For my first post, I would like to explain how wonderful a place Hong Kong is. Since the British handed over Hong Kong to the Chinese in 1997, there have been many changes in that period. For the most part Hong Kong is still a colorful, chaotic, unbelievable place to live and visit. Here are just a few reasons why I think Hong Kong is the "it" destination in the world:
Transportation rules all
Hong Kong is no place for motorists of any kind, with about 400,000 private vehicles for a population of over seven million in the inner city. But it's a public transit utopia. Double decker buses, 10-seater buses, ferries, taxis, railways, a tramway (they call it the MTR), you name it, they have it. And, they’re all interconnected, making Hong Kong’s network one of the most sophisticated in the world. There is no need to own a car in this city. With the likes of these types of transportation, anyone can get to and from their destination with one quick hop on any of the above. The transportation here is what makes Hong Kong such a hustle and bustle city.
a ton of diversity
There are 115 consulates in Hong Kong, more than any other city in the world. This translates into a diverse population in certain areas of the city.
Hong Kong has some of the most breathtaking views a hiker can ask for. Dragon’s Back is my favorite hike in HK due to it’s incredible views of the mini islands surrounding the area. Once you get to the top of the highest mountain of Dragon’s Back, you can see the many islands and beautiful beaches below.
Another hike I enjoyed is Lion’s Rock. This hike gives the individual a different viewpoint of the city. Placed behind the northern part, Lion’s Rock gives breathtaking views of the entire metro area.
Mega-convenient convenience stores
Hong Kong has the highest density of 7-Elevens in the world, with one per 1.5 square mile. This doesn’t count the other competitors in the city such as Circle K.
cultivating city, tropical oasis
About 40 percent of Hong Kong's land is protected by the government, representing one of the highest in the world. A 10-20-minute MTR ride from just about anywhere in the city will take you to pristine beaches and hiking trails through lavish green mountains. In 24 hours, you can experience Bungee jumping off a bridge, diving off a water fall, spotting dolphins swimming in the surf and cruising on a speedboat through the Harbour, with time left to hit the town at one of the popular bar scenes in Hong Kong.
Having a wallet is second nature to us in the U.S. Nowadays, all you need in Hong Kong is an Octopus card. This card allows everyone to pay for all public transportation, fast-food meals (KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut), vending machine sodas, late night 7-Eleven runs, Wellcome grocery runs and even movie tickets. This card is the easiest way to get around if you are worried about thieves.
the shopping scene
Hong Kong is well-known for it’s crowded markets with shoes, electronics, knock-off designer clothes, street food carts, fish stands, flower shops and the famous “Ladies Market” in Mong Kok. From custom tailored suit shops to foot massages, Hong Kong has everything you’d ever need and more.
Hong Kong owns the world's largest collection of skyscrapers with 7,650 and counting. If you are scared of heights like me, I would recommend not stepping foot into these massive structures.
these are where legends are made
Three of the world’s biggest kung fu stars had their breakout moments in Hong Kong: Bruce Lee in “The Big Boss” (1972), Jet Li in “Shaolin Temple” (1982), and Jackie Chan in “Drunken Master” (1978). All three have their names engraved in the walk-of-fame sidewalk at the Harbour.
you are never alone
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities in the world at 16,469 people per square mile. Mongkok is the most populated part of the city with the likes of "The Ladies Market” and popular Hong Kong movie scenes being filmed. The popular shopping district gained entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the most crowded shopping district in the world. Mongkok's busiest street, Sai Yeung Choi Street, is now sealed off from traffic and home to street performers as well as shoppers.
With one restaurant for every 600 people, Hong Kong boasts one of the highest per-capita combinations of cafes and restaurants in the world. It also makes Hong Kong the worst place to be on a diet. Carbs everywhere!
Hong Kong has some of the best bars and restaurants I have ever been to. Lan Kwai Fong is a neighborhood on Hong Kong Island that has some of the most diverse bars around. From hookah bars, Egyptian tea, Middle Eastern eateries, Dim Sum, burger joints, Australian and English gastropubs to the typical dance club, you are getting a wide range of food and beverage choices. Wan Chai is another favorite of mine. Wednesday nights at Wan Chai has free champagne for all women all night long. Lana Kwai Fong does the same thing on Thursday nights. These two neighborhoods are the most popular nightlife areas of the city.
Almost COMPLETELY climate controlled
f all shopping malls were to close at any period of the day, Hong Kongers would be in a lot of trouble. The average 60 to 65-degree temperature of the 50 malls in Hong Kong is what keeps the population cool during the 100% humidity riddled 100-degree days in the summer. Be prepared to bring a lot of thin clothes if you ever decide to visit Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is such a diverse city in many ways. When people ask what Hong Kong is like, I say it has a New York City vibe with Hawaiian beaches and mountains surrounding it - the best of three worlds!