Hong Kong — The Beginning of Exploration
Say “Hong Kong” to people and they immediately think of the myriad brightly-lit skyscrapers festooning the harbour: a daily demonstration of the power of the human race to change a landscape to suit its needs and desires. It stands as a testament to our ability as a species to adapt environments to us rather than us adapt to them.
There is so much more to this city than the skyscrapers of Central, the ferries shuttling back and forth across the harbour, or the hustle and bustle of Mong Kok and its markets. There are a plethora of islands, beaches, and mountains often hidden by the city’s gargantuan buildings. There are stunning coastlines and back streets that tell a lot more about this Chinese territory and once distant outpost of the British Empire. There is a history of trade, a melting pot of cultures, a distinct identity of those who call themselves Hong Kongers. There are tiny open air food stalls called Dai Pai Dong that have been passed down through families over generations, karaoke joints hidden high in buildings, and abandoned indigenous villages from the days when the islands were barely connected by ferries. The city is awash with diverse languages and peoples and is teeming with flora and fauna — where I live it’s not unusual for a bus to stop while a wild water buffalo crosses the road.
Having lived here a decade it struck me that there is so much of this city-state I have yet to see. You get into your routine. Your routes to and from office, the places you hang out. Two years ago I left city-life and moved to a village in one of the most connected islands, Lantau. It was a great decision, but spending more time away from the hullabaloo of the Island (Hong Kong) makes me realise how little I’ve seen of the place I call home.
Hong Kong is broken into 18 districts, some larger than others whereas some are more densely populated. My plan is to visit each of these areas over the course of the next 12 months and document the adventure with photographs. I’m not a professional photographer and nor would I claim to be, but this will be my little bit of forced exploration iPhone in hand to capture the sights.
Each district will get its own post and I’ll link them all here.
We’ll be starting easy with Central and Western.