New Hong Kong

Having spent a couple of days in and around Kowloon, I was keen to discover today a little more of the “real”, Hong Kong. I’m not saying those areas around Kowloon and Central aren’t “real”, but I just wanted to get a non-tourist sense of the place as well. So I hopped on the train and randomly selected Tung Chung on Lantau Island.

It’s one of a a number of former rural villages around Hong Kong which has been given the modern treatment. Of course, there’s a number of very high rise apartment buildings, there’s a massive shopping centre, and there’s a lot of parkland. Beyond that, I couldn’t find much evidence (well none, actually) of the former rural village.

I spent most of the afternoon there just sitting and watching the people go by. As you look around, it seems like a fairly middle class district, with a great deal of uniformity in the way in which people looked and dressed. I could have been at any Westfield Supermarket anywhere in Australia. After being in Hong Kong, I so totally understand Market City now.

The waterways and the mountains around the town centre are quite spectacular, and you actually get to see the sky, in stark contrast to the city.

What I found most interesting though, was that was the first place where I’ve seen gay men be affectionate towards each other. I’d read that it was okay to be gay in Hong Kong and all that kinda stuff. And it was not unusual to see men being affectionate towards each other. But I certainly didn’t expect to see it in the middle of the this particular district.

I was also the only non-Asian person I saw in the community.

I don’t know if it’s been such a great tourist experience, and maybe I’d have been better off going somewhere else, but it was interesting to see something of the way in which “the real folk” live.

And so with only twenty four hours left of my “big trip”, I’m now aching to get home. After all this time on the road, I’m feeling tired, and really looking forward to just getting home. I’ve done all that I wanted to do. Now, I just want my bed! And I’m missing friends and family. See you soon.

Jim, Jimmy, James

Tung Chung
Tung Chung

One response to “New Hong Kong”

  1. I lived in Hong Kong from 1977 to 1980 and have a soft spot in my heart for the place. In my day there, Lantau Island was a sleepy backwater so reading your report and seeing your photos is a real eye opener for me, although unsurprising given Hong Kong’s history of rapid development and change.

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