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Hong Kong (turn of the year 2013/2014)
 
We spent the turn of the year 2013/2014 in Hong Kong which is considered the most vertical city of the world with countless skyscrapers and one of the highest population density. This was the first modern mega city we visited on our journey. We stayed for one week which was nice because we were able to discover and experience the city without hurry.
 
incredible population density
incredible population density
 
In our hostel we could feel that space is very limited. Our room was not much bigger than the bed itself but our room had a premium-feature: it had a window!
And for the first time the hostel we stayed in was not a separate building - our hostel was the 10th floor in a skyscraper. We ended up paying 42 € per night for a private room with bathroom which we think was not too bad. Accommodation was by far our biggest expense in HK.
 
For days we wandered around the city and soaked in the atmosphere and the uncountable impressions. Smells in the street, sounds, so many things to look at that you have trouble where to look and last but not least all the skyscrapers.
 
looking up
after some days our necks hurt from looking up so much
 
The main city of HK is divided into two parts:
in the south - divided from the rest by the ocean - is downtown with all the financial buildings and fancy western flagship stores. North of downtown is Kowloon which seemed more lively, more asian and thus more authentic.
Similar to what we had already seen in South America shops of the same kind were often grouped together in one street. For example there was Goldfish market which is one street where they only sell fish (in a bag) and all the stuff you need for an aquarium. Other streets like this are flower market, ladies market, electronic street (where Edgar bought a new small lens for his camera), night market and bird market.
As soon as it gets dark HK gets even more impressive with all the lights, billboards and what felt like millions of people in the street.
 
uncountable people and billboards
uncountable people and billboards.
Try to find the Pentax billboard where Edgar bought his new lens.
 
The territory of HK does not only consist of urban area but also of mountainous forest. After some days of city-life we made a day trip to Lantau Island into the green.
In general we were kind of surprised that despite HK being a gigantic city it was very colorful with many green parks and lots of street art. Additionally we visited some really quiet / calm spots like the Wong Tai Sin temple, the peaceful Chi Lin nunnery and the ten thousand buddhas monastery.
 
 
We really really enjoyed Hong Kong and left the city with tons of impressions and good memories in our backpack.
The only downside was that during our stay we had rather heavy smog with reduced visibility. The smog might not seem as bad on the pictures but sometimes it was even hard to see the skyline at the other side of Victoria Harbour. In contrast to the bad air quality central HK was very clean - there was almost no litter in the street and the subway.
 
 
more photos in the gallery
 
 
NOTES & ANECDOTES
 
public transport in Hong Kong was exceptionally cheap. For the excellent, modern subway we paid around 0,7 € per ride and for a boat ride across the harbour we paid around 0,2€.
 
as Hong Kong used to be a British colony we expected the people to speak and understand english quite well. That was not the case.
 
every single Taxi is the same model - Toyota Crown Comfort
 
technical equipment is pretty cheap in HK - especially from a certain fruit company