So far I have just been speaking about less known places of Hong Kong like Shatin or Stanley, not often visited by tourists but now I will write about the craziest district of the whole of Hong Kong, that is to say Mong Kok and, of course, one of the busiest port that is featured in every tourist guide: Victoria Harbour.
Mongkok – 旺角
The name in cantonese means “prosperous corner” and what an appropriate name for such a place! Here at every corner you find markets, people selling, buying, shouting, tourists shocked at the amout of people, food vendors, a busy place even at night…it is the heart of Hong Kong. The area is characterized by a mix of old and new buildings and the most picturesque thing is the countless shop signs written in Chinese, featured in every movie worthy of its name.
I did not know where to go when for the first I came here, I stopped everytime to take photos of the signs and lost the sight of my group. My boyfriend’s father showed us some “hidden places”: small hong kong-style malls, as my boyfriend calls them, with every kind of weird shops inside like anime, manga or cosplay shops. There are countless shops selling cameras and you find every kind of technologic stuff at every price.
Outside these narrow malls, you find other markets selling souvenirs. I could not resist at the sight of those chinese amulets, fans and umbrellas and I ended up buying a bunch of them ahah The funniest thing is that you can bargain for the price with every street vendor and when they see that you are not conviced with the price they proposed you, they give you the calculator where you can write down your own offer. They mostly certainly end up accepting your price ahah
The markets and the myriad of shops show that Mongkok is one of the busiest area in the world with an extremely population density. When you stop looking at the stuff that the markets sell and you look up, you realize that you are surrounded by countless skyscrapers. And all of them are residential! It is crazy how people can live there, in those dirty and noisy places, in a flat that is smaller than a dog house. They barely have the space for themselves so they hang their wet clothes outside using a bamboo stick ahah
Victoria Harbour – 維多利亞港
Victoria harbour is the most famous landmark in Hong Kong featured in any travel magazine worthy of its name. You can see the whole Hong Kong island and its countless skyscrapers from Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. It is beautiful by night when the skyscrapers awaken and start changing colours, transmitting Merry Christmas wishes.
It was the starting point for british colonization in Hong Kong since it was a natural harbour, easier to defend by enemies and protected from natural disasters. In order to respond to the growing request of more lands for people to live, the port went through many reclamation projects, as my boyfriend explained me when we were at his previous house near Sai Wan Ho.
The best way to enjoy the countless skyscrapers on the other side is having a stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. From here you can also witness the Hong Kong light show, the longest permanent light show in the world. I was really excited to attend it so I annoyed everyone everyday until they brought me here but it did not live up to my expectations. It is nothing very special, they just beam some lights from the top of the tallest skyscrapers following a classic song rhythm, which can be barely heard. I think the sole sight of the skyscrapers is beautiful enough.
Another good place where you can enjoy the sight of Victoria harbour is Golden Bauhinia square, which is actually in front of the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, on Hong Kong island. My boyfriend and his friend decided to come here to look at the fireworks on the last day of the year because they said Shim Sha Tsui promenade might have been too crowded to be able to look at the sky. When it comes to the population, Hong Kong cannot be beaten by any other countries ahah Fireworks in Hong Kong last for 10 minutes but they are freaking beautiful and huge! They kept firing one after another without interruptions, they are the best I have ever seen so far!
My boyfriend also tell me that they often organize events on Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, well how not to exploit this place where you can have such a nice view over the sea and the city altogether?! The first day of the year we were lucky enough to attend a cute lion and dragon dance performed by children. It was very funny and gave us a taste of the chinese culture. The dragon and the tiger costumes were worn by the children that went around moving the dragon and lion as if they were really talking and dancing. After this there was a martial arts show where they performed in different styles.