Hong Kong Birthday

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Since last weekend was Yuyin’s birthday, she was already in Hong Kong on business, and I had 12,500 air miles from Cathay Pacific gifted to me (a trip to HK needs 15,000), the stars aligned and I jumped at the chance to have a weekend away from Taipei.

We have both been to HK multiple times in the past, so it was a nice opportunity to meet some good friends (Michael, Tanja, Edgar, Sam), do some birthday present shopping for each other, and explore some little corners of HK that we had not been to before. HK is good like that; you can just strap on a camera, pack a credit card, and go; and everything works itself out.

Yuyin looks over at the island from the Ocean Centre

Taking the Star Ferry never gets old.

Yuyin steals my camera as I sniff out a new passport cover in Lane Crawford. Luckily, I managed to avoid the overpriced stuff, and found a simple leather Tumi one.

... and now the view from the IFC, looking over at the ICC Tower in Kowloon.

Dinner in the evening was courtesy of Nha Trang; one of the freshest, tastiest meals I have had in a while. Here we are, waiting in the queue, looking up at the surrounding buildings.

I think this photo rather sums up Hong Kong; steep hills, Ducatis, Mercedes, and people plying their trade in between.

Shopping for rainbows.

Couples having their wedding photos taken in front of Louis Vuitton; classy.

Desert was provided by Sevva; overpriced, less than exceptional drinks and deserts, but a view to die for.

Yuyin, I hope having a nice evening!

Sevva; recommended for the view.

Without really realising it, we decided to walk from Central (with some help from the ferry), via Kowloon, back to the hotel in Harbour city.

Taking in the scenes at night time.

Strange angles from the Kowloon Cultural centre.

Weaving our way over roads and between buildings (and sometimes through them), we slowly made our way back.

The walkways linking together Hong Kong are really an amazing thing. They stretch for miles, and offer a sort of pedestrian freeway network. In a city that seems so cyclist-hostile, pedestrians (or at least those not on wheels) are amazingly served.

Getting close to our destination, and back into normal streets.

The next day, we opted to hang out by the rooftop pool for a while, and cruise over to an exhibition documenting the life of the ‘King of Kowloon’; Tsang Tsou Choi.

The King claimed to rule the whole peninsula of Kowloon, regardless of whatever treaties bound the sovereignty of Hong Kong to the British and the late Qing governments. Tsang issued his royal patents and decrees with his black ink and brushes on lampposts and walls. Some called it graffiti and the King kept toddling across the streets in Hong Kong to make sure his messages were known to the public.

It was a fascinating look at Hong Kong’s previous British rulers through the eyes of rather an eccentric local person. It would be interesting to know if his decrees and demands reflected a wider resentment about the British rule; my impression is that people look back at that time with fond memories, since the handover to China. Something to read more about. Information on the exhibition can be found here, and a review is here.

Looking down the strait between Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Walls of residential apartments line the waterside. Land is at a premium here!

Waiting for the ferry to the island. In contrast to the main Star Ferry, the side spur seems full of Indonesian workers and poorer locals; maybe it is different mid-week.

I wonder if people in these apartments stare out at the fabulous views, or if people avoid views in the same way as Taipei.

Said exhibition from above; even his passport was annotated with protests.

Riding the trams in Hong Kong.

Squeezing on... I heard rumours that they were phasing them out?

... and here is a nice detail; we stumbled across one of Tsang's protest murals at the Star Ferry pier!

A great weekend … next time I head back, I bring my mountain bike!

One Comment

  1. YC
    Posted 2011/05/15 at 04:25 | Permalink

    Love your post!:)))

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