And if Manhattan were in China?
Anyone who arrives in Hong Kong for the first time cannot help but see in it an Asian New York. But after this first impression, Hong Kong has many unexpected surprises in store.
In Hong Kong, you will discover that there is more countryside than skyscrapers. That's the first surprise! The second is that, in Hong Kong, you will enjoy a taste of the same China that you would encounter on the mainland. While the Maoists destroyed old Peking, Hong Kong maintained its Chinese roots. Although the city worships at the altar of unbridled capitalism, Hong Kong also has more than 600 temples, including 300 dedicated to Tin Hau, goddess of the sky and the sea. Another surprise!
The British are gone, but the double-decker bus and savoury canapés at 'five o'clock tea made in Peninsula' remain. Cranes pop up like mushrooms, their wild visual poetry building the largest area of polders in the world. People love the sea so much here that they'll eat anything that comes from it. Here, you will feast, as in very few places in the world of gastronomy, on cuisines from all around the globe. The flavours of each region and country are more intense, but it does not preclude the simmering fusion cuisine of tomorrow. Hong Kong is a cinematic city par excellence, manufacturing images that suit everyone's taste: from ultra-violent and art-house movies to romances that draw more tears than the water in the Pearl River. Do movies use Hong Kong as a mere backdrop or does Hong Kong make itself into the city it sees on the movie screen? All we know is that its production industry was the third largest in the world before the retrocession, so much so that Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh have made their way to the big and small screens of tens of millions of fans in China, Malaysia, the Philippines…
When to go
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© Text and photography courtesy of EnVols