East Asian markets, and the lethal H5N1 avian influenza also surfaced that year. After a gradual recovery, Hong Kong suffered again due to an outbreak of SARS in 2003. Today, Hong Kong continues to serve as an important global financial centre, but faces uncertainty over its future role with a growing mainland China economy, and its relationship with the PRC government in areas such as democratic reform and universal suffrage.

In accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and reflecting the policy known as "one country, two systems" by the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy as a special administrative region in all areas except defence and foreign affairs. The declaration stipulates that the region maintain its capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of its people for at least 50 years beyond the 1997 handover. The Basic Law is the constitutional document that outlines executive, legislative and judicial authorities of government, although final authority for interpreting the Basic Law rests with the PRC government.

The Basic Law and universal suffrage have been major issues of political debate since the transfer of sovereignty. In 2002, the government's proposed Article 23 of the Basic Law, which required the enactment of laws prohibiting acts of treason and subversion against the Chinese government, was met with fierce opposition, and eventually shelved. Debate between pro-Beijing groups and pro-democracy groups characterises Hong Kong's political scene, with the latter supporting a faster pace of democratisation.

In contrast to mainland China's civil law system, Hong Kong continues to follow the English Common Law tradition established during British rule. Hong Kong's courts are permitted to refer to decisions (precedents) rendered by courts of other common law jurisdictions, and judges from other common law jurisdictions are allowed to participate in proceedings of Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal and sit as Hong Kong judges.

Structurally, Hong Kong's court system consists of the Court of Final Appeal, the High Court, which is made up of the Court of Appeal and the Court of First Instance, and the District Court, which includes the Family Court. Other adjudicative bodies include the Lands Tribunal, the Magistrates' Courts, the Juvenile Court, the Coroner's Court, the Labour Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal, and the Obscene Articles Tribunal, which is responsible for classifying non-video pornography to be circulated in Hong Kong. Justices of the Court of Final Appeal are appointed by Hong Kong's Chief Executive.

The Department of Justice is the largest legal institution in Hong Kong, and its responsibilities involve legislation, judicial administration, prosecution, civil representation, legal and policy drafting and reform, and the legal profession. Aside from prosecuting criminal cases, officials of the Department of Justice also appear in court on behalf of the government in all civil and administrative lawsuits against the government. As protector of the public interest, it may apply for judicial reviews and assign legal representation on behalf of the public to take part in such a trial. The Basic Law protects the Department of Justice from any interference.

Hong Kong is subdivided into 18 geographic districts for administrative purposes, each represented by a district council that advises the government on local matters such as public facilities, community programmes, cultural activities and environmental improvements. There are a total of 534 district councils seats, 405 of which are elected, while the rest are appointed by the Chief Executive and 27 ex officio chairmen of rural committees. The government's Home Affairs Department communicates government policies and plans to the public through the district offices.

The 18 districts can be split into three areas, often used for statistical purposes. Hong Kong Island is the original 1842 colony, and contains Hong Kong's financial core on its northern coast. Kowloon is to the north across Victoria Harbour, the southern part of which was ceded in 1860. The much larger New Territories was the final addition to Hong Kong's territory in 1898.

As a special administrative region, Hong Kong is governed as a unitary authority, and as such there are no formal definitions for its cities and towns. One such example is Victoria City, which was one of the first urban settlements in Hong Kong after it became a colony, and was considered Hong Kong's capital city during British rule. Its historic boundary, along with that of Kowloon and New Kowloon, remain stated in law, but has not had any legal or administrative status since 1982.

Hong Kong is located on China's south coast, 60 km (37 mi) east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta. It is surrounded by the South China Sea on the east, south, and west, and borders the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province to the north over the Sham Chun River. The territory's 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) land area consists primarily of Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories as well as some 260 other islands.

As much of Hong Kong's terrain is hilly to mountainous with steep slopes, less than 25% of the territory's landmass is developed, and about 40% of the remaining land area is reserved as country parks and nature reserves. Most of the territory's urban development exists on Kowloon peninsula, along the northern edge of Hong Kong Island and in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories. The highest elevation in the territory is at Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 metres (3,140 ft) above sea level. Hong Kong's long, irregular and curvaceous coastline also affords the territory with many bays, rivers and beaches.

Despite Hong Kong's reputation of being intensely urbanised, the territory has made much effort to promote a green environment, and recent growing public concern has prompted the severe restriction of further land reclamation from Victoria Harbour. Awareness of the environment is growing as Hong Kong suffers from increasing pollution compounded by its geography and tall buildings. Approximately 80% of the city's smog originates from other parts of the Pearl River Delta.

Situated just south of the Tropic of Cancer, Hong Kong's climate is humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa). Summer is hot and humid with occasional showers and thunderstorms, and warm air coming from the southwest. It is also the time when typhoons are most likely, sometimes resulting in flooding or landslides. Winter weather usually starts sunny and becomes cloudier towards February, with the occasional cold front bringing strong, cooling winds from the north. The most pleasant seasons are spring, although changeable, and autumn, which is generally sunny and dry. Hong Kong averages 1,948 hours of sunshine per year, while the highest and lowest ever recorded temperatures at the Hong Kong Observatory are 36.1 °C (97.0 °F) and 0.0 °C (32.0 °F), respectively.

Hong Kong is one of the world's leading financial centres. Its highly capitalist economy has been ranked the freest in the world by the Index of Economic Freedom for 15 consecutive years. It is an important centre for international finance and trade, with one of the greatest concentration of corporate headquarters in the Asia-Pacific region, and is known as one of the Four Asian Tigers for its high growth rates and rapid industrialisation between the 1960s and 1990s. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the sixth largest in the world, with a market capitalisation of US$2.97 trillion as of October 2007, and the second highest value of initial public offerings, after London. The currency used in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong dollar, which has been pegged to the U.S. dollar since 1983.

