Introduction: Hong Kong will always have a special place in my heart after having studied there for an entire year. In terms of cities to live in, it would be even higher than #5. I personally love the lifestyle, pace, and culture of Hong Kong. Also, I will never get tired of the endless food options.
Local Cuisine (how good the cities local cuisine/food was): 10/10
Hong Kong is one of the top 4 food cities in the world in my opinion (along with Japan, Korea, and Singapore). Hong Kong has all types of Chinese food. Some of my favorite restaurants in Hong Kong include Under The Bridge Spicy Crab (very expensive but worth it), Satay Inn for Hainan Chicken (one of my favorite dishes in the world), and Hui Lau Shan for mango/coconut desserts. These are just some of my personal favorite local Hong Kong restaurants, but there are plenty of other great places you can find.
Public Transportation (whether they had trains, subways, buses, etc. and how accessible they were): 10/10
Hong Kong is my personal choice for best subway system in the entire world. There are so many different entrances/exits, which make it easy to find a subway stop no matter where you are at. Also, the trains are clean and well maintained. Finally, in terms of reliability and accessibility, Hong Kong cannot be beat. The subway system in Hong Kong can take you to almost any location you want to within the city. Also, the trains are almost never late or delayed, and are constantly arriving/departing. There is almost nothing that could be improved in the Hong Kong subway system.
Non-Local Food (how good food from other places was): 10/10
Hong Kong also has amazing non-local food. As I said before in one of my other posts, my favorite ramen restaurant in the world, Zagin Soba, is in Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong also has good Italian food at restaurants such as Pici. Regardless of what type of cuisine you are looking for, Hong Kong is sure to have it.
Safety (how safe I feel the city is): 10/10
I left Hong Kong before all of the protests for civil rights began this past summer; however, I think a lot of the violence was overblown by Western media (there were significant protests, but the extent of violence was exaggerated). Even during the protests, it was not tourists who were being attacked; instead, it was a fight between the police and the protestors. Especially after this coronavirus, Hong Kong will go back to being an extremely safe city.
Scenery/Beauty (how pretty/cool the sites and nature were to look at): 9/10
Hong Kong is as tightly condensed a city as you will encounter. There are endless amounts of skyscrapers, and some of the newer buildings have incredible designs. Also, if you go to the Victoria Peak or Victoria Harbour, you can see some incredible panoramic views of both the city and nature. You can also go to one of the outer islands such as Cheung Chau Island to get a completely different, natural experience. Overall, there is plenty to see in Hong Kong.
History Monuments (how the city’s historical monuments are): 7/10
Unfortunately, Hong Kong is not the richest city for historical monuments. Hong Kong was only recently returned to Chinese rule from the British, so there are nowhere near as many historical sites as in other parts of China. The best historical sites/best places to visit include The Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island, Nathan Road, and Happy Valley Race Course.
Price (how expensive it was to visit the city, not including airfare (lower score means more expensive, higher score means good value)): 7/10
Hong Kong has two completely different faces. First of all, there is the ultra rich, who live some of the most glamorous lifestyles in the entire world. On the other hand, there is also extreme income inequality and extreme poverty. This disparity makes Hong Kong as expensive as you want it to be; there are super expensive possibilities, as well as budget opportunities.
Cleanliness (how clean the city was in general): 9/10
Hong Kong is not spotless, but it is still clean for such a major city. There are definitely parts of Hong Kong that are not as well maintained, but it does add a little character to the city. As opposed to all super clean, super maintained streets, there are places with some normal wear and tear.
Tourist Friendly (how accessible and accommodating the city is for tourists (mainly English speakers)): 9/10
Hong Kong people are very business like and very efficient. This can make them seem a little cold to tourists sometimes, but they are not trying to be so mean. Also, most people in Hong Kong can speak at least some English (because of the former British rule). Signs are written in both Chinese and English, which makes it easy to navigate.
Walkability (how easy it is to walk around the city): 8/10
It really depends on where you stay in Hong Kong. If you stay within the city (Causeway Bay, Admiralty, Central), it is a walkable place. It will be extremely crowded and busy (with some hills also). Still, as long as you can keep pace with the flow of traffic, you will be fine walking to a majority of places.
Conclusion: Hong Kong is a must-visit city. It has almost all of the great things that mainland China has, but with a more modern/advanced feel. Also, as long as you do not visit during the summer (when it is boiling hot), the weather in Hong Kong is generally very temperate. The temperature almost never drops below 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can experience both the highest of high class, as well as see the more humble local culture.
Total Score (Combined Score of all the categories): 89/100