May 9-12, 2019
For my 25th birthday (made it to a Quarter Century!!) I decided to take another completely solo trip— this time to Indonesia. However, I realized I really needed to visit one of my friends in Hong Kong and experience this amazing city before I head back to the Western Hemisphere. So I squeezed in a quick weekend trip to Hong Kong before I headed to Indonesia.
As soon as I landed in Hong Kong and entered the subway, I felt immediately at home. Even walking the streets to my weekend apartment on the island (and what an amazing spot that was!), I almost thought I was back home in New York. There is a constant buzz around you of people moving quickly in the streets and talking to and over each other. Buildings are towering over you and crowding the streets and there are street shops and stalls in front of each one. People are social in the streets but still move with purpose. And the subway system is so fast and efficient!! I think I may miss fast and easy transportation more than anything else since being away from home. What makes Hong Kong even more fascinating to me is that it is a compact but lush city, surrounded by towering green mountains and beautiful blue water. The skyscrapers stand over the bay and the water reflects off of the glass. I was staying on the central island, not on Kowloon, which is part of the mainland. Still, just outside the window of the apartment, I could see mountains, blue water, and many skyscrapers all within my gaze.
As soon as I landed, I met up with my friend and another coworker who I had never actually met in person, so already this trip was starting off on a good foot. Of course, we immediately went to go eat. Although Hong Kong is known for the Cantonese food, we started with some Sichuan food (thankfully, I can still handle my spice levels). We ended up at some rooftop bars later that night, and even then, I felt like I could have been in New York City. Between the expats (HK has a huge expat community) and Hong Kong natives, everyone I met was extremely welcoming and wanted to share the culture, history, and best parts of their home city.
I’m so happy I made the decision to travel to Hong Kong. I only wish I had visited sooner and for longer. But I have a feeling that I’ll be back in Hong Kong sometime in the near future, either for work or play. Or maybe both?
Also some really cool things about Hong Kong that I loved:
- I found so many Buddhist temples throughout the city, including this tiny one accessed through the back of a meat market
- The scaffolding is made out of bamboo!
- The subway cars are continuous throughout so you can see from one end of the train to the other
- Shirts with random English words are the funniest. Especially bench guy who was actually sitting on a bench
- Trees with twisted and beautifully gnarled roots grow horizontally out of cement walls