A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong

Hong Kong - China's alter ego

A modern mecca just south of the mainland

semi-overcast 95 °F
View A Rough Outline of our Trip on daveliz's travel map.

A view of Hong Kong Island at night from Victoria Peak. For 15 minutes every night the buildings light up to choreographed music. The gimmicky performance didn't wow us.

A view of Hong Kong Island at night from Victoria Peak. For 15 minutes every night the buildings light up to choreographed music. The gimmicky performance didn't wow us.

We wrapped up our four month journey through Asia in Hong Kong, a surreal city full of skyscrapers in which most of its seven million inhabitants work and live. Hong Kong is made up of hundreds of small islands, but most people congregate on Kowloon and Hong Kong. The business hub and shopping mecca is extraordinarily crowded. Hong Kong's mountainous geography has left very little room for urban sprawl, so architects have built up.

We stayed in one of Hong Kong's mansions, which are government price controlled buildings that house hostels, hotels, apartments, tailors, restaurants and other shops. The hallways were scary, but our room was ok. The building, which was surrounded by hawkers pestering us to buy watches and clothes, was under renovation. Notice the bamboo scaffolding.

We stayed in one of Hong Kong's mansions, which are government price controlled buildings that house hostels, hotels, apartments, tailors, restaurants and other shops. The hallways were scary, but our room was ok. The building, which was surrounded by hawkers pestering us to buy watches and clothes, was under renovation. Notice the bamboo scaffolding.

Hong Kong was under British control from 1842 until 1997 when it transferred sovereignty back to China. The differences between the mainland and Hong Kong are night and day, both socially and culturally. Hong Kong feels like a western country. It was clean, there was no spitting, and we even saw a public personal hygiene campaign aimed at preventing the spread of the swine flu.

Hangin' in Kowloon with cousins Pat, Ellen and Clancey. After Hong Kong they headed to Thailand for another adventure.

Hangin' in Kowloon with cousins Pat, Ellen and Clancey. After Hong Kong they headed to Thailand for another adventure.

Hong Kong Island has the world's longest escalator.

Hong Kong Island has the world's longest escalator.

It is easy to escape the chaos with just a short ferry ride to one of the rural islands or a bus ride to the mountains, which we preferred.

A view of Hong Kong Island from the Wilson Trail, a three hour hike Dave's cousin Clancey introduced us to on a very rainy day.

A view of Hong Kong Island from the Wilson Trail, a three hour hike Dave's cousin Clancey introduced us to on a very rainy day.

We went on a date on Cheung Chau Island, a quaint fishing village with no roads and no cars.

We went on a date on Cheung Chau Island, a quaint fishing village with no roads and no cars.

We explored Llama Island with local friends Patrick and Iwene, who we met at a train station in Oboke, Japan. They gave us the inside scoop on living in HK.

We explored Llama Island with local friends Patrick and Iwene, who we met at a train station in Oboke, Japan. They gave us the inside scoop on living in HK.

Patrick and Iwene told us to try the local specialty - a white bean custard. It was a bit flavorless for our liking. We'll have to introduce them to a hot fudge brownie sundae!

Patrick and Iwene told us to try the local specialty - a white bean custard. It was a bit flavorless for our liking. We'll have to introduce them to a hot fudge brownie sundae!

Llama Island's peaceful beach is a nice contrast to the busy city.

Llama Island's peaceful beach is a nice contrast to the busy city.

Our time in Asia was a great adventure for sure. By experiencing first hand places and cultures we had previously only read about, we gained some amazing insight into the area's history and our own culture.

For the next two months we'll explore Africa. We are currently recharging in Cape Town, South Africa.

- Dave & Elizabeth

Posted by daveliz 02:25 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (1)

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