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.
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.
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.
The next morning I took a cab up to Victoria Peak and sat there with my mouth wide open for awhile.
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.
The restaurant was next door to the zoo and botanical gardens so we walked right through it on our way to the harbor.
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.
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…
…along with a cute little jalopy-like boat.
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.