Hong Kong is the perfect place to get cleaned up in the midst of your Asia tour. It feels like Hawaii meets San Francisco meets NYC. After traveling through Thailand for a couple weeks I just felt kind of dirty. So arriving to the clean streets of Hong Kong where there is clean water, AC, and organic/vegan restaurants everywhere I was stoked.
We were sort of roughing it for much of Thailand (except in Samui!) so coming to the Conrad Hong Kong and staying 60 floors up helped :). I admit I miss the island life already. But behold! Fresh coconuts in Hong Kong too. Ohh my god yesss. Hong Kong may be the best of both worlds.
After a quick 4 nights in HK I felt like a new person. I didn't realize how much I appreciated these things until I no longer had them - then had them again. I hope this helps you appreciate the things you have too.
Never need them; always appreciate them - An ultimate lesson I have learned on this travel excursion.
Brushing my teeth with tap water
Such a small thing we take for granted. In many other countries the water is too contaminated to do this and you need to use bottled water. It really isn't a big deal but so nice when you don't have to worry about it.
Easily finding vegan and organic restaurants within walking distance
Hong Kong is a food haven for sure. It didn't take much research to find 10+ vegan restaurants that were within walking distance. They had organic greens juices, creative vegetable dishes, and even gluten free flat breads. Mana! Fast Slow Food and Maya Mediterranean Cafe were two of my faves.
Breathing fresh, unpolluted air
Ok so the Thailand islands were clean but the air in many of Asia's cities is so polluted. I got sick after going back to back from Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Seoul - Guangzhou. All four of these cities were painfully smoggy. Seoul gets the run off from China blown over in waves. We saw South Korean protestors with masks written "China Smog" on them. Somehow when we were in HK it was clear and beautiful outside. It is amazing how much we take for granted seeing blue skies and taking in deep breaths of fresh air. Never again!
Soaking in the city/water views from above
Hong Kong is a mountainous landscape with "toothpick" style skyscrapers built everywhere. These buildings are extremely tall and thin. Some are even built on the mountains themselves giving them the greatest height in the region. Seeing great distances from above is good for your mind and can be very grounding. In places like NYC I would only see what is right in front of me for such long periods of time. It gives you a new perspective to see things from a greater lens and beyond. I love views like this because it brings you back to reality for a moment - reminding you that petty things you have been worrying about don't really matter.
Cool people in a thriving city
Loved them! So friendly, excellent English, and very aware. This is one of those cities where it is easy to navigate around because people see you and make an effort to move. Everything flows well. It kind of reminded me of Sydney in this way.
Eating raw vegetables and salads with no fear
Having anxiety about food is the absolute worst way to eat. Your mind has such a huge impact on your body's ability to function as they are completely connected as a whole. Knowing that the raw vegetables you eat are not washed in contaminated water is a wonderful thing and yet so basic you would think.
Indulging in raw vegan desserts
Haven't been able to do this since New Zealand! There were so many raw desserts here I went a little crazy :)
I actually don't really like AC and prefer natural air or a simply fan. But I admit I enjoyed it in HK after sweating in Thailand for 3 weeks straight.
The best of both worlds: City + Nature
Hong Kong is a unique city that that is surrounded by water, islands, and massive green mountains. The weather is moderate all year round and you can go from the top of a 100 story skyscraper to a flat beach in no time. If you want to get active you can hike up Victoria Peak through the green trees of the mountain to find yourself overlooking the entire city.
Shopping til I dropped
At this point I am so sick of my wardrobe living out of a suitcase for 3 months. I tossed some old clothes and went wild at Zara and I'm feelin' fresh. Also upgraded my suitcase to a shell case instead of that convertible backpack I had! Let's be real, I'm not a backpacker.
Sleeping without bugs or a mosquito net
My mosquito bites are healing and I no longer wake up thinking something is crawling on me (cue angels singing). Not to mention I get to roll in and out of bed as I please without having to lock in a mosquito net.