Tai O, Hong Kong

Tai O Aesthetic II

Tai O Aesthetic II - Tai O, Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

Standing out from the silver monochrome of the village, addresses are hand lettered in red paint on many of the buildings.

Tai O, Hong Kong

Tai O Aesthetic I

Tai O Aesthetic I - Tai O, Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

Escaping the canyons of skyscrapers endemic to Hong Kong was easier than I had anticipated. An hour MTA ride later and we exchanged the cacophony of the city for the relative calm of Tai O, a somewhat sleepy fishing village located on the western side of Lantau Island. A unique silver color defines the aesthetic for many of the homes of the community.

Hong Kong

Tung Chung Line Commuter

Tung Chung Line Commuter - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

After a breakfast of pineapple buns, oatmeal, and espresso we made our way from Sheung Wan to Tai O in the midst of morning rush hour. While empathizing with those commuting to their day of work I marvel at the efficiency of the MTR in comparison to the options I have in my home town.

Hong Kong

Ding Ding in Central

Ding Ding in Central - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

Though I doubt my wife would have approved, I could have spent a day riding the Hong Kong Tramway back and forth from Kennedy Town to Shau Kei Wan. To me, the Ding Ding exemplifies the uniqueness of Hong Kong. Within the rapid modernization of the city exists an antithesis of that change. Through a valley of quintessential Hong Kong skyscrapers runs the main artery of this tramway. Their presence in this area a marker of the changes the city has gone through since their arrival in the early 1900s. As we learned in the city, old is sacred, but not irreplaceable, so I cherished being able to experience them. I marveled at them as they rumbled down the middle of the streets. A pleasant ‘ding ding’ of the bell warns of their movement. Final destinations on each indicated by printed, not digital, signage. We hoped that the front seat in the upper deck would be open for each of our rides so we could open the window and admire the city passing by from an elevated vantage point.

Hong Kong

Star Ferry Pier Attendant I

Star Ferry Pier Attendant I - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

During our visit to Hong Kong, one of my favorite activities we did was riding the Star Ferry between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The brief ride through Victoria Harbour provides perspective to how massive the city is and the experience felt like a glimpse at the city of yesteryear. The aesthetics of the ferries, attendant uniforms, peeling paint, stenciled typography, turnstiles, and signage made the transit across the harbour feel like we were witness to Hong Kong as it once was.

Hong Kong

Street Level Craftsman

Street Level Craftsman - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

From his small corner in Hong Kong, a craftsman, presumably an expert at his trade and a wealth of knowledge, assists a customer with a task significant to both of them. One cannot help but wonder what the fate will be for such places as this given the constant evolution of Hong Kong coupled with the impacts of global modernization on the skilled worker. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have wandered down these streets witnessing a day to day life that may or may not be significantly different in a matter of years.

Hong Kong

Tung Choi Street Public Light Bus Stand II

Tung Choi Street Public Light Bus Stand II - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

Tung Choi Street between Mong Kok Road and Argyle Street serves as a staging area for Public Light Buses that serve Mong Kok and other destinations within Kowloon. Three of the four lanes of this road were filled with the red topped variant of these 16 seat public transit vehicles waiting their next set of passengers.

Hong Kong

Kowloon Tea/Jelly Stand

Kowloon Tea/Jelly Stand - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

These sort of shops were dotted through out Hong Kong. As I surmise, various homeopathic/medicinal/herbal teas and jellies offered for quick consumption from small bowls served directly to patrons from a sidewalk stand. Again, I may be way off base, but this stand was offering a product based from guīlínggāo (tortoise jelly created from powered tortoise shells).

Hong Kong

Tung Choi Street Public Light Bus Stand I

Tung Choi Street Public Light Bus Stand I - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

Each of the red topped public light buses in Hong Kong seemingly operate on their own freelance schedule. From what I observed, they make stops as requested and pickups when room is available with their displays indicated a general end point. Their ubiquity throughout the city as a mode of transit only rivaled by the Hong Kong taxi.

Hong Kong

Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street

Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street - Hong Kong - Fuji X100F

The Hong Kong of my imagination. Weathered buildings obscured by blade signs, hanging laundry and air conditioning units. A quintessential market endemic to this side of the globe stretches to a vanishing point. The humid air almost thick enough to capture in photo made marginally more bearable by an overcast sky.