We’ve been living in Hong Kong for 6 months now and I can honestly say I really like Hong Kong.
I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life here, but definitely a few more years.
Here are a few reasons why I like this country/city:
- The atmosphere. Every city has its own feel. And the atmosphere in Hong Kong mixes strong traditional Chinese culture with bits and pieces of western culture. Every time I am sitting in a bus and look out the window I’m still amazed by the city and the fact that I live here.
- The country is so small everything is reachable within 2 hours public transport.
- There are so many things one can do when free: hiking, beaching, swimming pooling, eating, dancing, diving, travelling… whatever you want to do, you can be sure it’s available.
- There are so many delicious yet cheap restaurants, with so many different types of cuisine. Whatever tickles your fancy really!
- Shops are open until really late. When I say “shops” I don’t mean the likes of Asda or Carrefour, I means most shops and restaurants too.
- The people. They are great yet horrible at the same time. They can seem quite rude and ill-mannered, but once you know the culture and speak a few words of Cantonese, a whole new world opens to you.
- The weather. Of course it gets cold in winter, boiling and humid in summer. But compared to the crappy British weather, it’s pretty nifty.
- Countryside and city are so close to each other, you can go to both in the same day!
- The language. Cantonese is ridiculously hard, but it’s ridiculously funny as well, especially with most sentences ending with really long “aaaa”, “wooor sounds.
- Cheap transport. Going to the other side of the city cost approx. £1.
I remember countless times while living in the UK, on a Friday night wondering what we could do. Choices were quite limited (especially since we didn’t own a car): restaurant, pub, cinema, pool or night club. That was it. And if it was after 8:45pm we could forget going to the restaurant.
I also remember having to do any kind of shopping on the weekend, since all shops (apart from the supermarket) closed at 5:30pm.
We don’t have these problems here.
Of course there are things I don’t like:
- The people. I love them, but sometimes I hate them. Hearing someone burp REALLY loud and long in the office, when your trying to get in the lift but the person inside it presses frantically on the “close door” button (so you don’t get in), people rushing into the MTR (metro) carriage even tough people haven’t alighted yet, people watching TV on their phone while walking (and therefore walking really slowly, while zigzagging so nobody can over take)…There is now such thing as “civil politeness” in Hong Kong.
- The crowds. In certain areas of Hong Kong or at certain times of the day, it is so jam packed with humans it isn’t possible to walk. I’m getting better at it, but the first few times I nearly cried.
- The price of housing and cars. I won’t even go into details because it’s just outrageous.
- The educational system. It put so much pressure on kids, starting from kindergarten. Forget childhood, start preparing for university.