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  • Meeting Hong Kong, First Empressions

    Micah and I have to make trips to Hong Kong every couple of months. We have made a couple of trips this year so far and I would like to share my experience of Hong Kong with you.  Until the first trip I hadn’t actually gotten to “meet” Hong Kong as I’ve really just ridden through shuttles to and from the airport or to a hotel at night.

    Map of China with the borders marked in blue
    The blue marks the Chinese borders. (Credit: Google Maps App)
    Hong Kong and Shenzhen cities and the border
    This map shows Shenzhen and Hong Kong with blue showing the border between the two. (Credit: Google Maps App)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There is much debate socially on whether Hong Kong is a part of China. Although, as agreements set forth, in the future Hong Kong will return to China’s control. As for now it is in a unique state of being in close relationship with China politically and yet still maintains its own government. I’ve even seen slogans about it being one country and two governing bodies. Hong Kong has wonderful and undeniable Chinese qualities from a common heritage; however, it has grown and developed in the last few decades that have given Hong Kong a unique flavor. And one of the things it is well-known is its cuisine (which I will hopefully be able to show you someday).

    Map of Hong Kong showing showing the 3 territories.
    The three Hong Kong territories: New Territories, Kowloon, Hong Kong Island. (Credit: Google maps app screen shot)

     

    Hong Kong consists of several regions. Its total land area is just slightly over 2,755 km2 (1,064 sq miles). The most northern region is called the New Territories which holds the land that shares the border at the southern edge of Shenzhen. Following south you have the Kowloon Peninsula, then the Hong Kong Island and dozens of other islands spread around the much larger Hong Kong Island. The largest of these minor islands is called Lantau Island. These three regions are subdivided up into 18 city districts.

     

    Our small hotel room.
    Our very small hotel room. Where the picture cuts off is the sliding door to the bathroom.

     

     

    Since we have made two trips so far let me start with the first one (nice enough place to start right? lol). We stayed in Kowloon in the heart of Kowloon actually. Kowloon is a fairly famous area and it was wonderful to get to stay there—even if the hotel was comically small.

     

    First let me describe how we arrived in Hong Kong. Of course you are crossing the border so you have to pass through security once on the China side and once again on the Hong Kong side. Though neither are that stressful when you travel via ferry. We took a bus down to the ferry and was able to board it about an hour later after we bought the tickets. We simply had to fill out the normal little forms when crossing the border and ran our baggage through an x-ray.

    Ferry waiting at port
    Our ferry waiting for passengers to board.

    The ferry itself was really interesting. It was basically just a simple boat if you boil it down, lol. I’d never been on a ferry so I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was simple: the VIP’s sat upstairs and everyone sat downstairs in a seating arrangement very similar to that of an airplane. There were lots of windows made frosted by the ocean sprays. After getting off the ferry and through security, we headed straight to the subway so that we could get on to our hotel.

    The seats on the ferry are arranged similar to an airplane
    The seats on the ferry are arranged similar to an airplane

    The first big difference we found between China and Hong was here in the subway. Aside from various layout differences and minor aesthetics, there was a huge difference. Hong Kong subways have people–who speak very good English–stationed strategically throughout the subway to help guide people. Each person we came across through our trip was incredibly nice and courteous.

    The subway smoothly took us to a block from our hotel, where we were quickly able to check in and get a bit of rest before heading out. Next time I will share with you more of the Hong Kong aside from the mass transit.

    Let me know if you have questions or want to know more about something! We love getting comments and feedback. More about Hong Kong will soon follow! :)

    May the road rise to meet you.

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