8 hours in Hong Kong

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.

 

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