We have loved Hong Kong!
The streets are small and crammed, shops are squeezed into every space possible, the trams are double decker buses which are long and thin to fit into the busy roads (for Harry Potter fans think of the night bus – they’re just like that), and there are people absolutely everywhere! You may think this sounds too manic, and it is, but there is something about this place which is just fantastic.
For Paul and i, the following reasons are why we totally love this place – the fact that only 7% of HK’s land mass is actually the built up skyscraper city – the other 88% is the ‘New Territories’ – most of which is National Parks or jungle/forest terrain. There are some really quirky things here, for instance there is an elevator which takes you through the streets of Soho, so you just jump off it when you reach an area you want to check out. Random streets such as ‘Goldfish Street’ – this is exactly what it says on the tin. A street dedicated to selling all types of fish….there is also a street called ‘Flower Market’ (this area smelt amazing), and ‘Bird Market’ – this street sounded beautiful however we didn’t really agree with these birds in cages! Fascinating streets to explore.
We stumbled across giant Lego Star Wars models outside one of the many huge shopping centres, and many a market selling everything and anything. You could wonder the streets all night there is just so much going on.
Also, as Westerners are a common sight here as so many live/work in HK, we are ‘the norm’. No stares or photos being taken, it’s quite refreshing after China! We are not aliens here! Due to HK being a former British colony there are some small home comforts to be found – the plug sockets are the same and people drive on our side of the road. When the underground station is being announced in English on the tube (or should i say metro), it is a British accent, unlike the Chinese metros which have someone poorly immitating an American accent, which sounds terrible.Tomorrow we re-enter China to start investigating the south of the country.
We have also seen many puppy and kitten pet shops – i must state they aren’t in poor condition or mistreated, but it’s just difficult to see them for sale in glass cages. All pure breeds – British Blue and Bengal cats, Miniture Poodles, Bichons and Pugs seem popular.
One evening we got the tram up to Victoria Peak (552m) to take in the view of the city at night. We walked down, and ended up in a very posh neighbourhood. These were no ordinary high rise flats – they had swimming pools on different levels, carpark gaurds (and no wonder, we saw Jags, BMWs, Mercedes, Bentleys, Tesla to name a few), in the few windows we could gawp in the rooms were huge, chandeliers hung from the ceilings, and massive Christmas trees like the ones in the Home Alone movies in people’s living rooms. Ultra rich residences…and we had a fab time having a ganders! It is a different world out there when you have that kind of money.
One of our favourite days out to date was our trip via a ferry to Lamma Island (New Territories) – in 20 minutes the hustle and bustle of the city was behind us. One of the appealing factors of Lamma Island is that there are no cars. Cycling and walking are your modes of transport, so the instant peace you get is lovely – no horns, fumes, or choked up streets.
Walking through the main villages you have the usual mix of fruit and veg shops, cafes, restsurants etc, and small but lovely looking houses. Sandy beaches are dotted around the island, and many walking trails lead to these and link all the villages. There are a couple of pretty large hills/small mountains – we followed a trail onto the top of one, and the views were impressive. So many trails to follow, through wild unspoilt forest. We saw some colourful butterflies and many kites circling high above us, with that lovely tropical background noise of chirping and bird song.
Once we got off the beaten track we barely came across anyone.
We thourghly enjoyed seeing the ‘other’ side of HK.
Overall, we are very impressed with Hong Kong – definitely a place to consider residency!