Localized

7 05 2017

Saturday was pleasant for what I did, and remarkable for what I did not do. I saw a great art exhibition. I ate vegetarian Japanese food in a hipsterish cafe. I lounged at home, cleaned up a bit, bought a plant at a lush arcade-like little plant shop tucked into an alleyway. Got a foot massage, ate seafood pizza and swam in the clear water of the local swimming pool under the bright moon.

And I didn’t leave my neighbourhood. I was in Wong Chuk Hang all day. After three years in the neighbourhood something has well and truly clicked in the last few weeks. I have started to feel that this is my little village.

Wong Chuk Hang is certainly not the most immediate of neighbourhoods, not an outward charmer. To most other Hong Kongers – even on the island – its a single, traffic fume-choked road lined with grimy industrial buildings. For some time this is how I saw it too.

But there is so much more to WCH than meets the eye, as I have grown to appreciate. Listing its merits mentally over dinner, after my fulfilling day in the area, I was a bit stunned.

  • A secret waterfall
  • Ancient rock art
  • Beautiful hikes
  • A profusion of art galleries hidden in old industrial blocks
  • Cafes like 3 3rds
  • The Jumbo floating restaurant
  • My busy local shrine, heaped with offerings and lit with candles at night, flanked by a long-time-present local herbalist
  • A village, with Hong Kong’s oldest house and even a few farms
  • A theme park
  • A sports ground
  • The best swimming pool in Hong Kong (with a view of the Jumbo restaurant)
  • Street art murals (see above)
  • Access to a beautiful beach at Deep Water Bay
  • A canal, along which I walk to work every day, nodding good morning to the local heron
  • A cooked food hawker centre
  • The beautifully lit tower which streams LED lights at night
  • Wild boars
  • A glamorous high fashion outpost (in the Lane Crawford headquarters)
  • Until recently, but sadly no more, a super-cool club.

Impressed, I resolved to spend more time in the ‘hood.

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One response

8 05 2017
Ian Barnett

some more great travel ideas – thanks

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