Hong Kong Part V

For anyone who has endured my endless parade of Hong Kong photos, I heartily applaud you. We’ve almost reached the end of my adventure, and this day might have been the most colorful. Krystle and I photographed two different public housing estates on the Kowlooon side—Choi Hung (which means “rainbow”) and Nam Shan. The use of color in these buildings is so beautiful, and I loved seeing these vast buildings in person. We also visited the Sham Shui Po district, which is filled with a variety of different crafting supply stores. (You can find any kind of bead, ribbon, or fabric in Sham Shui Po, I promise you.)

Our day ended by watching night fall over Hong Kong island from the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and then taking the very inexpensive Star Ferry across the harbour. That view was one the sights I remembered so vividly from my 2007 Calvin interim trip, and seeing it again ten years later was beyond spectacular. I don’t know when or if I’ll have the chance to return, but I hope in my heart that it’s sooner rather than later.

You can check out Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV here.

Hong Kong Part IV

Still with me on this digital Hong Kong journey?! You’ve reached a slightly more quiet day, one that started with insanely delicious dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, took us to the PMQ to check out fun creations from local artists and to the Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road to smell all the incense coils, and ended on Kowloon at the Temple Street night market. (My bargaining skills at the night market were a little rusty, but that didn’t stop me from hunting down a few good deals.)

You can check out Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part V here.

Hong Kong Part III

Bless you if you’re still following along with my Hong Kong travelogue. This day was jam-packed with exploring all over Hong Kong Island and riding the double-decker trams back and forth for $.29. Krystle and I also purchased tickets to visit the top of Victoria Peak in the afternoon. When I visited Hong Kong in 2007, it was far too cloudy and hazy to justify making the trip up the mountain, and I was so hopeful that I’d get to see a sunny view of the harbour this time around. Overcast skies most of the day had me feeling pretty worried, but by the time we made it to the top, the sun had broken through the clouds, and the view was everything I had hoped it would be.

You can check out Part I, Part II, Part IV, and Part V here.

Hong Kong Part II

There are so many reasons to love Hong Kong, and their public transportation has to be a big one. Their subways are incredibly clean, run frequently, and are very easy to navigate. (Have no fear—English is one of three official languages in Hong Kong, and English signage is abundant!) We hopped aboard the train for a ride out to Lantau Island so that we could take a glass-bottomed gondola up to Ngong Ping and see the giant Buddha. (Fun fact: we ran into two couples who were also traveling from Michigan!)

After the Buddha (and a ride back down the mountain wherein we had our own private gondola…yes, we had an international dance party), we found a bus and rode out to the historic Tai O fishing village with its amazing seafood and stilt houses. It was an amazing day, and I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it wasn’t all just a beautiful dream.

You can check out Part I, Part III, Part IV, and Part V here.

Hong Kong Part I (or, Happy Thanksgiving!)

I've stopped and started this post so many times, and I'm not sure that I can accurately describe just what it meant for me to travel to Hong Kong one year ago with my best friend Krystle. In 2007, I toured southeast China with a small group of Calvin College students and our beloved professor Larry, and our final destination was Hong Kong. 36-ish hours is not enough time to do this special administrative region justice, and I knew I wanted to visit again someday. My opportunity came ten years later—the same year I turned 30—and my return to Hong Kong was every bit as lovely and wonderful as I had hoped. On Thanksgiving, let it be known that I am infinitely grateful for this great big world and getting the chance to see a tiny little sliver of it.

True to form, I took too many photos to condense into a single post, so I’m breaking things up. I’m starting with our first days of travel (let it be known that flying from Chicago to Hong Kong is no joke—15+ hours is a long time to spend on a plane—but having only one flight to tackle was truly a gift). Our trip focused on exploring different neighborhoods, and we started by tracking down the flower district, the Yuen Po bird markets, and the goldfish district (yes, that’s totally a thing). My favorite quality of Hong Kong is all the color: the weathered pastel buildings, the bright neon signs, the tropical vegetation. These images are my love letter to a place that’s very dear to my heart; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

You can check out Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V here.