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Monday, May 31, 2010

May 31, Hong Kong


The impression of Hong Kong is almost overwhelming.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Hong Kong waterfront

We’d forgotten how awesome it is and how much we loved it until we returned.

Coming into Victoria Harbor on the fast ferry from Discovery Bay last week gave us that same feeling of excitement we had the first day we saw it sailing WINGS into Victoria Harbor with Carol Pearl on board in 2004. The towering skyscrapers, misty peaks, the busy harbor, the jumble of signs and shops, the bustling crowds, and even the smells; there is nothing like it and it excites us still.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Exotic Hong Kong

In the airport there is a sign: “Hong Kong: Asia’s Exotic World City”. It’s true. It is a world city and the most exotic place I’ve even been. I loved going into the city every day when I worked there and just being on the streets of Central or Wan Chai or Kowloon never failed to re-energize me.

Again I walk on the crowded street below colorful overhead neon signs which cross completely to the other side of the street advertising gold shops or sea food restaurants, ducking through people of many ethnic groups, mostly Chinese of course, all seeming to be in a hurry, past hawkers and open front shops with music blaring, past fish markets with tanks of live fish, some of which splash water on my feet if I walk too close.

I know there is an IT Mall somewhere here on Lockhart Street and suddenly it is there on my right, a small opening in a building with steps leading up to an escalator; No. 298. I go in and enter a warren of shops selling all manner of computer goods. It is so crowded you can hardly squeeze through the aisles. There are five floors but I find what I need on the first floor. In Hong Kong you can get anything if you know where to go.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club moorings at Middle Island

We also have many good friends in Hong Kong, mostly expats from the UK, Africa, down-under, everywhere, and most of them are sailors. Sailing is big among the expats of Hong Kong and life is good for an expat sailor here: there are plenty of places to sail, good winds, and races every week. Avoiding the ships hurtling down the Lamma Channel or out of Guangzhou just provides another tactical opportunity. At the finishing line there will be a good anchorage, several fine restaurants, and plenty of free flowing wine. The people here live hard and enjoy life and, frankly, it is a life of both work and privilege.

Hong Kong is all about money; making it and spending it. There is money to be made in Hong Kong, and when you’re making it, no end of fun ways to spend it.

And so we enjoyed our visit, just as we enjoyed living here a few years back, but as much as we like it Hong Kong is not a place to retire on a low income. We’ll have to go elsewhere for that.

Fortunately there is a whole world of new places out there still waiting for us to find the right one.

Click here for more Hong Kong photos

Click here for photos from the race/cruise we did with Winters on Soko

Click here for a look at the amazing livaboard "junks" at Discovery Bay in Hong Kong


Click Here for all the Hong Kong photos

Fred & Judy, Hong Kong

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