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Hong Kong consists primarily of Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories as well as some 260 other islands. The Kowloon Peninsula is attached to the New Territories to the north, and the New Territories spans northwards eventually connecting with mainland China across the Sham Chun River (Shenzhen River).


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. Ap Lei Chau is the most densely populated island in the world.


The name "Hong Kong", which literally translates to mean "fragrant harbour", is derived from the area around present-day Aberdeen on Hong Kong Island. This is an area where fragrant wood products and fragrant incense were once traded. The narrow body of water which separates Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula is known as Victoria Harbour and is one of the deepest natural maritime ports in the world.


Despite Hong Kong's reputation of being intensely urbanised, the territory has made much effort to promote a green environment. Much of the territory remains undeveloped as the terrain is mostly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes. Of the territory's 1,104 square kilometres (426 square miles), less than 25% is developed. The remaining land is remarkably green with about 40% of the landmass reserved as country parks and nature reserves. Most of the territory's urban development exists on the Kowloon peninsula, along the northern shores of Hong Kong Island and in scattered settlements throughout the New Territories.


Hong Kong's long, irregular and curvaceous coastline also affords the territory with many bays, rivers and beaches. Despite the territory's extensive wooded and ocean setting, environmental awareness is growing as Hong Kong's air ranks as one of the most polluted. Approximately 80% of the city's smog originates from other parts of the Pearl River Delta.


Hong Kong is 60 kilometres (37 miles) east of Macau on the opposite side of the Pearl River Delta. It borders the city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province to the north. The highest elevation in the territory is at Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 metres (3,142 ft) above sea level. Lowlands exist in the northwestern part of the New Territories. (




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