Hong Kong Trip ('99)
Through an amazing stroke of luck, I was given the opportunity to take a trip to Hong Kong in the summer of 1999. My closest friends from work joined me on the work/vacation trip and we ended up taking almost a week to explore the city and its surroundings.
Below are some pictures taken by the collective four of us during the trip -- THANK YOU Mark, Kara, and Lenka! The trip was much more low key than my typical vacation, hence I do not have a lengthy photojournal of the trip.
|San Francisco, CA|
What would a trip be without at least one flight missed? My flight out of Portland was sufficiently delayed that I ended up missing the trans-pacific flight to Hong Kong for that day, leaving me with no alternative but to catch the next day's flight. It was no problem for me, for I finally got a chance to see Bryn and Susan while I was in town. (Mark and Tanya were too busy planning for their wedding to see me -- be sure to check out the Ireland trip).
|Hong Kong the City|
I arrived in Hong Kong with my mouth open in awe and it was several days before it shut again. The density of the place is simply inconceivable. It was the biggest city I had ever seen -- and then we rounded the corner and I saw the real Hong Kong and just about fainted. It was like being in a science fiction novel. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago -- they are all just minor bubbles on the landscape -- all of them appear to be just a minor blip of humanity in the otherwise dominating nature. Hong Kong, though, was the first place I have ever seen where the full impact of humanity seemed to take hold. It filled me both with triumph and shame for mankind.
There are so many things to mention about Hong Kong the city, from its massiveness, to its flamboyancy, to its smells. I will let the pictures do the story telling this time, however. For instance, below you can see that Hong Kong uses their own natural resources. The scaffolding on the skyrise buildings is made out of not metal or plastic, but bamboo!
|Shek-O and Big Wave Beach|
After gasping for air amidst the sea of humanity in downtown Hong Kong for a day, the four of us escaped to Shek-O and its "Big Wave Beach". The double decker bus ride there was at break-neck speeds among the narrowest streets. On the same trip, we also stopped and visited one of the Shek-O open markets, were we communicated with hand gestures and contemplated buying netted bunches of live frogs for lunch. And the beach? well, despite the name, the waves weren't really much to speak of, but the shark nets were enough to scare us into staying fairly close to shore.
Evolution of Mankind
|Sai Kung Peninsula Hiking|
When the skyrises began to warp overhead in claustrophobic exageration, Kara, Mark and I headed out for a hike on the main land. After taking a long bus ride, we were able to get a fair way away from main populations. We hiked around a reservoir in heat over-deserving of the name "humid", and then skinny-dipped in the ocean to rest our bodies. Along the way I must have seen 20 different types of butterflies too. It was all very beautiful!
For Kara's birthday, three of us went to a Indonesian restaurant. I made the mistake of ordering something from the non-english menu and barely made it through the dinner without rupturing the lining of my stomach due to the potency of the dish's chili base. We did manage to get a pretty cool cake on the night -- it was something like bean curd mixed with jello and tasted just about as appetizing as it sounds.
Of course, we did lots of either eating and probably ate many things that we wouldn't if we knew what they were. Peking Duck is extraordinary, by the way.
On one of the last days, Lenka and I took a trip to a monastery known for its prophetic oracle. We both sat down and had our fortunes told, after going through the symbolic acts of shaking the spriritual fortune sticks.
There are many stories to tell about the Hong Kong trip -- feel free to ask!
(c) Geoffrey Peters, intangibility.com, 2002. For more information
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