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Where & What In The World Is Honkers?

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

So where has the 2012 Winter Beers N Noodles Adventure taken me? Like a shot of adrenaline, Hong Kong quickens the pulse!

The vistas alone stir the blood, skyscrapers march up steep jungle-clad slopes by day and blaze by neon by night across a harbor forever crisscrossed by freighters and motor junks. Above streets teeming with people and traffic, sleek luxury boutiques and five star hotels stand next to ageing tenement blocks and traditional Chinese shops. This is a city that lives to eat, offering its discerning diners the very best of China and beyond in inexpensive food markets, street stalls and restaurants too numerous to count.

Hong Kong is an amazing city with a unique history, and because of this it has plenty of new and amazing experiences. Museums and tours are all very well, but Hong Kong is really a city that has to be experienced to be understood. It is a city of experiences, from Dim Sum dining to taking a spin around the harbour on a Junk, the things to do in Hong Kong are endless.

Hong Kong remains a city deeply rooted in tradition, while the Chinese mainland was engulfed by Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the refuges flooded into Hong Kong and the city became the keeper of Chinese culture’s longest traditions. From the riotous festivals to the Tai Chi classes that fill local parks, Hong Kongers are deeply traditional and it’s a side of the city well worth exploring.

Until European traders started importing opium into the country, Hong Kong was an obscure backwater in the Chinese empire. The British, with virtually inexhaustible supply from the poppy fields of Bengal, developed aggressive trade and by the start of the 19th century traded 'foreign mud’ for almost every commodity. China’s attempt to stamp out the opium trade, including confiscating and destroying one huge shipment, gave the British the pretext they needed for military action. Two gunboats were sent in and promptly destroyed a Chinese fleet of twenty nine ships. A British naval landing party hoisted the Union Flag on Hong Kong Island in 1841 and the Treaty of Nanking, which brought an end to the so called First Opium War, ceded the island to the British Crown ‘in perpetuity’.

At the end of the Second Opium War in 1860, Britain took possession of the Kowloon Peninsula, and in July 1898 a ninety nine year lease was granted for the New Territories. Throughout the 20th century Hong Kong grew in fits and starts as waves of refugees fled China during times of turmoil for Hong Kong’s vibrant British expat social life until the Japanese army crashed the party in 1941.

By the end of the war Hong Kong’s population had fallen from one and a half million to just over six hundred thousand but trouble in China soon swelled the numbers again as refugees from the communist victory in 1949 swelled Hong Kong’s population beyond two million. A UN trade embargo on china during the Korean War enabled Hong Kong to reinvent itself as one of the world’s most dynamic manufacturing and financial services centers. Hong Kongers proved expert at making money and wise enough to invest some of it in improving the city. Housing improved with the development of high rise ‘New Towns’, while the superefficient Mass Transit Railway was built to help get everyone around. But with so much at stake the 1997 question was worrying the people of Hong Kong. In 1984 Britain had agreed to cede what would become the Special Administrative region (SAR) of Hong Kong to China in 1997, on the condition it would retain its free market economy as well as its social and legal systems for fifty years.

China called it ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

<u>So what Country is Hong Kong in?</u>

The world’s original international city, many people ask what country is Hong Kong in?

The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem, with its own money, passports and legal system Hong Kong isn’t quite Chinese, but with Chinese flags flying from its buildings and Beijing appointing its chief executive it isn’t quite independent. Until 1997 and the Hong Kong handover, it was a colony of the United Kingdom and ruled by a governor. Today the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) is a part of China, although this comes with a biblical size of caveats. Hong Kong’s Basic Law, as agreed between China and Britain, means Hong Kong will retain its own currency (the Hong Kong dollar), legal system, and parliamentary system for fifty years so this means, for all practical purposes, Hong Kong is actually a separate country to China. Visitors to Hong Kong, who usually receive visa free access, need to apply for a visa to visit China and Chinese nationals require permits to visit Hong Kong.

The official languages of Hong Kong are Cantonese and English, not Mandarin.

In negotiating the Hong Kong handover, the British had no real option of not returning the island. China was eager to take back what it saw as an embarrassment in its history and was backed by international support. Perversely, while Hong Kongers felt an allegiance to China, there was no real appetite to return the world’s most capitalist city to a communist country. Concerns about civil liberties and the rights of the people after the handover were rife, particularly after the Tiananmen Square Massacre. To try and assuage the local populations fear, the British negotiated with the Chinese the Basic Law, the premise of which was to assure &#8216;Hong Kong’s Capitalist Way of Life’ for at least fifty years with a number of laws and measures.

Hong Kong was for most of its life a colony, ruled by a Governor, dispatched by the British Houses of Parliament. As the handover to China approached, the local population demanded more control over their own affairs. In response, the British introduced a semi-parliament and the post of Chief Executive. But Hong Kong’s style of government is an uncomfortable form of democracy, where some people can vote, but have no control over who wins. One of the most popular questions about the Hong Kong Handover is what has exactly changed in Hong Kong, since the Chinese took sovereignty. From the Queens picture being taken down, to a change in color on the post boxes, Hong Kong did have a British spring clean after the handover.

Britain effectively built the city of Hong Kong from scratch.

From a rocky outpost to a gleaming icon of capitalism, the British, on arrival erected some of the British Empires most elegant buildings. While many have fallen to progress, the city still boasts some beautiful reminders of its British past.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Poison The album was &#8216;Swallow This Live’ ____________________________________________________________

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down


Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Hong Kong &#38;amp; The Run Down

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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