Thailand. Time to leave….Hong Kong calls.
Like a golden temple shimmering in the distance. Thailand.
Always tangible, yet alluring to the senses and ephemeral like some Wat that allowed the masses to enter and pray and worship but never to achieve Nirvana! Thailand was amazing on so many fronts. A contradiction from every angle. Modest dress and sublime religion mixed with an overt Western influenced economy, a perverse sex trade, a political structure that is corrupt and prone to “velvet” revolutions. An enigma?
Culturally, embedded in the asian sentiment of family, worship and respect yet mind bending like a night with Ayahuasca and cerebral inputs from the region (multi-ethnic food, a border with two communist countries), the list goes on!
Boarding the plane, I touch down at Hong Kong Int’l at Chek Lap Kok and make the train in seconds flat to Central. Meeting up with friends, we cruise to the base of the Bank of China Tower. After a quick marvel at the size of this building, a walk around Exchange Square, a meander through Wan Chai, hoofing it around blocks of the “ladder streets” of this major city on the South China Sea, we headed for the back alleys for Hong Kong style $1 noodles. After a delicious pipping hot mystery meat and pho like noodle, we meander the streets finally ending up in Lan Kwai Fong for a quick refreshing beverage before scooting next door to Soho for dinner.
As for the inclimate weather, let me comment that I have never experienced weather like this. While its monsoon season, the first night in Hong Kong was one for the books. We sat in a restaurant with a few other patrons and watched car size rain drops fall from the sky. It was surreal. It came down, hour after hour, soaking the ground, saturating the air, leaving everything in its wake soaked. I was mesmerized by the sheer volume falling from the sky.
After a few hours, I hit the wall from travel and decided to call it a day. After a 40 minute cab ride to Shek ‘O, I slept. It was good to be in HK. No, great.
Waking on a Saturday, I put in a run to Big Wave Bay and the surrounding beaches of Shek ‘O. After a quick 5 miler up the headlands in 85 degree heat with 95% humidity, the rest of the day was spent on the beach with my friends and other sun gazers (Chinese, British and a few Indians). Dinner that night was with the French community at the local restaurant in the village. I was a bit amazed to find such a strong french contingent, but happy to meet their group and share in a birthday party with their motley crew.