Hong Kong is undoubtedly one of the busiest confluences between China and the rest of the world for business travellers including myself. Apart from meetings and conferences, it is also a top tourist destination in Asia with its lure of shopping and plethora of dining options. However Asia's global city is more than just meetings, food and shopping. It's geography and unique blend of East and West presents a buffet of Chinese traditions and customs, theme parks, local cuisine and verdant countryside to enthrall the visitor for days. There's so much to do that I often wished had more time during visits. Here are 55 facts I picked up during my visits to Hong Kong (learn more via Hong Kong city guide) to help make yours even more enjoyable and interesting. Might just amaze some locals as well.
1) The Peak Tram became the first cable funicular in Asia in 1888 and remains one of the steepest and oldest cable railroads in the world. An average of over 11,000 people ride the Peak Tram every day or more than 4 million annually.
2) Approximately 3/4 of of Hong Kong is rural, comprising of 24 country parks, scenic hills, woodlands, reservoirs and coastline easily accessible from the city.
3) It is being promoting as the site for Chinese renminbi (RMB) internationalisation with the issuing of Chinese government and RMB-denominated corporate bonds and RMB trade settlements.
4) The 'father of fibre optic communications' and winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics is Professor Charles Kao from Hong Kong.
5) The Chinese New Year "Poon Choi" dish consisting of 10 different ingredients cooked separately and assembled into a one-pot meal, popular among Cantonese restaurants in Hong Kong, is actually of Hakka origin.
6) The services industry accounts for 92.9 percent of Hong Kong's GDP with 41.4 percent of its labour force employed in wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels.
7) Feng Shui or Chinese geomancy plays a key role in shaping architecture, business and lifestyles in Hong Kong, so much so that the government had to compensate residents living around civil construction projects for disturbing their feng shui.
8) The world's most expensive bottles of wine at USD232,692 per bottle were sold at an auction in Hong Kong.
9) Hong Kong Disneyland (one of main Hong Kong scenic spots), which opened in 2005, is the third Disney theme park outside the US and the first in China.
10) Mongkok has the world's highest population density with an average of 130,000 people per square kilometre.
11) It has the world's most affordable Michelin star rates dishes at less than USD2 per dish.
12) A unique brand of Cantonese popular music called Canton-pop originated and spread from Hong Kong to the rest of Asia.
13) The longest bi-cable aerial ride in Asia is Ngong Ping 360. This 25-minute ride from Tung Chung offers stunning views of Lantau Island including the Ngong Ping Village, Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Wisdom Path.
14) It boasts one of the world's highest per-capita concentrations of cafes and restaurants at one restaurant for every 600 people.
15) Hong Kong magician Louis Yan set the Guiness World Record for 'The largest magic lesson' by teaching 314 children, surpassing the previous record by David Copperfield.
More: Hong Kong tour packages and China vacation deals
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