From the world’s longest outdoor escalator to the most restaurants in the world, some of these interesting facts about Hong Kong might just surprise you.
Interesting facts about Hong Kong
1. Over 40% of Hong Kong is green
Most people think Hong Kong is all gleaming skyscrapers and bustling markets, but 40% of the city-state is public green space — a staggering percentage compared to New York or Tokyo. Kowloon Park, which is squeezed between four of the busiest roads in Tsim Sha Tsui, is particularly popular. Further afield, Tai Mo Shan boasts the highest peak in Honk Kong, with numerous hiking trails winding up to the summit and opportunities for wildlife watching.
However, residents only have 2.7 sq. m (29 sq. ft) per person. How does that work out? Most people live in one-quarter of the city’s land.
2. It’s home to the world’s longest outdoor escalator
The Mid-Levels Escalator is the longest covered outdoor escalator in the world. It stretches across half a mile (800 metres)from the heart of the Central District to the residential Mid-Levels neighbourhood. It’s possibly the best free ride in the city. Construction cost HK$245 million (US$31.2 million) and serves around 85,000 people per day. It’s not one continuous escalator though, it’s broken up into 20 escalators and three moving walkways, so there’s no change of getting stuck if you’ve taken the wrong directions. It takes around 25 minutes to complete the entire journey.
3. It’s home to the world’s longest sea-crossing
The Hong Kong-Zuhai-Macau bridge is the world’s longest sea-crossing. It stretches 34 miles (55 km) across the Pear Rver Delta. The bridge itself comprises three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel and four artificial islands. As well as being the longest sea-crossing, it’s also the longest open sea fixed link in the world.
The bridge connects Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. It cost ¥127 billion (US$18.8 billion) to build the bridge and was largely funded by bank loans shared by the governments of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. The bridge opened to the public in October 2018.
4. Hong Kong literally means ‘fragrant harbour’
Hong Kong is a phonetic translation of the Cantonese name for the city, 香港, which means ‘Fragrant Harbour’. It likely comes from the city’s role in trading fragrant incense in the past, particularly agarwood.
The word Kowloon means ‘nine dragons’. According to local folklore, a young empower spotted the region’s eight hills and named it ‘eight dragons’. Then a servant reminded the empower that, technically, he was a dragon too — so it became nine dragons.
5. Hong Kong has the most skyscrapers in the world
Hong Kong boasts a whopping 9,000 high-rise buildings. It has more than 1200 skyscrapers too, which is four times as many as New York. Building boomed in the 1980s and even today the city relies on a high concentration of high-rise buildings and towers for its huge population. It’s also widely considered the best looking skyline, given its moutain-scape backdrop.
Currently, the tallest building in Hong Kong is the International Commerce Centre. The 108-story building soars 1,588 ft (488 m) high, and encompasses a combination of offices, restaurants, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel, with the world’s highest swimming pool located on the 118th floor.
6. Hong Kong has the highest number of restaurants per capita
There are over 15,000 restaurants in Hong Kong, which means there are 20.4 restaurants per 10,000 people. Wan Chai boasts the most restaurants in the whole of the city. It’s also home to one of the cheapest Michelin star restaurants in the world, Tim Ho Wan, which serves up steaming baked BBQ buns for less than $3 USD.
Speaking of delicious food, most people also agree that Dim Sum was invented in Hong Kong.
7. A lot of wealthy people live in Hong Kong
In 2021, Hong Kong ranked as the world’s second-largest billionaire population in an urban centre, even after Covid-19. It came second to New York, which has 124 billionaires. Around 96 residents hold personal fortunes of US$1 billion or over