The One With First Impressions Of Hong Kong

It has been more than two weeks since the Novotel Bloggers Hong Kong 2010 event… and it certainly felt much longer than that. Had it only been two weeks? It felt like it had been months since that night when I met up with so many different bloggers all in one night.

Being a somewhat newcomer to Hong Kong (I moved here for slightly more than a year), I was curious to know the kind of impression these bloggers had on my new home. It is easy, even for someone like me, to feel a teensiest bored with Hong Kong, if you fell victim to mindless routine and endless rat race in the day-to-day life in this city.

So I snooped around a little to discover just what Hong Kong meant to these folks.

After a few years’ break since she last visited the city, Minh Giang was fascinated how the Hong Kong she remembered transformed right in front of her eyes:

It’s been almost six years since my last visit to Hong Kong and almost inevitably I’m told this every time someone asks if I’ve been to Hong Kong before. I’m a little stunned as I take in the skyline on the ride into the city, it’s one thing to remember the densely packed skyscrapers but another thing altogether to see towers lit up at night.

Photo by Cindy Schaefer

Coming from Tokyo, Owen Schaefer should be no stranger to densely packed metropolitan city, but he was in for surprise on his first visit to Hong Kong:

While being driven to the hotel, I am surprised at the undeveloped mountainous land all around. All I’ve ever heard about Hong Kong is how tight, claustrophobic and inescapably urban it is. But here are these inexplicably lofty mountains rising up all around us, just begging to be climbed.

And then, just a paragraph later:

A city of needles. A city of nails. Buildings grouped like animals, confining themselves in places to herds of their own kind. Here are ten apartment blocks rising identical heights in a square, and over there, six others seem randomly placed, but equally identical.

How eloquently put. I had to say Owen sums it nicely for the geek in me:

The animated duplicate of Hong Kong that I once visited in the online world of Second Life turns out to be frighteningly accurate.

Photo by Budi Sutomo

For Budi Sutomo, his first impression of Hong Kong has been a very positive one. Like, for example, on something that you and I may have been taken for granted, the MTR:

Hari pertama para blogger sudah diberi kebebasan untuk mengeksplorasi kota Hong Kong dengan MTR Tram (Mass Transit Railway), salah satu jenis transprtasi masal berupa kereta bawah tanah yang nyaman dan murah.

Translated as…

On the first day, the bloggers were free to explore Hong Kong using the MTR, a underground transportation which was airconditioned and cheap

Deborah Dickson-Smith took on the gastronomical route on her first day in Hong Kong; I could relate to her first experience with Hong Kong’s char chan teng very well:

My culinary exploration this week started with the ridiculous. I searched out the closest cha chaan teng, a type of Chinese tea restaurant that Hong Kong is famous for. Tsui Wah, located nearby on Jaffe Rd is one of the better known tea restaurants and has the added bonus for non-bilingual travellers like me of having pictures on the menu.

The keyword is, of course, “pictures”! Without them I would be seriously missing out an important part of the local food culture.

Photo by Ajay Jain

As he took into the smell and colour that was the Wine & Dine Festival, Ajay Jain realised why Hong Kong is the gastronomical destination of Asia:

As you soak in your surroundings, you realize why Hong Kong is widely regarded as the culinary capital of Asia. Eating is a religion here, a form of art where you get cuisines from all over the world and prepared the way they should be. With abolition of duties on wine, the perfect accompaniment is within reach of everyone.

Photo by Boo Lee

And so did Boo Lee, who was so impressed with Hong Kong she reminisced about her trip here with an ultra long tribute blog post to the city:

Being food obssessed, the trip was literally a constant pursuit of good food around the city peppered with a fright night experience and of course, every budding wine lover’s dream aka the Hong Kong Wine & Dine festival. I managed to consume an eclectic mix of high brow Michelin starred restaurants, hole-in-the-wall eateries, street food – all with one common thread – great food. It’s weird but even though it’s my second trip for the year, I still walk away from Hong Kong with the insatiable hunger to return for my favourite eats or try new eateries I missed out. I guess Hong Kong definitely has weaved her magic around me that I’m enamoured with the city’s offerings.

So what about me?

Writing this post made me looked back at my first two weeks living in Hong Kong. In all honesty, I wasn’t that confident that I will survive in Hong Kong, but never in my wildest dream I imagined I will be where I am today.

I made friends. I worked hard. I played hard. I lost weight. I blogged. I dated (sorry, no blog post there). I did many, many things, and I am happy to be where I am today.

The first impressions of Hong Kong from my fellow bloggers (thank you, folks) affirmed me, gastronomically or otherwise, that I wasn’t delusional when I made that big decision in my life. All in all, my own first impression of this city remains unchanged.

Hong Kong is a great city to live and prosper in.

3 Thoughts on “The One With First Impressions Of Hong Kong

  1. budi sutomo on 25 November, 2010 at 3:37 pm said:

    and a more interesting when I first met with bloggers hong kong is, met many good friends from all over the world, one of them is Razlan Manjaji, hehehehe..

  2. @ Budi – Hehe, when I finally visit Jakarta, then you can introduce me to your friends :)

  3. Pingback: What we are reading | travel4vitality

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