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8 things Hong Kong does better than anywhere else

Nobody does it better than Hong Kong in these areas

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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While we like to complain every now and then, there’s nothing Hongkongers love more than expressing their love for home. And for good reason, because there’s something special about the city that feels completely unique everywhere you look. And so, let’s all show some appreciation for the fragrant harbour herself – Hong Kong. By Graham Turner and Yu An Su 

RECOMMENDED: If you want to get out see Hong Kong's nature at some of its most beautiful, check out our list of the best hiking trails in the city

Things Hong Kong does better than anywhere else

Public transport
Photograph: Shutterstock

Public transport

Hong Kong has one of the most efficient, reliable, and clean public transport systems in the world. A little under 90% of Hongkongers make their daily commutes on public transport, and there’s practically no major area in our city that isn’t covered in our advanced, interconnected network. Not only is it fast, but pretty much all forms of public transport let us pay with our all-convenient Octopus card, which we never leave the house without.

Whether it be riding the well-oiled machine that is the MTR (where we still get cell reception while travelling underground, by the way), holding on for dear life on a red minibus, or enjoying the views on a cruising Island tram, Hong Kong has a vast array of public transport options that not only suit any need, but get you where you need to go fast.

Public holidays
Photograph: Unsplash/Kon Karempelas

Public holidays

As a result of the melting pot that is Hong Kong, us locals get a hefty chunk of statutory holidays. You don’t need to know who Jesus or Buddha is to get a day off here, with a large mix of Western and traditional Chinese holidays all included. We think that’s awesome, and it’s not just because we get more days off.

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Skyscrapers
Photograph: Shutterstock

Skyscrapers

We're not saying more is better, but not only do we have the most skyscrapers in the world (we’re way ahead of second place New York), we’d argue that nearly none of them are an eyesore. There's a good reason that – even when you live here – you'll still see people take photos almost every time they walk along Victoria Harbour. The sight is pretty mesmerising.

Day trips
Photograph: Shutterstock

Day trips

There aren't many places in the world where you can go from bustling metropolis to tranquil nature in less than an hour. Whether it’s white sands in Sai Kung, steep mountains on Lantau, or quiet villages on the outlying islands, Hong Kong is home to such vast greenery right next door to the towering skyscrapers. It can make having visitors a nightmare because there’s so much to show them, but for those of us who live here, any time off we have is a joy. We can have the kind of break that people in other cities have to hop on a plane to experience.

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Food culture
Photograph: Courtesy Duddell's

Food culture

We’re not saying we have the highest number of Michelin-stars (sit back down, Tokyo) or that Hong Kong’s unique cuisine is particularly broad. What we’re saying is that the diversity of food options, the sheer breadth of quality from the cheapest to the most expensive, and the passion with which food is discussed in the city is unlike anywhere else in the world. Amazing fine-dining along with budget-friendly street food make Hong Kong one of the best food cities in the world.

Kung Fu and action movies
Photograph: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons/National General Pictures

Kung Fu and action movies

The golden age may be long gone but the legacy created by icons like Bruce Lee, Donnie Yen, Chow Yun Fat, and plenty of others, have had a lasting effect, and in terms of establishing so many modern action tropes, John Woo has cemented Hong Kong's close ties to Kung Fu for generations to come.

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Wet markets and cooked food centres
Photograph: Enoch Lau

Wet markets and cooked food centres

Okay, so technically one could argue that this comes under food culture, but we think our markets deserve a point all of their own. Farmer’s markets are gaining popularity in the West, but Hong Kong’s wet markets have been doing that same thing for ages.

As opposed to traditional ‘dry’ supermarkets, wet markets have the reputation of offering the freshest produce with unbeatable prices. Many also house a cooked food centre, where local vendors serve tasty treats at even tastier prices. Fresh food markets might not be unique to Hong Kong, but the sheer density of them, basically one in every district, makes them something that we do a cut above the rest of the world.

You can get married in McDonald’s
Photograph: Courtesy Mcdonalds

You can get married in McDonald’s

This really should be number one, as we're the first city in the world where you can get married in McDonald’s. Let that sink in. McDonald’s will provide the lucky couple with food credit at their restaurant, fun balloon decorations, and even an apple pie cake display. Don’t believe us, come this way.

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