Hong Kong is a phonetic translation of the city name -??? based on Cantonese pronunciation. The name literally means “Spice harbour” or “fragrant harbour.” There’re a couple of speculations as to why the harbour was named:
1. There’s a small stream running through Hong Kong and the surrounding area that provides sweet and clean drinking water to the residents. The stream was called “fragrance river” ??, and Hong Kong received the name as the harbour city.
2. The most possible reason the harbour was named as such probably comes from the fact it has been a major harbour for agarwood, its oil, and resin to be transported from Guang Dong province to northern Chinese provinces. Guang Dong province had always been famous for its agarwood and byproduct. Agarwood has been used in making fragrances, as part of herbal medicine (for internal and external use), added to wine or liquor, or crafted into expensive decoration pieces at home.