There are two sides to Hong Kong: a vertical city of frenetic streets and heaving metro stations where commuters run between platforms to catch the next train, and an astonishing wonderland of hiking trails, secluded beaches, and more than 250 outlying islands. One of the highlights of my recent trip back was a half-day excursion with my father to Tung Lung Chau. Literally “East Dragon Island,” the 242-hectare outcrop of volcanic rock – about 70 percent the size of New York’s Central Park – guards the eastern approaches to Victoria Harbour. Read more
Posts from the ‘Hong Kong’ Category
I don’t recall the last time I saw the waters of Victoria Harbour gleaming in such a radiant blue-green hue. The summery conditions and flawless blue skies are wholly unexpected on this late October morning. Several days into my first trip back to Hong Kong after almost three years of Covid-induced separation from my parents and extended family, I’ve boarded a ferry to eastern Kowloon for an 8:15 appointment to renew my local ID card. I’m more than a little envious of the dozen or so other passengers on the ship – no commute in traffic-clogged Jakarta is as scenic and relaxing as this. Read more
A brisk 45-minute walk each weekday down flat city roads is a poor substitute for exercise. I’m realizing this as I sit gasping for breath on a large rock somewhere in the mountains of Hong Kong’s Lantau island, hopelessly exposed to the midday sun and delirious with nausea. If only there was a patch of shade to lie down in, I silently lament. It is much too hot for Christmas Eve. Read more
“What does your revolution look like?” The words jump out, bright and clear, from the frosted glass façade of a multistory shopping arcade on a busy Kowloon intersection. In ordinary times, such a tongue-in-cheek question might be an innocuous reminder to strive for positive change, but this is Hong Kong at the tail end of 2019, more than six months into what has been termed an uprising, a rebellion, and the greatest challenge to Communist rule in China since 1989. Read more
When I moved to Indonesia last May, I promised my parents I would be back for Christmas. But it was a strange feeling to return to a place where I’d lived for nearly 20 years. Apart from a high-rise hotel taking shape on the Kowloon waterfront, and a handful of other construction sites, it appeared that my hometown had barely changed at all. Read more
Running along a windswept ridge on the southeast arm of Hong Kong Island, Dragon’s Back might just be the most famous hiking trail in the territory. In recent years it has also become a major draw for tourists, especially since TIME magazine named it the ‘Best Urban Hike in Asia’ back in 2004. I had long known of its existence, but it took Bama’s third trip to Hong Kong, and a sudden spell of clear weather, for me to revisit the trail after a hiatus of six or seven years.
“Hong Kong has never opened this road before.”
Speaking to a friend, the man was clearly astonished as we strolled down the middle of a nine-lane highway. Around me I saw many smiling faces, belonging to both young and old, and families with small children. All had yellow ribbons pinned to their chests. Read more
Tonight in Hong Kong, there is a sense that history is being made.
Many of you have seen or read about what is happening right here in my hometown. Yesterday brought scenes that I could never have imagined in this safe and stable city. We watched in horror at the footage of riot police, armed with rifles and donning Stormtrooper helmets, lobbing volleys of tear gas into crowds of unarmed protestors. Read more