Stuart's lovely friend Laura was our tour guide on our first full day here and as it was Stuart's first time she showed us the sights, the sounds and smells of the place. It was great to have an ex-pat's perspective on the place. And boy did she make us laugh.
I was last here in 1996 just before Honk Kong was returned to Chinese rule and there was alot of uncertainty around at that time.
On the face of it I can't see much change since then although there is some evidence of street protest with banners about more local rule. One thing is for sure though - social media Facebook and Blogger work here - which they didn't in mainland China when we went there two years ago. So it not all bad.
Another thing that's stayed the same is that Hong Kong is a crazy city of excess. Its packed full of dizzingly high skyscrapers, dazzling lights, and hard-working and hard-partying people. It's not cheap here either but like most places in this world if you have money you are sorted. They say if you can't get it here, you can't get it. So if you are young, working, and healthy then life can certainly be lived to the max here. You can work until you drop and then party until you drop some more.
However Hong Kong is also a place of have nots. There no social security here so if you are old, have no family, or no money you are on your own - often living rough and/or begging on the street. We saw old people and disabled people shaking tins for coins and pushing carts of dirty cardboard around (their makeshift beds for the night). A few feet away in a street cafe were a small group of business men gathered around a table with two bottles of champagne spilling it in their excitement to celebrate their latest big wheeler deal. The contrast could not have been more stark. It reminded me of London in the 1980s with its financial big bang and its huge social division between rich and poor.
A lovely place Honkers, if you can keep up with the lifestyle... and the payments.