- Posted February 16, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What’s your secret spot in Beijing?
My Experiences in China. From the Eyes of a Young Adult
Throughout my life, (21 years so far), I've been fortunate enough to travel to China on a number of occasions. My first experience came when I was the age of 14, when I accompanied my dad on a business trip. We spent four days in Beijing and three days in Hong Kong. Both cities represent different aspects of China to me. If you can get over the thick air and rather palatable smells, Beijing is a warming city waiting to be explored. Whether it be strolling down narrow alley ways, observing the relatively meager and rudimentary style of life practiced by a majority of Chinese citizens; or working your way through the jam packed Forbidden City, Beijing is a traditionalists city. I can safely say that the best peking duck I've had was in Beijing as well. The meat was prepared crispy on the outside, and dark and succulent underneath. Not only was the food excellent, the process of watching our waiter meticulously compose the peking duck pancakes with fresh scallions and a thick, hoisin sauce was entertaining too. Although I could talk extensively about Beijing and it's enormous scope, both in terms of city size and population size, I must pivot my anecdote to my time spent in southern China. If Beijing is Washington DC, Hong Kong is most certainly New York; but with the potential for Miami like humidity. Immeditaley I was shocked at the cityscape. Hong Kong island and Kowloon are the two downtown areas where the majority of the hotels, shopping, dining, and a myriad of other services can be found. Separated by the busy, harbor, Hong Kong and Kowloon stay connected via railway, tunnel, and most notably the Star Ferry. I recommend at least one trip, and hopefully more, across the harbor on the mid 20th century style wood boats that are painted in green and white. The views are breathtaking, especially at night when all of the cities skyscrapers collaborate in a spectacular lights show. Hong Kong with its designer fashion, posh real estate and economic prowess still can't escape the traditionalist culture of mainland China. To me that's what makes the city so great, one minute you're gazing up at a 90+ story glass skyscraper, and the next minute you've stumbled down an alley full of people moving frantically in every direction. The tiny restaurants provide authentic dishes that range from rice, to the adventurous dish of roast goose.
Hopefully, I've evoked nostalgia for those of you who've already experienced China; sparked some desire in those of you who haven't and if you got nothing out of this, I hope I've uninformed you enough to want to do some research on your own!