My transit from Macau to Hong Kong felt like a minor miracle. I arrived at the ferry terminal two hours early in a depressed funk. I hoped to print my reserved ticket early, post up in a cafe, and write my way out of a rut.
“You have to go now.”
“But I have a reservation. 3:30.”
“No, no, no. All ferries are canceled. You have to go now.”
After paying for a second ferry ticket, I sped through immigration and the front gate as the final passenger granted access.
Seasickness rose inside as choppy waters lurched my stomach to-and-fro. They weren’t kidding. A typhoon was en route. Fortunately, I made it to Hong Kong just in time to rebuff pushy formalwear salesmen and check into my coffin of a guesthouse.
But despite the inclement weather and crowded streets (I anticipated these challenges going in), I found much to enjoy about Hong Kong.
Unparalleled Public Transit
This mountain trolley transports people from the sea-level Central district through the hilly Mid-Level district all the way to Victoria Peak.
Hong Kong is a very hilly city, especially on Hong Kong Island. This escalator system carries passengers up from Central all the way up to Mid-Level.
Between double-decker busses, double-decker trolleys, a vast subway network, minibusses plucked straight out of South America, and taxis stuck in the 80s, Hong Kong’s public transit system is one of a kind.
Upon arrival, my hotel room felt claustrophobic. However, after three days in the crowded, rainy streets, it was my home-away-from-home.
My guesthouse was one of many guesthouses nestled in this sardine-like apartment block.
As a former British colony, Hong Kong sports a generous amount of English on street signs and public notices.
I saw more McDonald’s, KFC’s, and Circle K’s in three blocks of Hong Kong than I saw in my entire American Hometown.
These alley markets tucked in the shadows of behemoth buildings is a common sight in Hong Kong.
Kill me…Kill me…Please…
Noodles, dumplings, chicken, pork, waffles, and beer formed the staple of my Hong Kong vacation diet. Needless to say, I tipped the scales when I returned to Korea. I have some work to do.
The Hong Kong Museum of History
Why does it look like the T-Birds from Grease are leading this parade?
I finally learned what the bank HSBC stands for. Knowledge gap filled!
Accurate rendition of Ian Teacher with Namak High School students.
This little cartoon cutie helped Hong Kongers develop better hygiene in the 1950s.
It rained a lot. Rain and a spirit of protest have made umbrellas synonymous with Hong Kong.
Few things are more quintessentially Hong Kong than umbrellas and neon signs.
As one of the densest cities of Earth, Hong Kong feels like one big concrete canyon.
A Rebellious Spirit
Five Demands. None Is Dispensible:
- Official withdrawal the extradition bill with China.
- Resignation of Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam.
- Government retraction of its characterization of the Hong Kong protests as “riots.”
- The formation of an independent commission to investigate police brutality.
- The release of all arrested protestors.
Although I chose not to crash any Hong Kong protests, I did discover one of many Lennon Walls. These underground collages serve as protest news bulletin boards. I left Hong Kong on Saturday morning. That night, unrest spilled out into the Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district (where my guesthouse was). The following day, protests brought the airport to a standstill. I felt fortunate to leave when I did.
The Happy Valley Racetrack is known by some as one of the most famous horse racing tracks in Asia.
A Stroll Through The Zoo
I can’t believe admission was free. I just passed on through on my way to The Peak.
A super British warning with words like refuse (n.), discarding, and litter container.
The U.S. Translation: Leaving trash next to the trash can will be prosecuted.
Me stepping onto my scale post-vacation.