First impressions of Hong Kong

3 Jun

Hong Kong – whirl of life, steps, the peak, skyline, mountains, cantonese, british, foreign, china, shopping, tourists, financial system, dim sum, monasteries, crowds, ferries, the harbor, movies, martial arts, history, change…

Hong Kong Island on a rainy day

Famous Dim Sum restaurant

I had been to Hong Kong once before, but my recent trip there was the first time I felt that I had any of my own time to really explore.  The reason for my trip was the conference that I spoke about a few weeks ago which I added some personal travel at the front and the back.  After over four years in China, my views on Hong Kong are a constant comparison to other places in Asia – mostly China, but with Singapore and Thailand and the Philippines thrown in.

A few things of note as I looked back:

People are even pushier than in Shanghai – I walked down the main street on a weekday in Central and had to weave my way around.

Octopus cards (a transportation/cash card used on the metro and everywhere else) are so convenient!  You hardly have to carry small bills.

Hong Kong Island is all steps.  One friend told me that she hurt for the first month she lived in Hong Kong from all the steps.

The toilets are clean and not squat toilets and have toilet paper – even in small cafes and big malls. (Unfortunately I have developed a fixation on the availability and quality of toilets after so many years abroad.)

The “cheap shopping” isn’t really that inexpensive compared to the US, but is much cheaper than mainland China.  The benefit is having all of the stores so close together – it is much more efficient.

Getting off the beaten path – or even to China – is incredibly easy.  I took the subway to the outskirts and found greenery and temples and space.

Peace in the outskirts of the city

There are so many westerners and stores that cater to them – I could find chai lattes, hummus, hamburgers, clothes that fit, and so much more!

Sarah in Guangzhou, one of the blogs I follow, also wrote a post on her favorite parts of Hong Kong earlier this year.  If you’d like to compare her list to mine, you can click here.

Do you have a place that serves as an antidote to the ordinary?  Where do you go when you’re looking to stretch a little – enough different,but still the same?

To my loyal readers: Thanks for your patience over the last week as I’ve been continuing my constant stream of motion.  I anticipate that my posting will soon return to normal.  In an ironic twist – my site stats for the week that I did not post were just in the same normal range as when I do.  I’m sure there is a lesson here, but at first glance it is both rewarding and a bit odd.  I appreciate your support.

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4 Responses to “First impressions of Hong Kong”

  1. sarahinguangzhou June 3, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    Yes it’s easy to dismiss HK as just a city of shopping malls, a bit like Singapore really. Because it’s so close I go over a lot and so gradually found so much more to it. I’d definitely reccommend Lamma island if you haven’t been there. Very tranquil and so not typically HK

    • gkm2011 June 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Thanks for the recommendation. The next time I go back (I’m a bit farther away) I will definitely put it on my list.

  2. jotsfromasmallapt June 3, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Do so look forward to your commentary. Always so well done….

    • gkm2011 June 4, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Hi Jots! Good to hear from you and thanks for the compliment.

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