Hong Kong (Day 1)

 

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Most people don’t know that Hong Kong is actually made up of 200 small islands. Most people don’t know that while Hong Kong is part of the People’s Republic of China  it has its own government and currency and considers itself separate from mainland China. You need a visa if you are a US citizen to enter mainland China but not Hong Kong and you have to show your passport to go to and from the mainland and Macau. Whether you will get a stamp in that passport is an entirely different question. It could be a piece of paper stapled to the inside….tear….

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While my flight was canceled out of Frankfurt, Thai Airways put me on their partner airline Lufthansa for a direct flight. The price for the original ticket was a little over $500USD. The direct flight on Lufthansa had I booked it with them would have been $4300USD so you won’t get much in the way of complaining from me regarding the cancellation.  Of course, it was still an overnight flight but with Lufthansa only 11 hours long from Frankfurt. Either way, hello jet lag! I was wrecked and went straight to my accommodation which was easy enough – take the shuttle bus 21a for pennies on the dollar or the train for dollars on the dollar – I went with pennies.

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Maybe New Yorkers can grasp the concept of thousands of people milling about the street all at one time and sometimes aimlessly but a Texas girl like me is having quite a new experience. The only thing in my travels thus far that is remotely equatable is the number of scooters in Vietnam, the number of people piled into a chicken bus in Central America and, of course, the number of people in India anywhere! I don’t think even India (in the south where I was) compares to the streets and trains in Hong Kong but I am sure it’s worse on the mainland. This is now why it makes sense that they have so many matching skyscraper buildings next to each other with what appears to be tens of thousands of residents in each one.

Take all these people everywhere, now add umbrellas as it is wet season and you have a recipe for a lovely, colorful, vibrant and exciting traffic jam! (Photo by knowledge@wharton.com.)

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But don’t let the lack of personal space keep you from coming to HK particularly if you have any interest in traveling to mainland China and don’t have a visa like me or you want to sample some yum yum dim sum!

That’s all for now with a yawn from Hong Kong as my eyes are mere slits at this point.

 

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