Nov 12 2019 to Nov 12 2019
Hong Kong, Hong Kong not Hong Kong, China, Maybe Hong Kong Canton. The Victorian Empire’s last oriental bastion. अंग्रेज चले गए, इन्हे छोड़ गए Hong Kong has the largest concentration of expats, maybe, no need to verify facts these days. Thanks DJT. But Hong Kong’s story doesn't start with the English and what they made and what they left behind. Victoria Peak was there long before Victoria’s ancestors landed on the British Isles. Since they left the new China is trying to leave its imprint. But Hong Kong will be Hong Kong. It’s best to start from out and make your way into Central. Central is where its at. Or maybe Mong Kok or maybe of the Harbour view from the Avenue of the Stars. It is the perfect long weekend destination. We start at Lantau Island and the monastery on the top. You get there through the NgongPing cable car which itself offers breath taking views of the South China Sea and the Airport. A tilt shift perspective into a plane taking off while ascending the peak might help ease your fear of flying or drastically enhance it. For the most adventurous there is a trail. Not sure how long that trail is or takes and if it is advisable in generally polluted air. At the top other than the monastery is a giant Sitting statute of the Buddha. It comes with a small village full of tourist and pilgrim traps. Obviously there is an Indian restaurant at the top serving up the traditional Cantonese dish, Pizza. It is a world removed from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. From the bottom of the cable cars you take the Subway right to HongKong station and into the heart of the City. There head to Tim Ho Wan and have traditional Cantonese food. The dim sum is above average and you share your tables with complete strangers but the Pork Buns are literally to die for. Much hyped and very much meeting said hype. Perfect combination of a soft and crispy texture for the bun. Perfect combination of meat and sauce. Food in the basement of a train station doesn't get better than this anywhere in the world. From there Central @ Hong Kong is a multilevel pedestrian city with escalators to help people navigate the changes in elevation. Take the escalators from one end to the other and you land up pretty close to the Victoria peak tram stations. Thousands line for the tram to take them up to the tower to get a 45 degree panoramic view of the city. The more adventurous might follow the trail which follows the trams for a while and then veers of to the old peak road and then up to the peak. its only a kilometer, takes about an hour for above average hiking capabilities. Very worth burning the calories off from your lunch earlier. Now you could go up and get that 45 degree view or you could explore the peak neighborhood and land up at the Luggard street lookout and get a 270 degree view of the city and if you are really lucky your efforts will be rewarded with the blood moon rising over the harbour. Obviously no photograph can capture that majesty but yours truly has put forth a mobile phone attempt in the pictures. The blood moon is a red dot. When will phone cameras be any good. Hmm, sarcasm is hard to convey over text, maybe that’s a new startup idea, a sarcasm font. Anyways, taking the tram back is a good idea and also a unique experience, truly makes you appreciate the slope of that peak, named after the greatest monarch of all time (in terms of land area acquired). Again, no need to check facts. Just go with the flow here. Lan Kwai Fong, LKF for short, a.k.a. Party City awaits for a nice dinner at night. Many many food joints even more non food joints. You can eat any cuisine your palate desires here at night and quench any thirst. Spend the next day exploring the city and heading to the various parks and temples and mini markets. Head to Vitoria park or just roam around. The settlement on Hongkong island itself is very small and thus one of the most densely populated areas in the world. For the night though, take the Star Ferry across to Kowloon. If you take it a exactly 7:55 PM you will be treated to a modern light show which doesn’t really have any rhythm to it just shows how much light we can spew out of building tops. The fun part in Kowloon is Mong Kok. A night market. One of those you hear about elsewhere, China made. Fake stuff. Anything you fancy you will find there. The experience doesn’t end there though. Getting out of Hong Kong is also as pleasant. Hong Kong International Airport itself is a feat or a testament of Man’s arrogance over Nature. Man literally made the earth rise just north of Lantau. The old strip was in the middle of a apartment parking lot in Kowloon. The airport itself functions like a well oiled machine. Both in and out of the airport is a smooth experience. Efficient and pragmatic. No stamps on your passports either. If filling up your passport is your thing maybe Hong Kong is not the right place for you, for everyone else it is.
Liked by Alok Soni, Dhyanesh Pillai, and 3 others