Of all the European imperialist powers, it was the Portuguese who first set their sights on Southern China in the sixteenth century, a move which led to military incursions. Following the expulsion of all foreigners, it was the British who next developed profitable trade relations with China during the eighteenth century exporting opium. However hostilities erupted into the now famous Opium Wars, which ultimately resulted in the various regions which now constitute Hong Kong being individually ceded to Britain by 1898. A century later in 1997, the sovereignty of Hong Kong was returned to China. Today, Hong Kong beats with a vibrant, pulsating heart as one of the globe’s great destinations – a towering metropolis punctuated by a famous harbor.

The weather in Hong Kong makes visiting the city possible year round. Summers, however, are hot and humid with temperatures rising on average to around 31 degrees. In winter the mercury peaks at around 18 degrees. Rainfall is more likely in summer but nothing that significantly prevents exploration.

Hong Kong celebrates Chinese New Year in spectacular fashion with lion dances, fireworks and parades. The Spring Lantern Festival is a beautiful traditional Chinese festival. Other significant cultural festivals include the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Man Literary Festival.

 

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