It definitely has its own style, people and heritage and by the time I reached my hostel I could already feel a difference. After discussing this amazement with a fellow traveller, he summed it up by saying “back to civilization”. And this was exactly how it felt.
It’s really easy to get around, and although they drive on the left they obey traffic signals and understand how to wait in a line rather than swarm the doors. Nobody spits or pushes and when I rudely bumped into someone and heard sorry it just made my day! So I decided to pull my manners off the back burner and enjoy this westernized China.
After spending nearly a month among no personal space it was wonderful. Not that HK isn’t crowded, it’s jam packed as one of the world’s most dense cities but with so many ex pats, they understand the idea of a comfort zone.
It wasnt only the familiar customs that I liked about the city, but the mix of city and surrounding parks and leisure areas. I visited the Stanley bay area to see the dragonboat festival for the day, which reminded me that I was on an island and surrounded by smaller islands. Hong Kong island is only 40% developed because of the mountainous landscape but of that portion, the city is jammed packed while beaches and parks line the perimeter.
My favorite cities are those made for people – not cars – and it’s HKs restricted land area that makes the city walkable and convenient. Albeit the streets are a mile high and crammed with people but it’s easy to escape to nature especially if u have a boat!
Hong Kong was quite expensive, my accommodation was three times that of china but I managed to find a fun place to stay and a cheap bar that sold 30 drinks for 50$ not that I could drink all of them! I went out one night to Wan Chai ( I’m told it’s the red light district of HK) with two Irish and a Thai. With live music and cheap drinks it was lots of fun even though we literally had to carry the Thai guy back home!
Most of my time I spent in the markets… I’m getting pretty good at haggling, but still no good at saying No. So I have lots of souvenirs and clothes that I didn’t realize I needed!
I also met a Canadian guy who agreed to get up early to watch the Stanley cup finals with me, which turned out to be quite the mission… I felt like I was on amazing race as we scurrying from bar to bar trying to catch the game before it was over. The bar we planned on going to was closed at 8am and our back up bar was impossible to find with our terrible directions. So as it began to rain we came across a fancy pub with a flickering score of 1-5 and 4 minutes left. Since Vancouver lost I wasn’t too upset for missing it!
So I really enjoyed Hong Kong especially after getting free frozen yogurt, recruited for abercombie and fitch AND seeing an albino Chinese man! I thought he was Scandinavian until I saw his features, really weird!
So I’m now on my way to SE Asia, flying to Bangkok and then who knows!!