Tsim Sha Tsui — Follow me and never leave me, my muse

The world has no end. Hong Kong can sincerly prove such a statement. The Hong Kong dragon is always awake and the modernity of this city is always ready to flash you both at daylight with its never-ending frenzy and with its nocturne blinding lights.

I can find a host of epithets to describe Hong Kong, though none of them seem to be actually enough to reflect the real essence of this huge urban dragon at its best. I could define Hong Kong as an eternal awake dragon, as a common urban jungle, as an oriental modernity jewel, as a never-sleeping city or even as a globalization monster. But to find out the most suitable epithet, one should truly experience this world metropole. While there, I felt like I was at the end of the world, but somehow my inner feelings were whispering me that the world has no end and there are no limits to surprises, as the world is indeed beautiful.

Big city life in Hong Kong

Hong Kong does not give a different choise if not living adventurously: you either feel the spirit of an ultimate adventure, or you just catch the adventure. Its urban vibe never stops: floods of cars, buses, trams and people moving from one side of the city to another, leaving a sense of restlessness, mess and frenzy to each stranger. Whenever you walk along and across the streets of Hong Kong, whether at daylight or at night through its flashing blinding lights, a feeling of overexcitement comes over, as you finally realize you are experiencing the crazyness of a urban Asian city.

Me and Thorben happily amazed by the view over Victoria Harbour from Victoria Peak

This incredible urban dragon lets itself being watched from above from Victoria Peak. A tramway built during the end of the 19th century leads directly to a modern concrete terrace from which the view above the city is breathtaking and uncomparable to any other views the city might offer. Once on Victoria Peak you realize how immense this urban jungle is, how catching it is and you suddenly realize how small you are, if compared to the giantness of the skyscrapers literally touching the sky. While standing there and waiting for the sunset with Thorben I had a moment of inspiration invading my chest and on my travel diary I wrote as follows:

This urbanization is pure madness. While admiring the city from Victoria Peak’s terrace, you realize how incredibly well the natural jungle of the forest managed to meet the human concrete jungle: This is pure madness mixed with pure Asian magic. The Hong Kong globalization dragon wins over everyone’s heart with its modern richness. Awaiting on Victoria Peak the sunset and the astonishing Asian night lights and perhaps fall in love again and again.

Though there is a place in Hong Kong which seems to be totally far away from the modern era and the globalisation frency. Not far from Hong Kong, Lantau Island looks like an unexplored place. Nevertheless thousands of visitors make the whole way using the cable cars or even on foot to admire the giant Buddha sitting on the top of the island’s hill. Some of them make all the way till here to worship him; many others, like Thorben and me, climb the Lantau hill to get astonished, overwhelmed and fascinated by this peaceful giantness.

A few kilometers far away from the urban jungle the immensity of this green paradise situated on the hills is indeed a peaceful place. Is this peaceful due to the temples? Due to the parfume of burning incense? Due to the big Buddha? Perhaps. Here though there is no sovereignty. The only ruling sovereignty belongs to the big Buddha, starring at you while climbing the stairs. It is here impressive to see Chinese people in front of a temple or in front of the Buddha. At a sudden they forget modernity, iPhones, cameras. They become silent as they are completely focused on alightning incense, worshipping silently their divinity. The whole silence surrounding is fascinating, indescribable with words, even through pictures.

Energy and vitality in Hong Kong are a never-ending flow. The city does not have breaks. Even in Lantau Island, up on the hill, where the big Buddha sits and stares, a sense of intense and positive energy overcomes your travellers’ feeling. In that moment the traveller needs to stop, stow the camera away and catch the positivity of this invading energy coming and spreading towards you. The power of a sincere ancient time preserved in this place leads to forget the modernity and frenzy of a world never-sleeping metropole.

Shanel Talarico.