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Hong Kong – by Renee

by on July 13, 2016

Things have really changed here since I lived here in 1985.  I barely recognize any of the buildings, as so many have been torn down to build even taller skyscrapers.  They also added a performing arts center – and believe me, China missed a great opportunity.  They could have built an iconic structure, like the Sydney Opera House or the Eiffel Tower …but instead they put up an ugly brown brick monstrosity that blocks you from seeing the waterfront — looks like some of the “Soviet era” buildings in Warsaw.

Alex and David have decided if they had to choose, they would much prefer to live in Singapore than in Hong Kong.  Why?  Same hot and humid weather…but Hong Kong is chaotic, noisy, dirty, crowded, smelly, a visual overload (most every building has a giant flashing video screen), the streets are narrow, not many trees or parks, and there are men standing on every street corner trying to sell you “copy handbags, copy watches” or “suit, suit”.

Tonight we strolled along Nathan Road and stopped in some of the stores…

This was a favorite shopping, dining, nightclub neighborhood when I lived here  — the kids did not like it at all.  In fact, due to the heat and humidity, Alex suggested that we become nocturnal and sleep all day in the air conditioned hotel room.  That is NOT going to happen…but I understand why he wants to.

Following up on our “ice cream earthquake”…this is a permanent art installation outside the Marine Police Station…not sure why…but it does get you to notice!

David was amused by the scaffolding used in construction here — even large multi story buildings are framed with bamboo!

We are staying at the YMCA (which is actually a hotel in addition to having pools and sports courts). It is right next door to The Peninsula, which is one of the best hotels in the world, so we at least took a picture:

We have an amazing view — really the best view from Kowloon towards Hong Kong Island.  At night it’s probably the best skyline in the world.  (During the day it’s not so special… just a bunch of buildings.).  Here’s the view from our room… Beautiful skyline and ugly performing arts center

Tonight we had dinner at Harbour City, a super-fancy shopping mall.  I was shocked to see every fancy boutique you’ve ever heard of (Armani, Dior, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, etc) selling baby clothes. Store after store of ultra designer clothes for toddlers!  Clearly there is a market for US$1,000 dresses for 1 year olds…with shoes to match!  Here’s the directory…

And finally…as we’ve done in past trips…Anna wanted to show you one of the drinks available at the local 7-11.  Nope, we didn’t buy it…no need to drink SWEAT when we are dripping in our own.



David:  As happens every year, after 4 weeks on the road we’re slowing down… the heat and humidity (“feels like 98”) kicks our butt and we all want to hang out in the hotel room in the afternoons.  Sort of a shame to be sitting in the room playing on our phones, while looking out at Hong Kong… but we do need to pace ourselves: 30 days and 10 cities down, 22 days and 6 more cities to go. (But who’s counting?) 

Alex is very bothered by the legalities of the street hawkers… he wants to know if they have business licenses, and why the government allows them to sell fake things.   We’ve learned that Anna doesn’t like being hemmed in by crowds… this is a tough city for that.

But at least Hong Kong has Smurfs:


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  1. anita permalink

    Wow – that’s a lot of STUFF.
    Your next leg of trip should be to Vietnam to stand in the middle of a rice field, with nothing in hand.
    A xoxo

  2. Lucy permalink

    That is a great view!

  3. Virginia permalink

    I used to love Hong Kong but it sounds like it’s now just like every “over-malled” crowded, dirty city!

  4. Sofie permalink

    Was this a dollar store? Olivia is joining you…

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