Waking up in a tiny hostel bed was how I started this particular day. I had just landed in Hong Kong the night before and I picked any place that was the cheapest and close by to crash. Have you ever seen that documentary where there are a bunch of people living in a tiny room and it looks like they are sleeping in cages made for chickens? That’s how I kind of slept the first night. There were two bunk beds were placed inside a room built for the size of two people max. Imagine.
After stumbling out of bed trying not to shake the top bunk too much as to wake my bottom bunk neighbour, I got ready to hit the streets to explore the lively city.
There were a couple of points of interest in the city I already had in mind which would allow me to get a good cross section of the city.
Hollywood Road (Antique Street) & Man Mo Temple
I had my sights on Hollywood Road, which doubles as Hong Kong’s antique street. This road was the second road to be ever built when the colony of Hong Kong was founded. It was also the first road to be completed. More than 100 years ago, Hollywood Road was rather close to the coastline. In those days, foreign merchants and sailors would put up the antiques and artifacts they “collected” from China for sale here on their way back to Europe. This is how Hollywood Road began its role as an antique market.
Hollywood Road is filled with trinket and antique shops of all sorts: from Chinese furniture to porcelain ware, from Buddha sculptures to Tibetan rugs, from Japanese netsukes to Coromandel screens, from Ming dynasty ceramic horsemen and kitsch Maoist memorabilia. Previously known solely for antique shops, Hollywood Road has developed into a contemporary art district in Hong Kong.
Down the road was Man Mo Temple where if you’re walking by you couldn’t miss it. It looked like something that came straight out of an Asian royal dynasty movie.
It was quite neat inside and looked exactly how I had imagined a old temple to look like. Inside you’re surrounded by smoke from all the burning incenses from people’s offerings, which by the way the temple provides for free (of course they do appreciate donations.)
The ceiling hung spirals of large incenses
To be honest, I didn’t recognize any of the spiritual figures that housed this place, but one thing for sure is that the locals who come here to pray find deep spiritual connection to them. It really shows.
Soon after this visit, I made my way to one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen – The Dragon’s Back