HONG KONG, officially known as, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is situated on South China's coast, and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and the South China Sea, making it known for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong's population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups. I am one of the latter.
For almost 6 years now, living in Hong Kong had been an adventure. I've prayed ever so greatly for change in my life 6 years ago and I got the opportunity to make it happen here. It made me realize that I should seize every day. I have to make it count as I wake up to a new beginning each morning. Every day is a chance for you to be opened up to something new and wonderful and worth it of your time. Slowly, I became aware of what works for me and not. It helped me to grow up and that being said, let me share to you for my Lifestyle weekend,
10 Things I Love about Hong Kong:
1. It's undeniably safe in Hong Kong.
- It's my habit to collect my morning paper from the lobby for my daily dose of SUDOKU and CROSSWORD PUZZLE. And the moment I'm done answering them, I toss over pages to check what's up. And what do I encounter most of the time? Articles about which company is making more money, holiday tour packages for every season and pages are filled up with letters of thanks from different leaders all over the world for the friendship they share with Hong Kong and how to empower their ties. It's very rare that I'd read any brutal attack or murder reported. If there is, it would be a foreigner who'll do this, it is a crime committed in another country or such crimes were done due to insanity.
My friends and I are thankful every time we are able to take a walk to our village from the train station while playing with our iPhones in public without that fear of anybody going on a trip and snatch our phones. Police aren't corrupt and are up and about in arresting whoever by passes the law. I mean every policeman is expected to do so but Hong Kong police can't be easily dodged. I admire their dedication as they truly can be trust worthy. A couple of friends of mine were fined of HK1,500 for not throwing their finished cigarette into the proper trash bins.
|Hong Kong's Chief Excecutive Leung Chun-Ying|
- The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, commonly the Hong Kong Government, is led by the Chief Executive as Head of the Government, who is also the head of the Hong Kong SAR. The affairs of the Government are decided by secretaries, who are appointed by the Chief Executive and endorsed by the Central People's Government in Beijing. Under the "One Country, Two Systems" policy, Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy. The Hong Kong Government, financially independent from the Government of the People's Republic of China, oversees the affairs of Hong Kong.
There are 3 reasons why I like the HK government:
* It works hand in hand with the people.
One thing I notice about the HK people is the way they walk. They walk very fast. A simple trait that signifies their great dedication into accomplishing things. They are very hard working and dedicated people. The government benefits from this human resource so well. In return, they give back to HK residents what they work hard for. Two years ago, all and I mean "ALL" HK residents of legal age received HK6,000.00 each just because HK had earned more than what they had expected for that year. How good is that?
* It ain't corrupt.
* It imposes just taxes and are used fairly and equally. Their elderly and retired employees are well-compensated and are privileged.
3. TAXES are just.
|People even line up for it even if they already have phones.|
4. OPPORTUNITIES are endless.
They say CHINA is booming so fast that it's the next country that would reign (next to another oil-producing country whose pride is as big as its egos). Right now, Disneyland is branching out to Shanghai, RMB is greater than Hong Kong dollar and a lot of Chinese visitors come every now and then thru Shen Zhen border that Harbour Plaza Resort City had turned their residential building into a hotel tower also. You'd often see them coming home to the hotel with huge LV paper bags and GUCCI purchases after spending their greens here in Hong Kong. The way I see it, China is just but one of the many countries who often visit here in Hong Kong. Whether it's for the holidays or business trips, Hong Kong caters to a lot of neighboring countries, in terms of trade, foreign exchange and investments.
That way, Hong Kong's economy kept on getting stronger that loan companies, retirement plans and financial assistance aid employed Hong Kong residents as long as they have good credit standing. Stable employment paired up with good partnership with other countries feed the country's momentum into growing within, saving the country from importing but more on contributing globally. Because of what I had explained previously, everybody has a job. Even people from outside Hong Kong like overseas workers that come here are also given decent jobs. This helps the small entrpreneurs to rise and contribute as well. In the end, gross national income exceeds more than expected.
As for me, I am blessed to have that much potential in the line of business I am in. Surely it would take time for me to speak Cantonese fluently. But if you'd only focus on learning so, for sure you can achieve without worrying about the costs because it's available in negotiable terms concerning your budget and it's worth it in the end. Just work hard and strive hard. I may not be that knowledgeable in explaining why but working here in Hong Kong makes me feel more driven rather than exhausted because I know that I'll be reaping something off it in the end.
