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chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
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·Mediacom

1 edit

[Rant] Do not go for vacation to Hong Kong

After spending my 1 week in Hong Kong for a vacation trip, I find this city as "Asia's world city" is overrated and not worth spending big bugs on travel unless you go there for business trip.

First thing, even though it has history of long past British colonism, the Peak, colonial buildings, it does not look like it has much left of "british influence". Its basically China. You need to know Chinese to effectively understand and speak to locals. Some locals speak English, especially in hotel and tourist industry but most speak it not very well. Don't try to say more than one sentence otherwise they go crazy.

In photos, you see unbelievable dense big expansive skyline with modern skyscrapers, but once you get there you can't take pictures because on most days the air is full of smog. From the Peak, I could only see maybe Hong Kong Island but not much of Kowloon.

The streets, sidewalks are dirty. The food is dirty especially on street. And for some reason, even though I did not touch on street food, I got food-born illness within first 2 days I got there. I had to get to hospital urgent clinic and get antibiotic prescription.

Shopping there is definitely no no. On average everything is on par or more expensive than in States. For ex for electronics, that is if you look at major reputable stores like Fortress.

But I had there no problem easily running into a few small "black shops" that employ deceitful tactics to sell you stuff at artificially high absurd prices.

On top of that, return policy in most stores suck. The best what you can get is 7 day exchange in store for warranty. You cannot return things after purchase, especially once you open a box.

As for sightseeing, visiting, there are a few things there to do and see but not much. They are worth visiting if you happen to go there and have time, but don't go there just to see them.

The Peak, the Peak tram, Star Ferry, Star Avenue, Big Buddha with Po Lin Monastery, Macau, Ngong Ping 360 are all fun but that's it.

For dining, even some restaurants in major high traffic areas in business center will not serve you well unless you speak Chinese. This happened to me in IFC!

So do yourself a favor and if you are going next time to a major city to have a blast, pleasant big city experience, go somewhere else. Hong Kong is not too good for tourists and I definitely I would not want to study or live there.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Funny thing - I knew most of these facts and I have not been there... Their smog is legendary (they burn a HUGE amount of coal for power) - did you not see the olympics? They nearly had to cancel some of the long distance running because of the smog, smog that was plainly visible tot he camera at street level.

BTW - I find many big cities to be the same thing - expensive, dirty and all have questionable food somewhere frankly. The only really nice large city I have been to was San Fran. But I find Chicago, NY, LA to be dirty, unfriendly places.

"For dining, even some restaurants in major high traffic areas in business center will not serve you well unless you speak English. This happened to me in IFC!"

The above should have been ok for you it seems...
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Mediacom

said by CylonRed:

"For dining, even some restaurants in major high traffic areas in business center will not serve you well unless you speak English Chinese . This happened to me in IFC!"

The above should have been ok for you it seems...

Lol. I corrected my blunder. I was talking about Chinese language.

chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

Funny thing - I knew most of these facts and I have not been there... Their smog is legendary (they burn a HUGE amount of coal for power) - did you not see the olympics?

Which olympics? I may not remember.

said by CylonRed:

BTW - I find many big cities to be the same thing - expensive, dirty and all have questionable food somewhere frankly. The only really nice large city I have been to was San Fran. But I find Chicago, NY, LA to be dirty, unfriendly places.

I live in Chicago area, I find Chicago to be cleaner than NYC (which I also have been to), its relatively clean. The Loop is little dirty, but if you go nice places like River North, Lincoln Park they're clean. Even Magnificent Mile along Water Tower is very clean area. I have spent a lot of nights there where I have seen trucks sweeping roads and workers flushing sidewalks from dirt.

Lakefront trail along Lake Michigan is great for sports in summer. I enjoy biking and sunbathing there.

But anyway here are comparing not just cities but also countries. We talk about the city that is very well known in the world as a big city in Asia with British heritage, though after having been there I hardly see there.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

The summer olympics before the London olympics....

Brittan has not been involved in China for a good while. The Chinese have their own culture and is very old. In all of the pictures I have seen of China - I don't see the influence you expected and I have no idea what 'British heritage' you expected.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain



NS4683

join:2000-08-25
South Amboy, NJ

said by CylonRed:

The summer olympics before the London olympics....

Brittan has not been involved in China for a good while. The Chinese have their own culture and is very old. In all of the pictures I have seen of China - I don't see the influence you expected and I have no idea what 'British heritage' you expected.

The Olympics were in Hong Kong? I thought the games were in Beijing.


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

2 edits

They were in China but the problems of China (smog etc...) are going to be the same in Hong Kong.

I will note that British involvement in Hong Kong lasted longer than I thought...



I AM
Premium
join:2010-04-11
Ephrata, PA
kudos:4
reply to chgo_man99

You can say all the stuff about America (not directed at OP) but truth is we still have some of the best cities in the world. We take a lot of the stuff we have for granted. Just clean water to drink from the tap is overlooked.



AnonFTW

@reliablehosting.com
reply to CylonRed

The Olympics were in Beijing, not Hong Kong. They are 1200 miles apart, or roughly half the distance from New York to LA.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

Already determined to be Hong Kong - though many miles apart they have much of the same issues...