The Government of Hong Kong plays a passive role in the financial industry, mostly leaving the direction of the economy to market forces and the private sector. Under the official policy of positive non-interventionism, Hong Kong is often cited as an example of laissez-faire capitalism. Following World War II, Hong Kong industrialised rapidly as a manufacturing centre driven by exports, and then underwent a rapid transition to a service-based economy in the 1980s. Hong Kong matured to become a financial centre in the 1990s, but was greatly affected by the Asian financial crisis in 1998, and again in 2003 by the SARS outbreak. A revival of external and domestic demand has led to a strong recovery, as cost decreases strengthened the competitiveness of Hong Kong exports and a long deflationary period ended.

The territory has little arable land and few natural resources, so it must import most of its food and raw materials. Hong Kong is the world's eleventh largest trading entity, with the total value of imports and exports exceeding its gross domestic product. Much of Hong Kong's exports consist of re-exports, which are products made outside of the territory, especially in mainland China, and distributed via Hong Kong. Even before the 1997 handover, Hong Kong had established extensive trade and investment ties with mainland China, and its autonomous status now enables it to serve as a point of entry for investment flowing into the mainland. At the end of 2007, there were 3.46 million people employed full-time, with the unemployment rate averaging 4.1%, the fourth straight year of decline. Hong Kong's economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for over 90% of its GDP, while industry now constitutes just 9%. Inflation was at 2% in 2007, and Hong Kong's largest export markets are mainland China, the United States, and Japan.

As it has never been a sovereign state, Hong Kong never has any entirely independent military forces. As a British colony and later territory, defence was provided by the British military under the command of the Governor of Hong Kong who was ex officio Commander-in-chief. When the People's Republic of China assumed sovereignty in 1997, the British barracks were replaced by a garrison of the People's Liberation Army, comprising ground, naval, and air forces, and under the command of the Chinese Central Military Commission. The Basic Law protects local civil affairs against interference by resident military forces, and the Hong Kong Government remains responsible for the maintenance of public order.

Residents of Hong Kong are sometimes referred to as Hongkongers. The territory's population increased sharply throughout the 1990s, reaching 6.99 million in 2006. Hong Kong has a fertility rate of 0.95 children per woman, one of the lowest in the world and far below the 2.1 children per woman required to sustain the current population. However, the population in Hong Kong continues to grow due to the influx of immigrants from mainland China, approximating 45,000 per year. Life expectancy in Hong Kong is 81.6 years as of 2006, the sixth highest in the world.

About 95% of Hong Kong's population is of Chinese descent, the majority of which is Cantonese or from linguistic groups such as Hakka and Teochew. The remaining 5% of the population is composed of non-ethnic Chinese forming a highly visible group despite their smaller numbers. A South Asian population of Sindhis, Indians, Pakistanis and Nepalese are found. Vietnamese refugees have become permanent residents of Hong Kong. There are also a number of Europeans, Americans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese, and Koreans working in Hong Kong's commercial and financial sector.

Hong Kong's de-facto official dialect is Cantonese, a Chinese language originating from Guangdong province to the north of Hong Kong, and is spoken by 95% of the population as a first language. English is also an official language, and according to a 1996 by-census is spoken by 3.1% of the population as an everyday language and by 34.9% of the population as a second language. Signs displaying both Chinese and English are common throughout the territory. Since the 1997 handover, an increase in immigrants from mainland China and greater integration with the mainland economy have brought an increasing amount of Mandarin speakers to Hong Kong.

Religion in Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of freedom, guaranteed by the Basic Law. 90% of Hong Kong's population practises a mix of local religions, most prominently Buddhism (mainly Chinese Mahayana) and Taoism. A Christian community of around 600,000 exists, forming about 8% of the total population, and is equally divided between Catholics and Protestants. There are also Muslim, Latter-Day Saint, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Hindu, Sikh and Bahá'í communities. Concerns over a lack of religious freedom after the 1997 handover have subsided, with Falun Gong adherents free to practice in Hong Kong, and the Anglican Church and Roman Catholic Church each freely appointing its own bishops, unlike in mainland China.

Hong Kong's education system roughly follows the system in England, although at the higher education levels, both English and American systems exist. The medium of instruction is mainly spoken Cantonese, written Chinese and English, but Mandarin language education has been increasing. The Programme for International Student Assessment, has ranked Hong Kong's education system as the second best in the world.

Hong Kong's public schools are operated by the Education Bureau. The system features a non-compulsory three-year kindergarten, followed by a compulsory six-year primary education, a three-year junior secondary education, a non-compulsory two-year senior secondary education leading to the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations, and a two-year matriculation course leading to the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations. Most comprehensive schools in Hong Kong fall under three categories: the rarer public schools; the more common subsidised schools, including government aids and grant schools; and private schools, often run by Christian organisations and having admissions based on academic merit rather than on financial resources. Outside this system are the schools under the Direct Subsidy Scheme and private international schools.

There are nine public universities in Hong Kong, and a number of private higher institutions, offering various bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, other higher diplomas and associate degree courses. The University of Hong Kong, the oldest institution of tertiary education in territory, was referred by Quacquarelli Symonds as a "world-class comprehensive research university" and was ranked 26th on the 2008 THES - QS World University Rankings , making it 3rd in Asia (after only to University of Tokyo and Kyoto University). The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and Chinese University of Hong Kong are ranked 39 and 42 respectively, making them ranked 5th and 6th respectively in Asia.

Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where East meets West, reflecting the culture's mix of the territory's Chinese roots with the culture brought to it during its time as a British colony/territory. Although over a decade has passed since the handover, Western cultural practices remain, and coexist seamlessly with the traditional philosophy and practices of Chinese culture. Hong Kong still has a Welsh male voice choir and a traditional English morris dancing team, for example.

One of the more noticeable contradictions is Hong Kong's balancing of a modernised way of life with traditional superstitious Chinese practices. Concepts like Fung 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 the Chinese language. The fusion of east and west also characterises Hong Kong's cuisine, where dim sum or da been lo restaurants can be found next to fast food joints.

