One thing that will quickly strike a German traveler as odd in Taiwan is the unusual high number of German flags and symbols on cars, buildings and clothes. It seems to far overshadow the occasional references to the United States or France. … Continue reading →
No matter if from 深圳 Shenzhen, 九龍 Kowloon or 香港 Kong, the cheapest option to 赤鱲角 Chek Lap Kok is a combination of 港鐵 MTR and public bus, costing a total of 23.3 HK$ from the Island, and 16.1 HK$ from Kowloon (荔景 Lai King), an unbeatable 2 US$.
Skyscrapers not only make a beautiful and impressive skyline, they also provide great opportunities to view the city from high above. However, not all skyscrapers have public viewing platforms or are accessible, and some, like the Sky 100 in ICC charge a lot of money.
There are a couple of cheap opportunities to observe the bee hive from above. Continue reading →
As many most developed cities like New York City, London or Paris have long forgotten their long history of chaotic, low-regulated street markets, Hong Kong still allows hawkers, mongerers and chafferers to strive in some designated zones. Some particularly exciting ones stretch all the way from Mong Kok Stadium to Austin Road, featuring live animals, souvenirs, magic, stones and antiques.
Economically speaking these markets easily demonstrate econ 101. There are plenty of merchants and customers, nobody seems to have any abnormal market power, and because all shops are found in a small area, customers can easily compare prices, and competition is fierce. Margins are low, and the consumer seems to win, at least judging by the comparatively great deals you can get.
To find a more profitable niche, shops have to specialize, leading to a huge variety in products and services.
The market, however, is not as free as you might think. Just like in Taxi licensing, many problems come from the restrictive licencing of such markets. In many cases new licences have not been handed out since the 70s, and reform is not in sight.
I invite you on this stressful but rewarding journey through which you can buy literally anything that the endless factories of mainland China have to offer.
Less than 25% of Hong Kong’s landmass is developed, and 40% of the SAR are designated as Country Parks and Natural Reserves. This provides for quite a few getaways, which may take up to one day of your time. One of my favorite day trips is to cross Lantau on its south side. There is a lot to see, and plenty of opportunities to hang out or hike.
Hong Kong can be stressful, busy and so full of skyscrapers, you barely see the sky anymore, not to speak of the stars. It will come to you as a surprise that a getaway to China brings you fresh air, small lovely towns and beautiful scenery beyond the polluted backyard of 廣東 Guangdong.
Our journey brings us through 廣州 Guangzhou to the small town of 陽朔 Yangshuo from where we go hiking and relax. We will see 興評 Xingping, near where the picture for the 20 Yuen bank note was taken from and the 龍勝 Longsheng Rice Terraces. We go back through Guilin and Guangzhou to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong only collects import tariffs on four kinds of products: Tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, ethyl alcohol and liquor. Since 2008 there is no more tariff on wine and beer. In addition, Hong Kong has some of the most liberal laws concerning the sale of alcohol in the world. The legal drinking age is 18, however, there is no legal obligation on retailers to refuse to sell liquor to a person on the grounds of age.
That is because the drinking age only applies to places that have to be licensed, for instance bars or clubs. It is perfectly legal in Hong Kong for a minor to walk into a 7eleven and buy as much alcohol as they want and drink it in a place that does not need a liquor license. Continue reading →