Published: March 9th 2012March 9th 2012
At the Harbor
'Everyone having fun'
As the title states, Hong Kong couldn’t be more different than the rest of mainland China. The purpose of my visit there was to get my visa application for working in the country finalised, and such was only there for two days. I have to say I was devastated when I left; I even thought about hitting the internet and looking for jobs so I could stay. Don’t get me wrong, mainland China is a great place to live, but it really isn’t even in the same league as Hong Kong when it comes to feeling at home and for just sheer things to do. Everywhere you look, there is something exciting happening.
My first day there wasn’t the best though, I had to find somewhere within budget to stay, which wasn’t an easy feat due to the Hong Kong arts festival taking place. I must have went to about four or five different places before I eventually found somewhere that wasn’t fully booked and wasn’t too expensive. Then I had to visit the visa office and get my application sorted, and after all the hassle and time spent there, I was exhausted and didn’t want to do
'Always something to do'
anything except have a lie down. I have to say I had heard from numerous people that Hong Kong is one of the most amazing cities in the world and after that first day, I really couldn’t see why. So the first day was a complete write-off, but I was free to explore the city for the whole of the second day before I had to catch my flight.
My hotel was located in the district of Wan Chai, so there was as good a place to start as any. Within ten minutes of exploring, I was completely shocked at how different it was from the mainland. There were foreigners everywhere; in Changzhou I will see no more than a few foreigners each day. There were American themed bars covering the streets; Singaporean psychics eager to tell me that that my face lines mean I will come into money; and I heard the British accent far more than a couple of times. Another thing that struck me as surprising was just how easy it was to get around. The majority of the locals I spoke to had a very high level of English ability and were more
than happy to help me with directions and the like. Even the bus stops had an English section. In Changzhou, or anywhere on the mainland for the matter, it can be very daunting when you first try to explore the city. Unless you speak a little bit of Chinese or have a friend that can show you around; it is very easy to get lost. The locals don’t really speak English, and forget about the bus and train timetables having an English section. It can even be daunting ordering food during the first month or so, simply because of the menus. I resorted to finding restaurants that had pictures of the food on the wall and pointing and saying ‘Zhe ge’ – which means ‘that one.’ I suppose though that is the unique appeal of the mainland. The fact that it couldn’t be more different than back home and experiencing a completely new culture brings with it those unique challenges.
Anyway! Enough of the mainland chat and back to Hong Kong. An absolute must for anyone visiting there is to go to the harbor and see the view. I don’t think I’ve ever had a view that
'I'm not really sure what this is meant to be but there were 100s of tourists taking pics of it'
took my breath away, but the view at Hong Kong’s harbor came close. It’s just amazing! You view the sea, then slightly behind it comes modern Hong Kong with all its huge building and skyline, then slightly behind that comes the mountains. The atmosphere at the harbor is nice and relaxing too. Despite it being filled with tourists taking boat trips out to sea and posing for god only knows how many photographs; everyone is having a really nice time. I then spent the rest of my day eating my weight in food and then went to a few bars and got smashed. So much so that I nearly forgot what time it was for my bus to the airport. I think it’s safe to say that anybody that visits Hong Kong will not be short of things to do and certainly won’t ever be bored. And I will definitely be visiting there again before the end of the year.
There are more photos below