I left mainland China on the last day of my visa and arrived in Hong Kong with a bullet train. I was a good 20 days spent in China, visiting amazing places, meeting cool people and trying delicious food. China was my first and last country where the weather is relatively cold, so I will spend the next few months in flip-flops and shorts. This is how I like the winter!
If you want to feel poor, go to Hong Kong. It is probably not as bad as Dubai, but when you see the expensive cars on the street, the tall skyscrapers and brands like Luis Vuitton with huge stores, that is the first impression you get. It seems that this is the city where rich Chinese people can do and get whatever is forbidden in mainland China.
Hong Kong is also a city full of expats from western countries. Many people spend a year or two working for multinational companies. It is a good city to have fun and use it as a hub to travel around Asia. Most of the people speak English and it is not as difficult as in China to get around.
As a touristic place, Hong Kong doesn’t have any big attractions, unless you consider shopping as a touristic activity. You can have some nice views of the city from the pier side or Victoria peak, but nothing extraordinary. You can find good Asian food and there are some cool bars at the top of the skyscrapers.
One night I went to watch horse racing, a popular activity among expats. Horse racing in Hong Kong is like baseball in Canada. People go there to get drunk, gamble and socialize. I was there for more than one hour and I drank more beers than I’ve seen horse races. It is good fun though, I recommend it if you go to Hong Kong.
Philippines is one of the countries that I really wanted to visit in my last backpacking trip in Asia, but I didn’t have time. Backpacking in Philippines is less popular compared to Thailand or Vietnam. It has a lot of beautiful beaches, party islands and unique diving spots.
However, after I landed in Cebu City, my first impression was different. The city is very dirty and filthy. Most of the people are poor and they live in improper conditions. Infrastructure is really bad and to travel 100km will take you 3 hours. Hostels are basic, sometimes not even with warm showers. The saddest part is when you go to a club or bar and you see all these old westerners with teenage Filipino girls. Taking advantage of these girls is just wrong!
Cebu and Moalboal
I only spent a one night in Cebu City and then I went to Moalboal, a town situated 100km south on the island. This is probably the most touristic spot in Cebu, a place where you can do canyoning, swim in the blue waterfalls, dive with sardines and if you are lucky see whale sharks.
My highlight was riding a scooter in the south part of the island. The coastal road has some amazing views and it goes through some nice little villages. At sunset the sky turns into these incredible colours and it is just beautiful.
I will fly to Palawan and visit the beautiful islands and beaches.