Before the British government colonised the New Territories and New Kowloon in 1898, Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hokkien people had migrated to and stayed in Hong Kong for many years. The Punti and Hokkien lived in the New Territories while the Tanka and Hakka lived both in the New Territories and Hong Kong Island.
British reports on Hong Kong described the Tanka and Hoklo living in Hong Kong "since time unknown".
Lantau Island was also a salt production centre, where riots by salt smugglers against the government broke out.
From the middle of the Tang dynasty until the Ming dynasty, Hong Kong was governed by Dongguan County.
During the Ming dynasty, Hong Kong was administered by Xin'an County.
During the Qing dynasty, Hong Kong remained under the governance of Xin'an County, before it was colonised by the British.
During the Mongol period, Hong Kong saw its first population boom as Chinese refugees entered the area. Despite the immigration and sparse development of agriculture, the area was hilly and relatively barren.