5. HONG KONG BEING A MELTING POT
Hong Kong, before finally belonging to China, was a part of the British colony. Because of this, plus the fact that it holds a great geographical location, Hong Kong had become a melting pot catering to a lot of tourists and workers from all over the world. This had helped Hong Kong people in embracing different approach to Chinese culture by embracing traders from other parts of the world., hence being open to endless opportunites for economic growth. Hong Kong Disneyland is partly owned by the Hong Kong government that had led the country into offering jobs to thousands and thousands of its residents plus to other several ethnic races. HK grew vastly in terms of communication, innovation and infrastructure. Several know how to speak English and I believe that it is one giant step into opening the country to world class advancement. Nowadays, competition is becoming tougher and tougher. Asians are often looked down to because of their unfamiliarity to the English language. But greatly, Hong Kong puts effort in including English in their curriculum for academic enhancement, therefore, clearer expression of views, demands and easier way of doing effective and efficient communication.
Foreign investors are welcomed with open arms and are ensured of their rights in terms of business. This paves a channel to a number of connections that help the country gain its position of being on top and maintaining it.
Hong Kong's mode of public transportation had been made perfect. Patterned on to the British railway services and buses, I bow to how traveler friendly the routes are to take. Here is a brief and useful map that you could see around the MTR station.
Bus stations, on the other hand, are fully sufficed with schedule and fare. And there's no heavy traffic except if there was an accident. I don't need to worry about traffic, pollution and not getting to my destination on time because the buses are on schedule. The trains work as early as from 5:30am to 12:30mn. Sometimes, when public holidays are on, they operate 24 hrs/day, complete with announcement and news advisories for the HK residents to get full knowledge of the adjustments. Trains leave and come on time too. Light rails aid the people to reach the residential areas because most of the trains are connected to commercial buildings, malls and government offices.
The Hong Kong International Airport too is the best airport for me. Needless to explain with how efficient every worker here is, since they own that attribute (as I have explained how powerful their manpower is) additional recreations such as IMAX theatres, SPA lounges, restaurants and shopping centers complete the works. It's more than convenient for most of the people. I don't leave for holiday trips that much but Hong Kong International Airport serves not just an airport but a hub for a lot of hotel shuttle services. To get home from Tung chung, it is pretty helpful for me to go home to Tin Shui Wai via the Harbour Plaza Resort City Shuttle Service that operates as early as 5am 'til 1am the latest. Convenience wise, it runs every hour.
Ferries to and from Macau, Starline Cruises and junk boats are some of the sea transport that I have used and benefited from. They offer efficient and punctual services. Besides being a mode of getting people to where they should go, boats can be a form of recreation.
There are just but numerous kinds of recreation here in Hong Kong. Let me start with what I have experienced so far.
|Tin Shui Wai Park|
|a park amidst tall buildings....|
Parks are everywhere here in Hong Kong. They are very much well kept and are designed to be of service to people of all ages. It has a playground for kids, mini pond for the nature lovers, a track for remote controlled mini cars and RC addicts, a field to hold events at and a walkway that is covered with smooth stones for therapeutic effects on the elderly complete with spacious areas where some could practice kung fu, do yoga or do tai chi. I see some of them singing on their own, just quite practicing alongside somebody who's playing the violin and/or having their own dance class.
|This happens usually in the morning. I saw and captured this while I was on my way to run some errands.|
|Smooth Stoned Pathway for therapy for stimulating the elderly's senses of feel and touch.|
I see the Tsing Ma Bridge twice everyday going to and from work and every time I see it in the morning, I instantly feel pumped up seeing the blue skies and the end of the sea meet in the horizon. When I see it as the sun sets, it's just but so breathtaking. It does look almost the same as the San Francisco Bridge, only this is shorter and in white. But the serenity this view gives while you pass thru it is what's so superb.
Hiking, cycling, swimming, we've done it. Compared to where I came from, Hong Kong is doing pretty good in maintaining their environment clean and green so that the civilians here would find it convincing to promote health on oneself. Polluted air and seas are aimed to be prevented since Hong Kong encourages organizations that would address it directly. Here is an example of these organizations:
Clear the Air is a charity organisation committed to improving air quality in Hong Kong. Current projects include:
- Diesel – Recent government policies centred on voluntary schemes to phase out old polluting diesel vehicles (pre Euro 3) have proven ineffective. Further campaigns have to mandate a compulsory and scheduled phasing out of old polluting vehicles.
- Energy – Aim to reduce harmful pollutants (PM 2.5) from power station emissions through more stringent Air Quality Objectives (AQO). Work to improve energy savings and efficiency in all public and private buildings across Hong Kong.
