Living inside one of China’s behemoth cities is a humbling experience, such is the enormity of their size and the human endeavours taking place there. The timelapse video above by zweizwei brings back fond memories of my time spent in mainland China and captures everyday life in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Shanghai extremely well – sunshine and smog included. Despite the endless sea of people streaming in from all over the country for the opportunities they provide, these cities can be strangely impersonal and isolating…
I’ve not been able to get out nearly as much as I would like to have in the last couple of weeks, however I did have a chance to go cycling in the New Territories of Hong Kong recently along a popular trail which goes from Tai Wai (大圍) to Tai Mei Tuk (大美督), a paved 20-kilometre path that provides some stunning harbour front views and passes by temples and parks. Read more
A week ago I visited Kam Shan Country Park (金山郊野公園) which is located in the ranges north of Kowloon, Hong Kong. Despite being only a little over 3 km² in size it contains four reservoirs and is most notable for being home to hundreds of wild macaque monkeys. I followed Section 6 of the MacLehose trail which overlaps with Golden Hill Road (金山). Read more
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