Hong Kong is…crowded, colourful, pristine, naturally green, temple-d….. the list could go on. You know you are in Hong Kong when you come across permanent fixtures of a city that surprisingly is always on the move.
Revisiting on a short break, May 7-17, 2018, I stood captivated by a city that ‘is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time’. ( Peter Geddes) .
Hong Kong icons that defy change.
1.Tin Hau Temple, Temple Street, Yau Ma Tai, Kowloon: The Tin Hau Temple (1864) dedicated to Goddess of the Sea Tin Hau stands tall in midst of crowded streets, traffic jams, butcher shops, dried seafood stores, old and new housing estates, markets and eating places. When once it faced the serene waters it is now land borne thanks to successive reclamation of land in the city. The large square, shaded by enormous Banyan trees, is an oasis for tourists and believers. Inside the temple ornate shrines to Tin Hau and Bay Gong , God of Justice reassure the worshippers.
2. Perennial Views: Not to miss the ‘most instragrammable’ building of Hong Kong ..the Monster BuildingS or Yik Cheong Buildings, Quarry Bay . A colourful dense living area featured in Hollywood blockbusters, GHOST IN TE SHELL & TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION.
3. Elements, Kowloon Station: Unavoidable if taking the Airport Express train from Hong Kong Airport to the city. The train stops at Kowloon Station before proceeding to Hong Kong. Zoom up the escalators to what is a humongous shopping paradise named after the five elements of nature. To me the choice is between the rooftop Civic Square to the designers stores in the middle. The Civic Square view is spectacular with ‘brickey long-legs’ stalking you on this roof rendezvous (the W Hotel, ICC/Ritz Carlton Hotel, residential estates at Kowloon Station and other vertical construction). Morning/afternoon/evening from office centric to family centric it is the place to lounge around, enjoy drinks and food, and must visit this side of the harbour.
4. Sham Shi Po: Follow the crowd and lose your way in the busiest area of Hong Kong
5. The three F’s….Food, Fruits and Fish, are the lifeline.
5. Quirks: If you have a niggling doubt that there is something more….. then climb the stairs.