I know you’re all dying to hear about my Hong Kong trip so that you’ll be able to plan your own in the near future. Instead of nattering on about my personal feelings of the city, allow me to answer your most pressing questions so that your own trip will go smoothly.
1. Can I drink the water?
|I call this "Blurry City at Night because Elaine is Terrible|
with Night Shots on her Camera and the Boat was Moving"
2. How should I get from the airport to my hotel?
Depends on the time of day. Since Faith (my traveling compatriot on this journey) and I arrived in the middle of the night, we took a taxi whose driver had a collection of god-only-knows-what-voodoo-creepy stuff on the dashboard and who drove literally double the speed limit.
3. Will I get lost in the city?
I hope so! Don’t be afraid to be lost: that’s one of the best parts of travel! That said, it’s a pretty straightforward city with a very navigable transit system. If you do find yourself scrabbling for directions, you’ll probably be able to find someone who speaks English well enough to help you out. The two times Faith and I asked for help, both people were fluent.
4. What kind of Chinese should I be speaking?
Cantonese. Study up.
5. Where should I get my hotel?
Hong Kong Island. I recommend Hong Kong Hostel, located on Paterson St right next to a bunch of bus stops and the subway. It has creepy 3D pictures of cats on the walls, but the view from the balcony is great! Also, we saw no less than three runway models (live gods and goddesses of beauty) less than a block from the hostel.
6. Can I brush my teeth with the water?
Yes. Just don’t chug it.
7. What are the modern-day reminders that Hong Kong was a British Colony for much of its history?
|They stare at you no matter where you go.|
8. What geography do I need to be aware of?
The South Island, Lantau Island and the mainland are separated by Victoria Harbor and easily bypassed by superior bridge and tunnels systems. Lantau Island is home to the airport and an exceptionally large Buddha. The north part of Hong Kong Island and the central-southern tip of the mainland make up the city’s center.
9. What should I eat?
Yes. Though I wouldn’t recommend the duck eggs/minced pork option that I managed to order on my first evening in the city. It was less than delicious.
10. What’s the best thing about the city?
|See? British! With English jokes about butts and boats!|
11. Please stop talking about the transportation.
Anyway, now I’m back in Korea where the subway platforms are not air-conditioned and I have to hike up a mountain in order to do my laundry. But Korea has good things too—like friends and treadmills, potable water, and cute art supply stores. But it’d be cool if we had a tram system, too. Just saying, President Lee Myung-Bak. Just saying.