Hong Kong is one of two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China, the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony's boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula and the New Territories by 1898.
Lowry visited Hong Kong on his voyage to the Far East in 1927. Lowry arrived on board Pyrrhus on July 19th 1927 and departed on the 21st. Lowry refers to Hong Kong in his novel Ultramarine; "That Sunday, bound for Hong Kong, we had come up on deck". (Pg.76) and "that night the Oedipus Tyrannus had reached another port, Hong Kong. She glided in silently at four bells in the evening. Lanterns were singing at the water's edge, an army of lights marched with torches up the slope to the barracks, a few natives came aboard wearing enormous cymbal-shaped hats. Behind the ship the Peninsular Hotel at Kowloon loomed darkly..." (Pg.76); " 'story about a Chink fireman I heard and the English sailor at the Christian cemetery in Hong Kong. ' " (Pg.173).