Hongkong is, in my opinion (and let’s not fuck about, my opinion is legal tender here) one of the most livable cities in the world. It is a bustling megacity with all the entertainment and excitement associated with a city of 5 million people, yet, a short bus or train ride away, it has beautiful mountains, and plenty of nature, and great hiking.
It also offers some great travel opportunities – as an obsessive backpacker, it is massively important to me to be able to get away from work and the routine. Hongkong only happens to be located only a short walk across a bridge from China, a brief ferry ride from Macau, and a short airline flight from Taiwan, Philippines, and Vietnam. Likewise, Korea, Japan, Malaysian Borneo, Mongolia, Nepal, Thailand, and many other great places are only a few hours away – HK has all the benefits of a western lifestyle perched in the heart of the orient.
The best part is, one doesn’t need to leave the city to experience exotic cultures and a mild culture shock. Right in the city centre, stuffed between skyscrapers, you can find temples, odd shops, markets, and a bazillion restaurants peddling foods you have never heard of. The harbour is filled with thousands of vessels, the streets are humming with hundreds of thousands of engines, and the air is filled with jets. This city is the very definition of excitement!
The idea of this series was to mesh the exotic downtown while sharing the outdoor experience of Hongkong. The funny thing is, I actually had no plan whatsoever. I simply brought my camera, and filmed everything. Somedays, the excitement was easy: Dragon’s Back, Ma On Shan, Kowloon Peak – all these are fantastic locations, and you have to try really hard to have a boring experience. I filmed walking about in the forests, I filmed walking downtown. I peeked into temples, I sauntered from shop to shop hoping to find some eye-catching crap that would make an interesting video. But then there were days when nothing stuck. I would get all ready, threw the video cam into my backpack, and then… nothing… No drive, no desire to film. One time I made it all the way to Cheng Chau Island, walked around a block, and then decided to screw it, had lunch at McDonald’s and returned to Central.
Yet, somehow, between the disconnected clips and the lack of plan this series came about, and I feel quite good about it. I think this series offers more than the usual cookie-cutter video of HK. While it covers the major bits, it has a whole array of things most people will miss when they visit for 5 days, stopping over on their way to Bangkok, Tokyo, or L.A.
It wasn’t easy… While the filming had its own challenges, the editing was a real bitch. Without a prior plan, stringing these loose scenes into a semi-coherent story was very difficult, and so these video files, all 100 gigabytes of them, sat on my hard drive, gathering cyberdust. A whole bunch of things got cut out altogether, simply because it was just out of place, or too weak. Other things got cut down to very short clips, just because I got carried away and filmed too much…
And so it went.
In any case, I hope you enjoyed the Hongkong videos…
If you are interested in some of the locations of the trails I had filmed, here is a partial list, including info on how to get there:
Ma On Shan:
MTR to Po Lam or Tseung Kwan O station, take ANY minibus to Saikung. In Saikung, switch to bus #3 for Po Lo Che, bus stops 50m from trailhead.
Alternately, take MTR to Ma On Shan station, head to Yin On Estate, take bus 84R to Ma On Shan Village – follow signs to trailhead.
Return on green minibus #3 or #3A in Po Lo Che or Pak Kong Au back to Sai Kung.
Tai Mo Shan:
Take MTR to Tsuen Wan station, head to Tsuen Wan Nina Tower 1, from here take bus #51, then get off at the intersection of Route Twisk and Tai Mo Shan Road (ask driver). Trail head is right next to the road.
MTR to Choi Hung station, follow Clear Water Bay Road to Fei Ngo Shan Road, the trail head will be on the left, 600m up the road, shortly after a gazebo.
MTR to Tung Ching station, take bus #3M, get off at Pak Kung Au. This is a mountain pass, trail head right at the roadway. Alternately, aim for Po Lin Monastery, trailhead is located near the hostel.
Take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan, Exit A3, take bus number 9 to To Tei Wan (土地湾村), on Shek O Road. Then walk from Tai Long Wan to Shek O. To return, simply take #9 from Shek O back to Shau Kei Wan.
Po Lam Road North, about 300m east of the fire station. Trailhead easily seen from the road. Nearest MTR station: Po Lam.
If you enjoyed the music, here is a list of songs I’ve used, all pulled from jamendo.com which is a royalty-free music site.
1 Head Master, by Modhify
2 Asian Wonders by Butterfly Tea
3 One Year of Love by Paulin.h
4 Pagode Onirique by Real Rice
5 Funk Piano by Dacroy
6 Dance of Magical Flowers (V.2) by Butterfly Tea
7 Fly Me to the Moon by Butterfly Tea
1 Introduction by Circus Marcus
2 Extreme Energy Loop by Plastic3
3 Fajing Spirit by Butterfly Tea
4 Sunlight on Memories by Steve Grams
5 Silly Retro Swing by Forssto
6 The Explorer by PeerGynt Lobogris
7 Field of Destiny by Celestial Aeon Project
8 Full Throtle by Jason Pfaff
9 Jingle 1 by OST
1 Solo by Nadiejda
2 Electronic Minimal Techno Atmosperic Futuristic Deep Transformation Theme 15 by RoyaltyFreeMusic
3 Dancefloor by Rebellion of an Electron
4 Foreshadow by JM Galie
5 Etud 2 by Dominique Roxx
1 11th by Tort IV
2 BlueDid by Didier Merlateau
3 Cat and Mouse by Matteo Bohe
4 Er Lugt Hervor by Chip Ray
5 Chinese Fantasy V2 by Butterfly Tea
6 New Rise of China Legend by Butterfly Tea
1 Dramatic Cinematic Logo by Plastic3
2 Only Strat by Lohstana David
4 Below Zero by JM Galie
5 Butterfly Odyssey 2013 by Butterfly Tea
1 In Vain by Instantperson
2 Army of Hell 2 by Ally Calvine
3 Grid by JM Galie
4 Tendress at Home by Butterfly
5 New Day (ambient mix) by Eivissa Salinas
6 Asian Wonders by Butterfly Tea
Anywho… Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe your grandma when she is not paying attention.