Hong Kong

Hong Kong welcomed us with sunshine and seriously shiny tall buildings (after all it is the city with the most skyscrapers in the world).

Look at me! I’m so pretty, shiny and colourful!

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).

Probably the most famous skyline in the world – view from Victoria Peak

Another view from Victoria Peak – this time after dark

And the same view from the other side – view from the Tsim Sha Tsui East Promenade

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.

There is a method to this chaos - one of the many busy Tsim Sha Tsui streets

There is a method to this chaos – one of the many busy Tsim Sha Tsui streets

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.

Hong Kong Island in the background – Bruce Lee in front

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.

Repulse Bay in the south of Hong Kong Island is one of the most popular beaches in Hong Kong.

Beaches, tall buildings and green hills – Hong Kong has it all

The largest island in Hong Kong is Lantau island.

View from the cable car on Lantau island with Tian Tan Buddha to the left in the back

Tian Tan Buddha – 34 m tall and another major tourist attraction in Hong Kong

In the northwest of Lantau island is the charming Tai O fishing village with stilt houses, fishing boats and a lot of dried fish.

Some houses have more stilts than others….

the old and the new side by side

However, there is more to see in Tai O than stilt houses – for example Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs…

Snow White is looking for a husband….

…Luckily in Hong Kong husbands are cheap

yay for cheap husbands!

It is also possible to buy and try local specialities in Tai O.

Mostly of the fishy-kind….

Local speciality, what big teeth you have!

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.

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