The similarities between the economies of Hong Kong and Singapore are undeniable. Competition in trade and finance between the 2 islands is fierce. Both are trying to be Asia's regional arts hub. I'm not too concerned about high stakes art auctions. I'm still miffed that Sigur Ros played in Hong Kong and not Singapore. Don't even get me started on the rest of the bands. Anyway, we've fundamental differences in terms of culture and politics; we can't be more dissimilar.
The island is a very interesting study for political science, and perhaps for sociology. Its systems and political opinions are supremely interesting. It has always been at the forefront of change, perhaps due to the mindsets of the people, and they're now settled in for another paradigm shift. I've a little bit of a problem associating Hong Kong with China. The vibe is so different, although I'm not sure if another 10 years would change the essence of the city.
Hong Kong has never really been on my travel radar. Like how @joooness puts it, tourism ads exhorting the island's virtues are all about "eat, shop and happening nightlife". That, is just a tad annoying. Can someone mention about its outlying smaller islands, trekking routes and walking trails, scenic spots, farms and the quaint villages? To me, Hong Kong, like London, is simply not a vacation spot. It's a 'doing' sort of place- conferences, meetings, work, other friends. I'm not big on Chinese cuisine (except for its stewed abalone and stir-fry green vegetables!). Pork and chicken don't feature in my diet. I'm not bothered about the shopping either.
The last time I was in the city was seven years ago. It was a five-day affair with the now-no-longer-friends-but-acquaintances. That was a complete disaster- four girls who 'promised' one another to do everything together on this trip. I underestimated the shopping trait in them. Despite them promising to indulge me to check out a nature trail or two, they did nothing but shop all day and eat dim sum. I nearly died. I asked if they had any interest in doing other things. By the afternoon of the second day, I threw a tantrum, checked into another hotel which I very much preferred, extended the stay by another two days on my own! Yay! Changed my return flight to my preferred airline and wilfully refused to join them thereafter. I went trekking and climbing in Po Toi Island. That salvaged some good memories of the city.
With a slight feeling of trepidation and a whole lot of excitement, I'm back in the city for a couple of days on an itinerary that's rather pleasing. It has now firmed up to exclude trekking and canoeing. That's okay because I've had my fill in Bali. I'm just over the moon that the trip doesn't feature shopping stops. So what I am doing in Hong Kong?