Back on the streets of Hong Kong

It always is so difficult for me to start my story every time it is about Hong Kong. The thought flow is unconfined that I get lost where to start or how to arrange those thoughts in a coherent fashion. So much can be told that writing yet again another libretto doesn't seem too much of a task to me. 

Over a period of time, I have developed an intimate attachment to this alluring city. It embodies a unique charm that lies even on the most commonly appearing alleys I pass through. Despite of the scarcity of land area, Hong Kong is full of stories that probably results from being a packed city - something that works to its favor. 

The streets of downtown Hong Kong could probably be already familiar to me after spending a couple of visits to the city in the past, but the excitement of wandering these odd streets keep on elevating. This is why I digressed away from my itinerary for a while and aimlessly walk around wherever my feet brings me without a map. 

The bond between the traditional lifestyle and the modern feel is what makes the candid life in Hong Kong extraordinary. This, I believe is what keeps calling me back. When I first visited this city a couple of years ago, my itinerary was structured to see what most people are telling me - the usual tourist spots and I truly appreciate each of those. But it wasn't until I started walking the streets feeling like a local, getting lost in a dumb-proof city, challenged by how I wanted to convey a simple message and explored without a to-go list that I have finally gotten the chance to be up close and personal with Hong Kong. And that intimacy has given me the attachment to the character the city bears.  

The Central is always a good start in building a walking relationship with this city. I don't mind long walks, as a matter of fact I take pleasure in it. But only if the sun isn't beaming directly, otherwise I would be covered with sweat in just a swift five minutes. I flew in around March so winter was just at its tail end and the temperature was leveling off at 16 degrees an average - the perfect kind, so walking extensively became tolerable. 

The Midlevels Escalators, being the world's longest outdoor escalator served as a unique way to get from point a to point b and everything around it felt very cunning. It was a hodge podge of modernity wrapped in an air of culture and history. 

Following the signs, the escalators led me to a personal favorite spot, the Hollywood Road which houses a variety of trinket and antique shops. A place to know more about where the Hong Kong life is rooted from.  

The Man Mo Temple, because of the visual delight it provokes, tops my list of temples in Hong Kong. It is also the temple of the Chinese's God of Literature Mo Tai, adding to the fascination that I am already feasting upon. 

But Hong Kong's charm isn't as alive as it is without its people. After all, they are the ones who paint the canvass that the city is. Sundays are often a time to see the unwary locals go out unlike the weekdays which are spent chasing time to make a living, so I headed on to the Sunday Market at Central to catch the locals at their routines.  

I have always fancied to get a bird's eye of the entire city. Unfortunately, with fog wrapping up the entire mountain top, the Victoria Peak wasn't generous enough to show me an afternoon sight. Nevertheless, it isn't everyday that Hong Kong hugs you with thick clouds so the climb to the top wasn't too bad after all. 

Causeway Bay is where all shopping action commences for the brand conscious. I could be a needle in a haystack. Upon crossing the "Shibuya" of Hong Kong, cling on to the people you're traveling with if you don't want to end up at the other end of the road scratching your head alone. 

Whether the night is young which always seems to be the case in Hong Kong, Lan Kwai Fong offers an entire street to booze and just have fun. You don't even have to get yourself a table to earn a good time, half of the people here stays on the road with a can of beer on one hand and the other emphasizing the point they would like to make in the conversations that actually fill up the air. 

Its the best pub district I've come across too and the people are just so free and lively, it is too inviting to say no to that I found myself finishing three cans of beer while occupying a corner of that street in a cold night. 

Needless to say, it was a requisite to drop by what is claimed to be the happiest place on Earth. Sure it doesn't give you the craziest ride experience but it always feels good to say hello the inner kid inside of you. After all, even though this is far from home, Disneyland is where everyone grew up. 

Being a city with a well blend of the juvenile, the free spirited and the elderly, the traditional, art is well appreciated in such a complex city like Hong Kong. 

When I heard that the Art Basel is being staged in the city,  I would be a fool to miss it. The Basel is an international art fair with the world's highly sought after artists displaying thought provoking masterpieces. I have always wished of being to attend exhibits and it surely wasn't an option to miss the Art Basel. 

There are so many ways to savor a night in Hong Kong, a stroll on the harbour is probably one of the bests. The scenery of both bright lights flashing from across the ocean and the iconic Junk traversing its way along the waters that separate Hong Kong and Kowloon Island, it just unleashes all the goodvibes there is to be felt. It is in the splendor of this view that I couldn't always ask for more. 

Sometimes, when you're in a different city, the norms are too overwhelming and being outside the comfort zone makes it a bit challenging for us to get our deeds done, like how to order in a restaurant and mastering a few Chinese phrases to get along with what we need say. I think I got the hang of it and given a test, I could score fairly and that's what these travels are all about, get to know and experience first hand what it is like to actually live in a different place, rather than to merely exist in that spot.

I am truly privileged to be just an hour away from Hong Kong. If the closest I could get to actually be living in Hong Kong is to be its neighbor,  then I would not resent it at all. Hong Kong keeps calling me in ways I could not resist.   

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