I take so many photos because my mind gets cluttered with trips and destinations and reading other travelers’ blogs that oftentimes I forget the majority of small details about each journey: the people I meet, the funny signs I see, the cafes and restaurants I visit, the cuisine I eat.
Hong Kong is a prime example. My friend Adventure Girl and I decided to hop over there for a very quick two days following our jaunt to Macau this time last year—we were so close, after all, that we didn’t want to be a mere 45 minutes away and see the city so many travelers before us had raved about so.
Due to a technical malfunction—these seem to happen to me more often than not—my camera went black midway through the second day with no rhyme or reason, and all my photos appeared to just vanish off the memory card. I kind of forgot about it as I was coming off nearly three weeks of back-to-back trips to Israel then Macau then Hong Kong then Sacramento for Thanksgiving then Wine Country for a story. And then sometime in the not-too-distant future, SVV used his electronic prowess to recover some—but hardly all—of the files.
I forgot about them. Until last night. Yes, it’s been a full year since I returned from Hong Kong, and I’m only just now scrolling through the batch of pictures he managed to save.
I believe this is what they call being an armchair traveler: I feel as if I’m going somewhere new, as if these experiences never happened to me but to somebody else.
I was interviewing a flight attendant for a story for Budget Travel earlier this week, and she was telling me how Hong Kong was one of her all-time favorite landings. ““I have flown into Hong Kong International Airport on several occasions and fortunately a couple of times were clear, smog-free days,” she said. “On approach, the plane feels like it’s in slow motion over the South China Sea. Looming up ahead is the high-rise jungle of Hong Kong Island. The skyscrapers are incredibly high, very close together and way too many to count. Even during the day, the colorful neon lights are on, which has an eerie effect when the city is cloaked in smog.” I arrived by ferry so I don’t know what it looks like from above, but my God, I can only imagine as it sure is stunning from the ground.
And it’s one of those places that takes on an entirely new personality at night (unlike San Francisco, which goes to bed come 8pm).
I’d never had any desire to visit Hong Kong. In fact, all of China in its vastness and crowded cities held absolutely no appeal to me. But in a place as vibrant as this, the energy is simply contagious.
I’ll go into more detail about where to go and what to do another day—and hopefully will be able to enjoy more of this enchanting city in depth at a later date, because Hong Kong, I’d sure like to get to know you a whole lot better.
Drool – I’d love to go to Hong Kong and your pictures just made it even more enticing. Maybe for my honeymoon.
Great photos, you’ve taken me right back to our trip to HK a couple of years ago. I loved the star ferry!
Even just the Hong Kong airport was inspiring for me. We were stuck in the international terminal and watched the sun rise, revealing a clear morning and the mountains, the water, gorgeous billowing clouds… it was amazing. And I had noodles for breakfast and was just elated to be in Asia again. 🙂
So now I have to add more places to visit on my list. Thanks!
I love going through my old pics and reliving a travel adventure.
Oh man, HK has been on my list for years! Such an amazing city!
LoVE the night shots.
ps: and the person that took them.. 🙂
I always wanted me one of those swirly incense sticks…
I think it’s the small details in a city that show us it’s quirky personality. But it’s the grand city shots that show us it’s “wow factor.” Love the photos of Hong Kong at night.
HK is my 2nd favorite landing. My 1st is Tibet. But I’m telling you it is so gorgeous to see all of the islands out of the window, wow!!! Fabulous pics, some of my fave you’ve ever taken. I can’t wait for my bro to move there, so that I can visit all of the time.
Losing photos is the worst. I love good landings, I would like to go to HK one day. My favorite landing is Boston. I know that’s an easy one for me, but it really is fantastic because it’s so close to the water and you can see so much of the city.
I was supposed to go to Hong Kong next week (a place I love) but my trip got changed around so now I can’t. A little bummed since I love HK in Dec!
what incredible photos – you’re right, HK is amazing. i am glad he was able to recover some of your photos!!
I can’t wait to visit Hong Kong! I went to Tokyo and Singapore for the first time this year and your photos remind me of a cross between the two. Minus the English influence!
Lovely photos. I will be in Hong Kong in January and I can’t wait!
Some of these photographs are really great, I love the very first evening image and the one that looks like hanging baskets as well as the “look right”! Indeed, I feel like I armchair traveled to Hong Kong.
What great, vivid photos. Haven’t been to HK since the new airport was opened. Landing at the old one was fascinating – descending between the skyscrapers, you could see what people had for breakfast as you passed.
Hong kong looks like great this time of the year. i love th photos and thanks for the tips
I’m a newcomer to your blog, and I was so pleased to see several great posts on Hong Kong. As a young traveller and former expat in southern China and Hong Kong, I know how difficult it can be to stop and take the time the take photos in such a hectic place, but these are lovely and bring me right back. I would also highly recommend mainland China, especially Yunnan province. It’s not all smoggy mega-cities, and is often treated with too much fear and misunderstanding!
Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
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