Finally jetting off
Last month, I finally went on a plane and went on a holiday abroad. It was a long time in the planning. Sure, I had ideas and plans. However, due to the global pandemic, options were limited. Even if you can travel, you may have to go through a lengthy quarantine period. And then there are the strikes. Considering how many places had pandemic measures in place, it wouldn't have been much fun. So I settled for staycations and I made the most of my leisure time. I know some people had issues with staycations. But where did your grandparents go before flying became accessible? I think we have to be flexible and go with the times. I managed to find plenty to do in the UK.
The last time I was in Hong Kong was back in 2019. That was a year most people from Hong Kong will not forget. The riots ruined the economy and the pandemic that followed affected growth. Hong Kong is now in the process of rebuilding her economy and has still much to offer. Despite past failings, I'd say Hong Kong is still a good place for business and leisure. In terms of the latter, a option for all budgets. Hong Kong is my home city and the culture is still one I very much associate with. I'm not being biased. But let's be honest, as a non-Chinese person, which Chinese city are you most familiar with? Despite what the media wants you to think, Hong Kong is a very safe place for tourists. But please don't let your guard down and do exercise common sense.
Once in Hong Kong, I went to pay my respects to late grandparents and visit relatives. I didn't stay so long this time for other reasons, but I did managed to squeeze a few days In South Korea. Was it enough? Well yes and no. However, it was nice to have a proper break. I did manage to do most of the things I wanted to within the time available. I've been to Hong Kong many times and even if I had more time. I have to see how much more can I do? It is about the quality and not the quantity. I've seen night markets before and it isn't what I'm interested in now. I could have gone on longer hikes, but I chose to go on shorter hikes. I've hiked Cheung Chau and Lamma Island many times. However, the later was something else this time. It was very hot, but it was worth the challenge. Hong Kong is not quite the place for cheap clothing, but there is still much Hong Kong can offer. There is an arts and craft community and a thriving food scene. Hong Kong has always had skilled craftsmen, but craft is not what Hong Kong is known for. Years ago Hong Kong had many factories, yet not all churned out cheap goods and textiles. Some worked in jewelry and watchmaking. With the rising interest in microbrand watches, did you know that many of these are actually made in Hong Kong?
The future of Hong Kong looks bright, but she can't use the same cards as before. Factories on the Mainland are more plentiful and can produce quality goods at lower cost. Shenzhen across the border is the Silicon Valley of Asia. Hong Kong is still a financial center, but she must diversify into other sectors. What some people have on their minds is the politics. All I will say is that you keep your opinions to yourself. No country or city is perfect. Hong Kong is for all, but not if you're not into crowds. This goes for much of Asia. Please be patient.
South Korea was a lot of fun. It was actually the second time I visited. It was good to catch up with friends, but not a lot of shopping. Seoul is actually very big city within what is a small country. It can be very confusing, but most tourists only go to certain attractions. South Korea is definitely worth visiting and its very accessible. However, South Korea tends to attract tourists who are familiar with general Korean culture, like from food, K-pop and K-dramas. But offers a whole lot more. There's a great hiking culture and if you go further, Korea is very beautiful it's own right.
I didn't train at all, because I needed a proper break. Do I miss it? Yes I do. It means I'm more motivated to get back into training.
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