Honk Kong Pong
Well, we’ve had our first full day here, and the verdict is in, Hong Kong kicks ass! It’s like a cross between New York and some big Asian city (although never having been to some big Asian city, I’m only guessing that part) full of bright lights, cheap clothes (especially for the ladyfolk) and is open 24/7. The weather’s been crap since we arrived – very warm and very wet, but you can get around most places without getting soaked as the footpaths are mostly sheltered. We spent most of today looking around the shops and markets – we went to one bargain basement sale where you could pick up Cork and Roscommon G.A.A jerseys for about €8, they mustn’t be selling very well at home :-)
One of the great things about Hong Kong is the mixture of old and new and the strong beliefs in tradition and superstition. We came across the Man Mo Temple when strolling around Hong Kong Island, nestled between shops and apartment blocks. It was very peaceful space, a different world to the busy streets outside. The temple was built in the 1800′s and still attracts a steady stream of Taoists, Buddhist and tourists.
Even the most modern of Hong Kong’s buildings are prone to ancient beliefs. It is widely believed that the Bank of China building (below), built opposite the building of one of the banks main rivals (HSBC), was designed with sharp edges to resemble a sword, slicing down on its neighbour. To counter the bad energy, an object resembling a cannon points back from the HSBC building.
Just like New York, Hong Kong is open all night, has a great subway system and equally good shopping, especially if you’re willing to spend some time bargain hunting in the market areas of Kowloon. I didn’t realise that the city would be as developed as it was and as easy to manage – it’s earned a well-deserved spot on the list of places I definitely want to return to.