I'm finally back! After almost a month in Hong Kong and Japan, I'm finally back in New York friggin' City. In Hong Kong, I mainly spent time with the fambam since all of my mom's fam is still in HK. In Japan, we (my bro and I) hung out with my bro's high school buddies. It was so much fun! I snapchatted and took pictures the whole time. One thing I'm sad about is that I didn't vlog this time around. I guess a picture is worth a thousand words? I'm still a bit jet-lagged from the trip. I would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn't fall asleep for another two hours (thank lord for Instagram and Twitter). BUT, I'll wake up around 10/11am. I wonder when this will subside--maybe another week or so?
I also got an eye infection about a week into the trip. Just my luck. Still recovering..
After the trip, I reflected and wrote down some notes for both HK and Japan. It's stuff I've been thinking while at both locations, but didn't have the time to write it down cuz by the time the end of the day rolled around (usually around 9pm), I was muy tired from walking all day.
Alright, here we go...
Hong Kong 1) Imagine NYC. Multiply that density by 2-3 times. That's how many ppl there are in HK.. walking on the streets/getting on the subway, or as they call it: The MTR. 2) People walk in an insanely fast pace. On really crowded streets. Watch your purse. Keep your eyes wide open. 3) People always talk about that New York hustle like it's something. Wait 'til you go to HK. 4) There's no napkins on the dining table, and sometimes there's no toilet paper. Always bring your own pack of tissue. Keep like at least two packs of tissue in your bag. 5) Their water isn't as clean as NYC, so do not drink it. Even if you're really thirsty. 6) Happy Hour in HK is $5HKD. It's unreal. That's less than $1USD. (At Lilly's). Go to the 6th floor. The 5th floor is more like a dinner spot. 7) The RMB (China's currency) is currently worth more than HKD. 8) When you walk, always bare left. 9) When taking a two-story bus, and if it's empty when you hop on, try to run upstairs and grab the front seat. It'd be a heck more of a ride. 10) No, people aren't arguing or have anxiety. That's how loud people talk, and that's how people act, they just can't keep calm--well in certain parts of HK anyway.
Japan 1) It's my first time here (Tokyo, Osaka, Kobe, Hakone)! Everything is so beautiful and cute. 2) Alright, how come all the girls here are walking in heels? 3) This place is just as crowded as HK. Well, Tokyo anyway. 4) Ok, not sure if we should bare right or left here. Follow the arrows on the stairwell in the subway station. 5) If you're not going to multiple cities and just visiting Tokyo, DO NOT buy the JR Pass. 6) Omakase is half the price of what you get in NYC--with better fish. 7) There's a lot of root vegetables (mashed up in a form of gelatin) you might not have had in your past life; eat it anyway. I heard it's good for you. 8) There's ice cream. Lots of ice cream. 9) If you can, just bring a budgeted amount of cash from your bank account. Otherwise, your account will be empty by the end of your trip. 10) You will want to buy everything. Stop. Take a deep breath. Ask yourself, do I really need this? Or better yet, do I have space in my luggage for this? The answer will surprise you.
On both 1) If you're a budget traveler, use AirBnb to save on living costs. Yes, you might end up far off from a train station, or live in a motel converted to mini living spot that fits the AirBnB standards, but it will cost a fraction of, say, a hotel (even if you split it between a few peeps). 2) Never discount the tastiness of street food. Not only does it taste good/good for the soul, it also says a lot about the culture. 3) Always haggle. 4) Monitor the weather conditions at least a week before you go, and ask friends who live there for clothing advice. I ended up bringing fall weather clothes to HK when it was 88 degrees outside. It was hot! 5) Buy the Octopus (HK) and Pasmo IC (Japan) cards for the metro. You just have to beep in and out of the station instead of always buying single tickets. It's like the Metrocard, but waaaaaay cooler.
Ok, I miss these places already. When can I go back? :P
Have you ever been to Hong Kong or Japan? What do you think?