Cthen

join:2004-08-01
Detroit, MI
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..

2 recommendations

reply to chgo_man99

said by chgo_man99:

You need to know Chinese to effectively understand and speak to locals. Some locals speak English, especially in hotel and tourist industry but most speak it not very well. Don't try to say more than one sentence otherwise they go crazy.

So you go to a foreign country and you expect the whole population to speak English just for you? Why didn't you bother to learn Chinese as you would probably expect them to learn English if they were to come to the U.S.?

Did you finally learn the lesson that the whole world does not revolve around you?
--
"I like to refer to myself as an Adult Film Efficienato." - Stuart Bondek


I AM
Premium
join:2010-04-11
Ephrata, PA
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Are you saying the whole world doesn't speak English? WTF!


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4

said by I AM:

Are you saying the whole world doesn't speak English? WTF!

you're kidding right?
Expand your moderator at work


bbchris2nd
Joke Factory

join:2010-09-03
Australia
reply to chgo_man99

Re: [Rant] Do not go for vacation to Hong Kong

Comedy!


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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reply to I AM

After visiting China, I'm more proud to be American (well Polish American), we may have a lot of issues but we have some of the best foundations that made our country great!

As for English, many places in tourist industry require knowledge of foreign language, sometimes not just English especially in Europe. So yeah it's reasonable to expect it.


bills
Premium
join:2000-08-19
China
reply to Cthen

This ^

In China now. I will bet there are more Chinese that speak English (albeit many broken) than there are Americans that speak Chinese.



CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 edit
reply to chgo_man99

I think you idea that they should know English well, is really not very reasonable...

I know a pastry chef who does culinary tours of other countries like Italy. He does visit major tourist cities and he goes off the beaten path. You can learn how to make fresh pasta from 85 year old grandmothers who do not know a LICK of English but are in major tourist cities.

In Europe - there is no rule to know different languages in tourist areas. English is know just because most business is done in English with the US being the largest economy for many decades. Many folks in Europe know more than one language because there are many countries that are so close together. Europeans know more than one language because of the close proximity of other languages.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Mediacom

2 edits

Another reason not to see HK - disappointing shopping.

I ran into annoying shops scamming money from tourists in major tourist area in Tsim Sha Tsui along Nathan Rd. Those shops operate just like any other normal shops and look legitimate. Also I could not move a block or two without getting harassed by Indians offering me to make me suits in one day "without fitting".
I did not bother to look at on-street little shops in Stanley Market or Ladies Market in Mongkok, but I did found out in Internet that what those little shops charge for any garbage there, you'll get for just about less than 1/3 of price in Mongkok without bargaining for price.

This honestly makes Best Buy's pricey retail look saint lol. I would even go as far to say as US car dealership is more "honest" than retail sale of electronics in Hong Kong. At least here there is more transparency in price and value of products you buy.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

In Europe - there is no rule to know different languages in tourist areas. English is know just because most business is done in English with the US being the largest economy for many decades. Many folks in Europe know more than one language because there are many countries that are so close together. Europeans know more than one language because of the close proximity of other languages.

At my hometown where I grew up, there is a castle that attracts some tourists and to my knowledge a receptionist at a local hotel there must know 3 foreign languages (one of them English) to get hired. And this is in a small town.


I AM
Premium
join:2010-04-11
Ephrata, PA
kudos:4
reply to medbuyer

said by medbuyer:

said by I AM:

Are you saying the whole world doesn't speak English? WTF!

you're kidding right?

Yes I am kidding. I am bilingual. My parents were not born in this country but I was. I am aware there is more than English, Facebook and hot dogs.


I AM
Premium
join:2010-04-11
Ephrata, PA
kudos:4
reply to chgo_man99

said by chgo_man99:

Another reason not to see HK - disappointing shopping.

Hrrm...Didn't you know China is like knockoff nation of the world?


Fir_Na_Tine
Giggity Giggity
Premium
join:2001-01-03
Sout Joisy

1 recommendation

reply to chgo_man99

I guess everyone sees the world with different eyes. Going to a Asian country and complaining they don't speak much English and then complain when they come here and don't speak it is pretty much lame.

Dude get a book and learn some of the language. They probably freaked out because you were what they call a typical American jerk thinking everything should be suited to you. Act like a jerk and you will get treated as such. Also research a city before you visit it. HK is very expensive to live in and shop in. But there are places you can go that are cheaper and you can deal with them. Most carry a calculator and you can haggle the price down, numbers are universal. HK is known for shopping but if you have the money, its no different than going to NYC to shop. I also ate there, in a few fancy restaurants and also from street vendors and never got sick, lots do everyday. But getting sick can happen anywhere.

I went there about 6 years ago now and had a completely different experience than you. Maybe because I had a girlfriend and other friends that lived there at the time to show me around. I thought while there was smog the streets were cleaner and the city more modern than most American cities. The mass transit (MTR)was super clean and most buses and trains had flat screen tv's in them. The crime rate is also super low compared to U.S. cities. You'll see lots of women walking alone late at night.

