I actually wrote most of this post back in February in the weeks after I got home. It sat as a draft in blogger mocking me any time I thought about blogging. I needed to finish it up before writing about anything else, right? And then Facebook got in the way. I only have a certain amount of time to spend online, and Facebook started to suck up all of that.
Tonight, however, I need to write and Facebook just isn't going to cut it. So, I am going to consolidate the last couple of days of my trip into one post and send it out into the ether so that I won't feel guilty about writing what I really want to write tonight.
The highlight from Thursday was our trip to Stanley. The vast majority of my time in Hong Kong was spent on the north side of the island. I only ventured across the Victoria Harbor into Kowloon once (excluding passing through on my way to and from the airport). Stanley is on the southern end of Hong Kong Island, so getting there involved driving through different scenery. Despite being one of the most densely populated areas in the world, only about 25% of the territory's landmass is developed. The rest, some of which we drove through to get to Stanley, is too steep to build upon.
On this walk, it was remarkable that so many people in the park were exercising. Many were doing tai chi, some with swords or fans, some were jogging, and other were making seemingly random movements (like raising their arms or squatting in a, um, non-graceful manner) . It was rare in my time in Hong Kong to see anyone who was overweight. To get anywhere, you need to walk. Despite the quantity of dumplings that I ate during my trip, I lost 6-7 pounds. In a lot of ways, this kind of urban lifestyle can be much healthier than my current life in the suburbs.
On Friday evening, we met up with one of Matt's colleague, Tuan, and took the ferry over to Kowloon. At 8:00pm every evening with good weather, there is a "Symphony of Lights" on both sides of the Victoria Harbor. The best view is from the promenade at Tsim Sha Tsui. It was interesting, but not worth a special trip to be at TST at 8:00. If you go and want to take pictures, be sure to arrive early so you can set up your tripod.
While in Kowloon, we found a Vietnamese restaurant. Tuan, who is a Vietnamese-American, helped us order, but it must not have been particularly memorable because I remember Tuan and I trying to talk about The Wire without spoiling Matt and Monte more than I remember the food.
And then, on Saturday morning, I started my flight home. Sniff.
Before my trip, I knew I would love spending time with Monte and Matt and Finn. I did not expect to love being in Hong Kong as much as I did. I am planning to return before they move back to the States. There is more to explore, more to photograph (and I'm a much better photographer today than I was on this trip), and much more to eat!
The rest of the pictures from my trip can be found on my flickr site.