It has been exactly 3 weeks since my “move” to Hong Kong. I think I am just starting to acclimatize to the heat here; the humidity definitely takes some getting used to, especially since this is the first time I am in Hong Kong during the summer. You might find it weird that I put the word “move” in scare quotes. I realized, after receiving questions about my previous post, that I may not have been very clear about what exactly is going on. So to clarify…my move to Hong Kong is not permanent as of right now. Being in HK as a Canadian citizen means I need to adhere to entry/exit requirements. Also, to maintain my OHIP in Toronto, I must be physically present in Ontario for at least 153 days in any 12-month period. I won’t go into detail about all the other complications. Basically, those two requirements alone has me living in two cities on opposite sides of the planet. I am now dividing my time between my home in Toronto and my new home in Hong Kong. It is a fairly complicated matter, but I think it gives me the opportunity to experience something very rare, which I hope to share with others through this blog.
Now that things have been cleared up, let’s move on to something more interesting. I’ve decided to take you guys on a quick tour around the area we live in so that those of you who have never been to Hong Kong can have a better idea of what it is like here.
We live in an area called Tung Chung, which means ‘eastern stream’ in Chinese. It is situated on Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. Despite it being the largest island, it is not densely populated like other parts of Hong Kong. This gives us a tiny bit of breathing space in a city that is so full of people. Tung Chung is about a 10-minute bus ride away from the airport, which is very convenient for my boyfriend to get to work and the main reason we settled here. Going into town (if I can even call it that) takes a little longer, but with Hong Kong’s fantastic transit system it really isn’t an issue.
Tung Chung is mostly residential, but it does feature a variety of restaurants, shops, supermarkets and entertainment facilities, mostly centred around Citygate Outlets, a mall that hosts various brand name outlet stores. A popular destination for tourists from China and other Asian countries, the mall is just steps away from the Tung Chung MTR station – the subway station, as us Torontonians would call it.
Fu Tong Shopping Centre, a smaller mall opposite Citygate, mainly serves the needs of local residents. There are a good number of eateries, a decent-size grocery store, as well as a wet market.
Wet markets are still relatively new to me. It’s a bit different from shopping at the supermarkets that we’re used to back home in Toronto. Inside the Fu Tong wet market are various stalls that sell fruits, vegetables, poultry, meat, fish, as well as some ready-to-eat food stalls. Perhaps a bit of a surprise to me, I have really enjoyed shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables at the wet market. It may not be as clean and well organized as the supermarkets, but the produce is actually more fresh and at better prices. The vendors are usually quite happy to make recommendations on pairings and what foods are good for certain symptoms of illness.
I’ll keep it short and sweet for this post. There will be more to show you guys as I become more acquainted with Tung Chung and as the renovations to our new home get closer to being complete. Feel free to let me know in the comments if there is anything you are curious about or want me to talk about in my next post.