Hong Kong? Phooey!

Some places you just can’t help but fall in love with.

For me, Hong Kong was not one of those places.

The Hong Kong city skyline

I love Kuala Lumpur, adore Bangkok and worship Singapore. Why, then, did I like Hong Kong about as much as I enjoyed being robbed in Spain?

It might have been because of the heat, the crowds, the filth and the pollution – but each of these major Asian cities has those issues, too, bar Singapore, of course, which is mostly immaculate.

I can tell you something that I didn’t like for sure – and that was how joyless and pushy the locals seemed to be. Seriously, what would it take for someone in Hong Kong to hold the door open for somebody else?

And what was up with so many people walking into me? Um, I’m six-foot tall and I kind of stand out with my blond hair and blue eyes, my complexion a pale white colour after the British summer.

A nice, bright, friendly city Hong Kong most definitely is not.

Hong Kong city at night

I don’t know what it is about the special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China but I just don’t really see what all the fuss is about – apart for the irrepressible sky-scraper skyline and the mostly excellent food.

Of course, when I was in Hong Kong I was also suffering from the worst case of jet-lag ever (see Fun with Spanish travel acrostics if you don’t believe me). I couldn’t sleep at night and when I finally did enter dreamland I wouldn’t wake until the early afternoon, at which time I’d feel horrible for wasting so much of the day.

And then the weather wasn’t exactly great, either. The famous Hong Kong light and sound show, A Symphony of Lights, was cancelled due to high winds and rain – and my flight out of Hong Kong was delayed for a couple of hours due to a typhoon off the coast of China.

I should have taken the hint – the weather was trying to tell me that Hong Kong and I were never going to be best friends. I did enjoy the Hong Kong ferry, though.

What did you think of Hong Kong? I have a feeling I might be on my own here…

About Simon Petersen 506 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.


  1. i love hong kong and i try to go there as much as i can 🙂
    give it another chance — the food is really good and if you can, try to go to lamma island for fresh seafood at relatively cheap prices or go hiking at dragon’s back. it has a lot to offer so i keep coming back 🙂

    • I will have to give it another go! You’re right, there seems to be heaps of things I missed that I’ll have to try out next time!

  2. As an English expat having lived in Hong Kong for the past 5 years I can understand your frustration with the relatively ‘rude’ locals! I’m guessing the jet-lag and the fact you went to the peak and other tourist attractions made them even more annoying! Certainly nothing like the friendliness of those in most of South East Asia.. On the positive side the mainlanders are even worse!! That being said, definitely give HK another go, it’s an absolutely amazing city, and a lot of fun! I’ve started to document a few of my #reasonstolovehongkong on my blog, take a look if you fancy! Any tips for future visits happy to help! Damn you jet-lag!

    • Damn jet lag indeed! I hear so many wonderful things about Hong Kong so I knew I’d be alone on this. Thanks for the great comment and I’ll be sure to check out your blog!

  3. All I can say is give it another try. I’ve been 5 times an consider it one of my favourite cities in the world. The vibe, the energy, the food are all amazing and I get such a buzz being there.

    • Cheers, Paul – perhaps I should give it another go. To be fair, I wasn’t there long enough (3 days) for these views to be based on much more than the first impressions of a very tired mind.

  4. Ah thats a shame that you didnt enjoy Hong Kong! 🙁
    The push and shove cosmopolitan nature of Hong Kong is one of the reasons why i loved it so much. it had a 24/7 none stop character to it that I just loved! If you ever get back and want to escape the city life, check out the islands of hong kong which are rarely visited by foreigners!

    • Haha, maybe it was just the jet lag! I definitely want to go again, this time with a bit more time and a better plan of what I’d like to see. Who knows, maybe even the weather will be a bit better next time? Hope you’re well, mate!

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