Signs on a protest barrier.
Protest at Central.
Hong Kong street.
After the Philippines I spent a couple of days in Singapore to relax, and the next stop was Hong Kong. My friend Matt and I had the offer of a place to stay from another friend, and since housing is not cheap in HK, we jumped at the chance. When I travel I don’t like to do too much - maybe one big tourist attraction per day, and otherwise hanging out, absorbing the local flavor, observing people, tasting the food, etc… So that’s what we did. We slept in every morning, made brunch, and then went out for the day and met friends for dinner.
On our first night one of our friends took us down to the protests at Central. Only a couple weeks before we planned to arrive there was a sit-in by local Hong Kong residents to protest certain ‘un-democratic’ measures being instituted by the Chinese government. There’s a lot more to it than that, and if you’re interested you should read more here and elsewhere. Only the week before we arrived, following an incident where the police tear-gassed protestors, over 100,000 people came to the protest to show their support. As we were there our friends talked about incidents involving Chinese mafia, Triad members who tried to incite violence against protestors by police. Fortunately we were not in any of the trouble zones, but it was fascinating to hear the different perspectives of local Hong Kong people, as well as perspectives of people from other countries who had lived in HK for years.
Besides learning more about the HK socio-political situation, the food was fabulous. We had dimsum, local crab dishes, vietnamese, spicy soup, and much more. Another highlight was the Big Bhuddha. We took the ferry from Hong Kong Island, where we were staying, across to Lantau Island, wandered around the Buddha complex, and then took the cable car back. Quite worthwhile. The other days we wandered around the streets, had tea in random places, and took a trip to Repulse Bay. It was great to see friends, hang out, and absorb some more of the unique flavor that is Hong Kong.
View from The Peak.