Honkers & England travel blog


Over the years we have been lucky enough to have enjoyed stopping at Hong Kong on our various journeys. HK was clean, polite, organised and then across the water, Kowloon was chaotic and always a bit poorer looking.

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Well it is almost 20 years to the day (Monday, 30 June 1997 since the UK handed back Honk Kong, to China at the end of the lease. Now both sides look the same, if not worse.

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Gone is the mystical way the hordes of pedestrians managed to travel the crowed footpaths without bumping into each other. Now they push and shove with a strange level of disinterest.

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Gone is the polite phone etiquette where the left hand shielded the mouth and voices were subdued. Now they bellow at the phone which has the speaker on loud.

Rubbish is stacked on the foot path and the potholes are appearing in the patchwork of road repairs. Buildings have the bamboo scaffold but nobody is in sight. The roads are still jammed with traffic, but its cars not delivery vans and trucks.

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Strangely there was little sight of homeless people or beggars. In fact there are more to be seen in the streets of Melbourne. I don't know what that means, exactly.

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It all looks a bit second hand and signs of the economy is slowing are everywhere. The building cranes are stationary, new train bridges are half completed and the work site looks closed. A day trip to a Macau casino was a surprise. The free shuttle busses passed almost empty and the gambling floor was full of empty tables.

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A bit sad really.



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