Many people love Hong Kong, but some don’t like it that much. Is it worth visiting this city? Find out in this article.
Hong Kong, together with Macau, it’s a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. For more than 150 years, it has been a British colony, and the influence of the British Empire it’s clearly evident: the cars drive on the left, the metro (called MTR) is extensive and efficient, the names of the streets are English, etc… In general, there is a feeling that the British have just left.
In contrast with China, there is freedom of expression and religion, and the internet is not censored (well, a bit less recently): you won’t need a VPN to use Gmail or Facebook. All of this it’s quite impressive if you think that a few kilometers away, the world is completely different.
The city is divided into several islands. The main ones are Lantau, Hong Kong, and the Kowloon Peninsula.
This being said, what are my thoughts after visiting Hong Kong? I stayed in Kowloon, and I can say that Hong Kong is not my favorite city.
I lived in Taiwan, one of the countries with the highest density of people in the world, so I’m “used” to Asia, but in Hong Kong, you really have a feeling of constant claustrophobia.
People are everywhere, and the spaces are really small. To give an example, the escalators of the MTR are so narrow that two people can’t fit in. Wherever you go, you will be surrounded by thousands of people.
One of the “benefits” of living in Asia is the low cost of living compared to Western countries. But this is not true for Hong Kong: real estate prices are the highest in the world and even food costs a lot, especially when compared to other Asian capitals such as Taipei or Bangkok.
Hotels are very expensive and have tiny rooms: the smallest I’ve ever seen. Luckily, with Booking.com you can find some discounts if you want to book a decent hotel in Hong Kong.
Obviously, these are my thoughts, and you might have a totally different experience.
Here’s an interesting fact: according to the statistics from both the United Nations and the WHO, Hong Kong had the longest life expectancy than any other region of the world in 2012.
Hong Kong: some pictures
What about you? Have you ever been to Hong Kong? Did you like it? Check out my guide if you are thinking about moving abroad.
If you are looking for a detailed travel guide to Hong Kong, don’t miss my guide.
Here is more info if you want to visit Lijiang in China. Here is the guide on how to cross the border between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Here is the travel guide to China.