Apologies for the lack of posts recently, it’s been a turbulent couple of weeks in Hong Kong and I find myself at another set of crossroad considering my future here. The city is undoubtedly the most convenient I’ve ever lived in – great transport links, good public services, delicious food, nice people and super fast internet but despite all this I miss some of the challenge of living somewhere like mainland China where both cultural and language differences made things a bit more interesting. Read more
To the west of Hong Kong’s frenetic Central district lies its quiet neighbour Sheung Wan (上環), one of the earliest places to be settled after Hong Kong became a British colony in 1842. Unlike other areas a lot of the past has survived here and despite creeping gentrification it’s still a great area for a leisurely stroll. Back in 2008 it was one of the first places I visited in Hong Kong and I recently went back for a closer look. Read more
During the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the shore of Guangdong in southern China suffered from pirate attacks. Locals built walled villages in order to defend themselves and of the few which have survived most can be found in the New Territories of Hong Kong. I recently spent an afternoon in Sha Tin District (沙田區) to explore some of their remains.
If you’ve ever visited Hong Kong you will have undoubtably discovered that the city has three distinct, albeit tangled, levels – street level, underground and overground – which can be navigated by pedestrians via a complex network of elevated walkways and underground tunnels that have evolved over the past 50 years. You can literally walk for miles through interconnected shopping malls, office lobbies, train stations, parks and other public/private spaces. Read more
Earlier this month I spent a weekend in Changsha (长沙), the capital city of Hunan province (south-central China), to attend a friend’s wedding. Changsha is typical of every other second tier city in China – sprawling, grey, and heavily polluted with nothing much going on other than the relentless development of high-rise buildings and endless roads. This is not somewhere you would visit for a holiday but I did manage to find one small gem in the rough… Read more
The amazing thing about living in Hong Kong is that you’re never more than 30-40 minutes away from beautiful mountain scenery and pristine beaches despite most people living the highly dense urban center in the south. One place many friends had recommended to me was the coastal district of Sai Kung (西貢區), on the northeastern side of the territory and a couple of weekends ago a visited a small island not far away. Read more
We’ve looked at footage of Hong Kong in the 1930’s before but here’s some more fascinating video from a Spanish television program of what it looked like almost 40 years later in 1966 (via Shanghaiist). It’s incredible to see the first emergence of high-rise buildings that dominate the skyline today and how quickly things have developed within living memory.
Walk through any park at the weekend in China and you’re more than likely to find groups of people flying wonderfully decorated kites high in the sky. This isn’t a pastime just for kids though, and as I found out in Shanghai a few weeks ago, aficionados of the sport have taken it a step further… Read more