Blog #41 The Top 10 Reasons That I Love Hong Kong
For this week’s Blog, I will share my passion for living in Asia’s World City, Hong Kong. When an expatriate stays in the region and works, continuously, for seven years, they are entitled to Permanent Resident status. After the application process, if accepted, you are given a new Identification Card that reads Right to Abode on the back. Last month marked the seventh year of my residence in this fair city. I’m a PR (permanent resident). Hong Kong is my home. Therefore, I find it fitting to share my top 10 list through images of what makes this city so awesome, in my view.
10. Food and Custom Clothes
The quality and diversity of food here is just amazing. Even the most experienced foodie will have an endless playground for the pallet. We have Michelin star rated restaurants galore. The Cantonese style Dim Sum is delicate and flavourful, fruits like dragon fruit (pictured) are sweet and juicy, and the variety keeps us coming back for more. Eating out is the norm since flats and kitchens are tiny and not very conducive for cooking meals, especially for single or small households. Custom clothing can be had at a bargain as well. At roughly $300 Hong Kong Dollars ($38 US) per custom made oxford shirts, you can feel like a king and be comfortable all day long in the office. This is another one of Hong Kong’s little treasures that makes it such a unique city.
HongKongers in general are excellent workers. Service is usually fast and efficient. Delivery drivers will call you religiously an hour before delivery to ensure that someone is home to receive your package. The mail system is fast as well. Logistics is a huge industry here and Hong Kong port is one of the biggest in the world. Being so close to Shenzhen, one of China’s factory cities, it’s no wonder things move here at the speed of business.
Hong Kong is a mecca for cheap and good products. Hong Kong has it all from Sneaker Street in Mong Kok to Hardware stores along Canton Road that you would swear have every single nut and bolt every fabricated by man. You can wheel and deal and bargain your socks off. Clothing, food, electronics, jewellery, furniture, you name it, it’s here and waiting for you to bargain your way to material bliss.
7. The Great Outdoors
The weather in Hong Kong is generally warm. We do get quite a bit of rain and when one of the eight (on average) typhoons come close enough the the city, A “Typhoon 8” signal is hoisted and everything closes and everyone stays home. There are dozens of hiking trails and about 15 beaches in Hong Kong. The trails range from easy to super challenging but all are generally safe and have water fountains and toilets along the way for comfort and convenience. It’s amazing to live in Mid-Levels, for example whereas you can walk down the hill and in 15 minutes be amongst skyscrapers and dense urban chaos, or walk uphill and be on a country trail in the middle of the forest with no buildings anywhere in site. It’s really a place of extremes, geographically, with its mountains, islands, and ocean. The beaches are great with surfing at Big Wave Bay, and many other places to push your toes into the sand, and catch up on some rest and relaxation from the busy office and work life.
Junk boat parties are super fun and when your lucky enough to get invited to go on one, you’re really in for treat. A day on the water, sun, friends, fun, music, drinks, and a swim are all on the menu. Oh, and Ocean Park is blast as well!
6.Transportation and Free Motorbike Parking
Our fair city has arguably the best transportation system in the world. Busses, ferries, taxies, and the MTR underground train systems move the city’s 7 million inhabitants around every day in a safe, clean, efficient, and inexpensive manner. You really don’t need a car here, motorbikes are the way to go. The city boasts tons of free motorcycle street parking everywhere. For bike nuts like me, that’s really something to love!
5. Chinese New Year
The Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are fun and festive. Most of the city closes for one week around the end of January. Traditional foods are eaten, families and friends get together to enjoy each other’s company, and don’t forget the awesome fireworks! The holiday schedule here is quite generous at their are both Western holidays as well as local Chinese holidays that are observed by most businesses.
Macau is a close one hour fast ferry boat ride away. Also a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Macau has sporting events, casinos, beaches, shopping, culture, good food, and attractions. See the House of Dancing Water Show, chill poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel where you can jam on a Fender guitar in your hotel room, or grab an authentic egg tart from the Venetian. Macau is all about fun and convenience and there is tons of both and a whole lot more. I’ve gone to the Macau Grand Prix every year for the seven that I have lived in Hong Kong and it’s a really fun and fuelled up weekend every November with friends.
3. Lan Kwai Fong & Nightclubs
LKF (as we locals call it) has a plethora of bars and nightclubs to shake off that hectic work week. There are many watering holes within a small area and you can bounce from one to another all night long. You will always see friends in these places or maybe even bump into your boss! DJs spin tracks from around the world and there is always more ear candy around the corner.
2. Everything Photography
Photography in every size, shape, and form is alive and well in Hong Kong. There are the best deals on new digital equipment, film and developing, even university courses, meet ups, galleries, workshops, and everything in between. The photography community here is international, talented and passionate. This year marked the fourth international photo festival. It’s a heaven for anyone with a camera. For food, urban, landscape, environmental portraits, and all types of genres there is an unlimited subject matter to shoot. There are many camera stores that have good deals on film cameras as well as new ones of the digital variety. Hong Kong is heaven for photographers.
1. That Skyline
I’ll just let the picture do the talking.
The light is always right.