Archive for March, 2009

香江 – Hong Kong

I spent four years living in a city next to Hong Kong, listening to its songs, watching its movies, learning its dialect, but never crossed the border.

Ten years later, I arrived at Hong Kong in the peak of its summer. Despite the heat and humidity, I set out on foot to all the places I heard so many times before. One evening, I took the trolley up to the Victoria Peak. I had seen the night views of Shanghai, London, New York, San Fransisco…But Hong Kong was different. The harmonious silhouette of skyscrapers, the starry water reflecting the show of neon, the cool summer breeze. The scene was so captivating that I almost felt sad, knowing a passenger like me would eventually have to leave and say goodbye.

(disclaimer: the photo was not taken by me)

And I can’t wait to go back.

In April this year, my five-week travel in China started from Hong Kong. The airport shuttle took me into the city when the night was just on. The view of Victoria Harbor dressed in lights came into sight and brought smile to my face.

This trip was all about local. Staying in Kowloon instead of the touristy area, wandering around the city with local friends in search for everyday food.

The famous “bamboo noodle”. The dough was pressed by a long bamboo stick with the maker sitting on one end. This process adds great body to the noodle. The noodle was simply boiled with shrimp eggs sprinkled on.

Steamed rice noodle and the best plain porridge I’ve ever had!

Traditional dessert made and sold on the street

Best mango dessert

My friend and I consulted strangers on the street, followed their instruction and walked three hours to a small restaurant served the clay pot rice.

The city is small enough to walk around, crowded enough to keep one constantly intrigued, cultured enough to enlighten one’s senses with art and design, traditional enough for one to eat with locals at the cost of few bucks, beautiful enough with its architectures, oceans and old world charm to bring up the romantic feelings, and dynamic enough for even a tourist to see many different layers.

It is not like Shanghai, not like New York, not like San Fran, not like London. It is amazingly unique. A city that makes me feel differently the minute I set my foot on its ground.