One Day in Hong Kong: A Photo Essay

One Day in Hong Kong: A Photo Essay

Once again I’ve packed my belongings. After two and a half years, everything I own still fits inside two bags. The meaning I place on “things” has gone down significantly in recent years. No longer am I constantly seeking “stuff” to pack on top of my other “stuff.” Now I seek experience to stack on top of my previous experience.

And now, my experience extends into Asia.

Now that I’ve gotten over the fact that everybody is Asian (it’s overwhelming), I’ve started to see what lies within the culture, though still from a very fresh, outsiders perspective. The street markets are thronged with locals and travelers alike, the vendors offering up splendors from fresh meat and fish to counterfeit handbags and cheap electronics.

Street Markets in Hong Kong

The markets are dirty, but they teem with character. Locals buy the food, foreigners buy the handbags. Some are found down alleyways in major city centers. It seems unlikely, but it’s common.

Street Markets in Hong Kong

Food-heaven exists here. And the best food comes from the street vendors. Though Michelin Star dim sum is tasty too. Like these steamed shrimp dumplings.

Steamed shrimp dumplings (har kau)

Or pork spare ribs in a black bean sauce.

Pork spare ribs in black bean sauce

Temples and monasteries abound in Hong Kong. The Buddha, of course, is hugely significant to this culture.

The Big Buddha, Hong Kong

I felt troubled, entering these temples as a tourist. White people were everywhere, snapping photos and laughing. These are places of worship and should be respected and treated as such. However, despite my feelings of exploitation, I went ahead and did just the same.

The Big Buddha, Hong Kong

The Wisdom Path is a walkway through an arrangement of giant wood columns, representing, as a whole, theĀ Heart of the Prajna-Paramita Sutra, literally, “The Heart of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.”

The Wisdom Path

Hong Kong is a magnificent city.

Hong Kong

And there is still so much more to explore.

Just don’t forget your Hong Kong tourist visa before jetting off.


  1. Love that photo of the Buddah on the hillside! I have been hearing so many great things about Hong Kong lately and I’d love to go. Hopefully that will be one day sooner rather than later.

    1. Hong Kong is a VERY cool city–I hope you do get to make it! The Big Buddha is on Lantau Island. If you do go, be sure to visit!

  2. I love this last image! Beautiful! I have read that Hong Kong has fantastic and very accessible hiking and would love to visit it in the future! It was a pleasure to share in your experience and I can certainly relate to the feeling both excited by being present in sacred places while also feeling an awareness and concern in regard to cultural exploitation. In the end, I hope that the positives – an increased awareness of cultural practices and beliefs – outweighs the negatives.

  3. I’ve been to Hong Kong maybe 7 times but other than the airport have never been to see the big Statue yet almost went last time. Love the post and I also have good memories of the Markets and maybe one day I’ll visit Stanley enroute to Australia.
    Still I have memories from the old days when I saw Hong Kong Pre-high rise days..
    But the Peak and tram haven’t changed. Check out my blog on look forward to you visiting Israel one day.

    1. You have got to make it to the statue! It’s really touristy now, which is a shame, but if your imagination is working you can picture what it might have been like beforehand. Hong Kong is a vibrant city and there is heaps to see and do. I hope you’ll make it back there again soon!

  4. Awesome photos. Although I’ve always described Hong Kong as the perfect mix of east and west. It looks like you’ve found the highlights of the ‘east’ (and that is definitely the more interesting side!!)

  5. Hong Kong is one of my favourite cities – so much culture and as you say the food is amazing! if you are still there and have not done it yet definitely take a trip up Victoria Peak. The views are fantastic.

    1. I just went up the other night with a mate of mine who is a photojournalist. We got some incredible photos of the Hong Kong skyline in the dark–wait til you see them!

  6. Great piece…hope to scratch Hong Kong off the list soon. And I agree, I always feel weird going into houses of worship. Just feels like I’m disrespecting it simply by being there, let alone snapping pics, etc…

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