Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong is truly a unique city and very different from the cities I visited in the past. Although I can't compare with other Chinese cities since I haven't been, it's clear that East meets West in this city. It's a mix of everything and contrasts everywhere. It's also one of the most compact cities in the world. There's 7 million people on an area that felt as big as Stockholm, since a big part of Hong Kong is mountains and forests. It is literally a concrete jungle next to a jungle.

We arrived in the afternoon and checked into our hostel. The first thing we did after that was to visit a skybar, of course, to wait for the rest of the group who came with other flights. It felt so good with 20 degrees at night(!), and to be able to sit outside in just a sweater and enjoy the view. It felt unreal. And as you may know, I am a sucker for megacities + views.

When the others arrived, we went to a restaurant where we got to try a bit of everything. In the middle, there was a spinning table with all the dishes and you could pick what you wanted. Very nice first dining experience! Unfortunately, it went downhill after that, but we'll get to that.

The next day we began to explore the northwestern part of Hong Kong Island, with Central and Soho. We went to the Mid-Levels-escalators, the world's longest escalator system which covers almost a kilometer. There wasn't anything fun at the end of the whole route which was a bit of an anticlimax, but you got to see a lot of the area while you are resting your feet.

In Hong Kong, trees grow on walls. How COOL is that? You can't stop nature.

We visited the Man Mo Temple. Not much to see from the outside, but quite nice on the inside. And very smoky. We also saw Hong Kong's first mosque (below).

Hong Kong in a nutshell, nice next to shabby. Sometimes it's a little hard to get a grip of an area since one moment you think it's shabby and then you suddenly see a Prada or Gucci store. There are very few homogeneous areas.

We got to visit OMA, one of the most prominent architectural firms in the world(?). They have offices in Rotterdam, New York and Beijing, in addition to this one in Hong Kong. We got a tour of the office which was surprisingly small, and then they showed some current projects in Hong Kong and China. A very interesting experience!

After that we walked around in the financial district in Central and visited several skyscrapers and went up to the observation floor if possible. Bank of China is probably my favorite in Hong Kong, it lights up beautifully at night and stands out in the very large amount of skyscrapers.

Not a group selfie but selfies in a group!

These Lippo Towers also stood out in the crowd. At first I thought it looked like something from Star Wars, but apparently it represent koalas hanging along the sides, inspired by the original Australian owner. Now I only see koalas.

And that's enough for the first post.


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