Hong Kong is overwhelmingly crowded. It is a small, peaked island with over 7 million people and everywhere you go there are crowds, lines, and masses of people so intense that I was often crashed into on the streets. The trick we learned is to arrive just a bit early and that worked for us at the busiest dem sen restaurants, on the tram to the peak, at the harbor for the sound and light show, and at the markets.
We explored on double-decker trams from beginning to end, via bus to the south side, in cars, and on a ferry to metropolitan Kowloon on the opposite side of the harbor. On the one clear beautiful sunny day we walked and stood for almost 12 hours. Otherwise it was foggy and cool with staggering gigantic skyscrapers bursting skyward out of the mist.
We ate wonderful dim sum lunches that were equivalent (but not better) than the dim sum restaurants of Flushing in New York City. At night we were still full so we ate in a bakery (chicken and pork pies and buns) one night, at a terrible noodle restaurant, and in the hotel the last night when we were both coughing.
Hong Kong is all about SHOPPING! There are markets of cheap stuff for the Indonesian maids and low paid people in menial jobs. There are shops to buy Bentley, Gucci, Ferari, Cartier, Lous Vuitton, Rolex and every other top brand for wealthy million dollar condo residents and tourists on shopping jaunts from Europe. Mid priced electronics, jewelry, clothing, luggage, and more can be found in the Stanley stands, Mon Kok Ladies Market, in the Temple Street Night Market, and countless other spots and stores. Tourists seem to be incessantly buying….except for us. We bought no clothing and did not have any trust in the hustling tailor shills or the prices and were glad we did our shopping in Cambodia and Vietnam. The electronic prices were comparable to those in the USA without an American warrantee so it made no sense to buy.
Hong Kong is a world-class city and in the central business area we saw mostly men and some women in perfectly tailored stylish business garb from all over the world. Lunch time the streets of this area filled with a haberdasher’s fantasies.
The sampans have disappeared, more children of the growing moneyed condo crowd attend uniform private schools, and billboards in the metropolitan area urge tolerance and reduction of discrimination. The old Hollywood version of Hong Kong is gone.