© 2011 notworkrelated - David Rutter & Helen Roscoe. All rights reserved. notworkrelated Hong Kong Christmas Eve

Hong Kong – 24th December

After a little lie-in we got ourselves ready and headed out into the hustle and bustle of Hong-Kong. We wanted to explore the area on foot so we hit the streets and wandered the many little alley ways and roads. Far more Christmas decorations were here than in China and it started to make us feel a little bit seasonal especially around Times Square. The streets are very much alike to those in London with the same traffic lights, double yellow lines on the roadside and even double-decker buses. We headed to Soho as the Lonely Planet had recommend the area for something a little different and more creative. There are hundreds of trendy restaurants and bars situated around Hong-Kong and you have a good choice to pick from, with many all ready very full with patrons.

We found a cool little place at the top of Soho so we sat inside and enjoyed a few drinks. Helen’s pear Halmsted cider (from sweden) was lovely and made for some easy consumption. Just up the road we popped into a small gallery and also found a Canon powered photography exhibition at the former jail in the centre of Hong Kong island. We could feel a lot of history here and quite a few areas were sealed off, we have spotted a fair amount of asbestos in China and we bet this place could have been the same. The exhibition (hkphotofest.org) was ok with a selection of old photographs showing the old Hong-Kong in its Colonial days and also some more modern photographers exhibiting their work. The building for us was the highlight, both wanting to use the space for a photography shoot. We even took our Christmas card photos of each other here, ready to be comped together with our Christmas best wishes.

After purchasing some Santa hats for some festive fun we continued to explore the streets on foot and found a great local restaurant that specialised in Wonton. We had a clear broth, with a free refill, and then started on the noodles. Helen’s wonton was packed with around 5 or 6 prawns and the lemon and honey cold beverage was great. Jumping on the underground network we made our way to Kowloon were on Christmas eve we were informed by the Alison Guest House that there would be fireworks on the Hong-Kong island and looking across the bay was the best way to see them. We asked a local police officer and they told us no fireworks, but there is an event taking place up the road, a street carnival.

People in the Hong-Kong territories really celebrate Christmas Eve more so that the actual day and there were lots of people walking the streets as a lot of the roads were sealed off to traffic. For a few hours we wandered around Tsim Sha Tsui and were absorbed further into chaotic streets and neon, they were getting ready for street parties and around the pier looking across to Hong-Kong Island thousands of people were waiting and photographing the Christmas decorations. It was rammed!

Not wanting to get stuck on the wrong side of the bay once the street procession had passed we headed back to Causeway Bay via the Star Ferry. For 1 HKD it’s a great view of the skyline and an essential part of any Hong-Kong visit. Not far from our accommodation was City Super which is like a food hall at Selfridges in the UK. They had some very nice items to buy so we invested in some Christmas Day luxuries and a really good smoked salmon wrap and a chicken caesar salad.

The streets were packed with people at any time of the day or night, maybe last minute shopping, some carol singers and others just out to feel the Christmas vibe. Once the sun had gone down the streets were even brighter with neon fluorescent and shop interior lights. We felt like we were inside the indent for Channel 4 in the UK which uses neon lights and signs to create a big number four. The inspiration must have come from here.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 & Olympus PEN, 17mm f2.8 & 100mm f2.8, processed in Lightroom 3)

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