While Hong Kong is a recognised global centre of trade, its most famous export is its entertainment industry, particularly in the martial arts genre which gained a high level of popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. Several Hollywood performers have originated from Hong Kong cinema, notably Bruce Lee, Chow Yun-Fat, and Jackie Chan. A number of Hong Kong film-makers have also achieved widespread fame in Hollywood, such as John Woo, Wong Kar-wai and Tsui Hark. Homegrown films such as Chungking Express, Infernal Affairs, Shaolin Soccer, Rumble in the Bronx, and In the Mood for Love have gained international recognition. Hong Kong is also the world's main centre for Cantopop music, which draws its influence from other forms of Chinese music, and more international styles including jazz, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, electronic music, western pop music and others, and has a multinational fanbase.

The Hong Kong government supports cultural institutions such as the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Also, the government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department subsidises and sponsors international performers brought to Hong Kong. Many international cultural activities are organised by the government, consulates, and privately.

Hong Kong has two broadcast television stations, ATV and TVB. Cable and satellite services are also widespread. The production of Hong Kong's soap dramas, comedy series and variety shows have reached mass audiences throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Magazine and newspaper publishers in Hong Kong distribute and print in both Chinese and English, with a focus on sensationalism and celebrity gossip. The media is relatively free from government interference compared to that of mainland China, and newspapers are often divided along political lines of support or show skepticism towards the Chinese government in Beijing. Hong Kong is also one of three CNN International headquarters.

Hong Kong offers wide recreational and competitive sport opportunities despite its limited land area. Internationally, Hong Kong participates in the Olympic Games, and numerous other Asian Games events, and hosted the equestrian events for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There are major multipurpose venues like Hong Kong Coliseum and MacPherson Stadium. Hong Kong's steep terrain make it ideal for hiking, with expansive views over the territory, and its rugged coastline provides many beaches for swimming.

Hong Kong has the world's greatest number of skyscrapers, at 6,439. The high density and tall skyline of Hong Kong's urban area is due to a lack of available sprawl space, with the average distance from the harbourfront to the steep hills of Hong Kong Island at 1.3 km (0.8 mi). This lack of space causing demand for dense, high-rise offices and housing, has resulted in 38 of the world's 100 tallest residential buildings being in Hong Kong, and more people living or working above the 14th floor than anywhere else on Earth, making it the world's most vertical city.

A downside to the lack of space and demand for construction is that few older buildings remain, the city instead becoming a centre for modern architecture. The tallest building in Hong Kong is Two International Finance Centre, at 415 m (1,360 ft) high. Other recognisable skyline features include the HSBC Headquarters Building, said to be easily dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere, the triangular Central Plaza with its pyramid-shaped spire, The Center with its nighttime multi-coloured neon light show, and I M Pei's Bank of China Tower with its sharp, angular façade. The city has been rated as having the best skyline in the world. Notable remaining historical assets include the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower, the Central Police Station, and the remains of Kowloon Walled City.

There are many development plans in place, including the construction of new government buildings, waterfront redevelopment in Central, and a series of projects in West Kowloon. More high-rise development is set to take place on the other side of Victoria Harbour in Kowloon, as the 1998 closure of the nearby Kai Tak Airport lifted strict height restrictions, including the soon-to-be tallest tower, the International Commerce Centre, which will open in 2010.

Hong Kong has a highly developed transportation network, encompassing both public and private transport. Over 90% of daily travels (11 million) are on public transport, making it the highest percentage in the world. The Octopus card, a stored value smart card payment system, can be used to pay for fares on almost all railways, buses and ferries, and also for parking and purchases at convenience stores and fastfood restaurants.

The city's rapid transit system, MTR, has 150 stations and serves 3.4 million people a day. A tramway system, serving the city since 1904, covers the northern parts of Hong Kong Island and is the only tram system in the world run exclusively with double deckers. Double-decker buses were introduced to Hong Kong in 1949, and are now almost exclusively used, with single-decker buses remaining in use for routes with lower demand or roads with lower carrying capacity. Most normal franchised bus routes in Hong Kong operate until 1 am. Public light buses run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas where standard bus lines cannot reach or do not reach as frequently, quickly, or directly.

The Star Ferry service operates four lines across Victoria Harbour and has been in operation for over 120 years, providing a panoramic view of Hong Kong's skyline for its 53,000 daily passengers. It is considered one of the city's most treasured cultural icons and has been rated as one of the most picturesque ferry crossings in the world. Other ferry services are provided by operators serving outlying islands, new towns, Macau, and cities in mainland China. Hong Kong is also famous for its junks traversing the harbour, and small kai-to ferries which serve remote coastal settlements.

Hong Kong's steep, hilly terrain calls for some unusual ways of getting up and down the slopes. The Peak Tram, the first public transport system in Hong Kong, has provided vertical rail transport between Central and Victoria Peak since 1888 by steeply ascending the side of a mountain. In Central and Western district, there is an extensive system of escalators and moving pavements, including the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world, the Mid-Levels escalator.

Hong Kong International Airport is a leading air passenger gateway and logistics hub in Asia and one of the world's busiest airports in terms of international passenger and cargo movement, serving more than 47 million passengers and handling 3.74 million tonnes of cargo in 2007. It replaced Kai Tak Airport in Kowloon in 1998, and has been rated as the world's best airport in a number of surveys. Over 85 airlines operate at the two-terminal airport and it is the primary hub of Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Air Hong Kong, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express.

To the top



University of Hong Kong

Shield of The University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong (commonly abbreviated as HKU) is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong. Its motto is "Sapientia et Virtus" in Latin, meaning "wisdom and virtue", and "明德格物" in Chinese. The official language of instruction is English.

