The tail end of our trip was a day and a half in Hong Kong. We kind of tacked it on the end to get out of mainland China for the National day holiday crowds. As a result, I had no real plan or expectations.
Therefore, Hong Kong exceeded expectations. 😛
In some ways, Hong Kong is smaller than I expected: 7M people (just more than 1/3 of Beijing) and we walked a good chunk of the length of the core (Central to Causeway Bay subway stations) in an hour or so.
I also knew Hong Kong was a tall city: our hotel was hardly in the centre of the city, but from our 15th floor hotel room, I couldn’t see more than a block in any direction, and 8 story buildings below just seemed like a waste of space. It took my brain a while to really process that the whole city is like that.
I have also never been to a more “international” city than Hong Kong, possibly because none exist. I was entirely comfortable in the city: it felt a lot like a taller version of Richmond. I imagine that Brits would be totally comfortable in the city, so should mainland Chinese. Tourists from France seemed pretty at-ease, and there seemed to be a solid Indian population as well. I can’t think of anywhere else I’ve been where so many people could hang around without being out of place.
Also, at 7M people, that must mean that something like 5% of Hong Kongers must now be in Vancouver. (350k Hong Kong immigrants and descendants in Vancouver doesn’t sound that far off to me.) I had never really thought about the numbers from that side: everybody in Vancouver knows a bunch of people from Hong Kong, but everybody in Hong Kong must have a friend or two in Vancouver as well.
In summary: insufficient time spent in Hong Kong; must investigate further in the future.