8 reasons we will always love Hong Kong
Author: Team Hong Kong Living
Hong Kong is going through a rough patch. A year of protests and six months of coronavirus lockdowns have left many of us wondering where the city we love has gone. It is easy to worry that things may never be the same again, but Hong Kong is a tenacious little administrative region. We are already starting to see the city slowly getting back to its feet and there are a whole host of things it does better than the rest of the world. Here are some of our favourites.
Hong Kong has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in the world. From Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants helmed by world-renowned chefs to roadside dai pai dongs serving up traditional local dishes perfected over generations, Hong Kong holds a taste sensation around every corner. Whether it’s grabbing a pineapple bun on the way to the office, gorging on dim sum on a Sunday morning or sampling the latest international food trend in Soho, once you’re accustomed to the eating-centered Hong Kong way of life, it’s hard to live anywhere else.
The public transport
It might sound boring, but we absolutely love Hong Kong’s transport options. The MTR whisks you smoothly and serenely across the city. Hong Kong’s taxis, meanwhile, may have their quirks but their speed and value for money are unrivalled. Those of us with a romantic, nostalgic side will never tire of taking a ding ding through the island’s diverse neighbourhoods or hopping on the Star Ferry to cross the harbour. And, if you ever feel the options have become boring, try mastering the red minibuses for us all, will you?
From haggling over groceries at wet markets to perusing the latest collections at upmarket ateliers, there’s something for every shopaholic in Hong Kong. Brave the crowds in Causeway Bay and join visitors from across the region as they snap up the latest fashionable clothes, accessories and cosmetics. Rifle through ‘antiques’ on Hollywood Road and see if you find your own little treasure trinket. Or, be wowed by the creations of local and international designers and ateliers at PMQ or K11.
Read more: Your neighbourhood guide to Causeway Bay
With an average IQ of 107, Hong Kong’s well-educated citizens mean the territory consistently ranks among the most intelligent places in the world. It recently came out tops in Asia beating Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Hong Kong’s exceptional education system makes it a great place to bring up your kids or find staff for your business.
Read more: Best international schools in Hong Kong
As the city’s name Fragrant Harbour suggests, Hong Kong is a city rooted in the sea. We all know Hong Kong Island may be where most of the action takes place, but Hong Kong is joined by another 260 islands to create the territory. There are wonders to behold on each and every one of them. From scaling the mighty Lantau Peak to exploring forgotten fishing villages off of Sai Kung and from cycling around the minuscule and car-free Peng Chau to hiking over the windswept and nearly-deserted Po Toi.
Yes, we love Hong Kong’s seamless public transport, its bars and restaurants, its award-winning museums, galleries and concerts venues. But, just a stone’s throw from all that entertainment, is Hong Kong’s real charm. More than 75 percent of Hong Kong’s land area is actually luscious semi-tropical forest and most of it is protected country parks just waiting for you to explore. Hong Kong’s diverse hikes range from a stroller-friendly afternoon stroll with the whole family to scrambling up 1,000-metre peaks.
The public holidays
Hong Kongers get a whopping 17 days of public holiday a year, marking important days in both Western and Chinese traditions (another benefit of living in a world city). Not only are there myriad ways to spend time off in the city, but Hong Kong’s award-winning airport is just a 25-minute ride from the city centre and has some of the smoothest immigration and security checks in the world. This puts a long weekend in the Philippines, Thailand or Japan easily in reach.
There’s a reason they call it Asia’s World City. At Hong Kong’s very core is a meeting place of customs, culture, cuisines and commerce. In its 200-year history, it has perfected its ability to attract the best of everything from around the world. In Hong Kong, you can find that one obscure ingredient to complete your grandmother’s recipe, you can try the latest workout craze and you can mingle with leaders in their fields from every corner of the globe.