Hong Kong IS the definition of multiculture. Located on a convenient location for sea trade, it thrived as a British colony and as financial metropolis in the recent years. Although tiny, everyone is on it. The culture of Hong Kong is a weird mixture of British post-colonialism, strong Cantonese influences and the increasing addition of mainland Chinese customs. Hong Kong is different, different from China, different from Singapore, purely unique.
Act 1: Tai-O
The first view I got after arriving at the airport, located on artificial land next to Lantau island, was the village of Tai-O. Nicknamed “Venice of the Orient”, it is not anything like Venice at all. As much charming as nostalgic, Tai-O offers a glimpse of rural life in a fishing village on the island.
Act 2: Ngong Ping
As you get on the cable car to reach the giant Budha of Ngong Ping, modern structures start to appear. Tall apartment buildings for the working class, identical and close to each other, are the highlight of the view. Now, another visible artifact is the new gigantic Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau bridge, connecting mainland China to Lantau, bringing the overwhelming influence of the mainlanders along with them.
Act 3: Tsi Sha Tsui
As you head inside towards the city, you reach through the land part, Kowloon. The well developed area of Tsim Sha Tsui is home to a bunch of more, fancier skyscrapers. The tallest among them is the International Commerce Center, which includes Ozone, the highest bar in the world at its top floor.
Act 4: Hong Kong Island
Finally, you reach Hong Kong island itself. The neighborhoods of Soho, Central, Wan Chai, Victoria Peak are a wonder at night. Full of people, full of life and true international spirit. The neon lights as well as the regular laser shows make the atmosphere even more futuristic.
Hong Kong has a character that I have not seen in any other city. These are trying times, but I hope that Hong Kong will be able to survive and retain some of the properties that make this city and its people unique.