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The city, that once was a British colony and since 1997 is a special administrative region of China, mixes the best of both worlds in a spectacular way.
Hong Kong have a different surprise for it´s visitors at each day, from it’s huge skyscrapers to it’s lights, flavors and smells. It’s hard not to take a picture of each corner! Walk and get lost through the streets means discover something different and it doesn’t matter if you are in Wan Chai, Central and Western or even in Sha Tin and Tsuen Wan.
See below a few things that an ordinary tourist girl from São Paulo saw when she spent seven days in Hong Kong:
1. The immigration process at the airport is simple and fast.
2. Almost everyone speaks english there, so it’s pretty much easy to communicate in Hong Kong.
3. Hong Kong is a paradise for WiFi lovers since you can have free access to the internet from nearly anywhere.
4. In general, the streets are clean.
5. I felt safe during all the days that I’ve been in Hong Kong.
6. It’s very comum to see public toilets around the streets, specially in downtown. The best part: you don’t have to pay for use them.
7. Be careful when crossing the streets if you are not used to the english way of driving.
8. The city is full of tortuous and narrow streets.
9. Even though Hong Kong is 11 hours ahead from São Paulo, it wasn’t hard to get used to the time zone.
10. There’s a lot of double decker buses in Hong Kong.
11. It’s not very common to see a motorcycle moving around the city.
12. Definitely, there’s no lack of feet masseurs.
13. People respect the rule of letting the left side of the moving stairway free.
14. Hong Kong is full of alleys.
15. Walking through the streets of Hong Kong is the best way of discovering a market that you probably didn´t and probably won’t find on the internet.
16. When we’re talking about the markets, the secret of buying things for a good price is bargain.
17. Still about markets: get ready to see everything that you can imagine in these places – start by going to the Goldfish Market.
18. All the scaffolds that are used in the constructions are made of bamboo, which is pretty cool.
19. Even with hundreds of skyscrapers, there’s a lot of green areas in Hong Kong.
20. It’s very comum to see people, specially the elderly ones, practicing Tai Chi Chuan in squares.
21. I didn’t saw people or animals living in the streets.
22. There’s a lot of convenience shops in town, such as 7-Eleven.
24. I found the food very similar to what we have here in Brazil.
25. Despite being spicy.
26. It’s easy to find restaurants that serves typical meals from other parts of the world.
27. I didn’t saw a lot of pizzerias around the city though.
28. You can have a noodle at any time you want: breakfast, lunch or dinner.
29. You won’t find a knife at some restaurants.
30. And sometimes can be hard to see a napkin at the table.
31. It’s common to have a glass of hot water during the meals. It´s for the tea.
32. Once in a while, you may see pigs and ducks hung in front of one or other establishment.
33. You can choose your own food at most of seafood restaurants.
34. The Hong Kong subway is very efficient. Lines go under the water and some cross the South China Sea, by the way.
35. The stations are huge and well signed.
36. Parents getting in the subway trains with their babies and strollers it’s a usual scene ~ quite different from Brazil.
37. The rule of letting people get out of the train before you get in it’s truly respected.
38. Public transportation is charged by the covered distance.
39. Octopus Card: if you are a tourist, this card is everything! It works either for metro and bus. Oh, and you can use the Octopus Card even at some restaurants.
40. There’s a train that connects the airport to the Hong Kong Station, where you can pick-up a free bus to one of the main hotels of the city!
41. It’s hard to get in a place that’s not frosting because of the air conditioning.
42. In Hong Kong, people have a great respect for the temples – greater than a lot of western people may think.
43. It´s in Hong Kong that you can find the biggest bronze Buda statue in the world: Tian Tan Buddha, aka Big Buda.
44. There’s a Disney park in town.
45. It’s common to see people wearing masks because of SARS, a respiratory crises that hit the region long before COVID-19.
46. Symphony of Lights is known as the biggest light show in the world. But it’s not all of that.
47. Seeing the city during night time already is a cool experience that results in a lot of nice photos – you don’t need a show for that.
48. In general, Hong Kong for itself is a source of hundreds of beautiful photographs.
49. To be honest, Hong Kong is an one of a kind. It’s impossible to compare the city with any other place that I’ve been.
50. Hong Kong’s biggest strength: it’s people, sympathetic and willing to help even if they don’t have a clue of who you are!
This post was originally published in Portuguese in April 28th, 2017, and it’s last update was in August 13th, 2018, at 10:21 am.