Contrasting Two Worlds: Hong Kong at Night

By July 25, 2015 , , , ,

Since I just talked about how fantastic Tokyo was at night, it's only fitting that I follow up with a post about the equally as amazing, but contrastingly different skyline of Hong Kong.
 Hong Kong holds a weird place in my heart. It feels so familiar, yet it's just about as strange to me as any other place in the world. It's not quite my home, but also more relatable than any other place I've ever been.

Growing up as a cross culture kid was never an issue for me, but the older I become, the more the differences are highlighted. I have learned to appreciate the unique privilege I have been given, having an opportunity to taste not just one, but two contrasting cultures. This sort of insight is something that has proven to be beneficial in many cases time and time again.

At the end of the day though, there's only a handful of people that genuinely understand my background, especially in Hong Kong - where I'm not a foreigner, but not quite a local either.

Therefore, spending time in places where expats frequent has become my comfort zone. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with Ozone, it's currently the highest bar in the world, situated on the 118th floor of the Ritz Carlton hotel. It's a glitzy sort of situation with ultra modern decor and the comfiest of couches to lounge on. 

For people who want a more 4D feel of the city this high, there's an open air section where customers can relax and admire the view from dizzying heights. 

Just be careful not to look down!

The view of the harbour is just as brilliant as it it on ground level as it is up high, so after watching the sun set from above, we decided to enjoy the night view from below.

Most tourist guides will tell you that the best place to view the skyline is from the Avenue of Stars. That's misinformed. Avoid the crowds and head to the Marco Polo hotel parking lot right beside Ocean Terminal. 

It's perched above the ground with less crowds and offers a better view of the city without having to glare at the person who just slammed into you with a selfie stick and then scurried away without apologizing.

The skyline is gorgeous, but other than just existing to look pretty, it tells you more about Hong Kong than one may think. 

One fascinating thing about the skyline is how much change it has undergone in the last 50 years. Hong Kong is one of those unique cities which has benefitted from immense growth, and like a cross generation child, has grown up under the influence of two great nations - reflected in the landscape and the architecture.

For instance, we see a Star Ferry crossing the harbour with skyscrapers adoring the background.  The Star Ferry used to be the only way harbor crossers were able to cross over from Kowloon to Hong Kong island. Serving the city since 1888, it's a symbol of the traditional Hong Kong that still harmoniously exists with the modern buildings and the ultra fast MTR system.

Another contrast is the Peak and the lower levels. When the British occupied Hong Kong, they developed and resided on the higher levels and barred locals from entering, subjecting them to restricted life on the ground. Because of that, the residences on the Peak remain one of the most valuable properties in Hong Kong, and the lower levels have become the epicenter of trade and business.

Fascinating how there's a reason for how everything comes to be, isn't it?

Seeing the old and the new mixed together, along with the Eastern and Western influence, Hong Kong speaks to me in more ways than one. Even though I don't necessarily fit in like a local here, Hong Kong is one of those few places that truly reflect the dynamic of taking the best of two worlds and making them into one.


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