Hong Kong

Paul with the Hong Kong Skyline

Paul with the Hong Kong Skyline

The second weekend in May I had the opportunity to take a long weekend
in Hong Kong. I had some business with MSF-HK, and since I’d worked a
few weekends after arriving in town, I decided to add a few days and
give myself a long weekend. I’d not been to Hong Kong but once, back
in the early 80s, and I knew it had changed quite a bit in the
interim. I thought this would be a nice chance to buy some of the
English-language books I’ve been wanting (book group: I’ve finished
Kite Runner, and will send out my thoughts to you all soon I hope; and
I began Guns, Germs and Steel last night — I’m looking forward to
reading it!), eat some food I can’t get easily here in Nanning, and
generally relax away from my work and the project here in Nanning for
a while.

The trip was all of that and more, as you will see in the comping
pictures. I hiked, spent time with a new friend and his son (thanks
for hosting me!), drank some pretty darn good coffee and had one good
Thai meal…spent WAY more than I should have in a really nice
English-language bookstore, and so on.

I also had a chance to check the way my blog looks when you can
actually access the site. Carrie and Steve, thanks for being such
regular readers and commenters. It’s always nice to read the comments,
even if it takes a while for me to have the chance to read them!

I need to get back to work now…came in early to get caught up on
these photos. But if you stay tuned, you’ll soon see photos of my trip
to Beijing, from which I just returned yesterday (Tuesday, May 24).
Thanks, as always, for your support and your e-mails and your
comments. And do check the MSF website (www.msf.org) – there’s a lot
going on out there in the world, and they’ve been updating it very
regularly of late with interesting information.

Hong Kong Skyline

Hong Kong Skyline

For those of you who’ve either never seen it, or not in a long time.
Hong Kong is truly a wonderful and world-class city in every way.

Paul with the Hong Kong Harbor

Paul with the Hong Kong Harbor

Thanks to Keith for taking these photos of me at the skyline!

Lamma Harbor, Hong Kong

Lamma Harbor, Hong Kong

Lamma Island, which doesn’t have a very large population and is really
rather small (I covered probably a solid 3/4 of it in about six hours
of hiking — though, true, it’s all quite mountainous so unfair to
expect folks to lug themselves up and over mountains just to get into
town…) has three (or is it four?) places where the ferries dock.
This is the second-largest town on the island, and as you can see it’s
not very big. It’s quite lovely, though, and all the banners are
around what’s either a new permanent temple going up, or a large
temporary pavilion for a festival or something — I have to admit I
just couldn’t read enough of the characters to be sure, but there is a
large structure going up there, next to the permanent and rather
pretty little temple.

Lamma has a reputation of being “expat heaven” in Hong Kong — a small
island fairly close to the main island, more or less across a short
strait from the part where all the famous floating restaurants are.
Since it’s not facing either Kowloon or the main city, and since it is
a bit further out toward the open sea, the air is a bit clearer and I
suspect it’s maybe a touch cooler than the city during the hot summer
months. The main town is, indeed, chock full of European and American
tourists (but then, compared to Nanning, so is all of Hong Kong). It
also caters to them…to the extent that I was able to have a
completely delightful (and darned expensive, this being HK) meal at a
vegetarian, organic restaurant. 🙂

Lamma Island, Hong Kong

Lamma Island, Hong KongIf these photos appear in the order I’m hoping, then I’ve already
mentioned that I spent two days hiking in the remoter parks and island
parts of Hong Kong. This was taken on an absolutely gorgeous hike I
took around Lamma Island — I couldn’t help taking this image, since
it seemed to me that many of my LA friends will think this could
easily have been taken in the canyons of Malibu or Topanga.