I have been asked several times whether I like Hong Kong or Singapore better. Well, which one do I like better…it’s hard to say but I can share with you the following comparisons.
Note that I have lived in both places for 10 years and neither of these places are my hometowns. Please note what I write here reflects my personal opinion only and I have no intention to offend Hongkongers nor Singaporeans. Both Hongkongers and Singaporeans are beautiful people and the places are great places to live 🙂 !!!
For me, whether I like a city or not are based on a few simple criteria.
1. How easy is it to settle in the city?
2. How good is the shopping?
3. How good is the food?
4. How great are the guys 😛
So, let’s start comparing …
Criterion 1 :Live (Ease to Settle)
Winner: Singapore lah!
Why? The answer is simple. Everyone speaks English in Singapore. OK I admit, the statement may not be entirely correct. Perhaps I should say most people speak English but there are some who only speak Singlish. For the Singlish ones, you may need a little time to get accustomed to this foreign accent which to me is something like speaking English in a Hokkien tone ( dialect from the Fujian Province of China) plus adding ‘lah’ at the end of every second sentence or so. Whilst Singlish may sound a little strange at first, once you get used to it, I find it quite cute and friendly.
In comparison , in Hong Kong there are a lot more people who don’t speak English or has insufficient English to understand you or you just cannot comprehend their English. Don’t get me wrong, HK people are friendly and most do make an effort to speak with the English foreigner, and all my foreigner friends live happily in HK with little or no Cantonese at all. It is advisable that you have addresses also in Chinese, as sometimes the drivers cannot understand English addresses.
And if you are choosing a city to live, the quality of apartments is definitely important criterion. As for space in apartments, I don’t think that needs much explanation why Singapore wins. Hong Kong apartments are merely boxes, so you have to adjust your sense of space. Singapore apartments are apartments not boxes; so one would normally find them more liveable.
Criterion 2 : Live to Shop
Winner: Hong Kong
I think HK wins this category because you just have much better variety in HK. At least you have 4 seasons , so you are able to get the full range of clothing for the seasons and you can actually wear them. Yes it is possible to buy boots and coats in Singapore, but it is just not practical to wear them so that spoils the fun as you have to keep them in the closet until you hop on the plane to some older region. No instant gratification to wear something and show off to your friends 🙁
If you read my blog from last week, you should also check out Kwai Chung Plaza, because it really has very very cheap fashion items. So if it is only looks you are seeking , and not the quality, you may find some great finds there. Just note clothing sizes are local asian sizes.
Criterion 3: Live to eat
This is a hard one for me. There are some Singapore foods that I simply adore.. My favourites are Pepper Crab; a kind of drunken prawn that is cooked in wine & Chinese herbs, otah ( the cheap ones that they sell in the hawker centers are the best) and Yong Tau fu ( non fried but boiled ones). Laksa and chicken rice are not really my favourites athough many people like these. They seem too fatty for me ( the coconut milk in the Laksa and the oily rice that goes with Chicken rice).
As for Hong Kong I have a passion for the street foods in Hong Kong and those local noodle shops. Just this Saturday I had a very good bowl of fish ball noodles with fried fish skin for lunch and beef noodles in clear beef broth for dinner. They both costed less than HKD30 but to me, there are as yummy as foods ( or sometimes better) than dishes you can order in a fine dining restaurant. And the most romantic statement that a guy once said to me is related to curry fish balls that you get on the streets. Though this romance is one from the past, my bias and passion for street food remains.
Whilst I like non-pretentious food, I do like to be pampered once in a while; so fine dining is also welcomed…hint …hint….
Overall I feel HK wins in the food criterion.
Criteria 4: Live to Love (guys)
Hmmm…I am not sure. Whilst Singapore has been a place I have been deeply in love, it is also the place when I have sadly fallen out of love. As for Hong Kong, my experience is probably seeking …..
Maybe one day, I will have a conclusion on this criterion..but for now..I have none..
So what do you think? Perhaps you may like to share your experience of Hong Kong and Singapore??