I had visited Hong Kong during the nineties with my friend and stayed in Kowloon traveling to the Island as it’s known via the MTR (metro system).
This time we stayed in Causeway area on Hong Kong Island and I can tell you it’s still expensive. The lights shine bright from the shops and markets and the financial institutes which are plenty in the busy city.
No history lesson here but assuming that you know HK was owned by the British until 1997 when it was formally handed back to People’s Republic of China who defend it and little else for a fifty year term. Thereafter, who knows what they will do with HK.
The Japanese invaded and owned it for a three years and eight months during WWII before surrendering to the allied forces and they created a frightened, broken culture in a short period of time. However, it recovered and flourished from the 1960s as an entertainment meccca, clothing and textile exporter and financial hub due mainly to its location and ownership by Britain. History lesson? Never, I can just recall from what I read at the museum.
As soon as we entered overland from Shenzen and through the maze of border control and immigration channels we bought our Octopus MTR metro cards and hit the MTR for Causeway.
There were plenty of people everywhere and as it was New Year period lots of revellers preparing for partying HK style. I don’t think it’s any busier or quieter at other times of the year just more of a party feel.
Walking the streets of Kowloon is a better feeling than the somewhat business and stale HK Island. Kowloon appears more vibrant and a bit more run down and aged, still with the odd huge, mega building going up or being developed, Shanghai Street and Nathan Road have a Chinese charm about them versus the Wan Chai area on HK Island of big money.
We had struck gold with our location on Airbnb with a flat on the main road but high enough up that we heard nothing, except our rather quiet French room sharing mate going to the bathroom. The MTR literally 3 minutes walk away passed all the cafes, street vendors and retailers and it was cheap by HK standards. But as the backpackers that we are, looking to save our money and be frugal when spending it, maybe 4 days is enough time for HK. I am sure I thought the same on my last visit twenty odd years ago!
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