There is something absolutely wrong with Hong Kong. The realization hits us as we sit over a boiling pot of authentic Swiss fondue in the Tsim Sha Sui district. The Swiss Chalet restaurant is a replica of…. well…. a Swiss chalet and it does a damn good job of it. So good that we forget we were haggling for authentic Chinese antiquity only a few hours ago on Hollywood road but not enough to make us miss afternoon tea at the Peninsula.
If you take rare tenderloin steak, Peking duck, scones and Moet & Chandon, sprinkle it all with oyster sauce before mixing it in a steaming wok, you have absolutely no right to expect anything half decent to come out of it. And yet Hong Kong flies against the face of such logic by fusing its numerous elements into one tantalizingly cosmopolitan holiday trip.
East meets West, classics are made modern, Communism becomes the unlikely bedfellow of Capitalism as street hawkers sell Louis Vuitton replicas while real ones are on display only minutes away. All this within a country that will take you only 30 minutes to cross from end to end. It should all be an absolute mess and yet these ingredients combine perfectly to make for a unique experience.
Everything here is underlined by the interplay of cultures and the whole experience feels like solving a Rubik’s cube. You’ll find it very hard to wrap your mind around the various elements of the city but, at the end of the day, you’re not really meant to; instead just let yourself love every minute of it.
So how did we feel about our trip to Hong Kong? As if we were stuck right in the middle of a cultural intersection and that’s exactly where we wanted to be.