After teaching for 17 months I decided to take a little retreat and travel around South East Asia. The plan is Hong Kong –> Malaysia –> Thailand –> Laos –> Cambodia –> Vietnam (maybe) –> Korea –> Canada!
Teaching in Korea was great. I already miss the kids and the easy lifestyle but I felt that I wasn’t getting anything out of it anymore. It was time to take on something new. I like to think it’s because I’m adventurous but I’m sure most of my friends and family would say it’s because I’m restless. Either way, I plan to make a blog post for every country. So here’s Hong Kong!
Hong Kong is bat$h!t crazy. It’s one of the most densely populated cities in the world and you could definitely tell. Over 7 million people live within 1, 104 km^2. That’s over 6000 people in every square kilometer. Again, bat$h!t! Every inch of space is utilized in someway. If you have personal bubble issues then this is not the city for you. Here’s what I liked the most:
A few years ago I saw a documentary about Hong Kong which showcased the longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world extending for 0.8 km! I’ll admit, this is pretty much why I wanted to visit Hong Kong. I thought that if a city had 0.8km of escalators then it must be a cool city. Well, the escalators turned out to be really stupid. The original purpose was to decrease human traffic and general congestion but when building them, the city went 180% over budget and no improvement in traffic was noted. Oops!
People still maintained proper escalotor ettiquette like standing on the right and passing on the left. Oh and even though it's an outdoor escaltor, there's no smoking :)
I kept leaving the escalators in between levels because I just kept thinking I was wasting my time. Each time I turned back around and went up another flight because I just had to know what was at the top waiting for me. Unfortunately/fortunately, the end of the escalotor road occurred when I hit one under repair. I could've taken the stairs but who wants to take stairs when there's an escalator?
The Bruce Lee statue with the famous skyline in the background.
In the heart of the city lies Kowloon Park. It's a tropical paradise filled with so many plants, trees, animals and waterfalls that you can't even hear the bustling streets surrounding you. I wandered forever looking for these guys. Flamingos might be my new favourite animal. They're so weird just standing there on one foot curling their head around their body. And, they're pink!
I don't remember many details about this giant bronze Buddha, but it's one of the biggest in Asia and I had to take a cable car to go see it. No regrets...
The city is really conscious about the spread of germs. I saw these signs in every subway station, in many restaurants and bathrooms.
I liked how the pretty 10 dollar bill had a clear patch. I avoided spending them because I liked looking at them. If you look closely you can see my fingernail. Minutes and minutes of entertainment!
Markets and markets everywhere! So many weird fruits, colorful vegetables and cheap yummy street snacks that I seem to never get enough of. I thought it was interesting how the butchers butchered their meat right out in the open. I'm pretty sure I felt flying bits of meat on my arm a few times. So much for sanitation.
At one point I was contemplating on applying for jobs in Hong Kong because I thought I’d love it but I ended up only liking it. It was really cool but a little too crowded for my liking and the air felt really thick and polluted. Ah well, the search continues! Malaysia is next!