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My First Impression about Hong Kong

Popularity 5Viewed 3923 times 2014-6-28 11:04 |Personal category:Travel|System category:Life| impression, Hong Kong

I got my Two-way Permit for travelling to Hong Kong last month and was longing for a chance to go there. A couple of days ago, when my supervisor asked us if somebody got the visa to Hong Kong, I knew that I might have a chance. So I said yes. A few days late, I was on my way to Hong Kong. Fortunately, I had my colleague Xiaoshan accompaning me all the way to my destination. She had been to Hong Kong many times, so I had nothing to worry about.

We met at Shenzhen Bay Port in the morning. Before we went to the checkpoints, she had five hundreds RMB exchanged to Hong Kong Dollars. I heard that some goods are cheaper in Hong Kong, so I also got some money exchanged. It's my first time to get a close look at the one-hundred HKD banknote and I noticed that two of my banknotes were issued by two different banks and both banks were commercial banks. That's a little bit strange to me, because in the mainland, the government almost controls very things in financial sector. Our currency is issued by the central bank, many big banks in the mainland are state owned. But it wasn't surprising at all if you looked deeper into the issue. Although Hong Kong now is part of China, its system remained the same as that when it's under the British colony thanks to the "One Country, Two Systems" principle formulated by then leader Deng Xiaoping. That's to say, Hong Kong is still adopting its capitalist system.

When we got out of the clearance hall, I was excited to know that I was in HK now. There were many double-deck buses awaiting us to get us across the Shenzhen Bay Bridge that's connecting the two cities. When I was boarding a bus, I was surprised to find out that I had to get on it from the left side of the bus because the driving wheel was on the right side. Oh, so many differeces that we had.

Xiaoshan asked the driver for a bus invoice in Mandarin, the driver seemed to be in difficulty in understanding what we were saying. So we had to repeat our words again and again. Finally he told us in his broken Mandarin that we could get invoice in a market upon arrival. Locals in HK mainly speak Cantonese. Some speak Cantonese with a mixture of some English words. But rarely, you can meet someone who can speak Mandarin well. Language barrier may be a big problem for many mainland tourists.

At noon, we had a small budget lunch in a small restaurant, which costed 36 HKD for each of us. Xiaoshan told me that this could be the cheapest meal we could possibly get in HK. Altough the high living cost here, people have high-quality life -- they never have to worry about the safety of the food they are eating outside. HK has a tight regulation on food safety. The HK government makes sure that no gutter oil should be used in all restaurants. But in the mainland, we can always hear the news about gutter oil being used in some restaurants, baby milk being contaminated, sudan red being added to lean pork, etc. I couldn't help but ask: when will we stop worrying about the food in our plate?

This trip to Hong Kong has left me with a deep impression. It's mind-opening and thought-provoking: we have so many differences and we have so many things to learn.

The following are the pictures I shot in HK:

On a double-deck bus in HK


On a double-deck bus in HK

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


Passing

Eggs

Flowers

Shake hands

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  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-17 10:25

    RonJaDa: Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious probl ...
    Hi, Ron, thank you very much for your concern and kind suggestions. Yes, it's a valuable lesson for me.

  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-10 19:39

    Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious problems.

    My recommendation would be to talk to your boss about it to ensure you are covered for future trips. If you legally have to declare a business trip and get the $250 visa, your company should be able to add that cost to your customers bill for your trip.

    It is always hard knowing how to deal with corrupt officials, but I guess this is a valuable lesson for you.

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