Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everyday Living in Hong Kong

Beautiful high-rise living
My friend Jonathan, our Hong Kong correspondent, lives with his family in Hong Kong.  He recently sent me a few photos to share his world with us. The above picture shows his neighborhood.  Look at all those high rises!

He writes that he lives in a vertical world, now:
I still can't believe how different it is here compared to L.A.  I am finally getting used to it here.  Everything is vertical ... including my sons' 7-foot drawers in their bedroom.  
This is because of the population density, something we don't see a lot in the western United States.

He also sent me a copy of the ferry schedule!
This is the schedule of the ferry that I take from North Point, which is near where I work, to Hung Hom, which is where I live.  The ferry is very punctual.  If it says it will leave at a certain time, it will almost certainly leave exactly on the minute.  I have on several occasions seen my ferry leave when I was one or two minutes late.  The good thing is the frequency... so waiting for the next one is not that bad.

Jonathan also mentions that he has four ways to get from work.  Which one of those four ways he chooses each day are often dependent upon the weather.

Life in Hong Kong is greatly influenced by the weather.  Jonathan says the weather is crazy!  (It's okay, Jonathan, the weather is crazy here, too!)  There is extreme summer humidity, winter chills, high winds, typhoon season and year-round bad air quality.

So, most days he takes the MTR, or Ferry between his work at North Point, to Hung Hom where he lives. Taking the ferry gets him from door to gate in about 18 minutes. This costs HK$4.10.

The Hung Hom Ferry Pier

The Ferry at Hung Hom
The second choice for transportation is the "ding ding" or tram (HK $2.30), which takes from 20 to 30 minutes.  Don't you love that name for the tram?

I do.

The Ding Ding
Another option is the bus.  Riding the franchised bus costs HK $4.10, and takes about 15-25 minutes.  Jonathan adds that "on a nice day, when I'm not too tired, I walk".  This is free, but it takes about 30 minutes.

For comparison purposes a US dollar is worth about $7.75 Hong Kong dollars, so all the travel options are highly affordable.

I've never had to ride a ferry or a cable car to work.  Have you?

Living in Hong Kong has it's challenges, but obviously some fun cultural advantages, too!  Thanks, Jonathan, for sharing glimpses of your life in Hong Kong with us!

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