Monday, 29 October 2012

My Hong Kong adventure

 It's been yonks since my last post, and amidst the crazy summer (which seems so far away now) and graduating in London, paired with a short family getaway in Berlin I AM FINALLY in HONG KONG.

I've moved here for a job and will be based here till further notice. Never having been here before, I can honestly say it's everything I expected it to be and more. Hong Kong is a city full of highs and lows - literally. Hotels, shops, restaurants and offices are stacked inside skyscrapers and whole worlds of commerce exist side by side in underground shopping malls. Yet most of the land is still a superb countryside of hiking trails, islands and protected parks. There's a lot to take in, but it being a small city, it's easy to get a good impression within the first few days.

Kowloon Clock Tower

Hong Kong is unabashedly a consumerist city and is built upon this culture (or lack thereof) Where else do you regularly see wedding shoots held at shopping malls? 
It's home to over 7 million people many of those real estate magnates, old guard industrialists unafraid to show their wealth and new arrivals from mainland China looking to make a quick buck in factories, shops and hotels.

Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong - night and day versions 

Some of these luxurious hotels can be found in neighbouring Macau. Decided to get away from the bustle of the city to this Southern Chinese enclave. A short ferry ride away, Macau has indisputably become the world's gambling capital. It is the only place in China where casinos are legal. 

We stayed at the newly refurbished Sheraton hotel and I was surprised at how little else there was apart from the luxurious hotels and grand casinos. I was keen on exploring some culture in this once Portuguese colony which still had a strong mark on this once tranquil fishing village. From the road signs to the architectural influences to the food, it was nice to see a unique blend of 'East-meets-West.' 

Portuguese take on Chinese egg tarts - a famous Macanese dessert - named 'Po Tarts'

Hong Kong is land of plenty. Plenty of people, plenty of Porsches and plenty of FOOD. It's like the main attraction here - especially the Dim Sum. You can't go wrong with the trolley cart experience of these Chinese pockets of yumminess. There are few other places in the world, where you can get Michellin starred dim sum restaurants for £5! Just be prepared to wait a couple of hours to get a table during busy hours.

You can get too much of a good thing and chances are my next Greek salad craving is right around the corner!

It's been a whirlwind, and in just under two weeks of arriving here. A new environment, new language, new people and faces, new job - I'm treating everyday as it should be - an adventure.