Posted in Hong Kong

HK-299274: Hong Kong, China

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Postcrossing ID: HK-299274
Date Sent: 18 December 2014
Date Received: 4 January 2015
Days Travelled:  16
Distance Travelled:  2,324 km 

My first postcard of 2015 and the first I’ve received from Hong Kong!  I’m not real sure about the design – looks like the wallpaper in a cheap motel room – but I appreciate it all the same.  The stamp side was definitely more interesting to me!  And talk about a slow boat from China!  It took more than two weeks to travel a little over 2300 kilometers.  On the same day that this card arrived, I also received a card mailed from Finland (8300km) on the same day and one from Germany (9300km) mailed three days after.

In my list of countries, I will include Hong Kong as a separate entity despite its status as a “Special Administrative Region” of the People’s Republic of China.

I visited once – in the middle of a raging typhoon in the spring of 2003 following a couple of weeks in Beijing and Shanghai.  I didn’t find out until I’d returned to the States that my hotel was actually the first place where the SARS pandemic began to spread worldwide.  No wonder I got such a great rate and VIP treatment (including a chauffeured Mercedes Benz from the airport and a free upgrade to a suite).  My greatest memory of the trip was my determination to visit the summit of Victoria Peak despite the typhoon.  To do that, I took the famous Star Ferry across the harbor in storm-tossed seas and we had a very close encounter with a huge freighter.  I took the funicular railway up the mountain and the clouds parted just long enough for me to shoot a couple of photos of the spectacular skyline and harbor below.  A memorable trip.

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with an estimated population of 7,234,800 crammed into just 1,104 square kilometers.  Of those masses of people, some 93.6% are ethnic Chinese.  Following the First Opium War (1839-1842), it was established as a colony of the British Empire.  As a result of an agreement between China and Great Britain, Hong Kong was handed over to China in an elaborate ceremony on 1 July 1997.    Today, it ranks as the third most important international financial center, after New York City and London.  The Hong Kong Dollar is the world’s eighth most traded currency.

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