The University ranks as the 24th university worldwide and the first in Hong Kong and PRC in the 2008 Times Higher Education Supplement rankings.

The University of Hong Kong traces its origins to the former Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, founded by the London Missionary Society in 1887 and Sun Yat-sen's alma mater. Based on the founding date of 1887, the University is arguably the oldest modern university in Greater China, beating Nanjing University (founded 1888) by a year.

The University itself was founded when Sir Frederick Lugard (later Lord Lugard, 1st Baron Lugard), Governor of Hong Kong, proposed to establish a university in Hong Kong. Lugard felt an urgent need to establish a university in China to compete with the other Great Powers opening universities in China, most notably Prussia, which had just opened Tongji University in Shanghai. The colonial Hongkongers shared British values and allowed Britain to expand its influence in southern China and consolidate its rule in Hong Kong.

Parsi businessman Sir Hormusjee Naorojee Mody learned of Lugard's plan and pledged to donate HK$150,000 towards the construction and HK$30,000 towards other costs. The Hong Kong Government and the business sector in southern China, which were both equally eager to learn "secrets of the West's success" (referring to technological advances made since the Industrial Revolution), also gave their support. The Swire Group also contributed funds, due to an industrial accident injuring many Chinese sailors that required repair of the company's public image. Along with other donors including the United Kingdom government and companies such as HSBC, Lugard finally had enough to build the university.

Lugard laid the foundation stone of the Main Building on 16 March 1910 and hoped that the university would educate more Chinese people in British "imperial values", as opposed to those of other Western powers.

The University was formally established in 1911 and had its opening ceremony in 1912. As Lugard felt that Chinese society at the time was not suited to ideals such as communism, the University originally emulated the University of Liverpool in emphasising the sciences over the humanities. It opened with only a Faculty of Medicine, which had evolved from the Hong Kong College of Medicine. However, within a year the Faculties of Engineering and Arts (which then did not offer sociology and philosophy degrees) were established. In December 1916, the University held its first congregation, with 23 graduates and 5 honorary graduates.

After the 1925-26 Canton-Hong Kong strikes, the government moved towards greater integration of Eastern culture, increasing the number of Chinese courses. In 1927, a degree in Chinese was created. Donations from wealthy businessmen Tang Chi Ngong and Fung Ping Shan - for whom campus buildings are named after - triggered an emphasis on Chinese cultural education. In 1941, the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong led to the damage of university buildings, and the University closed until 1945.

The University was founded as an all-male institution. Women students were admitted for the first time only ten years later. In 1937, the Queen Mary Hospital opened and has served as the University's teaching hospital ever since.

After World War II, the University reopened and underwent structural developments as post-war reconstruction efforts began in earnest, requiring more investment in law and social sciences. The Faculty of Social Sciences was established in 1967 and the Law Department in 1969. The student population in 1961 was 2,000, four times more than in 1941.

In 1982, the Faculty of Dentistry, based at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, was established. It remains to this day Hong Kong's only faculty training dental professionals. In 1984, both the School of Architecture and School of Education became fully-fledged faculties, and in the same year a separate Faculty of Law was created. The Faculty of Business and Economics was established in 2001 as the University's tenth and youngest faculty.

After 1989, the Hong Kong government began emphasising local tertiary college (大專) education, retaining many local students who would have studied abroad in the United Kingdom. In preparation for the 1997 handover, it also greatly increased student places and course variety. Consequently, the 2001 student population had grown to 14,300 and degree courses on offer numbered over a hundred.

HKU has nurtured the largest number of research postgraduate students in Hong Kong, making up approximately 10% of the total student population. All ten faculties and departments provide teaching and supervision for research (MPhil and PhD) students with administration undertaken by the Graduate School. Due to this emphasis on research, including successful efforts during the SARS crisis in 2003, many University laboratories have earned the status of "State Key Laboratory" (中華人民共和國國家重點實驗室).

About 45% of the University's academic staff are recruited from overseas.

The year 2001 marked the 90th Anniversary of HKU. Growing with Hong Kong: HKU and its Graduates - The First 90 Years was published by the University Press in 2002 as an impact study on HKU's graduates in different fields of Hong Kong.

In January 2006, despite protest from some students and various alumni, the Faculty of Medicine was renamed as the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine "as a recognition of the generosity" of Mr. Li Ka Shing and his Foundation, who pledged HK$1 billion in support of the University "general development as well as research and academic activities in medicine".

HKU's school crest was designed according to a recommendation by the College of Arms in England, and bore today's crest and motto on 14 May 1913. In October 1912, HKU had already gotten the design from a College of Arms letter. Although the designer was not known, it was assumed to be someone familiar with school crest design. From this design, one can see HKU's early aspiration to blend East and West.

During the university's 70th anniversary in 1981, it applied to the College of Arms for a redesigned crest with a helmet and beasts on either side; this was approved in 1984. As a result, HKU became Hong Kong's only university with a complete coat of arms.

The university's main campus covers 160,000 square metres of land on Bonham Road and Pok Fu Lam Road in the Mid-levels of Hong Kong Island. HKU buildings are some of the few remaining examples of British Colonial architecture in Hong Kong.

The Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine is situated 4.5 km southwest of the main campus, in the Southern District near Sandy Bay and Pok Fu Lam. The medical campus includes Queen Mary Hospital, the William M.W. Mong Building and research facilities. The Faculty of Dentistry is situated in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, Sai Ying Pun.

The university also operates the Kadoorie Agricultural Research Center, which occupies 95,000 square metres of land in the New Territories, and the Swire Institute of Marine Science at the southern tip of the d'Aguilar Peninsula on Hong Kong Island.

