Hong Kong island was originally a fishing island, occupied only by a small village of fishermen that boated around the many bays. It, being a fairly unvaluable area, was the area chosen by China to donate to the British Empire as recompense for the Opium Wars.

The Opium Wars:
At the time, the British Empire was setttling into a lucrative trading lifestyle. One particularly worthwhile triangle was the Britain - Africa - China triangle, where British cloth and items would be traded to Africa for opium and other herbs, which would then be traded to China in exchange for silver and other commodities.

The Chinese government outlawed Opium imports, on the grounds that many people were now getting addicted and the traders were selling at exorbitant prices, damaging the people and the economy. Britain ignored the warnings.

In a fit of rage, China held several opium trading ships hostage, and threatened to burn the sailors unless its terms were met.

Unfortunately, the British Navy were sent up into the city where the men were being held and captured the whole city (Britannia Rules The Waves has a very good origin). It demanded repayment for the men that had died. Hong Kong Island was given to them in perpetuity.

But Wait! Why did we just give it back, if they gave it to us?

Well, it turned out that Hong Kond Island had no fresh water supply whatsoever. Any supplies had previously been imported from the mainland and surrounding Islands. So, rather than one useless Island for ever, Britain traded all but 100 years of HK back to china in return for 100 years of the surrounding Islands (Lamma, Peng Chau, Chung-Chau and Lantau) and the peninsula (Kowloon, a word meaning Nine Dragons, named by the Emperor himself when he visited. There were eight hills in the area, each a Dragon (see Feng Shui), and the Ninth Dragon being the Emperor himself, a Gold Dragon).

Thus, Hong Kong became a great trading centre of the world, featuring such architechtural delights as the Bank Of China, a budget skyscraper made of giant pyramids, or the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, made of giant lego equivalent (rumour has it it could have been dissembled and rebuilt in an entirely different location with great ease). It is a great place for tourists, with a skyline to rival New York and 98% humditity (literally 98%, not American 98%, which is, in actuality, about 20% Max.).

Main tourist attractions include the aforementioned buildings and one particularly worthy of inclusion. A giant apartment building, pink, stands on one of the hills away from Central (the main district). It has also a giant hole in the middle, to let the Dragon (the hill again) view the sea at its leisure and not get angry and start moving around (seriously, this is why). Stanley Market is the place for cheap yet interesting imitation goods (I myself own several illegal T Shirts from there, Calvin and Hobbes, who were never released on T Shirt), with lots of cafes and miscalaneous. Pickpockets may be part of the crowd.

Another feature is the fact that at least 2/3s of the island remains unspoilt forest land, with paths leading through and past many an exotic bird. These can be reached primarily through Tai Tam Resevoir Road {Causeway Bay), also home to (you guessed it!) a resevoir, home to giant terrapins, American Red Eared and otherwise, some as big as 30 cm across. This lake sells terrapin food and has peddelo rides. The culinary delight for terrapins is live bloodworms, but food pellets are more common.

Finally, to end this plug for Hong Kong, there is always a (semi) relaxing ferry ride on Star Ferries, taking you across the bay to Kowloon and back, giving you a unique view of the city, with the sunlight reflecting off the 500 skyscrapers, all (most) mirror plated, and the pollution levels rising.

I just thought of about ten more things I could say, but I won't. I've bored you enough.