When I told friends I was headed to Hong Kong they all said it was the “New York of Asia.” Sweet, New York is rad, I thought. But I’ve never been to New York City so the comparison was totally lost on me.
After a week in Hong Kong, it’s safe to say New York City is dead to me because Hong Kong captured my heart.* If you have a long layover or a chance to drop in on this city, prepare to be wooed.
Woo Factor #1 Food. Huge bakeries that are a mash-up of Asian and European pastries, offering delights such as green tea hum bao and red bean scones, plus coconut-filled everything. Dim sum. Spicy noodle shops. And most of it is open into the wee hours of the morning. I’m so dazed just reminiscing about Hong Kong food options that I can’t make full sentences.
Woo Factor #2 Public transport and walk-ability. This population-dense city is entirely accessible by subway. I never waited more than five minutes for the next subway transfer. The signs are in English and Chinese, the directions make sense, the buses are clearly marked (with double decker options!), and everyone is walking everywhere. Heads up: walk fast and fierce as Hong Kong people walk with purpose. Also, there is no personal bubble in Asia. If you leave a polite space in front of you, someone will fill it.
Woo Factor #3: Rooftop bars a plenty. Hong Kong is a vertical city. Vertical cities equal rooftop bars. Rooftop bars equal views, outdoor lounging, dance parties, and pretty, happy people. If it’s cloudy, you’ll feel like you’re nestled on a cloud in the sky. Ask your hostel or hotel concierge (if you’re fancy!) to point you in the direction of the nearest rooftop bar. Note to the boozers: Rooftop bars are like a liquid picnic in the sky!
Woo Factor #4: Romantical Spots. The view of the nighttime Hong Kong skyline from across the harbor is the romantic spot to impress your long term lady love or your lady-love-for-the-night. Head to the Avenue of Stars, check out the Bruce Lee statue, try to pronounce the names of famous Chinese movie stars, and proclaim your love (or lust) to your lady against the Hong Kong skyline that wooes. If you’re still together the next day, plan a trip up to Victoria’s Peak for a gorgeous view of Hong Kong skyscrapers surrounded by the sea and lush greenery; the pic alone will be a shoo in for your Facebook cover photo.
Woo Factor #5: Ladies Market. Self-explanatory for the name alone. This is the kind of market that will remind you that you’re not in America anymore. You’ll find a ton of random goods, including shirts, batteries, fanny packs, lingerie, and an entire row of beckoning sales women and men ready to sell you sex toys. I skipped the vibrator souvenir idea for my lady. Instead I picked up souvenir magnets at the Temple Street Night Market nearby that read “YOU ARE MY LOVE MY ANGLE; DON’T TREAT ME LIKE POTATO” and “NO SMOKING I WILL CRAZY.”
Bonus Woo: Rugby 7’s International. Crowds of rugby loving men and women from all over the world converge on Hong Kong during a March weekend. In a packed stadium, known for its rowdy South End full of fans in outrageous costumes, rugby 7’s teams from around the world compete in fast-paced, 14-minute matches. The ruggers competing will impress you with their athleticism, speed and incredibly beautiful thighs of steel. I dare you not to be impressed with their sport and thighs. They also sell beer by the pitcher, another reminder you’re not in America anymore.
Bonus Woo #2: The world’s longest outdoor covered escalator. Yet another thing to cross off the global bucket list.
*Ok it’s not exactly dead to me. But until I actually get to NYC, an opportunity that hasn’t happened yet, I feel nothing except my love for Hong Kong.
Originally posted by Out Abroad.