The oldest structure in the University of Hong Kong was sponsored by Sir Hormusjee Naorojee Mody and designed by Architect Messrs Leigh & Orange. Constructed between 1910 and 1912, it originally comprised two courtyards in the post-renaissance style built with red brick and granite. The main elevation is articulated by four turrets with a central clock tower (a gift from Sir Paul Chater in 1930). Two courtyards were added in the south in 1952 and one floor in the end block in 1958. It was originally used as classrooms and laboratories for the Faculty of Medicine and Engineering and is now the home of various departments within the Faculty of Arts. The central Great Hall (Loke Yew Hall) is named after Mr. Loke Yew, a benefactor of the University in its early years. It became a declared monument in 1984.

Financed by Sir Paul Chater, Professor G. P. Jordan and others, it was opened in 1919 by the Governor of Hong Kong Sir Reginald Stubbs and housed the student union. After World War II, the building was used temporarily for administrative purposes. The East Wing was added in 1960. The building was converted into the Senior Common Room in 1974. It was named in honour of Mr Hung Hing Ying in 1986 for his family's donations to the university. The building was subsequently used again for administrative purposes, and now houses the Department of Music. This two-storey Edwardian style structure is characterised by a central dome and the use of red brick to emulate the Main Building opposite. The building was declared a monument in 1995.

The idea to establish a school of Chinese was proposed between the two World Wars. Construction of the premises began in 1929 with a generous donation from Mr Tang Chi-ngong, father of the philanthropist Sir Tang Shiu-kin, after whom the building was named. It was opened by Governor of Hong Kong Sir William Peel in 1931 and since then further donations have been received for the endowment of teaching Chinese language and literature. The building has been used for other purposes since the 1970s but the name remained unchanged. At present, it houses the Centre of Asian Studies. This three-storey flat-roofed structure is surfaced with Shanghai plaster and was declared a monument in 1995.

The three-storey Fung Ping Shan Museum was originally erected in 1932 as a library for Chinese books. Named after its donor, the building consists of masonry on the ground level surmounted by a two-storey red-brick structure with applied ornamental columns topped by a pediment over its entrance. Since 1962, the Chinese books collection, now known as the Fung Ping Shan Library, was transferred to the University's new Main Library and the whole building was converted into a museum for Chinese art and archaeology. Among its prized collections are ceramics, pottery and bronzes. In 1996, the lowest three floors of the new T. T. Tsui Building were added to the old building to form the University Museum and Art Gallery.

According to the Times Higher Education Supplement 2008 World University Rankings, HKU is ranked 26th in the world, 3rd in Asia and 1st in the Greater China region which includes People's Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan (ROC). HKU was also included in the 2006 Newsweek rankings of the Top 100 Global Universities.

The University's Chancellor is the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Honourable Donald Y. K. Tsang, GBM, JP, KBE. The Pro-Chancellor is the Honourable Dr David Li, GBS, JP, OBE. The Vice-Chancellor is Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, the Deputy Vice Chancellor is Professor R. Y. C. Wong, and the Pro-Vice-Chancellors are Professor S. P. Chow, Professor J. H. W. Lee, Professor J. G. Malpas, Professor P. K. H. Tam and Professor A. B. M. Tsui. The academic staff population is over 800.

Professor Ian Davies was the Vice-Chancellor for two years before a worldwide search culminated in the selection of Professor Lap-Chee Tsui as the new head of the University in 2002.

The University of Hong Kong is a founding member of Universitas 21, an international consortium of research-led universities. HKU benefits from a large operating budget supplied by high levels of government funding compared to many Western countries. Since 1991, the Research Grants Council (RGC) has granted the University of Hong Kong a total of HK$893 million, the highest amount amongst all eight universities in the territory . HKU professors were among the highest paid in the world as well, having salaries equalling or exceeding those of their U.S. counterparts in private universities. However, with the reduction of salaries in recent years, this is no longer the case.

39 academic staff from HKU are ranked among the world's top 1% of scientists by the ISI, by means of the citations recorded on their publications.

According to the latest profile indicators , the student population of the University was 21,508 in 2005–2006, comprising 11,584 undergraduates, 7,928 taught postgraduates, and 1,996 MPhil/PhD students. There were 1,278 non-local students studying at the university.

HKU attracts some of the best students in Hong Kong. For the last five years, the University has admitted around 50% of all the Hong Kong A-level Grade-A students. It accepts most of its undergraduate students from Form 7 graduates of local secondary schools through the Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS). The University also operates an Early Admission Scheme (EAS) which allows Form 6 students with at least 6 Grade A in the HKCEE (local schools) or at least 6 A* in GCSE or IGCSE (international schools) results to join the University without sitting the Hong Kong A-Level Examination. In 2005–2006, over 50% of all students eligible to apply through the Early Admission Scheme put HKU as their first choice.

HKU SPACE was established in 1956 to provide different levels of continuing education on a wide range of subjects, for instance, Japanese language courses and Mandarin language courses. HKU SPACE runs its programmes without subsidy from the Hong Kong Government and it has recently evolved into a community college-type institution, somewhat similar to community colleges in the US.

HKU SPACE Community College was established in March 2000. It mainly provides sub-degree programmes for Form 5 or Form 7 graduates to further their studies. There are three main streams of programmes provided, they are Higher Diploma Programmes (2- or 3-year full time), Pre-Associate Degree (1-year full time) and Associate Degree (2-year full time).

HKU Libraries (HKUL) was established in 1912 and is the oldest academic library in Hong Kong with over 2.3 million holdings. While the total stock in physical volumes has been growing, the electronic collection has also expanded rapidly. A web-based library catalogue, DRAGON, allows one to search HKUL's books, journals and other resources.

HKUL now comprises the Main Library and six specialist branch libraries, the Dental, Education, Fung Ping Shan (East Asian Language), Yu Chun Keung Medical, Lui Che Woo Law and the Music Library. They are located in buildings around the campus with varying opening hours.

The HKUL Digital Initiatives, through its digitization projects, has opened up online access to local collections originally in print format. The first HKUL Digital Initiative, ExamBase, was launched in 1996 and other projects of scholarly interests were subsequently introduced. More digital projects are being developed to provide continuous access to digital content and services.It now provides open access to a number of Chinese and English academic and medical periodicals published in Hong Kong.

