Hong Kong opens borders
Imagine living in a huge city, idle for a day in traffic jams, pushing in transport, inhaling exhaust fumes and loading the brain with cuts of meaningless information. And when the perception of the world narrows to the size of the daily work-home-work route, suddenly … a snap in my head: isn’t it time to remember how real and diverse this world itself is? And go where you can see for yourself. There is a city in the world – higher, brighter, more fun. The cities are a jungle of glass and steel with never-fading street life, the city is the apogee of modern architectural evolution.
There are very few megapolises assembled from glittering day and night with the neon light of elongated boxes of super modern skyscrapers. A man is not so mad in his passion for self-isolation from the surrounding living world. And to build reinforced concrete giants, humanity is forced by no means irrepressible pride, pushing to join the fight for the title of “the tallest building in the world” – such construction is akin to great art, it is completely “from another opera.” Building skyscrapers is expensive, but, paradoxically, people are forced to build them out of savings. This economy is peculiar to the inhabitants of large cities, where the cost of the built-up area is large, and where there are more residents per square meter of land than these same “earthly” squares.
One of these urban agglomerations is located 10 hours from Moscow. Occupying the 100th place in terms of population, this city is the leading financial center of Asia and in the near future claims to become the first in the world. The city of wonders and the city is an economic miracle, the city is a millionaire and a city of millionaires, a special administrative, “special region” of China – Hong Kong, aka Hong Kong.
Getting to Hong Kong to our tourists, in principle, is not difficult. Some travelers include staying in this city in large-scale plans to visit major cities in China, although it should be noted that Hong Kong is not exactly China (and according to Hong Kong residents, it’s not China at all). Others prefer to diversify their beach holiday in Hainan through a short excursion program – the flight from Sanya to Hong Kong takes about an hour. Admittedly, both options are extremely interesting, but after staying in provincial Hainan, Hong Kong looks much more impressive. Minus is the return back to Hainan. The provinciality of the island’s popular beach holiday destination, after several days in Hong Kong, literally hurts.
It should be noted here, and this is extremely important: despite the fact that since July 2009, the agreement on visa-free visits to Hong Kong for Russian citizens entered into force, in any case, everyone who wants to leave China’s mainland for a while needs to take care of the correct registration of visas at home, specifying the nuances of the tour operator. The problem is not just to visit, but to return. This means the following: if you get tired of lying around, for example, on the beautiful beach of the Sheraton Hotel in Yalunvan Bay, and you want to fly over the South China Sea to see Hong Kong or Macao, you have practically no opportunity to carry out your plans. Such desires must be foreseen and, accordingly, pre-arranged!
If it seems to you that all this visa red tape discourages any desire for travel, you should be reassured by the idea that the inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom itself have practically no chance to see Hong Kong. The Hong Kong authorities are scrupulous about this issue: allowing several billions of Chinese to invade a small but rich city is equivalent to letting Rome go to their barbarians. Only a visa, only a group and only after a thorough check!
Why don’t the Hong Kong see themselves as Chinese? To answer this question, you should note for yourself a few dates in the history of the city. In fact, the inhabitants of Hong Kong have ceased to be Chinese since 1842, when, as a result of the defeat of China in the First Opium War, the island passed under British sovereignty. An absolutely terrible page in the history of Britain, when the war was unleashed because of China’s refusal to accept as a payment for Chinese goods a drug produced by tons in neighboring India. Then the UK business community demanded from its government effective measures to break China’s “isolation” and seize any island off its coast as a stronghold of free commerce. Initially, Taiwan was chosen for this purpose, but as a result, the territory of the island of Hong Kong, where the city of Victoria was built, received the official status of the “colony of the crown”, and in 1860 after being defeated in the Second Opium War, the territory of the Kowloon Peninsula was annexed. According to the Beijing Treaty, all these lands were transferred to Britain for everlasting use.
The main economic growth in Hong Kong was in the aftermath of World War II, when civil war broke out in China.