Hong Kong

It’s been a week and a half since I returned from China. I’m still worn out from my travels and now I’m suffering from allergies. My brain doesn’t want to cooperate with attempts at writing anything coherent, but I’ll see what I can do.

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Hong Kong.

I had less than half a day in Hong Kong, so I don’t know if my reaction would hold over a longer stay, but I liked Hong Kong the most of all the Chinese cities I visited. It’s very cosmopolitan and doesn’t suffer from the problems of the mainland’s culture (I’ll get to those when I write about Beijing).

Hong Kong is the densest city I’ve seen, at least in terms of buildings. And yet the streets weren’t that crowded with people or cars, compared to Tokyo, anyway. Okay, maybe that’s not a useful comparison, but with so many tall buildings packed so closely together, it felt strange to have so much elbow room. Maybe I’ve just been in Japan for too long.

Hong Kong doesn’t really have any sights other than the city itself, but I did duck into a temple as I was wandering the streets.

This is Man Mo Temple – owned by a hospital, oddly enough – and dedicated to Man, god of literature, and Mo, god of war. The coils are incense and the air inside was thick with it. It was a little strange. The incense smelled neither bad nor good, just strong.

It was at this early point in my travels that my camera started having problems, which to my great frustration continued until I returned to Japan. The image would occasionally flip, which made aiming really difficult. I could still use the mechanical viewfinder rather than the screen, but it doesn’t show the picture’s true borders, so that was only good for aiming.

And so this shot is lousy, but here’s the outside of the temple.

The trees at the top are at street level, so you can see how steep the slope is. The city continues at this grade for block after block, climbing pretty far up the side of Victoria Peak.

I’ve barely written anything, but I’m about ready to collapse, so here’s one last thing before I go to bed.

Hong Kong’s currency isn’t issued by the government, it’s issued by banks, so each denomination has several different versions.

Odd, eh?

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6 Responses to “Hong Kong”

  1. Doug Says:

    I especially liked the downtown Hong Kong photograph…National Geographic quality. Thanks for whetting our appetites; looking forward to the next chapter. Oh–I’ve heard about Japan’s amazing health care system. Maybe you could get seen for those allergies!

  2. Mari Says:

    I much enjoy your travelogues. I’m looking forward to Beijing.
    Love,
    Mari

  3. Barthe Says:

    Just read an article in the New Yorker about bird-watching in China. Not many birds–most are for dinner–but lots of new building, much smog.
    Saw a TV special on Japan in which they tenderly saved their precious forest. Never even thought of one forest on the islands of Japan.
    Love,
    Grandmother

  4. kevinjames Says:

    Thank you, thank you.

    Over-the-counter allergy medicine did the trick, but it is very nice to have affordable health care. I should enjoy it while I can.

    Flat land in Japan is filled with cities and farms, but the mountains are forested, and I think they account for about 70% of the country.

  5. Spitting, Lines, and China « Erratic Dispatches Says:

    […] I wrote about my brief stay in Hong Kong, I said that among the Chinese cities I visited, Hong Kong was my favorite, because it didn’t […]

  6. Certification and City Gods « Erratic Dispatches Says:

    […] wasn’t that much to see, especially with several buildings under renovation, but this and Hong Kong’s Man Mo Temple are the only Taoist temples I’ve been […]

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