|Travelling: Hong Kong|
I recently visited Hong Kong for the first time with my husband and our stay was a long one - 5 weeks - so we had plenty of time to get to know the local area and what was on offer. The city is easy enough to get around, with all forms of public transport (buses, cabs, trams) easily available. However communicating with the older native folk was at times hard. I gave it my best shot and I'm glad to say I did okay.
There is a wide array of restaurants in Hong Kong. You can find anything from Chinese to Indian and Italian, and they are always served in good quantities and are inexpensive. The local cuisine is interesting to say the least, although I wasnâ€™t daring enough to eat snake, which apparently tastes like chicken. I did, however, have lots of "traditional" yum cha dishes (also known as â€œdim sumâ€) that proved to be very different from "westernised" yum cha that you get in Sydney's Chinatown.
I found the yum cha concept a bit disappointing in Hong Kong. Not because of the variety of food, but the way it was served - you order what you want from the menu and the food is brought to your table. My idea of yum cha is a wide selection of food served from moving carts. Nevertheless, it was a great experience for me to eat my favourite style of food in its traditional setting, and the presentation was amazing.
After dinner on our first night we went to the Night Market where we bought several pieces of fabric and shopped around for a traditional Chinese dress. I've always wanted to own one! We also found a great place to have some work suits made for me. The shopkeepers were very friendly and helpful and didn't mind when I bargained with them. A Cantonese friend told me that not to bargain (haggle) would be an insult to the shopkeepers
I found the world famous "Igor's" theme restaurant an absolute must for any visitor to the city. It was the funniest, most enjoyable theme restaurant I've ever had the pleasure of going to. I met all sorts of different people from around the world that I wouldn't have met at home in Sydney. After making a few friends we headed off with them to the hot dance clubs that the city had to offer. We partied all night and then had breakfast in a nearby cafï¿½ and watched the sun rise.
After Hong Kong, we went on a 3-day trip to Beijing where we visited Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, and The Great Wall. Although accommodation there is a bit expensive, we sampled a wide variety of food. The service rendered was always with a smile and there was plenty to do and see. I only wish we had more time to spend in China. I'll definitely be returning to China and Hong Kong to see what changes will be made in the next 6 months and to re-live the memorable experience of living in Asia.
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