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Shopping on a Tropical Island

CHINA | Tuesday, 4 November 2008 | Views [665] | Comments [1]

I spent my last weekend in china in Hong Kong. Ok, maybe its in China, but even that confuses me. I flew into Shenzhen airport, and then took a bus into Hong Kong (Kowloon actually, which is the mainland across from Hong Kong Island, but it is part of the British controled area). According to Chinese Immegration, I left China, and got another visa to enter Hong Kong. So maybe its is a different country.  They also drive on the other side of the road, and speak both Cantonese and English. Cantonese is not that easy  for the manderian speakers to understand (so my friend Zongyi who is orginally from Shanghai, and studied in Beijing, often had to use english to communicate.)

Anyway, After a few days of trying to get a cheap hotel in Hong Kong, I booked myself into  hostelworld's top rated hostel (Li's). The place was horrible. My room was about 7 feet by 4 feet with a bathroom/toilet./shower that was about 2x3. I did not fit on the bed, and there was no sheets. This appearntly is what you get for $35/night in Hong Kong. Luckily I was saved. I had dinner with my friend Zongyi (he treated me to a terrific meal, with this amazing tofu 5 different ways dish, and a delicious tropical fish that was even more delicate than sea bass).  Zongyi had to work on saturday, but offered for me to stay with him on saturday and sunday and go hiking on sunday. So I stayed only 1 night at the Hostel (although they charged me for 2, since I didin't give enough advanced notice about canceling my booking).

Anyway, I say avoid all th Hostel in the center of town. Maybe in the outskirts things are nice.

Hong Kong is a very nice city. Its one of the world's financial centers (cool tall buildings). It has amazing food. It has great shopping (computer memory was cheap there, but computers themselves were no different than the US). And as an added bonus, 45 minutes from the center of town, you can go hiking in mountains, that overlook coves, and reminds you that you are on a tropical island. On Sunday, Zongyi and I did a terrific hike, which he called "the best spot for a sunday hike in the world". I can believe it. And then caught a bus part of the way back and had dinner in this fishing village, with many great seafood resturants. Delicious.

Actually, the most interesting thing for me was visiting Zongyi's apartment and the complex its in. He had a small apartment (New York City Size), but it was a lot cheaper than in new york, it was much newer with better amenities, a view of the ocean, and his complex has an attached shopping mall, with resturants, supermarkets, and the metro (which is fast, clean, and half the price of new york). To get from home to work, he barely has to step outside if he didn't want to. I think this is a much higher standard of living than in NYC.

Anyway, after the hostel I didn't like Hong Kong, but after m visit with my friend I loved it. Its defiitely a great place to live.

My trip out of town was a bit of an adventure. I was catching another flight from Shezhen airport. I tried to go to the place I was dropped off, to catch the bus back to Shezhen airport, but I did not find it. I did find a bus to a different place on the border. After exiting Hong Kong,  caught a short bus to the China border, went through China immegration, then caught a third bus. Since I did not have any Chinese money left, I had to pay a little extra this way, but they accepted Hong Kong dollars. The trip took less than 1:45, and when I got to Shenzhen airport, the international area was dinky (ita a city of 12 million, so this was suprising), and I could not check in until 2 hours before my flight.

Finally, I left for Borneo.

BTW, if you want to get to Shenzhen airport from Hong Kong, there is a ferry that does it in 1 hour. Thats the best route.




Good to hear you didn't get lost on the way to Shenzhen. It was nice to see you after so many years, and the hiking we did was just wnoderful. Wish you enjoy the rest of your Asia trip. I won't be surprised if someday you are working in Hong Kong.

  Zongyi Nov 5, 2008 2:36 PM

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