Hong Kong is a fascinating city with an even more fascinating history. Originally just a small fishing village, the New York of Asia evolved into a strategic military port and eventually became one of the world’s largest financial centres.
Hong Kong as we know it today was founded when the government of China's Qing Dynasty was defeated in 1842 during the First Opium War. The terms of the peace treaty included the cession of Hong Kong to Great Britain as a colony. Over the decades, the area ceded to Britain was expanded with Kowloon, the New Territories and 235 outlying islands. Hong Kong was finally returned to China in 1997. Under the motto ‘One country, two systems,’ the city then became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Thanks to this arrangement, Hong Kong retained a high degree of autonomy, including its capitalist system, independent judiciary & rule of law, free trade and freedom of expression.
The best place to start a visit to Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Museum of History: 400 million years of history are represented here under one roof. After a few hours in the museum you’ll understand the city and its history better. The permanent exhibition ‘The Story of Hong Kong’ showcases the history, local customs and culture of Hong Kong in a lively way. The museum has more than 45,000 objects on display, divided into four categories: Archaeology, local history, ethnology and natural history.
More information on: hk.history.museum