Chin-glish as east and west meet in HK

One week ago today, I was in Hong Kong for a quick trip to meet up with family. After having traveled and lived in Asia for the last few years, Hong Kong should’ve been a pretty easy vacation destination. It’s well-connected, modern, and has a great variety of food. I’ve been through Hong Kong airport probably ten times, but actually never left the confines of the airport… until last week. And, boy, was the place a bit of a surprise!

Since 1998, Hong Kong has been a special administrative region of China following being a British colony for about 150 years. Not much has changed since the handover according to people I talked to… English and Chinese are still very apparent and live (some what) in harmony with one another as the region has grown into a financial hub. Yet there’s definitely cases where speaking and reading Chinese comes in handy.

The clearest case of this harmony are in the numerous signs and advertising that crowd the city! With a population of approximately 7 million (in 2010) and a density of 6540 people per square kilometre, it’s no wonder why there’s stacks and stacks of signs, posters, etc. trying to get your attention no matter where you look. It’s a bit of sight that will make you dizzy… yet represents the craziness that’s Hong Kong and overtly loud Cantonese culture (if you don’t believe me, go for Dim Sum or Yum Cha and tell me I’m wrong!)

One unexpected thing was the fact that Hong Kong is actually ‘green’ outside the main city areas. According to the Govt of HK website, only 25% of land is developed and 40% of land is designated as parks and nature reserves. So if you’ve had enough of the consumerism, in-your-face-advertising, noise and people, there’s plenty of green space to take a breather.

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