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Gallery 11: Hong Kong, China 2017

Happy when High

In 2017, we were lucky enough to visit Hong Kong on three occasions (although this gallery reflects just the first two). The first visit was surprise-organised about a day or so before we left - by a family member who was moving to Hong Kong and needed to visit to pick out a flat. This made for a less common experience, as we flitted between potential flats across Hong Kong with the estate agent and their 8-seater van and driver. One of many hundreds and thousands sprinkled across the city - a strange but very popular choice of vehicle in this tight-streeted highly-trafficked conurbation.

During the day of furniture store exploration, we enjoyed a death-march down the 27 stories of Horizon Plaza, circling every floor and repeatedly losing each other in this most basic geometric shape. Then, in South East Asia, in an ex-British quasi city-state 'Special Administrative District' of Communist China....we still managed to end up in an Ikea (albeit the smallest Ikea we've ever seen where the restaurant was in the basement with standing room only). In the end, the visit confirmed the choice of the younger generation and their previous visit, choosing a beautiful home on the south side of the island. We wholeheartedly agreed and felt happy that we knew HK much more than from when we landed and we were greeted by a super enthusiastic tourist information steward.

Our second visit in August was, as you can imagine, to visit the same side of our family in their beautiful now-furnished home, having shifted in June (the Indian-English verb). Our flight over was delayed by 6 hours due to a Signal 10 typhoon (Hato) which was just finishing up when we were supposed to land. The journey from the airport was an experience in itself with the taxi negotiating the dead roads at 3am through the centre of a world city, slaloming around huge fallen trees, uprooted bushes, and mountains of debris - as yet untouched by the fire service and their teams. A city so rich but hit so recently that the logs and leaves were filling the entryways of Prada and Versace showrooms.

This visit was also unusual for a HK visit as we were not staying in the city but on the other side of the island in Stanley with its sun, sea and sand and small markets - not the usual image of this little island. This was the visit where we learned our way by foot, visited the New Territories (one of the reasons Britain gave the city back as the lease on this area came up in 1997), and continued our eating tour that started in the first visit and continued strong. We would like to thank our now-local Hong Kong family for all the time they could spare and for all the experiences they showed and shared with us.

We are certainly sold and would consider spending a spell in this city of variety.

Please enjoy the gallery of photographs by clicking the photo or link above, or:

~ Vientiene

P.S. For any photography enthusiasts or professionals reading: I use a Panasonic G5 (micro four-thirds), and mostly used a 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens from 2013-2017 (full frame equivalent 28-84mm). In early 2017, I replaced it with the much faster 20mm f1.7 II prime allowing the capture of much more light, as well as an increase in saturation, a reduction in size and a significant boost in sharpness. This is the full-frame equivalent to a 40mm f1.7 so is a 'normal' lens in the traditional sense. I also use a telescopic 45-200mm f4-5.6, it has great reach given the full-frame equivalent of 90-400mm.

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