VLDB 2002
28th International Conference on
Very Large Data Bases
Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel
August 20-23, 2002
Hong Kong, China


| The City of Hong Kong | Gateway to China and Macau | Getting Around | Useful Links |




Prior to the arrival of the British, Hong Kong was a small fishing community and a haven for travelers and pirates in the South China Sea. Following the end of the first Opium War, the territory was ceded to Britain in perpetuity. After additional conflicts with the Chinese in 1860 Britain gained Kowloon and Stonecutters Island. In 1898 Britain acquired the New Territories on a 99-year lease. In 1984, Britain and China reached an agreement that Hong Kong would revert back to Chinese sovereignty in 1997. However, the commercial, social and legal life of Hong Kong would remain as it is until 2047.


Old Hong Kong Harbour

Hong Kong comprises 235 islands including one with the largest Buddha in the world. The Kowloon peninsula seethes with shops, temples, markets and restaurants; the New Territories offers a contrast of scenic beauty and man-made achievements, it's unique gardens and parks bursting with birds, wildlife and plants.

Hong Kong's success has been achieved in a city with an area of less than 1,100 square kilometers and endowed with no natural resources except a fine, deep-water harbor and an industrious, entrepreneurial population of almost 7 million.

Industry and Commerce

Hong Kong skyline


Hong Kong is an international city which blends the best from the East and West, creating a unique personality. Strategically located at the heart of Asia, it is the world's seventh largest merchandise trading economy. More than 2,000 multinational companies have regional headquarters or offices in Hong Kong. Its per capita GDP is one of the highest in Asia. It is one of the world's top 10 exporters of services embracing a wide spectrum of activities--finance and banking, accounting and legal, tourism, telecommunications and media, importing and exporting to name a few. Hong Kong is the world's fifth largest foreign exchange market. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is the second largest in Asia and the seventh largest in the world. The gold market is in the top four of the world and Hong Kong is also a regional leader in loan syndication and investment management business. In addition, Hong Kong is also one of the world's most prolific film and entertainment production centers.

In communications and information technology, Hong Kong is the leader in the region. It is an important satellite and fiber-optic communications hub in the Pacific, providing links for instant, efficient and cheap communications around the globe. Hong Kong also has one of the world's first completely digitized telephone systems, and the density of fax lines ranks second in the world. The Internet community in Hong Kong has grown rapidly with some 100 licensed Internet service providers in operation.


Hong Kong is the most popular tourist destination in Asia. Tourism receipts are Hong Kong's second largest earner of foreign exchange. Hong Kong has many attributes that have led to its development as the most popular travel destination in Asia. In terms of accommodation, Hong Kong has many hotels of a high standard providing a total of more than 33,500 rooms. In terms of transport Hong Kong is conveniently linked by air to all major cities worldwide; it is also the major gateway for travel to China. Its free-port status makes it one of the most attractive shopping destinations in the world.


Given its central location in the region and excellent telecommunications and air links with other cities, Hong Kong has become a popular choice for international exhibitions and conventions. Hong Kong has the world's busiest airport in terms of international cargo and third busiest in terms of international passengers. Flights take off from, and arrive in, Hong Kong every two minutes. Some 60 airlines operate more than 1,600 scheduled and nonscheduled flights weekly between Hong Kong and more than 100 cities. The new international airport at Chek Lap Kok, can initially handle 35 million passengers a year and has an ultimate capacity of 87 million passengers a year.

A Picture Tour of Hong Kong

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All visitors to Mainland China must have valid travel documents. Please contact your local Chinese Embassy for information regarding visas for China. Alternatively, arrangements can generally be made for the issue of these visas at the China Travel Service (HK) Ltd. in Hong Kong.

If you intend to spend a day across the border, the Kowloon-Canton Railway runs scheduled train service daily to Lo Wu. For other major cities and tourist attractions in China, please contact the China Travel Net for details.


All visitors to Macau must have a passport or other valid travel document. No visas are required to enter Macau for American, Australian, British, Canadian, French, Japanese and Portuguese passport holders. For more information, please check the web page of the Macau Government.

If you intend to spend a day or two in Macau, scheduled ferry sailings leave daily at the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal on Hong Kong Island, and the China (HK) Ferry Terminal on Kowloon side (limited service).

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Hong Kong has an excellent public transportation system, so travel is generally quick and easy. Like most major cities, it is best to avoid rush hours: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., if possible. Taxis, buses, ferries, trams and trains are all quick and convenient ways to get to your destinations around Hong Kong.

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