We are both big city people, preferring to live in the city and to go to cities on vacations. We both love big cities like London and New York. For a long time, San Francisco was our absolute favorite, having been there a number of times in the eighties and nineties, much because of it being a cultural melting pot where everyone is accepted. There is an air of tolerance that permeates the entire city that we really appreciate.
In 2006, we came to Kuala Lumpur on our first trip backpacking in Southeast Asia. KL is also a big city with a very diverse ethnicity; Malays, Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and others, live side by side in tolerance. Another factor making KL our favorite city is all the good and exciting food! Plus, of course, very friendly people.
Early 2011, I went to Hong Kong the first time. Visited ORC's Hong Kong office to spread the gospel of performance testing. Hong Kong almost instantly dethroned KL. It is a cultural melting pot of epic proportions. Its architecture is breathtaking with 40+ story high-rises with a-room-and-a-half footprint next to shacks. The food is so diverse with all the Chinese cuisines, all of the rest of Asia (even found a Nepalese restaurant!), and of course the ubiquitous European and American restaurant (which I avoided). And all the people filling the streets, the sidewalks, and the walkways!
When home again, I started a campaign with the goal of going to Hong Kong with Yvonne on a vacation. In September the goal was reached as we landed on Hong Kong International. I was somewhat wary that I might have over-sold it, but my fears came to rest at once: Yvonne loved Hong Kong as much as I do!
But everything is not due to Hong Kong's virtues, our friends Aily and Erik (Erik is a colleague of ours) helped making us feel both welcomed and special. We hope to repay them when they, in a few years, move to Sweden.