julian, a friend in toronto, asked me a while ago about the one day trip in hong kong i would give. and i gave him an ok answer but i thought i would elaborate on it and write it down here for myself and to share. my trip isn’t so much about sightseeing as it is about the sights and sounds of hong kong and seeing how people in hong kong people live.
start the morning having dimsum in a large restaurant or just some congee on a street-side shop.
then, walk around sheung wan in the little alley ways and the boutique shops.
take pictures of the old men reading newspapers with their bird cages beside them in the little park on the slope.
if you would like to, go up one of the old buildings and onto the balcony. look at the concrete jungle you’re in right now.
then, walk around in central breathing in the toxic fumes and transitioning between ice cold ac indoors and scorching heat outside.
stop in the middle of the zebra crossing on pedder street for a few seconds and just let everything sink in.
go high up in one of the surrounding office buildings and look down at the little figure dolls and cars moving down below.
take the tram east for a few stops stopping at wanchai/causeway bay
grab lunch during lunch hour. cram with all the other O.L. and O.B. (office ladies and office boys) in little street stores eating HKD20 wonton noodle soup. observe how everyone has an iphone and they have to check their facebook every 3 seconds while eating.
go to wanchai market or causeway bay market. the light bulbs that still have the tungsten filament flickering inside, store owners are wearing aprons smeared with blood, chickens are yelling in their cages, and the air smells like flesh and fish.
go to causeway bay to walk around in times square. try to count the number of times you hear mandarin instead of cantonese being spoken.
as it gets to late afternoon, catch the rush hour on mtr back to admiralty. go to the platform where the red line comes in from TST and the blue line goes east towards Chaiwan. wait for the red line to arrive and try to walk across as everyone walks across the platform. feel the helplessness as you are submerged into a sea of bodies.
take the bus that goes to the peak from admiralty. if you’re lucky and the sky is clear, appreciate the different shades of red, orange, purple and blue.
when the sun sets, make it back down to admiralty.
get dinner wherever.
then, go to wanchai and hit up some of the bars, not the ones with prostitute hanging outside the door. grab a beer and go look at the locals playing soccer at southorn playground.
once it gets close to 10, go to central and hit up LKF. again, people are everywhere.
hours pass and you’re tired. go get some drunk food at tsui wah.
head to the other side of the harbor and walk on the avenue of the stars. look onto the other side to see all the building lights.
try to find nathan road where the classic photo with the neon lights hanging into the street is taken.
come back to wanchai, sit on one of the bridges that go across Gloucester road and see how quiet everything is. watch as the occasional car races past. open up your feelings and talk about your dreams, ambitions, vulnerabilities and regrets.
finally, catch the midnight buses to go to big wave bay on the east side of the island and wait for the sun to rise.
and then go get some congee before you go to sleep.
a lot of people say there’s nothing to see in hong kong, which is true. there’s not a lot of attractions in hong kong. but the part that fascinates me about hong kong is simply how much is going on. hong kong is one of those places that makes for great timelapse videos. you can put a video camera on any street corner for 12 hours and find some extremely interesting footage. it’s just amazing how many people you walk past, how many buildings you see, how many cars honk at you in a day.
but i also purposefully added parts to the trip who showcased hong kong as a serene place. the peak, the sunrise, avenue of the stars. hong kong is a very stressful, fast paced city with people everywhere. but there are also strangely beautiful parts of it that you will never find anywhere else in the world.
tell me what you think about this trip.
digging up all my memories of hong kong to write this made me miss home.