Dining, tourism, accommodation, education… A wide range of topics in life often appear on 25-year-old web celebrity Auyeung Kwok Lung's channel on Douyin (the Chinese name for TikTok), where he has 303,000 followers.
"I want to be a bridge for cultural communication between people living in the Chinese mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region," Auyeung, known as A Long on Douyin, told the Global Times.
Growing up in Hong Kong, the young man faced a significant choice after graduating from high school. He did not know if he should follow most of his fellow's footsteps - choose a school in Hong Kong or head overseas for higher education.
Still looking for an answer, he participated in an event in which he was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask his idol, basketball superstar Yao Ming, a question.
"I asked Yao Ming, 'What does the Chinese mainland look like?'And he replied with the Chinese saying, 'It is better to travel 10,000 miles than to read 10,000 books,' which made me decide to go to the Chinese mainland for undergraduate study."
During his four-year study at Guangzhou University in South China's Guangdong Province, Auyeung led a colorful campus life. He experienced a lot of things that were fresh to him. For example, he lived in a dormitory and shared one big room with nine roommates, which was a first for him.
Because the locals in Guangzhou also speak Cantonese, Auyeung said he was able to adapt very quickly. He actively participated in various school events and became one leader of the Student Union in his department - School of Business Administration.
"I felt very grateful to meet so many friends and teachers who gave me a lot of help in my school life," he said.
After returning to Hong Kong, Auyeung started to make some videos related to life in Hong Kong and shared them with viewers in the mainland through Douyin.
Since most of the contents in his videos included many details that do not usually appear in official media, Auyeung's channel quickly attracted a lot of followers who were curious about Hong Kong.
However, when Auyeung shared his beautiful memories of the mainland to his friends in Hong Kong, his friends did not believe it.
"Many young people of my generation have been influenced a lot by the Hong Kong secessionist media. Few of them would not go to the Chinese mainland after reading those prejudiced reports," Auyeung said.
The reaction of his friends made Auyeung decide to return to the Chinese mainland as a vlogger to share the real face of the mainland to more residents in Hong Kong.
"I think videos of personal experiences are more convincing," said Auyeung.
Meanwhile, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company where Auyeung worked faced a severe financial crisis. This led to Auyeung leaving his job and using the money he had saved to travel around the Chinese mainland.
Traveling around the mainland
Currently, Auyeung and one of his friends have been to four mainland cities.
He and his friends made some videos to record their journey of going to the mainland from Hong Kong including getting a nucleic acid test, filling in personal information while going through customs and quarantining in a hotel for 14 days.
Auyeung said each time he went to a city, he could always meet some kind citizens, and some are his followers in Douyin.
While traveling in Changsha, Central China's Hunan Province, one of his followers thought that Auyeung did not know how to use DiDi, an app for calling taxis, and helped him get a car, making sure Auyeung and his friend could return to their hotel.
One of Auyeung's most unforgettable memories was going to Beijing's Tiananmen Square to watch the national flag-raising ceremony on October 1, China's National Day.
"So many people like us have waited at the square through the whole night to see the solemn ceremony on this meaningful day. This is something that a person should experience at least once in a lifetime," he said, adding that he also uploaded the vlog on YouTube in the hopes that more Hongkongers could watch.
The next plan for Auyeung is to continue traveling around the motherland and make more real videos for his viewers.
After seeing so many people and traveling to so many places, Auyeung said the residents living in the mainland are very polite and well off, and are able to lead a happy and fruitful life, which is not like the reports from the Hong Kong secessionist media.
"It is very ridiculous and even laughable when you read some reports that say people living in the Chinese mainland cannot afford to eat pickles."
Talking about the national security law for Hong Kong, Auyeung said the law has indeed reduced the riots in Hong Kong, but it did not change the protesters' minds.
"What I hope is that the next generation in Hong Kong can receive correct information in history education," he said.