Mostly male and female with shared room types unless specified.

There are two officially recognised student bodies, giving opportunities for students to participate in extracurricular activities.

The Hong Kong University Students' Union (HKUSU) principally serves the undergraduate students. This organisation is renowned amongst student activists, having been the main driving force behind evicting a chancellor in recent years. The Postgraduate Students Association (PGSA) represents the postgraduate students.

Being the oldest and the only university in Hong Kong for decades, the University of Hong Kong has educated many notable people. One of them was Dr Sun Yat-sen, founding president of Republican China, who was a graduate of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, the predecessor of HKU. Over 40 principal officials, permanent secretaries, and Executive Council/Legislative Council members of the Hong Kong SAR Government are HKU graduates. HKU graduates also form the senior management teams of many large organisations in the private sector, covering many business and professional fields.

In 2008, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked the University of Hong Kong as the 26th best university in the world. Student welfare is served by several units, including the Centre of Development and Resources for Students (CEDARS), which provides guidance for most areas of student life; and University Health Service, which provides health care, referrals and preventive services. This student run organization offers more than 100 clubs and associations catering to the diverse interest of the student population.

Studying abroad students will be assigned to a local student who they can correspond with prior to departure for Hong Kong. These local students assist visiting students upon arrival at the airport, assist with settling into student residence and offer advice and support during their stay.

To date, more than 3,000 students have participated in the exchange programmes through universities spanning 18 countries around the world with the support of the University Grants Committee, the University of Hong Kong Foundation for Educational Development and Research, the Hongkong Bank Foundation, the UBC Alumni Association (Hong Kong), the Dr. Lee Shiu Scholarships for Hong Kong and South-East Asia Academic Exchange, Shell (Hong Kong) Limited, and the C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund and other donations.

In 2003, the HKU management panel put forth a strategic development plan with the goal of placing HKU even higher among the world's best universities in the next decade or so.

The University will build a new campus, the Centennial Campus, west of the Main Campus. The construction of the Centennial Campus will begin in 2008, and will be completed by 2011.

In addition to increased academic research and development, HKU also aims to promote continuing education to the public, through improved links between the University and the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE).

HKU is also trying to better its alumni and external network for financially sustainable development.

To the top



Hong Kong International Airport

Hong Kong International Airport - Outside

Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), because it was built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.

The airport opened for commercial operations in 1998, replacing Kai Tak, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China and the rest of Asia. Despite a relatively short history, Hong Kong International Airport has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards in just ten years.

HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings and operates twenty-four hours a day. It is one of the world's busiest airports, especially in terms of international passengers, and also the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo movements. In 2008, HKIA handled 48.6 million passengers and 3.63 million tons of cargo. It is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Hong Kong (cargo) and Asia Jet (private).

The airport was built on a largely artificial island reclaimed from Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau. The two former islands that were levelled comprise about 25% of the surface area of the airport's 12.55 km² platform. It is connected to the northern side of Lantau Island near Tung Chung new town. Land reclamation for the airport added nearly 1% to the entirety of Hong Kong's surface area. It replaced the overcapacitated former Hong Kong International Airport (popularly known by its former name Kai Tak Airport), which was located in the Kowloon City area with a single runway extending into Kowloon Bay close to the urban built-up areas.

Construction of the new airport was only part of the Airport Core Programme, which also involved construction of new road and rail links to the airport, with associated bridges and tunnels, and major land reclamation projects on both Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon. The project is the most expensive airport project ever, according to Guinness World Records. Construction of the new airport was voted as one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century at the ConExpo conference in 1999.

Opened on 6 July 1998, a week later than the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport, it took six years and US$20 billion to build. On that day at 6:25 a.m., Cathay Pacific's CX889 was the first commercial flight to land at the airport, pipping the original CX292 from Rome which was the scheduled first arrival. The architects were Foster and Partners. For three to five months after its opening, it suffered various severe organisational, mechanical, and technical problems that almost crippled the airport. Computer glitches are the main cause of the crisis. At one time, the government reopened the cargo terminal at Kai Tak Airport to handle freight traffic because of a breakdown at the new cargo terminal, named Super Terminal One (ST1), however after six months the airport started to operate normally.

Officially opened in June 2007, the second airport terminal, called T2, (check-in facility only) is linked with the Airport Express Line with a new platform. The terminal also features a new shopping mall SkyPlaza, providing a large variety of shops and restaurants, together with a few entertainment facilities. T2 also houses a 36-bay coach station for buses to and from mainland China and 56 airline check-in counters, as well as customs and immigration facilities.

Besides T2, the SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course has been opened in 2007 whereas the second airport hotel, the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel; and a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal, the SkyPier, are slated to begin operation in 2008 and 2009 repectively. Development around T2 also includes the AsiaWorld-Expo which has started operation in late 2005.

A study for the HKIA Master Plan 2030 is underway to examine whether and how infrastructures at HKIA - including airport access, terminal and apron facilities and a new runway - should be developed to support the economic growth of Hong Kong and the region.

In February 2009 a YouTube user uploaded a video of a woman throwing a temper tantrum after missing a Cathay Pacific flight at Hong Kong International Airport. The video gained thousands of hits soon after being posted and gained attention on media outlets throughout the world. In March 2009 Cathay Pacific apologised as it determined an employee had filmed the tantrum; an airline spokesperson said that a non-employee posted the video to YouTube and that the employee who filmed the tantrum was disciplined. The video became the second-most viewed video on YouTube during a four week span ending in 5 March 2009 and received over 5 million hits.

The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong, a statutory body wholly owned by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) is responsible for the provision of air traffic control services, certification of Hong Kong registered aircraft, monitoring of airlines on their compliance with bilateral Air Services Agreements, and the regulation of general civil aviation activities.

