Why Hong Kong is a great city?

World’s Greatest City: 50 reasons why Hong Kong is No. 1 | CNNGo.

A new division of CNN called CNNGo looks at the top cities in Asia as to why each could be the greatest city in the world.  Hong Kong is close and dear to the heart, so obviously I gravitated towards this list (Thanks to Gordon Price for blogging about this on Price Tags).

Lots of fun items on the list.  Here are some of my faves:

1. Public transportation rules

Hong Kong is no place for motorists, with about 380,000 private vehicles for a population of over seven million. But it’s a public transit utopia. Big buses, little buses, ferries, railways, a tramway — you name it, we have it, and they’re all interconnected, making Hong Kong’s network one of the most sophisticated in the world.

11. Cash-free living

Having a wallet is so passe. Nowadays, all you need for a fun-filled day in Hong Kong is an Octopus card. You can pay for all public transportation, KFC meals, vending machine sodas, 7-Eleven impulse buys, Park n’ Shop grocery runs and even ice skating rentals with a “doot.” (The sound made when swiping the Octopus is now a common verb, as in “just doot it.”) The Octopus even comes in tiny, SIM card-sized chips that can be dangled on bracelets like lucky charms.

9. Mega-convenient convenience stores

Hong Kong has the highest density of 7-Elevens in the world, with a density of one per 1.380 square miles, as of 2007. Add to that the number of branches of competitor Circle-K, and you have total convenience store overkill. (One tiny block near the CNNGo offices inexplicably houses five convenience stores).

40. Wholesome late nights (if you’re into that sort of thing)

Midnight is when the party starts, even for non-partying types here. Those who just have to buy that ‘it’ bag at 11 at night can head over to the apm mall, where retailers open till midnight and restaurants until 2am. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the cinema all to yourself at the 3:30am screening at the Chinachem Cinema in Tsim Sha Tsui, then go and stuff your belly at these late-night eateries to recharge for the next day.

46. We get two New Years

Hong Kong adheres to both the lunar and solar calendars, so we get to celebrate the bi-annual renewal of both. It’s like having dim sum and afternoon tea simultaneously.

But if you have family, that means twice the visits to all your relatives.  I think it’s best for me to avoid Hong Kong during Chinese New Year.  I’d be running around the city like a headless chicken giving and receiving lucky money.

47. Home of the Milk Tea King

Hong Kong is home to ‘pantyhose milk tea,’ a black tea and milk drink strained, appropriately, through pantyhose. This results in a silken texture incomparable in the universe of caffeine drinks. This year’s Milk Tea crown landed on the head of Tai Fat in Yuen Long, but it was runner-up Tai Hing Roast Restaurant‘s scandalous prices (HK$68 per cuppa) that got headlines.
Hong Kong milk tea is very impressive.  It’s not quite the same here in Vancouver, so I like to have at least one cup when I’m in HK.  Not good on the cholesterol, though.

48. It rolls right off the tongue

Cantonese isn’t just any dialect. Over 60 million people speak it in China and overseas, mostly in Asia’s financial and commercial centers. The tongue-twisting lingo accommodates up to nine tones and spawns new slang each month, continuously adding to the repertoire of this 2,000-year-old language. (China’s official language, Mandarin, by comparison, is only about 700 years old.)

Ah yes.  Cantonese.  At least I can get around Hong Kong and understand (almost) everything that people are squawking about.  Plus, English is everywhere.  Easier on my little brain.

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