I found the people to be nice, I went shopping for beer at a super market and the checkout woman was nice in helping me with figuring out the money.

You should have went to Ocean Park, pretty cool place to visit. Also you should have went to Wan Chi, lots of good times to be had there Good bars and lots of fun.

I've also traveled to the Philippines a few times as my wife is from there. We also hope to travel extensively in Asia more and eventually settle down there as the cost of living is greatly less.

Just some friendly advice, when you travel to vacation or visit in a different country think of it as visiting a friend or strangers house. Your a guest in their country. Be respectful and don't expect everything to be like what you are used to. In all my travels I never expected to have everyone speak English, I learned some before I went. Do some research into where your going and prepare better.
--
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."
-Jimi Hendrix


medbuyer

join:2003-11-20
kudos:4
reply to chgo_man99

said by chgo_man99:

At my hometown where I grew up, there is a castle that attracts some tourists and to my knowledge a receptionist at a local hotel there must know 3 foreign languages (one of them English) to get hired. And this is in a small town.

does the castle get millions of visitors a year like HK? how certain are you that the receptionist was REQUIRED to learn 3 languages or he / she just learned it by herself that's why he / she got hired?

comparing your castle's receptionist skill to speak different languages vs. HK people is not an apples to apples comparison....

my boss who's also Polish American isn't like you though...he understands that when in Rome, act and speak like a Roman! not a jerk!

chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

1 edit
reply to I AM

"Hrrm...Didn't you know China is like knockoff nation of the world?"

I knew, I just expected Hong Kong as SAR to be a little different.


chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·Mediacom
reply to Fir_Na_Tine

said by Fir_Na_Tine:

I guess everyone sees the world with different eyes. Going to a Asian country and complaining they don't speak much English and then complain when they come here and don't speak it is pretty much lame.

Dude get a book and learn some of the language.

And what language to speak? Hong Kong is Cantonese unlike rest of China that speaks Mandarin, but found out some few places like taxi cab drivers speak Mandarin. Cantonese is not the same as Mandarin. Chinese is not like language of western countries, i.e. if they speak Portugese, they write and speak in Portugese.

If Hong Kong wants to stay competitive in global financial business, less locals speaking of fluent English won't help them. Dude its not like I expected them to speak English in Wan Chai, but in IFC mall tower? And that experience in restaurant I described used bilingual menu.

Ocean Park is nice but I already been to one in San Diego, I had no interest in visiting amusement park in a foregin country where I had less than 1 week to stay.

As for supermarket, everyone there is nice. I never had problems at 7-11 store. You'll impress me once you tell me that a camera shop salesman did not try to rip you off for something worthless for 10x of price. If thats what they do to tourists and government does nothing about it, they still exist, f*ck them if thats how they treat them, they won't come back for sure.

ET

join:2013-01-25
reply to chgo_man99

: hey,men,the way you think about a world can make a change to your future. donot be a men whom tried a no good
feeling for the everyday life which you think really sucks!!!
i am living in now the city for you have just mentioned ,and it
beautiful.


ET

join:2013-01-25
reply to Cthen

i am totally agree with your idea ,you are really a men
full of wisdom and kindness. china is a big country,and HongKong is also a good country.people their are friendly and
working hard.and by the way,as far as i known,the city is well
known as "the pradise for shopping,hahaha


nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to CylonRed

said by CylonRed:

But I find Chicago, NY, LA to be dirty, unfriendly places.

.

I find LA way to large and spread out. You can go from a nice area to a really bad area fairly quick. Unless you live there may get in trouble real quick.

Phoenix metro does have bad areas. Yet during the day unless you look like easy pickings you could break down most places and not get mugged. Dont wear expensive jewelry in a ghetto. Thing is LA there seem to be places you could look normal and basically poor yet since you dont belong get mugged or killed.

Its been awhile since worked graveyard shift doing repairs everywhere. At least then never felt really scared. maybe once take my old work truck please I dont care. They didnt. Then once during daylight a man fighting with a woman. Domestic violence. ugh even if it had been in a good area which it wasn't.
Since I do not know LA does make it uneasy for me to travel there as have not done it often. Wrong exit on freeway end up where I dont fit in and not wanted.
I have been in and obviously made it out of most west valley and south Phoenix areas even at night. Hope it has not gotten worse in the years since though not that long ago. Just was working never had large wads of cash. Always drove a shit company vehicle. Never lighted up the whole area for safety as one boss wanted. like I want drunks target shooting at the pretty lighting for fun.
Think only twice nicely told to leave so resheduled to daylight hours. Once had a boss argue told him to go do it if he wanted too or call me a police escort or it will wait for daylight.
Still not truly threatened just polite come back later. Now if I had refused?

LA though with a wrong turn and too much past and many movies doesnt make me feel secure as do not know the area inside and out.

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ
reply to chgo_man99

Also i mail order with paypal not necessarily through ebay but from Hong Kong and get good pricing. Either you expect too much, go to wrong stores or look like a sucker. You need to doa little research into buying even in the US.
Just because a store is in Hong Kong doesnt mean it is cheap or trustworthy especially for a tourist they know they will never see again.