by Adam Gori
I never get tired of watching people become shocked when I tell them that I used to live in Hong Kong. I actually find it quite amusing to hear people say “OMG you used to live in Hong Kong! I’ve always wanted to go there!”. After living in Hong Kong for over two years I can say with complete certainty that you should want to go to Hong Kong because it is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world!
Whilst most people want to visit Hong Kong, some people have a few negative preconceptions about the city. It is these people, who have never been to Hong Kong, who will ramble on about Hong Kong being just a big cosmopolitan city, having too much pollution, not enough greenery, and being a place where it is too difficult to communicate with the locals… just hold on a second and let me state my case. Hong Kong often gets stereotyped for all the above, and to be perfectly honest I too had these negative preconceptions before I moved there.
How wrong I was…
Hong Kong is one of the few cities on earth that boasts a combination of many different cultures. People often describe Hong Kong as being a place where the East meets the West, however, that only scratches the surface. With Chinese roots the city is heavily influenced by British and American cultures yet it acts as a base for many Aussies (over 100,000) and New Zealanders as well as people with Indian and Pakistani backgrounds, just to name a few. So instead of packing your bags and heading to around Asia, why don’t you save a few bucks and spend a week in Hong Kong.
If you still aren’t amused by Hong Kong’s cultural diversity maybe this will sway your opinion. THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO AND SEE! I understand Hong Kong has a bad image for being too polluted or being a concrete jungle but that simply is not the case. Quite honestly, it’s the opposite. Hong Kong is primarily composed of wilderness (greenery), littered with a vast number of beaches, amazing mountain regions, and geographical scenery that will make your jaw drop. To make your life easier I’ve composed a list of some things you can do during the day to explore Hong Kong in depth and see all it has to offer:
- Wander around the lively marketplaces (Stanley Markets, Ladies Markets, etc.).
- Check out the cultural temples (there’s one on Hollywood Road in central CBD).
- Catch the tram and walk around Victoria Peak to see the entire city skyline.
- Use Ngong Ping 360 to go to the Big Buddha Statue and surrounding villages.
- Get on the ferry and explore the fishing village on Lamma Island.
- Go to Ocean Park or Disneyland for thrilling rides, short queues and an amazing view.
At night, I recommend going to Lan Kwai Fong for an amazing nightlife scene, where it is riddled with trendy bars and clubs. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy you could always go the Ozone Bar (highest bar in the world) to check out some amazing views. If you’re thinking “how am I supposed to see and do everything?”, don’t worry- Hong Kong offers efficient public transport with the MTR to get you from place to place quickly. I also can’t emphasise how friendly and helpful the locals are (and how well they can speak English)!
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to already start packing your bags to venture off to Hong Kong. It truly is one of the best cities on earth and whether you’re thinking about going on exchange or just for a holiday, the city will not let you down! Nury Vittachi (author) once said “You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you”. I couldn’t have said it any better myself.