Hong Kong

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I arrived in Hong Kong late on a Saturday and by the time I checked into my hotel it was nearing midnight. I had until 2:30pm the next day to see the city before heading back to the airport for my flight to NYC. Here are some pix…

I took a walk in the general direction of downtown, and found myself feeling sadly nostalgic as I craned my neck towards the tops of glass and metal buildings that reminded me of the Twin Towers.

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My hotel was near the high point of the steep city and getting to the central area required walking down a million sets of stairs / escalators. IMG_9466

The staircases and surrounding streets were nearly empty until I got to the bottom. Strangely (or maybe not so strangely if you know more about the city than I do), the people I encountered all seemed to be American or European. I crossed paths with two young guys stumbling around in t-shirts, shorts, and flip flops and gripping beer bottles. Even though it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop, one shouted at the other, “In Bali I just want to do shit, dude. In Bali, I just want to get fucked up and party all the time.” As I wandered further eastward, I ran into crowds of what can only be described as Westerners behaving badly. Various strains of annoying bass-y music blared into the streets, creating a cacophonous mess. People so blindly drunk that I would have had to also be drunk to not find them insufferable, did insufferable things. I later learned that I had walked smack into the middle of the ex-pat party neighborhood. Ah, well.

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The next morning I took a cab up to Victoria Peak and sat there with my mouth wide open for awhile.

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Then I met a friend from Austin, who is now living in Hong Kong and who I hadn’t seen in a decade, at a restaurant where we ate some crazy delicious mushrooms and lotus leaves or something like that. I should have taken notes because I have forgotten the names of everything but the important information is that it was really good, and if you are in Hong Kong you should go: Pure Veggie House, 51 Garden Road. IMG_9501

The restaurant was next door to the zoo and botanical gardens so we walked right through it on our way to the harbor. IMG_9502

We took the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon on the other side. There, I attempted to capture the grandeur of the harbor in panorama but only really succeeded in capturing the grandeur of Collier. IMG_9527

The one factoid I remember learning about China and Hong Kong in 8th grade social studies was that there used to be millions of ships called junks filling the harbor. I was delighted to see two still in action…IMG_9560

…along with a cute little jalopy-like boat.IMG_9576

After the boat sightings, I took the ferry back across the harbor, picked up my bags from the hotel, and grabbed a taxi to the airport where I boarded a 16-hour flight that tested my sanity as well as my desire to ever again travel anywhere that requires a 16-hour flight. Hong Kong is a fascinating city and I barely scratched its surface, so I do hope to make it back for a longer visit some day – just not via New York.

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2 thoughts on “Hong Kong

  1. I so want to dig into this with you. Such a strange, sublime, contradictory city. Its fecund, verdant, and rotten…and just so deeply alive. I love, fear, and am utterly confounded by it.

    • That sounds like a heightened version of my initial reaction to the city. Fascinated awe (at the scale, the other-side-of-the-worldness, and the beauty) and repulsion (at the futurism, the ex-pats run amok, and the enormous cockroach I encountered) were my two strongest feelings but without the nuance that you must have after visiting so many times and having a family connection…
      To be discussed!

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