My (2017) new years resolutions include writing more and procrastinating less. So here goes.
To celebrate our five year anniversary we spent a little more than two weeks in Myanmar. My return flight included an 8-hour stopover in Hong Kong. I had fond memories of a similar stopover while traveling to Nepal in 2008.
Hong Kong is an easy airport to venture out of for a day or even a morning. My luggage was checked through, immigration and customs was easy, and I took a train from the airport straight into the city. I didn’t want to just go back to see the same things, so I followed an itinerary from wikitravel.
The first sights were just what I recalled from eight years ago – dark, forested hills, murky grey skies, cold green water and endless ridgelines of concrete, glass and steel. I stepped out of the train and found my way to the waterfront on a quiet, sleepy Sunday morning. There was a triathlon event, but other than that the place seemed oddly deserted.
I took the fast ferry to the small, dingy, quiet village of Mui Wo on Lantau island. I had a $5 working class breakfast of beef noodle soup with a ying yeung (half coffee, half tea). I have in image of Hong Kong in my mind as one big, modern, expensive city – almost like San Franciso on an Island. It is quite a bit bigger than I realized and spread over several islands plus a peninsula borrowed from the mainland. I caught a city bus up to the Tian Tan Buddha statue near the summit of the island. From there a gondola took me right back to where I started.
I expected to see the construction, development and crowds everywhere. I was surprised to find miles of trails, unmolested forest, cows, water buffalo and garden outposts. I thought the morning clouds might melt away, but instead seemed to give way to a murky, smoky smog. I enjoyed the obligatory dumpling lunch, missed Melissa, and settled back in to the sterile, modern world for the long trip home.