Hey How’s it going?
It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, my apologies :/. This post has been a long time in the making, since my returning from the two-week holiday, though I’ve spent much of my time whilst back thinking how best to go about summing up the experiences in both China (Beijing) and Hong Kong? It’s a difficult thing to do but from the get go I can say that Beijing and Hong Kong are like night and day, the feeling of being in both is so very different but that’s not to say that neither have their plus points.
Beijing is definitely a place that is full of hustle and bustle as well as life. If you’re not constantly watching to see where the next 2 or 4 wheeled vehicle is heading towards, behind or to side of you, you might just have enough to time to appreciate just how much is really going on around you night or day. Initially the feeling of being in Beijing felt quite alien at first, getting my bearings and figuring out what was around the area near the hotel, it’s worth mentioning that I was with two of my good friends, however that only served to amplify the feeling of confusion sometimes :s. In all fairness we managed to get by thanks to our trusty Rough Guide to China as well as the simple train system, which was written in English as well. Lack of mobile internet on the go and barred Google Apps was a bit of a show stopper at times ( The things we take for granted eh.)
Beijing certainly has a lot of tradition and culture that attracts tourists such as ourselves but it was interesting to see that people from within China or locals taking in the sites as well, whether is was the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven or even the Great Wall Of China. There is that appreciation for the old despite it being a modern city and the capital of China. Whilst we were there I felt I tried to get as much of the tourist stuff done and see as many of the sites as possible, unfortunately it didn’t always pan out the way I envisioned it would, but actually that’s were I went wrong during my time to Beijing.
I was too focused on doing the tourist thing that I forget to take the time to soak it all in, to go out and get drunk with my mates and just relax etc. It’s always a challenge when yourself and your friend’s each have different idea’s of what a holiday should entail and coming to a decision on things to do, but in essence as long as you have fun it tends to just work itself out!! People in Beijing were quite hospitable towards us and we even had the odd person/persons wanting to take pictures with us, apparently very common behaviour towards tourists (so the Rough Guide tells me..)
The language barrier proved to catch us sometimes especially in scenario’s involving food though eventually we would reach the end point after much broken english and pointing to pictures. Despite how awkward we felt sometimes trying to communicate in vain I admired how our hosts wouldn’t give up when trying to get “blood out of a stone” and get our orders, though funnily enough when it came to business transactions in market type situations, the universal language of money seemed to take over and both parties were very much fluent.
Where to begin with Hong Kong? As soon as we arrived at the airport after a three to four delay due to adverse weather conditions, we felt a sense of familiarity. It was almost as if we were back in Heathrow Airport in London, that feeling grew as we got in the taxi towards our hotel and drove from the airport Island to into HK and it was as if we were back in London on the motorway! We were definitely in a different place but the atmosphere was so very western, so very much like home. We were only there for the best part of four days but I was glad that we chose to go to HK in the second leg of the holiday. I guess we all felt a weight off our shoulders being in HK, the sense of familiarity and lack of any real language barriers and no sign of government security which we had grown accustomed to in Beijing.
Two very different places Beijing and Hong Kong, I would definitely go back to both however I could see myself working in HK in the near future. Me and my mates could easily have spent more time in HK, however we didn’t have that luxury, though we certainly made the time to enjoy ourselves. Without going into it too much, one thing that really spoke in volumes was the opinion of a native Hong Konger who was cutting my hair at i PRIVATE i SALON at festival walk said that he hasn’t been China and that he had no reason to want to go. He said that here in HK he can speak but in China he wouldn’t be able to … I can appreciate where he was coming from but at the same time as a western tourist with a British passport I couldn’t fully realise it either. Hong Kong is calling out for me to go back and see more it, I just need to plan the next holiday and maybe try to see if I can go to Japan as well which would be a long time dream come true!! Oh I forget to mention another interesting piece of info about the gentleman who cut my hair, he’s been to London which he is very fond of but more astounding is that he has been cutting for hair for 26 years, that’s as old as myself and he also started a month before I was born. That in itself was somewhat bizarre and reassuring knowing I was in experienced hands (Y)
I hope the pictures and vids in the link above help give you sense of experience I had in both Beijing and Hong Kong, if you’re even presented with a chance to go to please do. Till the next time, take care and speak with you soon.