Hong Kong

The Fragrant Harbour

Hong Kong, in Chinese “Fragrant Harbour”, where there are traces of the human presence dating back to 6,000 years ago, today is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with an area of 1,104 km2 and about 7 million inhabitants. While strolling on the seafront among the huge skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Kowloon, I watch at the comings and goings of boats, commercial vessels and cruise boats in the stretch of sea, Victoria Harbour, that separates the two lands, then a little more inside I wander among thousands of stores, restaurants, shopping centers, many open-air markets crowded of people. I realize that I am in a great place in continuous development, which is also one of the most important trading centers in the world! And I can not help but smile thinking of the pessimistic predictions made on these geographical areas in the mid-nineteenth century, when Hong Kong was occupied for the first time on January 20th 1841 by the British. The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Palmerston, went as far as describing contemptuously Hong Kong after the occupation as ‘a barren island, which will never be a mart of trade’ (http://www.miglioverde.eu/hong-kong-lex-colonia-divenuta-modello-di-liberta-economica-1°-parte/) and in July 1844 Robert Montgomery Martin, the colonial treasurer, reported that “the climate, landscape, and trade conditions of Hong Kong were so bad that the British government should abandon the island… There does not appear to be the slightest probability that, under any circumstances, Hong Kong will ever become a place of trade” ( A concise History of Hong Kong by John M. Carroll – Rowman & Littlefield 2007 pgg. 19/20).
Hong Kong is a city that pulses, vibrates, that never stops day and night! Each time we return there, we are surprised of so many new skyscrapers. Those who once we remembered as “majestic” have disappeared to make room for others even bigger, even higher, even more bizarre and fascinating together, that at the twilight glow with thousands of lights and colors giving away a surreal spectacle. It is a city that certainly must be visited and lived. Culture, business, tradition and fun mingle, creating a reality that leaves little to the imagination or fancy giving to the visitor a unique experience!
Have a nice trip!