HONG KONG – HONG KONG SAR
Hong Kong is a mixture of East and West, organised and chaos, posh and shady. Spend a couple of days exploring the city and don’t forget the outlying islands to see the beautiful nature of Hong Kong! There are enough guidebooks about Hong Kong already, so it is easy to find out pleanty of information what to do and see in Hong Kong. Vagabondly likes to investigate and understand the cities, cultures, people and societies. This is what we have been observing in Hong Kong.
WHAT IS THAT SMELL?
When walking around the streets of Hong Kong you regularly encounter smells that you are not able to define. The smell is not too bad, but at the same time it is unusual for those who are not use to Chinese medine and herbs. This is where the smell is coming from. It must be a combination of dried seacreatures and Chinese medicine. You can see these traditional Chinese medicine stores all around the city. Are you brave enough to try something?
IS IT RAINING?
How come you can feel rain drops when walking the narrow streets of Hong Kong on a sunny day? It’s not rain, but don’t worry it’s not going to kill you and it is most likely not from someones toilet. Hong Kong is crowded and space is limited. Therefore, if you take a look up when you encounter the unusual rain, you will see that the air conditioning machines are hanging outside of the buildings above the streets! Yes, the space in Hong Kong is very limited. Actually due to the AC-machines the air temperature of the streets is a degrees or two hotter that normal.
A city that is famous for it’s skyscrapers, must have quit a impressive number of elevators as well. Right? There are two things that you need to keep in mind when taking the elevators in Hong Kong. First of all make sure that you are queueing for a right elevator. Buildings are high in Hong Kong and not all of the elevators go to each and every floor. So it’s better to check which elevator is going to your floor, before you start queuing. Secondly, use the elevator buttons to close the door and keep the door open. Just take a elevator couple of times in Hong Kong and you will understand the point. Local people are obsessed about closing the door as soon as you are inside the elevator. Nobody waits the door to close on its own. and it is customary to keep tapping the button rapidly until the door is fully closed. (Just take a elevator a you will get the point).
IT LOOKS SLIMY, CAN IT REALLY TASTE GOOD?
Hong Kong is full of small restaurants selling different kind of delicacies and desserts that seem to include different kind of slimy and jelly ingredients. It looks slimy, and yes in deed it is very slimy. Jellies, glutinous rice balls and all kinds of yummy goo. Food in this region seems to include always some sticky elements, whether that is used to glaze barbecued meats, different types of dim sum or the addictively tasty desserts. Are you brave enough to taste the Stinky Tofu?
LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT
Remember that Hong Kong has left-hand traffic. But no need to stress about this. If you get confused whether you should check the traffic from left or right side, you are nicely reminded about it. Just look down before you consider crossing the road.
CAN BAMBOO REALLY HOLD THE WEIGHT?
There is always plenty of construction work going around in HK. One thing that might amaze travellers is that quite often the construction sites are supported by bamboo sticks rather than the scaffolding we are used to in many parts of the world! Sounds slightly suspicious, but why not? Durable, sustainable, light and strong material.
- If the city gets too hectic, escape the hustle and bustle to the small islands around Hong Kong or go for a small hike in the New Territories.
- For an evening snack, you might want to head to one of the Sushi One restaurants after 10pm to eat fresh sushi, sashimi and drinks for half price.
- One of the best views of both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island is from the Star Ferry boats that have been crossing Victoria Harbour since 1888.