- Events & Education – Participating in and/or driving various territory wide environmental events and educational programs on clean air.
- Idling Engines – Successful idling engine patrols have highlighted awareness among the public and the government of increased road side pollution leading to a ban on idling engines across Hong Kong to be tabled at Legco.
- Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – Free IAQ assessments for schools to be extended; the first campaign started April 2008.
- Marine – Research conducted to implement a "smoky vessel spotter" scheme. More needs to be done to establish a Clean Port Policy scheme.
- Tobacco – Clear The Air is advocating the Government to license all tobacco retailers, pressing the Financial Secretary to increase tobacco tax, pressing Legco to rescind the flawed qualified establishment exemptions and educating the public that the true cost of smoking to Hong Kong society is in excess of $73.32 billion per year.
- Town Planning – Clear The Air defends the benchmark of "canyon effect" and Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to auto-regulate urban traffic density.
I haven't tried riding the helicopter all over Hong Kong, a form
Boat trips, on the other hand, are famous forms of leisure amongst group of friends who are into water sports and activities that involves the sun and the sea water. Every summer, I get to experience junk boat trips with friends from work that eventually became our ritual already. Some of them had ventured out into doing a new show or company in the span of 6 years so this is the season we get together to catch up. This is my friend Kate who chose to teach Belly Dancing to learn and get exposed more to the craft. So, we took this picture to make this boat trip last.
Recently, I had come across boat trips that offer squid fishing, wine orientation and tasting during the entire 2 hour trip and in Central, I have tried to ride Aqua Luna while the Symphony of Lights went on to show from Central to TST to join our friend Jenna Coy during her last visit. It was a magnificent experience. Hong Kong just maintains the cleanliness of their environment, therefore allows for its residents to reap the benefits.
Speaking of which, Hong Kong can afford to keep their word in terms of the rewards anything and everything offers. You get grocery coupons once you reached a certain number of points with your phone bill, credit card usage or you earn miles from purchasing something on sale. Ha! You can get a Le Sportsac Passport Holder by purchasing a hk$10 magazine.
Not to mention, when you work in a reputable company, they offer health insurance and basically, you're covered with just about everything even industrial accidental leave. And mind you, I haven't encountered a company that doesn't offer this. Even domestic helpers are protected by law of getting the rightful minimum wage. Pregnant people are supported by their employers offering them sufficient aid and rightful treatment making them comfortable as possible in the workplace. Taxes are computed thoroughly that if they had collected more than what you're supposed to pay, it's a guarantee that it'll be sent back to you.
I've included this as one of my favorites in Hong Kong as I had a lot of free treats, earned perks from cheap deals and had not experienced any hoax in redeeming points such as my "Park n' Shop" grocery card.
9. The INTERNET is fast - and I mean FAST!
My personal calculation for gaging my own addiction using the Internet Addiction Test is 45 and it says that :
20 - 49 points: You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.
It's funny that it was stated this way, "Congratulations! You're score is 45." It almost sounds "Congratulations, you're not an addict!" I suggest you take this test because some questions astounded me that asked whether if you had compromised your job due to being online longer than you're supposed to.
There's one thing about me, I love to write, I love to blog and I love expressing my views in a positive, informative and inspirational context and that usually eats up most of my time. I can only do this productively via the internet. Being far away from my family too adds up to my need for it. It's for communicative purposes and research. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are my most visited sites excluding my yahoo mailbox because for me that's like checking the usual mailbox. It's one of the subconscious things you do everyday like brushing your teeth and taking a bath. Together with these activities of daily living, I'm sure you'll agree with me if I include email checking in that category.
That being said, I hail the fast internet service of Hong Kong enhancing the businesses, updating the stock markets and making banking and finance accessible thru it. As for me, it aids my passion to write. To some people, it makes communication possible and/or helps them in making time pass.
I'll be straight about this. Fashion wise, Hong Kong gives a lenient approach as to how each person here styles up. Gays and lesbians are accepted and are treated fairly in terms of employment, judicial rights and environmental efficiency. Everybody strives to respect what each people believe in. If you believe in God, Yoga or the mere philosophy of just showing up to work and doing what is expected of you, no judgements are given at all. A few people pay attention to status as it's always easier to do the public transport than owning a car. Racism is put to a minimum, probably because of a huge number of races that stay here in Hong Kong. Everybody had their own right, purpose and standing in the Hong Kong community and I like it that way.