Fotoeins Fotografie

revisioning place and home

Posts tagged ‘My Hong Kong’

Hong Kong: almost China at the Lo Wu gateway

I’m at the turnstiles, off to the side from the steady stream of people going through to the other side.

I’m standing on the one side in Hong Kong (香港).

The other side is the city of Shenzhen in the People’s Republic of China’s province of Guangdong (Kwangtung | 廣東 | 广东).

MTR trains come in from Hong Kong and stop here at the end of the line. People pour out of the trains, and head for Shenzhen. There are occasional lulls in between frequent arrivals and departures of the trains, reminding me I’m in the middle of the countryside and at the frontier section separating between what most people know as Hong Kong and China.

Over on the “other” side, Shenzhen is a strong economic force, helped along by its special designation as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), but there’s still a special allure for many to working inside Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region. MTR rail passengers depart Hong Kong and enter Shenzhen at either the Lo Wu or Lok Ma Chau (Spur Line) crossings. The average cross-border passenger traffic numbers are 220,000 and 80,000 people per day, at Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau, respectively (Source 1, Source 2).

From an economic, urban planning, and logistics point of view, it’s no surprise there’s a push to amalgamate Shenzhen with Hong Kong to create a super-metropolis here at the mouth of the Pearl River. Hong Kong has over 7 million people, whereas the population of neighbouring Shenzhen exceeds 13 million. Many would like to see easier and faster movement of goods and people between the two cities, but many in Hong Kong fear an exacerbation of existing problems with overcrowding and overburdened resources.

But what of the people going back and forth? How many from China and/or Shenzhen enter Hong Kong for work or school, and reverse course at the end of every day? How many from Hong Kong go to work in Shenzhen?

I wonder what the daily routine is for someone going back and forth between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. I watch patiently, and I wonder what it’s like on the other side. I have no doubt there’s someone on the other side in Shenzhen who’s wondering the same thing.

( Click here for images and more )

True clichés in Hong Kong

Lockhart Road at Tonnochy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Above/featured: pedestrian crossing, Lockhart Road at Tonnochy Road, in Wan Chai (450D).

Hong Kong is represented by 香港, or “fragrant harbour”.

It’s an understatement in two Chinese characters.

Near the mouth of the Pearl River, the city has a very active port with the movement and shipping of trade: by sea, by air, or by surface.

But then, so it is with people: by sea, by air, by rail, and by car. Internationally they come, from Shenzhen, on ferries from China or Macau, or on big planes from Asia and around the world, pouring into the glass halls at Hong Kong International Airport.

A cacophony of sounds comes from all sides at any hour of the day.

Drivers honk their horns, the screech of brakes by trams on the surface-rails, people on their phones in conversation shouting at the top of their lungs.

Seven million people in a relatively small and enclosed space is always going to be about finding new and adventurous ways to defining and redefining terms of individuality and personal space. It’s no wonder why some escape to the New Territories or to the outer islands for a little bit of peace and quiet.

A symphony of lights comes out nightly at 8pm, like a game of neon-sign ping-pong across Victoria Harbour, between Hong Kong and Kowloon.

Bright gigantic lights and signs stream their company, product, or logo. It is hard not to stare.

No sign is too large; some are the buildings themselves. Reaching ever higher into the sky, buildings cannot be ignored at night, their illumination staking out their claims: “we are here, and don’t you ever forget it.”

O'Brien Road overpass over Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
O’Brien Road pedestrian overpass over Gloucester Road, in Wan Chai (450D).

Smells hit you from every corner.

Cars, trucks, and busses belch out exhaust from their tailpipes. Rotting bins of garbage line up on the sides of alleys. Sweet scents follow you in the Flower Market and from fresh fruit and vegetable stands. Your nose catches that complex whiff of an outrageous blend of aromas from barbequed meat to seafood to dried herbs, fungus, roots, and berries; from egg tarts to noodle soup to smoky temple incense.

Herbal Street, Ko Shing Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

It can be inviting, that you cannot help but taste the food that you know you can get from just about anywhere. The smells lure you inside; you may be at a restaurant, a food centre, or a tiny shop by the corner; and you’ll happily tolerate getting squeezed into a table shared with three strangers. You know it’s just right when the world opens up when you take your first bite and slurp of a dumpling or a fried noodle.

It all seems very banal.

Doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Joy Hing Roasted Meat, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, fotoeins.com

Hunkered down with the eats at Joy Hing Roasted Meats, in Wan Chai – 18 Jun 2012 (iPT4).


I made all photos above in June 2012 with a Canon EOS450D/Rebel XSi (450D) and an Apple 4th-generation iPod Touch (iPT4). This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-20G.

Hong Kong: dining magic at North Point’s Tung Po

If you’re in Hong Kong, one thing you should do is make reservations at Tung Po in North Point (北角) for a truly local dining experience. Reservations are especially recommended as the place is packed solid by 7pm.

Why should you care?

As a “dai pai dong” which has moved indoors into the Java Road Cooked Food Centre, Tung Po Kitchen has excellent fresh seafood, is recommended by many, and frequented by locals. The place opens for dinner between 530 and 545pm, and within an hour to two, the floor is full of people, the noise levels are so high it’s hard to hear the person in front of you, and the food keeps coming and coming and coming …

You should care, because this is a place where locals come to eat.

I care, because my sister had been to Tung Po before, and she satisfied my request to dine at this well-reviewed joint.

We decided to keep things “light” by ordering only the following four items:

  • black squid-ink noodle,
  • oyster omelette,
  • deep fried spicy prawns with garlic, and
  • soup with Chinese zucchini, green pea vermicelli, chinese mushroom, dried shrimp, and ginger.

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Hong Kong: the total 3-week food score

Above/featured: Dim sum/yum cha, The Graces (玉桃軒), Lee Theatre Plaza, Causeway Bay – 10 Jun 2012.

I wrote recently about what I ate during the 2nd-quarter of 2012 on my continuing around-the-world (RTW) trip. As I spent over 3 weeks of June in Hong Kong, I wanted to give the food in Hong Kong its fair due: look, salivate, and enjoy. Also, check out this visually appealing beginners’ guide to dim sum.

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Hong Kong: night skyline from Kowloon

The scene might compel the viewer to don a pair of ice-skates, except for the fact the nighttime outdoor temperature in June is +27C/81F.

At the Kowloon Public Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Hong Kong city skyline is front and centre. Among the many illuminated buildings, you’ll pick out the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, and the Bank of China building and 2 IFC tower in the Central district.

I made the photos above on the evening of 30 June 2012 with the Canon EOS450D camera, 18-55mm kit-lens, and a tripod. The range of shooting parameters were f/14 to f/22, one to four minutes of exposure, ISO100, and 18- to 34-mm focal length. The small apertures (“large” f-ratios) prevent harsh glare or saturation by strong lights, and the long exposure times smooth out the “random” nature of the wave action in the water.

It’s easy to agree and difficult to ignore how photogenic the city skyline is, by day or at night.

For a slower yet inexpensive ride with a great view of Hong Kong, take the Star ferry from Hong Kong’s Central or Wan Chai, across Victoria Harbour, to Kowloon’s Tsim Sha Tsui.

( Click here for images and more )

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