Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm Back from the Far East

I just flew in from Hong Kong a few days ago. I'm adjusting back to New York and suffering from some severe jet-lag. I'm up all night and asleep almost all day, there is a 12 hour time difference between the two cities. My time in Hong Kong was fun, I got lucky with good weather considering summer is their rainy season. I was mostly alone by myself just walking around and sightseeing. I got a bunch of cool shots of the H.K. skyline. In H.K. there is pretty much the skyline to see. I wasn't there to spend any money. I didn't buy any souvenirs. I was really there to experience what it's like to walk around on the streets and see the cityscape. H.K. does have a lot of really tall buildings. They say if has the best skyline in the world, better than N.Y.'s. Well I'm not sure about that. I'd have to wait until lower Manhattan is rebuilt to compare them equally. H.K.'s skyline is just as good as New York's is. I'd say N.Y.'s is just slightly better.

H.K. does have a lot of skyscrapers. More than N.Y. Walking around H.K. you do get a real sense of the urbanization and really feel like you are walking in a real city, and not some puny half-ass city. Its streets are tight and development is highly dense. The subway system, or MTR as they call it there is decent. It's pretty fast and smooth. A decent amount of people speak English there. Although it is still considered the official language, you mostly hear Chinese being spoken everywhere.

I went to Mount Victoria and got some cool shots of the skyline from there. The Tram ride up is exciting. It hits an almost 45 degree angle at some points and there's a point when you can feel your ears pop. The view is breath taking.

Final thoughts on H.K. What does walking around H.K. feel like? It feels kind of like Chinatown, Manhattan, when you suddenly realize that you are the only non-Asian person on the whole block. Now just imagine the whole city like that and there you have Hong Kong. Well, not quite exactly. There are a decent amount of Westerners in H.K. most are tourists though. There are these Indian guys who try to sell you suits on the street. I was warned of these guys before I arrived. These guys apparently live there.

While traveling, I did miss New York almost immediately. I guess I'm just so attached to this city. New York does seem so much more cleaner than H.K. Many buildings there look like they are on the verge of collapse. They are either old or poorly maintained and overused. People there are living on top of each other packed in like sardines. Only the financial district downtown can match the density that most Hongkongers are living under. It is more pedestrian friendly than Tokyo is, however I still think that NYC is one of the most pedestrian friendly major city in the world.

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