How A Visit To The Mainland Can Help You Appreciate Hong Kong

As a Canadian expat living in Hong Kong, there are many everyday things here that drive me absolutely mad. Take, for example, how it is socially acceptable here to violently suck back your boogers into your throat and then spew them out on the side of a crowded street. Or, perhaps, how most of the population is incapable of walking down a street at an appropriate speed or in a straight line; I swear some people have eyes on the back of their head and will purposely move right in front of me when I am trying to pass them..

Before this post becomes a full-on rant about everything I dislike about HK, I’ll get back to my point. If you are feeling fed up with all of Hong Kong and you just need an escape, don’t worry! Just take a quick trip to Mainland China and you will be begging to head home within hours of getting through immigration. Or, immigration might just be enough to make you want to call it quits right then and there (picture hundreds of people pushing themselves off the train, running up the stairs, and pushing anyone and everyone in front of them to be the first in line).

Though you will certainly enjoy a relaxing beach vacation anywhere else in Southeast Asia, you’ll find that when returning home that same feeling of animosity towards Hong Konger’s is still there. This is exactly why a trip to the Mainland will cure all of your Hong Kong woes (cue crowds literally everywhere and their only concern is themselves. Always.). You might hate 99% of your time on the Mainland, but you will return to your beloved HK with arms wide open. In just a few short days, your appreciation of the Hong Kong way of life will have rekindled and the little things that once had you wishing you could preform Black Magic (or head to Wan Chai for some Villain Hitting) will cease to bother you.

Unfortunately this rediscovered love for HK can only last so long and shortly after your return something will happen to frustrate you – like when the MTR is completely packed (we all hate Admiralty Station, am I right?!) and the doors open and close multiple times, yet there is always that one person who tries to push and squeeze his/her way on. Your tendency would normally be to mumble a curse or let out a long sigh. Instead, all you need to do is close your eyes and relive your stay in China, followed by a deep breath and a grateful grin… Because in China, people don’t even wait for others to exit the Metro before getting onto the train. Nope. Instead, the second the doors open, they rudely push and shove their way onto the train, indifferent to everyone around them. This is chaos at its finest.

So, the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed with Hong Kong, just hop on a train for a few hours north and you’ll find yourself in a whole other world, counting down the days till you head home.

Here are some of the interesting things I encountered during a weekend trip to Guangzhou:

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