Saturday, February 6, 2010

Average (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

In 2009, Hong Kong, a territory with a total population of slightly over 7 million and land mass of 989 square kilometers (382 square miles), played host to some 29.6 million tourists. The vast majority of these visitors will have taken the ride across Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry and/or gazed across the harbour and looked at the northern Hong Kong Island skyline from the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront promenade (sometime during the day and/or night). They also will have bunched around certain parts of the territory even while largely leaving other areas to the locals.

To be sure, there are large, often incredibly scenic, swathes of Hong Kong that are accessible only to hikers and their ilk. But for one reason or other, some fairly easily accessible (albeit not by MTR train) areas of Hong Kong -- including the two areas where this Photo Hunt entry's photos were taken -- have been deemed unworthy of a visit.

Granted that what they offer may seem on the average side in that it can seem not all the spectacular, exciting or particularly exotic. But I like Siu Sai Wan's long and clean harbor-side promenade and the different, less built-up and calmer views of Victoria Harbour from those featured in tourist literature that it offers up; and that Kennedy Town's view of the same body of water emphasizes that it really still is used as a commercial waterway by some.

Additionally, for those who like to get beyond the tourist veneer and get a sense of what average life is like in Hong Kong, I figure that a quiet stroll around these opposite ends of northern Hong Kong Island would be a pretty good and rather pleasant way to start; and, at the very least, take one temporarily away from the madding -- and sometimes potentially maddening -- crowd!


Annie said...

Maybe those aren't the most exotic views but they sure are beautiful. Love the colors of the water and the sky. Never underestimate average, right?!

And thanks for the translation of panda Tai Shan's name!

EastCoastLife said...

Maddening crowd.... it's crazy. The sales are wonderful but I dislike the sardine-packed malls and trains.

I should spend less time in the average tourist areas. :)

Carver said...

Those are beautiful shots and I'd definitely prefer them to fighting the crowds. I always prefer to find out from locals where they like to go and visit spots recommended to me as opposed to ending up crushed in a crowded hoard. Happy Weekend.

julie said...

i would prefer going to the sites with less crowds, even if these seem average to the tourists :)

CRIZ LAI said...

I missed Hong Kong now... Any sales on? Haha! :P

Anonymous said...

Always interesting to always come and read your post.

YTSL said...

Hi Annie --

Never underestimate average indeed -- and yes, the colors of the water and the sky also did catch this photographer's eye. :)

Hi EastCoastLife --

Hmmm... ever considered going to the malls and on trains during non peak hours? In any case, yes, sounds like you should spend less time in the average tourist areas!

Hi Carver --

The funny thing about Hong Kong is that some locals seem pretty happy to be in crowds... ;b

Hi Julie --

Sounds like we are of the same opinion then. :)

Hi Criz Lai --

Yes, actually, re sales -- we're at the tail end of quite a few shops', it seems.

Hi ewok1993 --

Come more often then! ;b

Gattina said...

Wow ! that's quiet big. Belgium has 11 million inhabitants, but I have no idea about the surface.

jams o donnell said...

I always love your posts YTSL. THey give a view of Hong Kong the tourists adn the likes of myself wouold not see. Every tourist city has a large side that is never seen by most visitors. Some of it is ugly, other parts hold some of the place's real treasures. I know that holds true with London!

Have a great weekend

magiceye said...

cool take on the theme!

Manang Kim said...

Hongkong is not too far from Philippines but I've never been there. I would love to visit that place. Thanks for sharing the photos! Happy weekend!

Average critter Koi

Mrs. Mecomber said...

You will be the first person I go to when and if I should ever have the joy of visiting Hong Kong! You make it look so wonderful! Nice photos.

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

I Googled Belgium and found that it is 30,528 square kilometers in size -- MUCH bigger than Hong Kong! :D

Hi jams --

Thanks for the nice words and yes, Hong Kong is like London in that regard. Also, FWIW, London's my second favorite city in the world -- have spent quite a bit of time there though, sad to say, not for many a year...

Hi magiceye --


Hi Manang Kim --

If it makes you feel better, I've never been in Philippines even though -- as you say -- the places where we reside are not that far away from each other! ;S

Hi "Mrs Mecomber" --

Aaaaw... another person with kind words! Thanks much! :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

That seems far above average from my kitchen in Alabama!

Randi said...

There is nothing average about HK - I love this city - it is very, very exotic compared to Sweden. :)

Alice Audrey said...

That long promenade looks fun. I love a good, comfortable walk by water.

healingmagichands said...

I like the view of "average" life given in spots off the beaten track. Our favorite memories of Singapore involve shopping at the wet market and walking from one side of the city to the other. Great photos.

Bull Rhino said...

I think it is so cool to visit a far away place and get out and see what life there is really like for the AVERAGE JOE. Above average take on a tough theme.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Scott at World’s Best Photography Blog

YTSL said...

Hi Sandi --

The grass is greener on the other side of the fence/world, it sounds like... ;b

Hi Randi --

So... when are you visiting Hong Kong again? ;b

Hi Alice Audrey --

On a beautiful, sky blue, breezy day, it's wonderful. :)

Hi healingmagichands --

Aren't there wet markets in Mumbai? There's one just 5 minutes walk away from where I live here in Hong Kong... :)

Hi Bull Rhino --

Thanks -- glad you had an abover average reaction to what you saw! :)

Mar said...

Beautiful shots of Hong Kong, I love seeing rather quiet places .
Thanks for your kind comment :)
Enjoy your weekend!

Jerry said...

It is pretty hard for any tourist to gte a sense of how the 'average' person live sin any country they visit. You've posted some interesting shots.

Have a great weekend.

gweipo said...

Tourists just have to take a tram to get to Kennedy Town - the food there is very yummy and 1/2 the price of central! And you can even sit on the waterfront - albeit with a road in front of you ...
or get some picnic stuff and sit on a bench on the waterfront and chat to the old fishermen.

YTSL said...

Hi Mar --

And I love being in quiet places -- and am so glad there really are some to be found in Hong Kong! :)

Hi Jerry --

I think it's easier in Hong Kong than many other places because Hong Kongers spend so much time outside their homes. E.g., most Hong Kongers will get together with friends to have a meal or do something fun rather than visit one another's homes or stay at home.

Hi gweipo --

Too true re the tram -- and there are bus options as well. Re that part of the waterfront you referred to: walk a bit further west and you'll come to the place I took the photo at -- where one can walk on the waterfront without a road in between you and water. :)

Maya said...

When traveling I love to wander the streets without a map. By doing this I feel I am able to see the city from the locals point of view. Thanks for sharing the more "average" part of Hong Kong.

YTSL said...

Hi Maya --

You're a braver traveler than I -- must admit that I like to have a map handy... even now, I almost never go about Hong Kong with a map in my backpack! :)

Your EG Tour Guide said...

This part of Hong Kong does not look average tome. It's lovely.

As far as tourits go, most want glitter and lots of places to shop. The rest are a rare breed. ;-)

YTSL said...

Hi "Your EG Tour Guide" --

You may well be right about most tourists... in which case: thank goodness for the chunks of Hong Kong left to others! ;b