Hong Kong’s Hot Wheels

I was in Hong Kong yesterday. They have three types of vehicles there.

To understand this, some background info first. Hong Kong is a very wealthy place. It breathes decadence and has a ridiculously commercial mindset. You literally walk from one mall straight into the next and everything is set up in such a way that you have to walk past as many shops as possible. Plenty of money there, and what does money do? It builds stuff, especially in Hong Kong, where the highest skyscrapers seem to permanently pierce through the clouds.

Consequently, the first type of road users you see a lot in Hong Kong are construction vehicles. Big trucks full of rubble from the building that was taken down to make room for the next one to be built on the same spot. It’s not that the streets are filled with trucks, but I’ve seen considerably more in Hong Kong than in any other major city I’ve been to and it shows the city is in a permanently morphing state.

The second type of vehicles is related to that money I referred to earlier. ‘Normal’ cars – as in passengers cars – are seen as anything from a BMW 3-series / Audi A4 / Merc C-class up. Mind you though, not those boring 318’s, 2.0 tdi’s or C200’s. The ‘smallest’ BMW I’ve seen was a 325i, but there are fewer of those than there are M3’s.

Up from the German premium brands are Porsches, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Lambo, etc. I’ve had the pleasure of catching the new Lamborghini Aventador, in flaming orange, a white convertible Ferrari California and a Ferrari 456. I’ve also spotted a Maybach, which, to be honest, hurt my retina. I don’t really know what you would do with such expensive cars in a city where every square metre is home to a traffic light of some sort. But then again, if you really don’t know what to do with the wads of cash sticking out of your pockets, you might as well buy a nice car.

Apparently, it has something to do with the import charges on cars in Hong Kong. They are said to be quite steep and so you might as well get an extremely expensive car while you’re at it. And that takes us to the last type of vehicles to be driven on the streets of Hong Kong: buses, trams and taxis. In other words: public transportation. For those that are not fortunate enough to be able to buy their own car, not even a simple Ford, Vauxhall or Renault.

It’s also for those who think it’s pointless to buy a Lamborghini Aventador to stand in traffic jams all day.

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