Hong Kong – The clockwork region

The Special Administrative Region (SAR)

May 2015

In early 2015, I was intrigued with the Oceania region, having dipped my feet in Africa and England, was pretty curious on that part of the world.

Also, nothing against the place I grew but Oman just didn’t seem the right place for the long term.

As February rolled over to March, my search was getting a bit more feverish. Finally a call from a Fire Consultancy in Christchurch, New Zealand. They wanted a fire engineer and were happy with an international one, perfect !!! Time to pack up my bags.

After a lot of conviction, my mom finally yielded. She couldn’t understand why I would leave her to the end of the world (most moms haven’t figured that out Mom !!!)

It was also the perfect trip to have a detour as an excuse. Hong Kong was a place I hadn’t been to, and they had direct flights to Christchurch.

15th May 2015

Hong Kong here I come. Now, this isn’t a separate country on its own but is an SAR or a Special Administrative Region of China. They have their own passports and own governance, immigration etc; the story being that before the British occupation ended in China, Hong Kong was set on a 99 year lease during which China wouldn’t occupy Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is a hilly and a tiny place packed in with a very high population density, but the region is an economic powerhouse with a thriving port and high end markets.

A week in Hong Kong is plenty and using their efficient metro system, I had a glimpse of the high end LKF area, the nightlife and cheap bargains at Mong Kok and the Madame Tussaud at 420 Peak.

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Glitzy LKF Area (B&W)

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Glitzy LKF Area (Colour)

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The Famous Hong Kong skyline

The essentials

Immigration

Hong Kong provides visa-exempt or visa on arrival to quite a few countries. A link to the official HK immigration for visa requirements for different countries.

https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/visit-transit/visit-visa-entry-permit.html

Travelling within

The metro is hands down the most efficient place of getting from A to B. Get yourself an octopus card and hop on. This works like a clockwork here, people down the escalators, to the gates, swiping their passes, stopped by wardens, into the train and the same cycle again.

Currency

The Hong Kong dollar is the official currency

Expenses

Hong Kong is tight on space so expect rooms even in a 4* hotel to be tiny, I stayed at the Lei Bishop International and it was tiny, not the cost unfortunately.

Madame Tussaud’s & 420 Peak

The Hong Kong one is atop 420 peak and you can catch the tram up to the peak, pretty neat up there.

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The tram to the top

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The Hong Kong city from the peak

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The Beatles @ Madame Tussaud’s

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The Princess of Hearts @ Madame Tussaud’s

Avenue of Stars & Star Ferry

Another famous attraction in Hong Kong is the Avenue of Stars, a famous boulevard where you can see some of the famous HK stars immortalized, this is also the place to get the famous HK skyline pic.

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The Hong Kong skyline

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The Avenue of Stars

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My Childhood hero (Colour)

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And one in B&W

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