After 5 months in China I had to go to Hong Kong at least for a minute and then come back as my visa required.
To get to Hong Kong from Shenzhen (Chinese city where I used to live) you need just to cross the bridge or take a subway to the last station in Shenzhen, get out of the train but not the subway station, cross the border and find yourself in the subway station on Hong Kong side. That’s it. They are very close. But I could not go to Hong Kong earlier because of my visa – just two entries for 180 days each.
Anyway, let’s go!
I didn’t really wanna go there. HK is an extremely expensive city especially if you live in China where everything is so cheap (even if SZ is one of the most expensive cities in China). Plus, I was fairy tired of big cities by that time and moreover I was sure that HK’s views and scenery in general should be very similar to SZ’s ones. So, I was really disappointed that my money would be wasted but I had to go anyway.
Bodercrossing through Futian checkpoint took just 40 minutes even if it was a Saturday morning. I was stupid enough to forget to fulfill arrival-departure cards on both sides, so had to spend some extra time for that as well. God, it’s so way easier when you cross borders by an airplane as they give you all papers to fill when you are still on board!
Ok, all paper-stamps stuff was done and I arrived to the station I needed and went out of the subway.
And yes one more time!
It was not Shenzhen. It was so different even the bridge and subway were built by same Chinese people and even houses looked the same…
Hong Kong doesn’t smell as China. And China’s smell – you know, that something you will never forget! But here…
Well, I guess I would not be able to live there. I’m just not a huge fan of such massive cities. But still! Who has never tasted bitter, know not what is sweet. So, Hong Kong after half of a year was so, so cool! That was kinda a pleasure to ask Chinese people in English how to get somewhere. All of them speak English! And in Shenzhen you hardly can find anybody who speaks English among all 12 million of population.
And btw, I always imagined New York like that. And actually those who was in both cities said that yeh, they are pretty similar. But at the same time Shenzhen even if it is so close to HK and even bigger and has similar architecture hardly could be associated with the USA.
Actually, if not signs in Chinese everywhere, it’s hard to think that you are in China. Wherever but not in China: locals pass by and don’t stare at you, don’t point their fingers on you saying: “Lao Vai!” Plus, it seems that there are the same number of white and oriental people in the city. And it’s so fricking cooooool after half of a year among Chinese and only Chinese people!
That was the first time when I met taxi driver who was able to speak decent English! In China they never do! And moreover they always have no slightest idea where to drive even if you show them a card with an address in Mandarin. But in Hong Kong… Oh, God, welcome back to civilization!
One more nice thing about traffic – none beeps without a reason. So it’s so quiet and so nice to walk along the roads.
And landscape! That’s something! 7 million city squeezed on islands among mountains and it looks just great! You can easily get to the Victoria pick by foot or cable road (28 HK$) and enjoy awesome scenery! Normally, in other cities such view could be seen only from a helicopter. But here you don’t need so much money to hire one to enjoy this urban beauty.
In the evening as it should be my CS hosts and me when to a club and…oh, back to Europe! I don’t know why but there is so nice atmosphere in Europeans bars-clubs which doesn’t exist in China at all (ok, Yangshuo is an exception). But here…ahhh, relaxxxx.
I don’t remember how we got back home from there but it doesn’t really matter! As I remember the next day which we spent on an island reached by ferry within half of an hour from HK’s city center.
We spent the hole day there with my CS host. It seemed to my host that he was back to Greece and I – back in Spain. I would never think that I’m not in Europe if I was brought there with covered eyes and didn’t know where the hell I am (ok, signs in Mandarin speak too clear but they would be the single clue).
There were kite-surfers, wind-surfers… It takes around 3 hours to get to the beach in Shenzhen and half of the way could be done only by taxi or private car. But here – just welcome! – half of an hour by ferry from the certain city center and u can kite-surf!
So, yeh, silly, but the grass is greener… and yes! the funny thing but water is bluer! I have no idea how it works but water near the bridge between SZ and HK at Chinese side is brownish and dirty but it is pleasantly blue on HK side. I don’t know how to explain that.
So, in summary… does it worth to visit Hong Kong? – Definately yes! But actually I think I won’t be that amazed by this journey if I arrived to HK straight from Europe but not after living in China for half of a year.
If you haven’t got any accommodation for your next trip booked yet, try it here: Airbnb.
You will get $25 discount for your first booking
and would be able to stay in a nice room or apartment rented from locals and not just in a dorm!