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The first time I went on holiday to Hong Kong I was 13 years old and i immediately fell in love with this lively, vibrant city. The bright lights, the endless choice in shopping and the exception food all helped to colour my judgement.
25 years later I went back there to work, fully expecting to hate the city with it's crowds and looking at it with an adults eyes. I even believed that it would have changed greatly because it was not under British colonial rule. How wrong I was! Within 36 hours of landing there I was back in love with the city, my only regret was that I was there to work.
18 months later I finally got back there on holiday, it was my 40th birthday and I wanted to celebrate somewhere different. As soon as I arrived I felt at home.
During my ten day stay I did all the tourist things; rode on trams, visited Victoria peak, went to the beach, shopping, street markets, went to as many different restaurants and bars as I could possibly manage. All this was done on my own but not once did I feel alone. I enjoyed it so much I went back the following year and am going again next year.
Hong Kong is also the safe place I have ever been in the world. I have been known to be wandering the streets, winding my way back to my hotel at 2:00am and have never once felt uncomfortable or threatened. I have several female friends out there who all say how safe they feel, they never worry about being attacked.
I'm not going to sit here listing everything you can do in Hong Kong, it would take forever. What I will say is that so far there is nothing that I've required or anything I've wanted to do that I haven't been able to in Hong Kong. I always tell my friends that Hong Kong is "what you want, whenever you want it", it is the first true 24x7 city I have ever been to. Yes it can be crowded but for the amount of people there it is remarkably clean.
The people there are all friendly; especially those from the Philippines. Even the Chinese are friendly although they are quite reserved; this can come across as rudeness but believe me it's not.
Getting around Hong Kong is so easy and relatively cheap; and all forms of transport and spotlessly clean. MY TIP, get yourself an Octopus card. This will enable you to use the MTR, buses, trams and even some taxi's without needing cash.
What can I say about the shopping? Although Hong Kong is not as inexpensive as it once was the choice there is unbeatable. Lots of the electrical goods can be the same price as here in the UK but what you get is the latest models. Beware of the street markets, lots of the goods are copies, but if that's what you want you can get them at ridiculously low prices.
My advice; Hong Kong is not for everyone but everyone should visit it once in their life, if they can. Make you first visit a stopover as part of another holiday, maybe a trip to Australia, or a Far East tour. When your there try to see and do as much as you can. Visit the smaller restaurants, even those on the streets, and you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of food and the inexpensive price; remember, like anywhere else in the world, if locals are using it, it's not going to be bad. Finally, in the bars; if you look like you are enjoying yourself (even if the beer seems expensive), you tip the staff a little and are prepared to talk to people of any nationality, you will have the best time of your life.
You've whetted my appetite, just wish there was a little bit more detail in your review. You've certainly convinced me to go, though :)
HKMark 12.10.2006 10:16
Agree 100% with everything written by Wanchai05. I have been visiting HK for about 4 years now, before here a year ago. I am now married to a HK Chinese girl and we are settled here. Home is where you lay your hat - and HK has always felt like home.
There is something for everyone here - amazing city, friendly people, incredible food and shopping. Easy access to mainland China and other destinations in southeast Asia. I recomend anyone to visit this city at least once in their life.