I have recently returned from just under two weeks to Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. As I’ve done previously, with Canberra, NE England and Singapore, here are some random facts about Hong Kong…

1. The Taxis have these contraptions installed to open the rear left door automatically.

2. The multi-trip travel smart card, Octopus Card, can be used to buy lots of other things, like from vending machines and stores. The cleverest thing ever!

3. There is a shopping centre called Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa that has a building shaped like a boat.

4. There are no ferry or MTR timetables. That’s because they are ridiculously regular, so there’s no point.

5. It’s legal to drink standing on the footpath or sitting on a curb outside a pub or club.

6. You can even get served outside, as we did (see previous point)

7. Cans of Coke cost $9 out of a vending machine. I know the exchange rate is good, but it is still a shock to see.

8. The trip from Hong Kong to Macau takes about an hour on ferry, plus customs time at both ends.

9. There are literally hundreds of gates at the Hong Kong Airport.

10. As per point 9, I caught an underground train to get from the arrival gate to customs!

11. They are serious about Typhoons. We had a typhoon signal whilst i was there, and just about every foyer has a sign go up warning people.

12. Although Cantonese is the main language, most people speak Mandarin (and English) as well.

13. Sundays are the maids day off. You can see thousands of maids flock to public spaces such as parks on Sundays.

14. The Big Red Bus tours are seriously cheap, and worth the ride.

15. Make sure you visit ‘the peak’. It’s a grand view of Hong Kong from up there (see the photo above as an example).

16. Hong Kong has over 7 million people in 1,000 square kilometres, making it the “world’s most vertical city” – it sure is packed in!

17. Because of the SAR (Special Administrative Region) status of Hong Kong, Facebook and Twitter are accessible. The infamous Chinese internet filter doesn’t reach Hong Kong, yet.

I would definitely recommend visiting. The east meets west feel to the place makes it comfortable for someone who doesn’t want to face culture shock, but still different enough for those who want that shot of culture.

I’ve covered Singapore before, and although I spent most of a day in Macau, those facts will have to wait for another blog post.

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