After three and a half months in Africa (more than enough but not anywhere near enough) we have made the leap to Asia. Our round-the-world plane ticket required that in order to go anywhere in Africa from anywhere in Asia, we had to travel through Hong Kong. Despite being a hugely popular tourist and business destination, Hong Kong has never really occupied a spot on my (very long) list of places actively want to go. But, since we had travel through, we decided to stop for a few days to check out the city.
As it turned out, it was a fantastic decision. I loved Hong Kong. Modern, traditional, huge city, small village, water, port, rain forest, history, good food, rich culture, shopping, architecture, beaches (though it was too cold to enjoy them while we were there) – it had everything you could want in a destination.
After a scant 3.5 Hong Kong days, we headed off for Thailand. After a bit more touring about Asia, we plan to return to Thailand in the spring to just chill out for a while. Max will be studying and I’m looking into getting some advanced SCUBA certifications and working on a reef clean-up project. But we wanted to do a little reconnaissance mission to get to know the country and pick a place to plant ourselves for a while.
The contrast between Africa and Asia is sharp. Though Africa was absolutely amazing and I would not change it for a second – except to give us more time there – it was taxing at times. In every country, save Malawi, we met people who had been robbed, car jacked, mugged, victim of grand theft auto, harassed by the police. We had our guard way up at all times. It was exhausting. Asia is a breath of fresh air. It is so nice to finally relax a little, walk around at ease, and not plan your whole day around returning from dinner before sundown because everyone tells you you’d be crazy to walk so much as a block after dark. And it is cheap. Shockingly cheap compared to Africa (and New York, of course).