A local’s guide to Hong Kong
- By Mary Hui
- Photos by Lam Yik Fei
Hong Kong is old and new, gritty and sleek. Its urban and verdant jungles meld into one. You can sit on rickety stools and slurp down a great, low-priced bowl of noodles, then enjoy first-rate fine dining with a view.
The streets are alive at all hours, and everyone is in a giant coordinated dance as the frenzy of the city hums along. But when all that gets to be too much, peace and serenity are easily accessible, because the wooded hills are never far. You can step out of an office building downtown and within minutes be on a quiet, rugged trail. Hike a little more, and soon the entire city and the sea beyond opens before you. This is what it means to be in Hong Kong.
Explore more of Hong Kong
- Minibuses are awesome, if a little intimidating. The speedy 16- and 19-seaters are quirky and intimate and get you through that last mile of a journey. But you need to learn — and have the courage — to shout for your stop.
- Cantonese may sound rude and aggressive to the untrained ear, but it’s actually a highly versatile and expressive language that offers almost endless opportunities for puns.
- The Octopus card is a godsend. Get the rechargeable card to pay for almost every mode of public transportation (most taxis don’t accept it, however) and for all sorts of purchases, including at supermarkets, bakeries and restaurants.