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Pearl River Lingo
Oct.30

Pearl River Lingo

ThomasIronmonkTipsShenzhen219

History has created a situation today where most northern Chinese dialects are on the verge of extinction as state-supported Mandarin ( Putonghua – the common language) decimates the linguistic competition via the mass media and a highly centralized education system. In the mountainous South, however, things have always been a bit different. Guangdong has long fostered diverse...
9 Essential phrases to impress the locals with in Hong Kong
Oct.11

9 Essential phrases to impress the locals with in ...

TildaTipsHong Kong385

You don’t have to be a polyglot to enjoy the thrill of mastering a couple of foreign language phrases that will win you nods of approval from locals. English is widely understood by people in Hong Kong, but it’s the complex and melodious tones of Cantonese that permeate the local cafes, dim sum houses, and the busy streets of this metropolis. If you think Mandarin is an imposs...
Explore Lamma Island
Sep.04

Explore Lamma Island

ThomasIronmonkTipsHong Kong296

There are a whopping 261 islands administered by Hong Kong , some no more than a rocky outcropping, while at the other end of the scale Lantau is the largest island with 141 kilometers squared. Photo: Expat Living But nowhere offshore enchants like Lamma: From a traditional Chinese fishing village to a laid-back multicultural community to verdant nature, Lamma’s unique blend o...
Shenzhen Money Town - The Economy Drivers
July.23

Shenzhen Money Town - The Economy Drivers

ThomasIronmonkTipsShenzhen325

While the story of a few fishing villages becoming a city in thirty years is remarkable, Shenzhen was long a city in the making. Had you visited in the late-nineties Shenzhen was a conglomeration of factory hamlets, urban village and building sites with out a definable metropolitan center. Vast swathes of the city were still effectively rural. Low rise Qing dynasty house stood...
Hong Kong’s best cafes and co-working spaces to work in
July.20

Hong Kong’s best cafes and co-working spaces to wo...

TildaTipsHong Kong466

Whether or not you identify yourself as a ‘Digital Nomad,' you might have had to get some work done or even attend to some conference call while you’re away on holiday. The hotel or guesthouse may not always be the most conducive environment to get your brain juices flowing, and sometimes you just need to be in a space that’s buzzing with creative workaholic energies Here ...
Getting Around the SEZ - Intro to Shenzhen's Districts
Jun.06

Getting Around the SEZ - Intro to Shenzhen's Distr...

ThomasIronmonkTipsShenzhen393

Shenzhen can feel like an overwhelming place for newly arrived visitors. After all, it’s a startlingly unique metropolis due to its age and the rapid rate of its construction. Unlike most cities with an old natural center to gravitate to – usually centered on a waterway – Shenzhen is high-rise sprawl, China-style. Add to this view the uneven rate and quality of development in ...
Navigating Hong Kong
May.14

Navigating Hong Kong

ThomasIronmonkTipsHong Kong436

For a first time arrival, Hong Kong can feel like a bewildering place. 2,775 square kilometers of mountains and metropolis, including Hong Kong Island, the Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories. South of the Sham Chum River there are more than 250 outlying islands in the SAR. Tai Mo Shan, a country park is the highest mountain peak at 957 meters above sea level while Hong...
Hong Kong for Photographers
May.02

Hong Kong for Photographers

TildaTipsHong Kong517

Instagrammers, amateurs and professionals alike will agree that Hong Kong is an incredibly photogenic city. There’s the intense buzz and quirky corners, the visual contrast of the old and the new, as well as the impressive city skyline and serene nature. A photo walkabout in Hong Kong is a very rewarding experience. Bookmark these places and get your cameras and phones out! Th...
Shenzhen, City of Design
Mar.08

Shenzhen, City of Design

ThomasIronmonkTipsShenzhen607

In 2008 Shenzhen was appointed as UNESCO City of Design . What does that entail exactly? Well, the city was once seen as Hong Kong’s workshop – a hive of grubby factories where migrants pieced together consumer items bound for world markets – wanted to update its ID. Juts as Shenzhen pioneered open-market policies way back in the 1980s when China had just opened up, so too wou...
Navigating Shenzhen
Jan.04

Navigating Shenzhen

ThomasIronmonkTipsShenzhen634

Shenzhen is world renowned as one of the earth’s youngest metropolises. Established in 1979 in what had been predominantly rural Bao’an County just north of Hong Kong, the city sprang out of the ground like bamboo after a good rain. Spearheading China’s economic reforms, Shenzhen was made a Special Economic Zone in 1980. Foreign factories established themselves on the Shekou p...