We are now in Hong Kong.
Ben and I have been planning about this for a while, and finally, we are here. Ben has a 3-month work assignment in Hong Kong and so we think it is a good opportunity to come here together.
I had never been to Hong Kong before this. Over the next few weeks/months, I will post my stories living here as well as introducing the best of Hong Kong.
Ben arrived in Hong Kong on 31 Jan while I arrived on the next day. He started to work on 1 Feb, so we met up at Hong Kong Station when he finished his work. I brought two big luggage and a large backpack; I almost brought all my stuff from Malaysia because I will go back to New Zealand directly after Hong Kong. So far, a week has passed.
Traveling or Living …?
I always believe that it is different between travelling or living in a place. Three months may not sound a lot for many people, but I believe if we spend our time wisely we can see Hong Kong in a very different way.
When you are a tourist travelling with limited time, you want to see as many popular attractions as possible; find the best restaurant with delicious local’s food and get tips from the guidebook. But the truth is, based on my past travel experience – almost everything that you find in the travel guidebook is touristy (though there are some exceptions), and you really need advice from the locals or spend some time to really get to know the place.
It is different when you are living in a city for at least a few months. Because you will have more time to see and feel the place; you will find restaurants with reasonable price and good local food; and you may be able to find some really cool places or things to do, instead of those you know from the guidebook.
Anyway, since this is my first post about Hong Kong, I will mainly focus on our accommodation.
Our stay at One96 Hotel
There are 4 main parts of Hong Kong: Hong Kong Island (港岛), Kowloon (九龙), New Territories (新街), Lantau Island (大屿山).
We are staying at One96 Hotel in Sheung Wan (上环), located in Hong Kong Island (港岛). It is called ‘apartment hotel’ which is the combination of apartment and hotel – actually this is the first time I heard of this and I think it is a brilliant concept.
It is really expensive to stay in Hong Kong Island (港岛). Our room size is about 705 sf and cost about HKD$45k–$65k (USD$5.8k–$8.4k) per month! We won’t be staying here if it wasn’t sponsored by Ben’s company. 😝 We have been staying at this hotel for a week and so far it is excellent.
The Living Room and Bedroom
Our room is very spacious (although not as big as shown in their advertisement photos). Given the accommodations in HK is very expensive, we are very grateful to have stayed in the size of this room.
The living room is very relaxing. We especially love the ottoman couch and considering to buy one in the future. At night, we sit on the couch and watch TVB Hong Kong dramas.
The bedroom comes with a king-sized bed. I can sleep until 10am++ because it is too comfortable. I just need to press a button to open/close the blinds.
My ‘little office’
I usually surf the net or write my blog at my ‘little office’ – the dining table. I enjoy the view and natural sunlight. It is quiet in the afternoon so I have my own sweet time.
Although there is no proper kitchen, actually we can cook if we want. They provide the portable cooking device, utensils, coffee machine, microwave, fridge, freezer and so on. We can also take as many snacks and drinks as we want from the mini bar on the first floor.
Storage and Space
There are a big wardrobe and a few cabinets/drawers to put our belongings. It is more than enough for both of us (though we have a lot of stuff!).
If one of us wants to sleep and one wants to watch TV, we can close the sliding door. Also, a good way to have ME time?
Toilet and Bathroom
There are many cabinets (including the mirror) to put our stuff; that we haven’t even used up half of the space. Our towels/ bed linens are replaced every Tuesday and Friday.
There are 38 floors at this hotel, and there is only one unit per floor. The higher floor, the better the view. However, our floor is at 11th floor. The window view is not very nice, but it is not too bad.
The amenities are good, e.g. free unlimited wifi, access to gym (different building just 2 blocks away), washing machine with dryer, microwave, coffee machine, daily maid service… Oh yes, they also provide unlimited soft drinks (Ben’s favourite 😡), complimentary breakfast, fruits (banana and apple), yoghurt, snacks and so on. The staffs are very friendly.
So far we had our breakfast at the hotel on every weekday. We are trying to have our breakfast outside in the weekend so we will not be too bored with the breads.
Days in Hong Kong
I am so lucky because I have the chance to stay in Hong Kong for 2-3 months in such luxurious hotel. But, I also have a fear because I will be unemployed for another 3 months in Hong Kong. I am worried that I will be left behind of my career.
Ben told me that I shouldn’t worry too much since we do not always have the chance to do so while fully sponsored by his company. So I will try my best to adjust my mindset: to really enjoy my days in Hong Kong and try to find somethings useful to do at the same time.
I can speak Cantonese (the official language in Hong Kong) because it is my mother language, although my slang is slightly different from them. I have no problem communicating with the locals and I think it is a big advantage for us. I can also read the Cantonese words even though it will take me some time.
I have more to write but I will leave it to the next post. 🙂