While en route to Hong Kong, I wondered how it would compare to Beijing: Would the food be different? How does the culture compare? Etc. I’ve seen Hong Kong on TV and in the movies, but that doesn’t even begin to do this booming metropolis any justice.
Contrary to Beijing, arriving in Hong Kong felt like being transported into a modern, civilized Chinese world with hundreds of skyscrapers, bright city lights, and some of the most amazing natural landscapes I’d ever seen.
I couldn’t stop scanning the narrow, busy streets lined with huge bright signs hanging over the roads. It was exactly what I had pictured Hong Kong to be. With only three days in the city we needed to explore, and explore quickly!
Our first day was spent cruising Kowloon. We walked to the harbour and checked out the one-of-a-kind Victoria Harbour skyline. So many buildings! So many lights! When lunchtime came around, I found a place for Hong Kong’s famous Dim Sum. I definitely ate more dumplings that humanly necessary – boy do I love me some dumpling! SO DELICIOUS!
For our first night in Hong Kong our hotel concierge Dan (who turned out to be the coolest guy ever) suggested we check out Lang Kwai Fong, famous for its bumpin’ nightlife. It was amazing! Curvy cobble stone streets lined with pubs, bars, and clubs designed for any preference of nighttime escapade.
We took three bus tours the next day cruising around Hong Kong island, Kowloon, and Stanley, riding the tram up Victoria Peak (the highest point in Hong Kong), taking a ride on a fishing boat, and seeing all the important tourist spots.
At first I was most excited to see Hong Kong, but then I saw Stanley. Google it immediately! All I can say is, looks like I know where my next dream condo will be! In my head when thinking about Hong Kong, I only pictured busy downtown cores and skyscrapers literally scraping the sky.
I never considered what the south of the island would look like: bright blue beaches surrounded by stunning mountain landscapes that wrap around quaint little villages away from the hustle bustle of the downtown core. My jaw was literally dropped the entire tour and I could not take pictures fast enough.
We took a night cruise of Victoria Harbour to see the skyline all lit up. It was insane, I’ve never seen a more impressive skyline. Everywhere you’d look was brighter than the last. We caught the famous Symphony of Lights, but I have to admit it was a bit of a let down. I was definitely expecting more, but at least we can say we’ve seen it!
Strangely enough, the highlight of my trip to Hong Kong was the time spent with Dan and his friends on our rooftop patio. Most of them spoke very little english, but we were still able to communicate well enough. We answered questions about Canada, about speaking english, and shared stories about our two very different cultures.
We even gave two mainland Chinese guys english names naming them Kevin and Bob – best names ever! You have never seen ANYONE more grateful for anything as they were for english names. Glad we could be of service Kevin and Bob! Never have I laughed so hard while only understanding 40 per cent of what someone says to me. Thank goodness “Cheers!” acts as a universal term!
All in all, Hong Kong and Beijing don’t even begin to compare. Beijing is much more rustic, brash, and not so english-friendly, whereas Hong Kong is like New York City with Chinese street signs. It is much more advanced, chic and almost everyone speaks english – thank goodness!
Unfortunately three days was not even close to enough time to see Hong Kong. There was SO much more I wanted to see and do. Looks like I’ll be heading back to Hong Kong some day soon. All I want to know, is who’s coming with me?
Ashton Says: Hong Kong is a fantastic city with great food, great views, and great people. If you haven’t been, add it your bucket list. Don’t miss Lang Kwai Fong, dim sum, and Victoria Peak. If you can, share a Tsing Tao with some locals and learn about Hong Kong’s unforgettable culture.