8 Hours in Hong Kong on the coldest day in 60 years

 

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My 90 days in Taiwan are almost up!  Instead of traveling next month at the height of Chinese New Year craziness, I decided to do what I didn’t want to do: go to Hong Kong.

Sure enough, I bought a $168 round trip ticket – leaving at 9:15am and returning at 10:15pm on the same day.  It’s a 2.5 hour flight each way, so I figured I’d have around 8 hours in HK.

In 2002, I traveled frequently to Hong Kong — even stayed for 1-2 months.  This was a handful of years after the handover from the British to China so the city still felt a bit British and the people were very proud to be Hong Kongers.  Though not my favorite dialect, Cantonese was widely spoken.  Loud, staccato Cantonese could be heard near restaurants and in night markets.

More than ten years later, Hong Kong seemed very (mainland) Chinese.  First, the airport seemed so much more crowded.  Where did these people come from? (China!)

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Hong Kong International Airport

Second, many varieties of accented Mandarin was spoken as well as other dialects.  Third, I spent much of the day having small ladies push me aside as the squeezed through the crowds.  Though Cantonese is not a melodic dialect, it is spoken by people who were raised half-British and half-Chinese.

Central

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Mid-Levels

This area describes one of the most expensive neighborhood consisting of high-rises built on Hong Kong Island’s steeply rising hill.  If you say “Mid-Levels”, you are probably referring to the series of moving walkways and escalators that make the area a sort of tourist attraction.

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“View” from Mid-Levels walkway

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Wan Chai and Admiralty

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Causeway Bay

This area used to be one of the places for young people to hang out.   Before visiting Hong Kong, I had the impression that New York City was crowded.

Hysan

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