Hong Kong Adventure
I love stumbling across shots…having no idea what you’re going to see or photograph until it’s there!!! There’s nothing more satisfying than getting that shot!
Walking aimlessly, crossing roads only to cross back again, having that ‘I’ve seen this street before’ look about me. I probably looked lost to most bystanders…okay, so I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I did know where I didn’t want to go if that makes sense.
Yes I would plan to go to Victoria Peak for the panoramic skyline shot, so to Kowloon (the opposite side to Hong Kong Island) for the panoramic cityscape shot….but I wanted to capture the energy of the city, the people, the smells and the history of this little island city!
My first morning in Hong Kong I could have easily kept wandering the streets…I had my camera, a cheap and not too sturdy tripod, a bottle of water but I had planned to meet my brother (a newish HK resident) for lunch!!!
I was ready for a lunch…my neck was aching from constantly looking upwards to the buildings. I’ve been to NYC so have seen skyscrapers galore but for some reason I can’t stop staring up at them!!! Hong Kong has it’s fair share…and some strange shaped ones too including the controversial Bank of China Tower with it’s sharp edges…not in keeping with feng shui design.
For a city as densely populated as Hong Kong I was surprised I didn’t see more traffic jams. I’m sure locals will curse me for saying that as not doubt they experience it on their daily commute but I found the city flowed pretty well and a lot of that is to do with the aerial walkways and escalators. Yes, they have escalators to move the city workers from the high rise apartments in Mid-Levels to the Financial District in the morning, and then they switch to take them back up in the evening. Whether it’s the red taxis, historic trams, Star ferries or the clean & efficient subway you can easily navigate the city cheaply.
I wouldn’t say I’m the most adventurous eater…and Tim, who witnessed many a night where I wore my mum down to only eating 3 spoonfuls of veg at the dinner table when I was a kid, could certainly vouch for that. Yet, every night he took me outside my comfort zone to experience the ‘real chinese’ cuisine. I didn’t expect to see ‘Honey Chilli Chicken with Fried Rice’ on the menu and therefore wasn’t disappointed!! By the end of the week I had mastered the ‘chopsticks’ (the wearing of the white shirt was a sign of confidence!) and thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dim Sun’ – some of which I had no idea what it was!
We ate at Rich’s (2nd from right) favourite restaurant in Kowloon which also has a ‘Michelin Star’ I’m told. The chefs (below) preparing the food (very big on hygiene in Hong Kong)
Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places on earth…yet less than an hour away you can be on a tropical island with not a soul near you. We spent the Saturday on Hi Island beach – a short boat journey away. Not another person, restaurant, bar or come to think of it amenity anywhere near us! But we came prepared..a frisbee, suncream and some beverages!! Thankfully we only had to survive for 3 hours before being picked up again.
Caroline, Rich & Tim were itching to take me to Lan Kwai Fong (known locally as LKF). You’re thinking a paradise island right?? Well, you and me couldn’t be further from the truth. Think San Antonio, Ibiza (or your local main street on a hot summers night) – yes, this small square of streets in Central, HK is party central for expats. Difference being…people just enjoy themselves in Hong Kong. There’s no trouble.
I happened to arrive over the Halloween weekend and got to experience LKF in it’s entirety! An amazingly fun place and a million miles away from the sky bars we experienced the previous night.
(roof top bar on 35th floor in Kowloon over looking Hong Kong Island skyline – a view I’ll never forget!!)
The one thing I love to do when visiting cities is observe the locals and their way & pace of life. I try to stop and take it all in before getting pulled in myself.
….some find a slower way of life in Hong Kong!
To me Hong Kong has everything…the climate, the city life, the islands and mountains, the history and (for me) family & friends to visit! It’s an incredible city and I can see why my brother Tim, and good friends Caroline & Rich have chosen to live and work here.
A night market in Kowloon.
Hong Kong’s ‘Big Eye’ dwarfed by The International Finance Centre building.
In such a modern city it’s interesting to bamboo still being used as scaffolding.
It was great to catch up with my old school friend Stanley (15 yrs since we left school) who now lives and works in Hong Kong.
On my last day I got up early to get to ‘The Peak’ for sunrise. I shared the first ‘Peak Tram’ of the day with the tram workers only to find out the ‘Viewpoint’ opened at 9am. Not a wasted trip as I got to go back down in my very own tram!!
My Hong Kong Guide…and kit carrier, Tim.
An amazing bunch of guys to spend a week in Hong Kong with!! Looking forward to seeing them back in Northern Ireland soon.