From Yangshuo we headed to Hong Kong for a few days to collect a new visa and explore a new city. Hong Kong is a fascinating place and felt very different from Beijing. For me it felt like a pretty accurate representation of what you'd get if you combined New York City and London into one. New York City with the smaller streets, high density of living and commerce and lots of activity. London for the road signs, driving on the left, subway station decor (you could easily be on the tube), accents, and familiar brands.
The speed of life seems much faster, with a richer mix of different cultures and languages.
The food was consistently excellent everywhere we ate and it was a real treat to have no language challenges when ordering meals.
Land is in short supply and the density of tall, skinny buildings is impressive, especially when they sit bolted on to the very steep hillsides. The rare pieces of land that are spared from development really make the contrast in land use evident.
There was a difference between the time spent in Kowloon (on mainland China) and Hong Kong Island, with the latter being more formal business and very high-end commercial and Kowloon suited more to general shopping opportunities including jewelers, electronics vendors and a seemingly limitless supply of tailors.
In short it's a great place to spend a few days.
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