We are sat in Hong Kong International Airport, waiting for our flight to Hanoi. Leaving HK and China feels like the end of the second leg of our trip. Before we left, a lot of people said that China would be the hardest part of our journey – no longer with the Vodkatrain group, and in a country that isn’t as used to backpackers. Whilst it’s been hard work at times, as you’d expect from such a massive country, it has been a truly amazing experience; from the scorching heat of the Great Wall to walking around Victoria Peak in the aftermath of a typhoon and everything in between.
1. Chinese people are (generally) very nice – people were usually helpful and seemed to appreciate the effort we made with the language.
2. Hocking and spitting is a national pastime, wherever you are. No matter the city / street / building / cultural icon / train, people will be spitting.
3. Having a horn on your vehicle means you must use it at all times (even when driving around a cage on a stage).
4. Back home, we look down on pot noodles. In China, they are so common and popular that most public places have a hot tap.
5. Tourist attractions are expensive, but getting around, eating and drinking is not too bad.
6. Chinese food is amazing! All of our meals would have 4 or 5 dishes at least, and would cost about £5 – £6. Unfortunately they haven’t made us sick, just fat.
7. You can get used to the crowds, but try and escape to the country a bit.
8. China is huge – have a good idea of what you want to do when you go, and give yourself more time in less places, not the other way around.
9. Allow a good amount of time for a simple task – our trip to the post office to send some stuff home took a while.
10. When planning 3 days of beaching, island hopping, climbing and sightseeing in Hong Kong, double check that there isn’t a typhoon on the way.