If Shanghai is Paris of East and Macau Las Vegas of East, then Hong Kong is most definitely New York of East. What do we have here? Very cosmopolitan and modern on the verge of being futuristic. Impressive city skyline and even more impressive history. English is widely spoken and understood here, which is a major bonus. Hong Kong’s Mass Railway Transit (MRT) is considered one of the best public transit networks in the world. No gimmicks or unnecessary decorations, it is stylish, minimal and functional. It just works. On a first sight there are no major tourist attractions here, but Hong Kong is doing just fine without them. Wandering in the maze of skyscrapers, exploring MRT or hiking around the numerous hills will keep you occupied for days.
Hong Kong is a city of two faces. On one hand you have this modern facade: futuristic skyscrapers, ubiquitous wi-fi networks and massive infrastructure. While on the other hand you have lots of countryside and semi-wilderness, as well as the dystopian world of decaying backyards and side-streets. Gloomy backyards with signs of urban decay, skyscrapers standing proud in the night-sky and the weird mixture of English and Chinese complete the Bladerunner impression. Give them another twenty years and legions of androids will make their way into they daily life. The city skyline is long, but not as clearly defined as in Shanghai. While Shanghai’s skyline is designed from the bottom up and is tidy looking, Hong Kong’s one is seemingly random, as if it just happened on its own. The skyline as well as Hong Kong overall are best experienced in nighttime. During the day it is just grey tall buildings, but after the sun sets the city gets a new face lift. Symphony of Light, a daily 15 minutes long light/laser show incorporating music and choreographed skyscraper lightning, adds a nice touch. While the show itself is not such a big deal, the scale of the whole thing and the amount of effort put into it certainly leave an impression. As for nature, in fact 70% of Hong Kong’s area is hilly countryside. An hour on an MRT or a ferry and you find yourself in a sleepy fishing village that has nothing in common with the modern Hong Kong. It is indeed a delight to see a modern megapolis living in a symbiosis with surrounding nature.
Hong Kong is most definitely the nicest Asian megapolis I’ve visited so far. Beijing and Shanghai were great, but Hong Kong even more so. Loved it <3
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