Last Day

Waking up on our last day in HK. Ben is still asleep. Some random thoughts.

1. HK is crazy expensive. On balance, false. I don’t know about housing of course, and there were the $100 grapes, but overall, prices seem to be about the same. BTW our hotel here is perfectly fine and costs around $130 CAD/night.

2. For me the most notable thing about HK is the crazy volume of very high end luxury, especially watch and jewelry stores. Imagine those stores in Vegas lining street after street. One chain, Chow Tai Fook, it is common to stand in front of one and be able to see two more. All full of bored looking staff and generally empty of customers.

3. HK is safe, definitely true. Never crossed my mind that I needed to worry about anything.

4. Tons of English, both the language and the people here, false. It’s no problem but put it this way. We went to Starbucks and the barista had flawless English. We both chatted about it because it was so unusual – mostly it is awkward and broken. As for people, except in the hardest core tourist situations, we are usually the only white people in the room.

5. HK is a massive concentration of skyscrapers. True, according to yesterdays bus tour, 8000 vs 4000 in NYC, but false in that on HK island alone there is massive forested areas and actually I don’t understand why they don’t exploit these to relieve crowding and high real estate prices.

6. Also, this is just an impression, but I feel like HK skyscrapers are mostly residential. The waterfront sports an impressive facade of global brand names (quick, from Canada, which ones?) but the business skyscraper district seems to be only a few blocks wide unlike NYC which goes on forever. Manulife and Sun Life.

7. Feng Shui is a big thing. True!

8. Overall while HK is reasonably clean I’d say no better or worse than cities in Europe.

Today I have vague plans to walk around Kowloon all day and tick off a bunch of touristy things that have thus far evaded our attention. We spent all yesterday on bus tours which were awesome.

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