On the other side of Victoria Peak, a stark contrast to the shimmering Hong Kong skyline. Calm waters and a glorious sunset, the backyard of Hong Kong Island. Other, smaller islands like drops of land in the sea, with thick greenery and lush forests.
Leaving the buzzing city behind and the highrises be, embarking on a journey on Lantau Island, away from the metro station and into the winding trails to Lantau Peak. Overtaken by the occasional jogger, admiring Hong Kong’s fittest senior citizens, panting with each step closer to the peak, going up and up and up. Taking breaks to look back, to watch smaller hills fade into the mist, the path disappearing behind slopes of the mountain range. Thinking about the opening song to “Journey to the West”:
“Where is my path, I dare ask?” – “It is under your feet.”
Resting on Lantau Peak, peaking under the temporary shelter of broken wooden planks. Pausing for breaths of air and a brought snack, the 360° view. Looking for the destination in the distance.
Walking on, step for step for step. Winding down the hills, engaging knees and feet to carry me further towards a sitting deity. A variety of colors in the sky makes the troubles worthwhile. A perfect moment of tranquility. Where is Hong Kong? Far away on our minds.
Man Mo Temple, Soho. A bit away from all the restaurant-filled streets of Soho, entering the lair of the gods of martial art and literature. Smoke and incense fills the thick air, it gets quite hard to breathe. The newly-washed clothes covered in the mystical aroma of religion. Spirals of incense-machines hang from rows of bamboo bars and provide englightenment, but no light. Lanterns and candles provide a dimmed darkness. Worshippers burn more incense. A caretaker cleans out buckets of used candles and sticks.
Stepping out of the temple into the real world. The busy streets haven’t changed. Hong Kong is still there.
January 19th – January 25th 2017