Hong Kong welcomed us with sunshine and seriously
shiny tall buildings (after all it is the city with the most skyscrapers in the world).
The famous skyline is best viewed from Victoria Peak – the highest hill on Hong Kong Island (and a major tourist attraction, so don’t expect to admire the views in peace).
Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China (under the principle of one country, two systems), as part of agreement with the British.The territory seems to have one foot in the West while the other foot (and the rest of its body) is clearly Asian.
What really impressed us throughout our stay in Hong Kong, is how well the city is organised. As a result Hong Kong feels much less crowded than it actually is. Everything seems to be very effective – queues move quickly and nobody cuts in line, in restaurants you’re supposed to eat-pay-leave – expect annoyed looks if you want to relax and finish your beer after meal. The public transport is very efficient. Get the Octopus Card – it can be used in all public transport and makes life easier, since you don’t have to worry about the price of any tickets. Otherwise you should have the exact change and drop it in the designated box the moment you step into a bus – or be prepared to get an irritated look and a hand wave from the driver.
However, there is more to Hong Kong than skyscrapers and skills for logistics – for example the Hong Kong film industry, one of the largest motion picture industries in the world.
Walking in the shade of the skyscrapers it is easy to forget that less than 25% of Hong Kong’s territory is actually developed. A short ride on the excellent public transport will take you to forest-covered hills and sleepy fishing villages – but the city is never far away.
In the northwest of Lantau island is the charming Tai O fishing village with stilt houses, fishing boats and a lot of dried fish.
It is also possible to buy and try local specialities in Tai O.
We spent a fantastic week in Hong Kong, but we easily could have spent much longer time there – there is just so much to see and do. And in retrospect we have to admit that we should have stayed a bit longer to witness the visit of Ylvis and Paris Hilton. But, it was time to move on and jump on the ferry to Macau – the other Special Administrative Region of China.