Three Sunsets

Unable to choose between three pictures for the next ‘Picture of the Week’, and because my ‘Picture of the Week’ feature has become more of a ‘Picture of the Month and a Half’, I decided to just go completely wild and publish 3 pictures in one go.

This first one captures the two tallest buildings in the city – the IFC in the foreground and the ICC gleaming in the fading sun, facing off against each other across the harbour. While looming over them in a rare appearance out from under the haze is Tai Mo Shan – Hong Kong’s highest peak, perhaps making a statement about how nature always has the last word over man’s puny attempts to reach the sky. Or something.

Sometimes sunsets can be brooding and tinged with melancholy, as in the 1st picture, but sometimes they can be light and full of promise. This was taken from a ferry puttering back to Sai Kung one Friday afternoon, the weekend stretching out suggestively before us.

And then some sunsets are neither ominously bruised nor promisingly bright. Some are just peachy – like this one from a beach on Cheung Chau last weekend. The hills of Lantau are just visible in the background.

And there you go – a week (or so) in Hong Kong, in three sunsets.

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Oh So Lo So

After 4 and a half years in one place, you become… no matter how exotic that ‘place’ once was and still may be… comfortable. Perhaps a little too comfortable. Besides it’s only right that you should feel comfortable in your adopted home – it wouldn’t do to be constantly exploring, constantly forcing new things upon yourself, living constantly on edge in case you might be missing something incredibly novel. No, after four years in one place, especially a place as condensed and accessible as Hong Kong, your expectations for each weekend begin to shrink. A hike across a far-flung mountain range becomes a trip to 7-11 to buy the paper. Dinner on the 110th floor of the world’s highest hotel becomes a pint in a Mongkok side-street…

And blogs suffer because life’s just too comfortable. Everything’s been experienced. Once you’ve written about how crazy-busy a Chinese New Year market is, or how foul a mooncake tastes, there’s really no need to write about it again. So last weekend I forced myself to go above and beyond, to a far-flung* beach, and write about it. Or at least publish some photos with a blurb or two.

*’far-flung’ by Hong Kong standards (around an hour door to door)

Somewhat symbolically, the towers of Hong Kong island recede into the background as the ferry pulls away from the Central piers. Still, though, hulking leviathans of the sea split the weekend waters in two as if to say: This Is Hong Kong!

Once on land, you follow narrow lanes past and eventually through overgrown grass and jungle to find…

…the sand! Lo So Shing on Lamma Island. Blissfully quiet compared to some of Hong Kong’s big-name beaches. Maybe it’s the distance away from civilisation, or maybe it’s because people here don’t like going to the beach after September (it’s autumn now, you see).

And on your way home you might stop for a beer as the sun dips towards the hills, and remind yourself of exactly where it is you live.