August 23, 2012
I was at The Sweet Dynasty restaurant having a birthday celebration dinner. A waitress asked me to fill up a survey form in exchange for a free red bean desert. The restaurant was doing a roaring business despite intense competition from shopping malls and smaller restaurants around this Canton Road area. Large upscale stalls with more variety of shops and eateries than the ones at Ion Orchard, Singapore.
So why the survey? The paper reported that the Sweet Dynasty would close on Dec 31, 2012 due to high rents! In Hong Kong, as in Singapore, the Landlords and REITS are the ones laughing all the way to the bank because rents keep going up every year. "Many Chinese restaurants are lucky to be still around," one waitress at Causeway Bay told me of her 8-year-old restaurant still existing. "The Landlord keeps increasing the rent. Now, this place rents around HK$400,000 - 500,000/month! The income goes to pay the Landlord!"
In 2011, Hong Kong was reported to receive 28 million Mainland China tourists. This group makes up 61% of the tourists. There seems to be no recession in the tourism sector.
After dinner, I saw a bus stopping near the restaurant and was surprised to see the educational advert (3 images posted here). I have not seen such a bus advert in Singapore.
At the subway, there were adverts "Adopt A Dog As Unique As You Are from the SPCA".
The bus advert shows that the veterinary authority is pro-active in helping the strays.
Hong Kong on Aug 23, 2012 was hot and sweaty, like Macau. The sky was hazy and so I could not take sharp images from the 40th floor of Hotel Panorama.