KUNG HEI FAT CHOI !
It seemed fitting with it being the Lunar New Year on January 28th to do a post on what I miss about living in Hong Kong! It never gets old, seeing the look on people's faces when they say "Wait, you grew up where?".
I am so grateful and blessed to have those experiences and to say I grew up in the greatest city in the world! A majority of the friends on my Facebook are people who I met in HK and I know it's home to all of us no matter where life took us after High School Graduation.
There are so many ways in which my life was so different growing up compared to people I know in Canada. I love sharing stories with my Fiancé, Ryan, about our childhoods because of the different types of memories we each have.
The most popular question I get is "So how was living in Japan?" Has that really changed for anyone? Half the time I ignore the "Japan" part and answer the question anyways because I've had one too many sarcastic comments made after I correct them. But the second most popular question I get is "what was that experience like?" Everyones curious to how my way of life out there was and it's fun for me to share because I take such pride of my time in Hong Kong.
I've been back in Canada for 5 and a half years, which is crazy to me. The time is going by way too fast ! Everyone can agree with me when I say "You can take a person out of Hong Kong but you can't take the Hong Kong out of a person". I know this because my house is decorated like I never left! When we moved into our most recent home I painted a red feature wall and created my HK wall. I know at least 95% of people have the "Lang Kwai Fong" sign, a staple in many dorms and apartments!
My HK island painting from Stanley Market hangs above the TV and year round I have my lantern hanging from the ceiling.
I tell everyone they need to visit Hong Kong at least once in their life. I get homesick all the time, why you ask?
|| The Transit System, hands down the best In the world. You'll never get lost, it's so easy to get around and if you miss a train or a bus one is not far behind. the MTR (underground train) is so clean and easy to figure out where to go. The ferry to take you from Kowloon Island to Hong Kong Island is equivalent to less than a dollar Canadian. The underground world in HK is so advanced you can pretty much get from point A to point B without even going outside, perfect for those stormy days!
|| The Food. There is no shortage of restaurants in the city whether you go for a fancier dinner in Soho or the outdoor food places at Temple Street Night Market. Cheap and delicious. There's something about enjoying a nice cold beer whilst watching people shop the stalls along the street. I also love the little food carts around the city, whether you want dumplings, bubble waffle or squid on a stick, it's an awesome snack on the go!
Garlic Prawns from Cheung Chau.. SO good.
|| The Smells. Whenever we had family come visit us from Canada as a kid, the aromas in the air would make some nauseated, like the Stinky Tofu in Mong Kok! You can tell who is nose blind to the smells and who isn't.
|| The Views. There is no doubt that the views no matter where you are in the city are breathtaking. You could be standing at the viewing deck at The Peak, overlooking HK Island or on the Avenue of Stars in Kowloon there's always something to see. I was lucky enough to live in an apartment that had an unobscured view of HK island from the 77th / 78th floor. Plus it's fun to see people's faces when they hear how high up we lived!
The view from every room in our house, this was the last picture I took with my cheap camera of the view before we moved back to Canada.
|| Convenience. You are never in a place where you can't access anything quickly. I lived above Elements Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui and if I wanted a Mc Donalds ice cream, a starbucks or even wanted to see a late night movie in my Pyjama pants, all I had to do was go down in an elevator and I'm there! Not to mention there was the train station and bus depot there too!
|| Hustle and Bustle. The city is constantly on the go, streets are filled with thousands of people late into the night, Everything is usually open till 11pm-12am. I also like the anonymity of being out and about. Sometimes you just want your peace and quiet which seems impossible with all the street noise, but once you plug in some headphones and jam out to tunes you're in your own little zone.
|| Nightlife. Hong Kong has a fantastic nightlife, whether you're out on a Wednesday evening for wine with friends or in Lang Kwai Fong-Wan Chai for an all nighter, there's never a shortage of places to go. I truly miss the days of buying cheap Smirnoff Ice from the 7/11, downing that and then going to the bar for dancing! The fact that growing up people would start going to the bars at 14 / 15 is comical compared to the strict laws in Canada.
|| Exploring. There is never nothing to see. Whether you want to walk to through the markets scattered all over the city for some cheap shopping with air conditioning water dripping on your from above or you want to go for hikes on the outlying islands. It's amazing when you get out to the mountains you think you're on another planet. It's so peaceful and quiet and it really allows you to disconnect from the busy city. The amount of walking everyone does on a daily, keeps you healthy which is a nice bonus. We loved to just hop on a double decker bus and ride it till the end of the line and back to see all the lights at night.
Veggie and Fruit stall in Kowloon
|| Lights. At 8pm along the harbour (or from our living room) we would watch the light and laser show. Thousands of buildings light up the night sky and during CNY and Christmas, the city goes all out with decorating all the buildings. It really is magical.
|| Travel Opportunities. There are so many options for travel being situated where we were. Getting to other Asian countries for a tropical vacation was easy, cheap and incredible and I am so lucky I was able to see as much as I did!
I find myself constantly reminiscing on old times and scrolling through the thousands of pictures I've taken throughout my years there. If you stuck with me and read till now thank you! Happy Year of the Rooster, I wish you all a healthy, happy and prosperous new year. If you don't already have HK listed on your places to travel, I leave you with a time lapse video that leaves me speechless shot by Krill Neiezhmakov. ENJOY !