The airport has two parallel runways, both of which are 3800 metres in length and 60 metres wide, enabling them to cater to the next generation of aircraft. The south runway has been given a Category II Precision Approach, while the north runway has the higher Category IIIA rating, which allows pilots to land in only 200 metre visibility. The two runways have an ultimate capacity of over 60 aircraft movements an hour. At present there are 49 frontal stands, 28 remote stands and 25 cargo stands. Five parking bays at the Northwest Concourse are already capable of accommodating the arrivals of the next generation of aircraft. A satellite concourse with 10 frontal stands for narrow body aircraft is under construction to the north of the main concourse for commissioning by the end of 2009, bringing the total number of frontal stands at the airport to 59.

The airport was the third busiest airport for passenger traffic in Asia in 2005, and the world's second busiest airport for cargo traffic in 2005. In terms of international traffic, the airport is the third busiest for passenger traffic and the busiest for cargo since its operation in 1998. There are 85 international airlines providing about 800 scheduled passenger and all-cargo flights each day between Hong Kong and some 150 destinations worldwide. About 76 percent of these flights are operated with wide-bodied jets. There are also an average of approximately 31 non-scheduled passenger and cargo flights each week.

The operation of scheduled air services to and from Hong Kong is facilitated by air services agreements between Hong Kong and other countries. Since the opening of HKIA, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has implemented a policy of progressive liberalisation of air services with the intention of promoting consumer choice and competition. Many low-cost airlines have started various regional routes to compete head-on with full-service carriers on trunk routes.

The airport's long term expansion opportunities are subject to variables. A proposal to build a third runway has been under feasibility study and consultation but would be very expensive as it would involve additional reclamation from deep waters, and the building cost of the third runway may be as high as the building cost of the entire airport. On the other hand, there exists only one airway between Hong Kong and mainland China, and this single route is often and easily backed up causing delays on both sides. Finally, China requires that aircraft flying the single air route between Hong Kong and the mainland must be at an altitude of least 15,000 feet. Talks are underway to persuade the Chinese military to relax its airspace restriction in view of worsening air traffic congestion at the airport.

Recreational flying in Hong Kong is catered for by the Hong Kong Aviation Club, which undertakes flying training for private pilots and provides facilities for private owners.

The Government Flying Service provides short and long range search and rescue services, police support, medical evacuation and general purpose flights for the Government.

The airport is one of the most accessible in operation today. Despite its size, the passenger terminal is designed for maximum convenience. A simple layout and effective signage, moving walkways and the automated people mover allow quick and easy movement throughout the building. The airport also features the HKIA Automated People Mover, a driverless people mover system consisting of 3 stations to provide fast transportation from the check-in area to the gates (and vice versa). These trains travel at 62km/h and the service is provided for free to all passengers and crew.

Terminal 1 of the HKIA is currently the third largest airport passenger terminal building of the world (570,000 m²), after Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 (over 1,500,000m²) and Beijing Capital International Airport's Terminal 3 (986,000 m²).

At its opening, Terminal 1 was the largest airport passenger terminal building, with a total gross floor area of 550,000 m². It briefly conceded the status to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport (563,000 m²) when the latter opened on 15 September 2006, but reclaimed the title when the East Hall was expanded, bring its total area to the current 570,000 m². (The East Hall expansion included a 39,000 m² expansion to SkyMart, a shopping mall.) Terminal 1's title as the world's largest was surrendered to Beijing Capital International Airport's Terminal 3 on 29 February 2008.

Terminal 2 of the Hong Kong International Airport, together with the Skyplaza, opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Airport Station's Platform 3. It is only a check-in and processing facility for departing passengers with no gates or arrival facilities. (Passengers are transported underground to gates at "Terminal 1".) So far AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Emirates Airline, Hong Kong Express, Hong Kong Airlines, Jetstar Asia Airways, Jet Airways, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Siem Reap Airways, South African Airways, Thai Airways International and Uni Air have relocated their check-in operations to T2. The SkyPlaza is situated within Terminal 2.

The Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (BAC) is located within the confines of the airport and has its own terminal and facilities separate from the public terminal. It provides a full range of services for executive aircraft and passengers, including passenger lounge, private rooms and showers, business centre facilities, ground handling, baggage handling, fuelling, security, customs and flight planning. Designated spaces and hangarage are also provided at the BAC for private aircraft. Asia Jet also utilises this facility.

In order to sustain the growth of passengers, the Airport Authority formulated a “push and pull through” strategy to expand its connections to new sources of passengers and cargo. This means adapting the network to the rapidly-growing markets in China and in particular to the Pearl River Delta region (PRD). In 2003, two major events improved connections to the PRD. One was the opening of a new Airport-Mainland Coach Station. The coach station features a 230 m² waiting lounge and sheltered bays for ten coaches. The dedicated coach terminal provides a comfortable environment for passengers travelling between HKIA and different cities in the PRD. A huge number of buses are operating per day to transport passengers between HKIA and major cities in the Mainland.

The Coach Station was relocated to Terminal 2 in 2007. The 36 bays at the new Coach Station allow cross-border coaches to make 320 trips a day carrying passengers between the airport and 90 cities and towns in the PRD. Local tour and hotel coaches also operate from T2.

HKIA’s network to China is also expanded by the opening of SkyPier in late September 2003, offering millions in the PRD direct access to the airport. Passengers coming to SkyPier by high-speed ferries can board buses for onward flights while arriving air passengers can board ferries at the pier for their journeys back to the PRD. Passengers travelling both directions can bypass custom and immigration formalities, which reduces transit time. Four ports – Shekou, Shenzhen, Macau and Humen (Dongguan) – were initially served. As of August 2007, SkyPier serves Shenzhen's Shekou and Fuyong, Dongguan's Humen, Macau, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Moreover, passengers travelling from Shekou and Macau piers can even complete airline check-in procedures with participating airlines before boarding the ferries and go straight to the boarding gate for the connecting flight at HKIA. The provision of cross boundary coach and ferry services has transformed HKIA into an inter-modal transportation hub combining air, sea and land transport.

