A dystopian sci-fi city straight out of my teenage dreams.
“Come, come” waved our airport taxi driver, a sleepy looking short man with a fleeing hairline and oversized t-shirt that had seen better days. He looked at our collection of luggage and pointed to the boot of his red Toyota Crown Comfort. Having put the first of four bags into the shallow boot, it was clear that any more than a backpack would overload the car and render the lid useless. “More, more”. We passed him our remaining luggage and stood in disbelief as he stacked all four bags on top of each other, pulled out a green bungee cord from the back pocket of his baggy jeans, and proceeded in hooking the cord to the lid and car bumper. The car resembled one of those burgers that has all the best bits hanging outside the bun. He turned around, gave us a thumbs up and put on his best toothless grin and said "good, yes!”. He’d done this before.
With the title of 'city with most skyscrapers in the world' - 317 to be exact, a massive 60 more than the sprawling NYC, it's hard not to feel completely in awe the moment your ride drives into view of Hong Kong island. Having just completed my 5th flight in 10 days, and still processing the chaos of Manila and Boracay, I really didn't know what to expect from Hong Kong, but having some close friends from the outskirts of the city, I had been assured that I was probably going to have the time of my life. They weren't wrong.
By day the city is a non-stop highway of human traffic. I truly felt like an observer, almost a ghost during the day, pausing to take in my surroundings while the locals gracefully moved around my 6ft 4 stature, playing games on their phones and chatting amongst themselves. There is so much to see from the modern, glitzy streets of Times Square, the cultural sensory overload of the Kowloon markets, to the Po Lin Monastery and towering Tian Tan Buddha found on Ngong Ping Plateau, on Lantau Island.
By night, Hong Kong takes on a new character, one straight out of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. A dystopian, sci-fi city bathing its people in neon lights with building high projections towering above their heads. Surrounding us were pockets of lively, small rock bars that open onto the street, with drunken western businessmen taking the dance floor hostage, playing air guitar with their ties knotted around their foreheads. I spent most of my evenings in Wan Chai, stopping and staring in awe at the sheer spectacle as we crossed the high walkways that overlooked busy roads and led us into the amazing MTR underground rail system. The thought that repeated through my head over my 4 days in Hong Kong were “...how do I find a way to live here?”.