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hially Hong Kong - A travel report by Alice
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Hong Kong,  Hong Kong - flag Hong Kong
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hially's travel reports

My new home in Hong Kong

  21 votes

Hong Kong travelogue picture
To be blunt, Hong Kong is a whirlwind of noise pollution, air pollution, traffic jams, line-ups, red-tape, miniscule flats, packed public transit, sweltering summer humidity and exorbitant prices. I just moved here in the summer of 2002 and despite all the negatives about Hong Kong...it has really begun to grow on me. In fact, I think I'm falling in love with this New York of Asia. If you have trouble with being a part of the masses, then Hong Kong will challenge you both physically and mentally. I'm learning to adapt but it can be difficult at times. If you scratch below the surface of Hong Kong, you will discover much to enjoy: exquisite fresh seafood, diverse cuisines (you name it, they probably have it here), amazing modern architecture that towers over you in Central, pretty hiking trails, lovely seaside vistas, a nightlife to keep the social types very busy and more shopping than both Imelda Marcos and Tori Spelling could handle!

Favourite spots:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
I like the coastline drives around the South side of Hong Kong Island. They're quite beautiful and remind me of home in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Other places I enjoy are Soho for dinner, pub crawling in and around Soho and Kowloon. I love Sai Kung and the natural setting of much of the New Territories. Ma On Shan (mountain) is particularly beautiful. Stanley is a pretty place to spend the day and I highly recommend eating at the pub called Lord Stanley's. The chef makes great food and it's cheaper than the Boathouse which is popular with the tourists.

What's really great:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
Hong Kong is an expatriate packed city. I find the unique mix of expatriates in Hong Kong really special. Although I try not to hang out too often in expatriate neighbourhoods, I never tire of meeting new people from around the world and this is a great place for that. The Chinese people in Hong Kong are incredibly unique and have a strong identity and culture here - it permeates everything with confidence. I am now convinced that Cantonese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Now that's pretty special!

Sights:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
Stanley Market (great linen shop there)
Sai Kung for a day trip of fresh(er) air
Clearwater Bay (for awesome fresh seafood prepared any way you want it)
Lamma island (fun to sit on quiet beaches or hike)
old Kowloon City (good restaurants here and cheap too)
Red Hill (to see how the rich live, best if you get an invitation inside a home)
Central (to take in architecture)
the Star Ferry (best deal in Hong Kong!)
The New Territories for hiking (there are lots of country parks here, take your pick!)
The Peak (touristy but fun - bring your camera)







Accommodations:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
My friend stayed for two and a half months in a hotel in North Point called The Harbour Plaza North Point Hotel. I would only recommend this for those who want to stay for at least one month and who want real comforts (pool, mini equipped kitchen, etc). If you plan on moving to Hong Kong, you get much more for your money by renting a place in the New Territories rather than on HK island. The trade-off is you're far from the action but if you like a more quiet setting, like I do, then the New Territories might suit you best. Sai Kung is a great place for quieter living.

Nightlife:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
Club 97 in Lan Kwai Fong has a nice lounge ambience but it's pretentious because they allow people in depending on how you're dressed. Those they don't want to let in are told there is a member's only policy. For straight women who want to have a good time and dance without expat men trying to pick you up, try going to a gay club like Curve, the Works, or Propoganda. Loads of fun without the hassle! My personal favourite spot for hanging out in Hong Kong is Medina on Hollywood Road. Not a restaurant but snacks are available. I love their Arabian orange blossom tea. The ambience at Medina is sensual and very cool. The francophone DJ's always seem to select the most interesting music from Turkey, Morroco, West Africa too.

Hangouts:
Hong Kong travelogue picture
I had a nice plate of bangers and mash at a pub in North Point called East End Brewery on Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay.

Restaurants:
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My current favourite Thai restaurant is called Thai Place and it's in Tai Koo Shing. Better prices than in ritzy Central or expat heavy Lan Kwai Fong. When I get a Mexican craving, I head to Taco Loco in Central on Staunton Street (they serve up yummy fish tacos which I've only run across in Baja, Mexico's coastal towns). When I need to get a French crepe fix, I head to Le Rendez-vous in Soho where I can top it all of with a great chocolate milkshake.


Published on Tuesday October 15th, 2002


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Wed, Oct 20 2004 - 06:38 AM rating by ravinderkumarsi

excellent written report and nice reading it ,alice .
ravi

Fri, Apr 09 2004 - 05:55 PM rating by travelalain

I like your opening sentence it captures how most people experience HK the first days, you have good photos and a good listing of things to see and to do. The next time I'm in HK, I will reread this report.

Tue, May 13 2003 - 08:24 PM rating by el2995

Thanks for an enjoyable report; very well-written and nicely accented with good photos. You must do this professionally.

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