Hong Kong. A street photographer's dream they said. Go you must, they also proclaimed. Decided to take the leap of faith and decided to make it a trip that I embarked as a year end trip. Another huge decision I took was to travel alone. Not to wanderlust but to discover and challenge myself to push me out of the comfort zone. Packed my bags and most importantly my camera and off I went. Nothing was planned but the only thing on the itinerary was to get lost.
Like I mentioned, I did not really have a plan. The only objective was to get lost and when I decide to head back to my hotel, I would then switch my Google Maps on to guide me home. Scour the streets I did, came back with photographs, I'd definitely cherish. The people in Hong Kong were known to be not the best bunch in courtesy but everyone I asked for help did not shun away from me, which I am grateful for.
In the day, Hong Kong was strictly a place of hustle and bustle. Everyone had a motive and place to get to. Nothing will ever stop them. But at all times, I knew I felt safe because the police were everywhere. Wasn't sure about the lady in the photo below though, apparently according to my friend, she's there to catch people who don't cross the road properly.
I stayed at Hotel Inn in Yau Ma Tei for the whole trip and I really love the place a lot. Little did I know, I was living near the streets of the Neon Lights signboards. I will be lying to say I wasn't scared to head out at night to take a few pictures. But I still took my camera out and gathered a bit of courage to have a short walk around the streets illuminated at night. The short walk became a good 3 hour walk exploring.
Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than New York City. That was one fact that blew me away as I never knew Hong Kong had that amount of tall buildings. Central Station was the place where you could see all of those. Central which is like their Central Business District was one hell of a mind blowing place. It was literally filled with tall building everywhere! I hope the photos do some justice to this beautiful place. I had a favourite building too and it was the Bank of China Tower which is modelled after bamboos.
Sham Shui Po and Jordan (the MTR Stations) were the areas I spent most of the time walking in my first two days at Hong Kong. Those places aren't really the touristy destinations that everyone would go but it was places that were dying to be photographed of. The old, rustic charm of the places illuminated in the photographs that appeared in my preview screen. Its places like this in Hong Kong that I truly loves because it was not touched a lot and the old feeling was still being felt at the areas.
Its this part of the trip where I managed to meet Instagrammers from Hong Kong and coincidentally a fellow Singaporean as well. It was great to finally meet Nicholas, Timmy and Leslie at Causeway Bay to visit the sights and sounds of the place and also bring me to somewhere I always wanted to visit if I ever went to Hong Kong, the rooftops. Nerve-wrecking for sure but when the adrenaline kicks in, its something money can never buy. Would want to give a huge shoutout to Nicholas for making time and letting me intrude their meet up to show me around and also get to know him better.
And as soon as I was done with that, I started combing the streets of Wanchai and visited Central again to walk around the places I missed. It was a gloomy day, I won't lie but I tried to make the best out of it.
Tsim Sha Tsui or also known as TST is one hell of a shopping paradise! Not that I went to shop but I actually went there to visit the harbour to take shots of the skyline that makes Hong Kong an ever famous place. Little did I know, I'd come to the same place again the next day as well revisiting it in bright daylight. But the place is totally different at night where people hang around for dinner and also soak in the beautiful cold weather.
Quite recently before I left for Hong Kong, I had the opportunity to work with the Lomography team who are based in the Philippines and Hong Kong. Was truly honoured to have been featured in their magazine and I wanted to return the favour of visiting them when I was there. The hunt for the store was already an adventure and to have finally found it was such a fulfilling achievement. Oh and did I mention that the neighbourhood of Sheung Wan was beautiful as well?
This is was the holy grail I was seeking in Hong Kong. I wasn't intending to leave till I got to this place. The elusive Montane Mansion. Its one of the most instagrammed places in Hong Kong and I wasn't looking at giving up an opportunity like this go away. It was a reflection of Hong Kong's tight urban architecture and I definitely wasn't disappointed. Walk was about a 10 mins one from the MTR station and I had to ask around for directions. Was not difficult at all.
This was the last night of my trip and I decided to catch the sunset at Victoria Peak. Another place on the list, I have no idea why it was the final thing I would do on my trip to this beautiful place. Took the advice of Aik Beng and decided to take the bus instead of the 'touristy' option of taking the tram there. It felt like I was going up Genting with all the loops around but reaching the top was another surreal experience. It was literally, on top of the world.
It was a great trip and also a great year for me. Its been full of surprises and one of the best things that happened to me was this Exposure site. Here's to 2017 being a fantastic year photography wise and also in life.