Tour Day 21: Friday, May 11, 2001
Street Scenes of Hong Kong Island
A British crown colony for more than 150 years, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. The old colony has been transformed into a new Special Administrative Region (SAR). The style of government is new, but the style of the administration is unchanged. A part of the treaty that affected the change in 1997 provided for no change in the style of governing the region for 50 years. In effect, Hong Kong SAR is a separate country with its separate currency, customs, and immigration requirements.
The Old Meets The New.
The Juxtaposition of the old and the new is a common occurance in China.
Contrasts and contradictions abound as Hong Kong reveals itself, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically as the confluence of two cultures: Chinese and Western. Ancient buildings stand beside modern skyscrapers, hi-tech universal approaches to business and finance, the abacus with the Internet, Taoist and Buddhist temple with church, superstition with quality control, snake soup with fast food, the cell phone with herbal medicines, neon and incense, Cantonese with English, and numerous other languages.
Part of The Old Jockey Club
People of the British colony, Hong Kong, were avid fans of the "sport of kings," horse racing. The Jockey Club was much like the modern country club for the elite British colonials and state guests.
Government Housing Project
In Hong Kong, rents are sky-high.
The government is trying to help with housing projects such as this one.
Many who work here, commute from towns near the mainland China (PRC) border.
Don't take your Chinese yuans into Hong Kong, because they have no value here. The currency of the realm is the Hong Kong Dollar. When exchange rates were last checked, the Hong Kong Dollar was 7.79 to the US dollar.
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