A small territory with great landscape contrasts
Hong Kong lies along the shores of a naturally protected harbor, near the mouth of the Pearl River Delta.
Its location, on the coast of South China, is at the northernmost strip of The Tropic Belt, 22 degrees north of the Equator (Parallel to Hawaii).
It consists of four main regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon Peninsula, The New Territories and Lantau Island. In total, Hong Kong encompasses a collection of 262 islands in the South China Sea, of which Lantau is the largest.
Hong Kong Island is the second largest island and the most populated.
Most of the islands lie to the South of Hong Kong, Facing the South China Sea. Kowloon Peninsula lies north of Hong Kong Island, and Victoria Harbor, one of the deepest maritime ports in the world, separates between the two.
The New Territories, north of Kowloon, are occupying most of Hong Kong's size. They starch from Kowloon's Boundary Street in the south, to the Sham Chun River (Shenzhen River) in the north, on the border with China.
The territory covers an area of 1,104 km² which includes reclaimed lands, especially around Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.
Hong Kong's terrain is fairly mountainous and while there are some lowlands, especially near the shores, most of the territory is covered with hills and mountains, separated by rivers and gorges. The long, irregular and curvaceous coastline also affords the territory with many bays and beaches.
The lowest elevation in Hong Kong is at the South China Sea (0 m) while the highest elevation is at Tai Mo Shan (958 m) in Tsuen Wan, the New Territories.
What is Hong Kong really like ?
The last thing people imagine when they think about Hong Kong are small secluded islands and forest covered mountains, but, surprisingly enough, these landscapes cover more than 50% of the territory's area, while those heavily urbanized areas for which Hong Kong is so famous are only covering 25% of its size
Despite of its reputation for being one of the world's most populated metropolises, Hong Kong is one of Asia's greenest cities.
As a matter of fact, only 25% of the territory's 1,104 square kilometres (426 square miles) are developed. The remaining land is remarkably green with about 40% of landmass reserved as country parks and nature reserves. The main reason for the limited urban development lies in the territory's mountainous and hilly terrain.
Most of the territory's urban development can be found on Kowloon Peninsula, along the northern shores of Hong Kong Island and in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories.
Hong Kong's neighbors are the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the north and the Special administrative Region of Macau, located 60 Kilometers west of Hong Kong, on the other side of the Pearl River Delta.
Both Hong Kong and Macau are former colonies that became special administrative regions of China.
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