Let’s be honest: our vision of Hong-Kong isn’t the best or most positive one but our circumstances when we had to be there didn’t make for the best situation ever but we will share with you our photos of Hong-Kong.. There for our working visas, Robb got his right away and I was told to wait a week without any assurance that I would, indeed, get it. The following week spent in a grotty hotel with no passport, and therefore no way to flee out of town or anywhere else made for a pretty bad experience. Still, I tried to enjoy the town and promise myself that next time I will push to get to explore the outside of the city and fishing villages. But for now I’ll share with you my few days in town and the photos that came out of this visit.
Hong-Kong is a strange mix of the British and Chinese culture. As it would be in England, signs can be found everywhere asking people to follow certain rules (I know it might seem normal for us but those are pretty rare on the mainland), the streets are clean but the Chinese culture can still be found while exploring the local markets, or when you run up to the local Chi Lin Nunnery where everything there is characteristically Asian and particularly Chinese culture.
The Nunnery is not just a usual temple, but also a true quiet haven in an ever buzzing city. If you need some peace then the gardens surrounding this old fashioned temple are made for you. I’d like to think that people living in town come here once in a while to avoid the stress of their daily life.
For another taste of local culture you might want to walk to the local markets and observe the big importance of fish and birds for the local culture. This is really something you can see on the mainland: most people own birds (elderly usually) and ponds full of fish. Those markets are a big success for locals who, as a sign of good luck, come to buy another coy to add with the others in his aquarium or outside pond. Big animal lovers might not appreciate the sight but if what you want is to understand more about the culture, those markets are difficult to avoid.
But while the old traditions keep on surviving in Hong-Kong, the modernity of the town is what makes Hong-Kong such a business hub. Tall buildings, banks, fast cars, suits crossing every street to get to work, the main word in town is business and the few small businesses who found a foothold in town thrive on the strength of the place. A modern city like this one is the perfect place for modern art. Exhibitions are common in town (like the papier-mache pandas that were exposed in town to show how many of them still live in the world) and found a perfect spot since locals and tourist seem to love it.
Strongly influenced by its neighbours, Hong-Kong also serves up the cute, funny, and surprising. When many mainlanders to come here to shop, they can also enjoy the quirky restaurants and cafes that haven’t hit Beijing or Shanghai yet. You’ll find some great Cat Cafes in town and it’s not a surprise: small space means small apartments, which means difficulty to own a pet and a perfect market for those types of shops that allow you the pleasure of the company of a pet without the hassle.
If you’re a foodie then Hong-Kong is great for you. A soft introduction to Chinese food (mainly Cantonese), you will also get to taste the famous egg tarts, one of the best treat in town. Join the night market, get around the divination booths and get to try some snacks. If you are visiting in Summer then the night will surely be your ally and an amazing way to cool off since it can get pretty hot and humid in August.
There is a lot to see in Hong-Kong, a lot that I’ve missed due to my situation then. If visiting with children then try out the local Disneyland (or without children, that’s pretty good too), go and see the big Buddha, explore the surroundings of town, but if, like me, you are stuck waiting for a visa, treat yourself to a nice hotel, be patient and enjoy the amazing food, the gorgeous restaurants that this town has to offer. Gifted with one of the best metro systems I have seen in a long time, getting to diverse attractions is pretty easy and you shouldn’t get lost.
Have you been to Hong-Kong? What was your experience? Or did you ever not get to enjoy a destination due to the bad situation? Tell us in the comments!
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