Ramp handling services are provided by Hong Kong Airport Services Limited (HAS), Jardine Air Terminal Services Limited, and Menzies Aviation Group. Their services include the handling of mail and passenger baggage, transportation of cargo, aerobridge operations and the operation of passenger stairways. The airport has an advanced baggage handling system (BHS), the main section of which is located in the basement level of the passenger terminal, and a separate remote transfer facility at the western end of the main concourse for handling of tight connection transfer bags.

HKIA currently handles well over three million tonnes of cargo annually. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited operates one of the two air cargo terminals at the airport. Its headquarters, the 328,000 m² SuperTerminal 1, is the world’s second largest stand-alone air cargo handling facility, after the opening of the West Cargo Handling Area of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in 26 Mar 2008. The designed capacity is 2.6 million tonnes of freight a year. The second air cargo terminal is operated by Asia Airfreight Terminal Company Limited, and currently has a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year. It is envisaged that HKIA’s total air cargo capacity per annum will reach nine million tonnes ultimately.

Both line and base maintenance services are undertaken by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), while China Aircraft Services Limited and Pan Asia Pacific Aviation Services Limited carry out line maintenance. Line maintenance services include routine servicing of aircraft performed during normal turnaround periods and regularly scheduled layover periods. Base maintenance covers all airframe maintenance services and, for this, HAECO has a three-bay hangar, which can accommodate up to three Boeing B747-400 aircraft and two Airbus A320 aircraft, and an adjoining support workshop. HAECO also has the world's largest mobile hangar, weighing over 400 tons. It can be used to enclose half of a wide-body airplane, so that the whole facility can fully enclose four 747s when the mobile hangar is used. A new two-bay hangar that locates next to the current one will be in operation by the end of 2006.

The Air Traffic Control Complex (ATCX), located at the centre of the airfield, is the nerve centre of the entire air traffic control system. Some 370 air traffic controllers and supporting staff work around the clock to provide air traffic control services for the safe and efficient flow of aircraft movements within the Hong Kong Flight Information Region (FIR). At the Air Traffic Control Tower, controllers provide 24-hour aerodrome control services to aircraft operating at the airport. A Backup Air Traffic Control Centre/Tower constructed to the north of the ATCX is available for operational use in the event normal services provided in the ATCX are disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. Apart from serving as an operational backup, the facilities are also used for air traffic control training.

The Airport Meteorological Office (AMO) of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) provides weather services for the aviation community The AMO makes routine and special weather observations and provides fixed-time aerodrome forecasts and landing forecasts for the HKIA. It issues aerodrome warnings on adverse weather for protection of aerodrome facilities and aircraft on the ground. It also issues significant weather information on thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, turbulence, icing, and other hazardous weather which may affect aviation safety in the area within which Hong Kong is responsible for the provision of air traffic services. To enhance the safety of aircraft landing and taking off from HKIA, the AMO issues alerts of low-level windshear and turbulence.

Rescue and fire fighting services within the airport are covered by the Airport Fire Contingent of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department. The contingent has a strength of 282 uniformed members, operating two fire stations and two rescue berths for 24-hour emergency calls. It is equipped with 14 fire appliances which can respond to incidents within two minutes in optimum conditions of visibility and surface conditions, satisfying the relevant recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Two high capacity rescue boats, supported by eight speed boats, form the core of sea rescue operations.

1: Although some of Saudi Arabian Airlines's flights to Saudi Arabia stop in Manila, Saudi Arabian Airlines has no rights to transport passengers between Hong Kong and Manila.

Terminal 2 is a check-in only facility. All boarding gates, transfer, and arrival facilities are in Terminal 1.

The new Hong Kong International Airport was built with ground-transportation considerations in mind connected by the North Lantau Highway on Lantau Island, providing a fast and scenic link to inner Hong Kong. Getting to and from Hong Kong International Airport is therefore easy, convenient and relatively inexpensive.

Terminal-to-terminal travel is also quick and simple. Operated by the Airport Authority and maintained by the world-class MTR Corporation, there is a automated people mover connecting the East Hall to the West Hall and newly opened Terminal 2. There are further plans for this people mover to be extended to SkyPier.

The airport can be reached by the Airport Express, a dedicated rail link provided by the MTR. It takes 24 minutes to reach the airport from Hong Kong station, thus awarding it the fastest mode of transport to get to the airport. It offers local MTR line connections along the line. In addition, both Kowloon and Tsing Yi stations provide complimentary and exclusive in-town check-in services for major airlines.

Passengers may also consider take the 1-minute journey to AsiaWorld-Expo, which is also located in Chek Lap Kok. This segment of the Airport Express started operations on 20 December 2005 to facilitate the opening of the expo.

In the latest policy address by Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the chief executive of the Special Administrative Region, the government is also studying the feasibility of building a railway connecting between Hong Kong International Airport and Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport to provide further convenience to business and leisure travellers.

Citybus, New Lantao Bus, Long Win Bus and Discovery Bay Bus all together operate 25 bus routes to the airport from various parts of Hong Kong, available at the Airport Ground Transportation Centre and Cheong Tat Road. The bus companies also offer 10 overnight "N" services since the airport is open 24-hours a day.

Coach service is available to major cities and towns in Guangdong, such as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou.

Direct ferry services are available from the airport to various destinations throughout the Pearl River Delta. Passengers using these services are treated as transit passengers and are not considered to have entered Hong Kong for immigration purposes. For this reason, access to the ferry terminal is before immigration in the airport for arriving passengers. Check-in services are available at these piers. Four ports – Shekou, Shenzhen, Macau and Humen (Dongguan) – were initially served, extending to Guangzhou and Zhongshan at the end of 2003. The Zhuhai service began on 10 July 2007.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia