Hong Kong’s Many Faces

The first sound I heard today was a jack-hammer. I don’t know exactly what time it started, but it was early. Strangely enough, in a city that’s already highly developed, there’s still space for more. There’s a large section of land right near Central which is being turned into a waterside development. And everywhere you look there are cranes.

As with London, there are people EVERYWHERE. But unlike London, I haven’t felt crowded in today. I guess with a population of 7 million on a small (and previously limited) amount of space, they’ve learned how to get people around.

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The train system is great (and easy to use), and there are pedestrian walkways everywhere which mean you can cover large distances quickly (and often in air conditioning) without having to cross the roads. The downside of this is that there were parts of Hong Kong today where I felt I was in one giant shopping mall.

In stark contrast, I wandered today through some of the more run-down areas of Kowloon. By the look of things it was the Red Light district with large posters of scantily clad women inviting customers for a massage (and presumably more). As I looked down at one point at some of the publications being sold on the footpath, I was alarmed at how young looking were some of the models on the porno magazines.

There were also lots of buildings which looked in really bad shape. And as I looked up to the windows in those buildings, I wondered what was going on behind closed doors.

Hong Kong is, without doubt, a city of contrasts.

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