I hate Hong Kong: A conflicted: love/hate relationship with my mistress

(Last Updated On: April 10, 2019)

hong kong island at night

I hate Hong Kong, or I did, years ago.

This is one of the most common photographs taken in Asia. Every night of the week sees professional photographers, and people like me, with tripods set up on Avenue of the Stars in Kowloon, their lenses trained on the bright lights of Hong Kong Island.

How could you not take this photo? The clouds roll in from Victoria Peak, covering the skyscrapers. The phallic IFC2 building spotlights the sky. It’s freakish. It’s mysterious. It’s gaudy beauty. There are dozens of colorful metaphors I could use.

I hate you, Hong Kong. On your streets I feel like an adulterous husband sneaking guiltily around. How could I love the bastard child of opium-laced British Imperialism? I hate you, Hong Kong, and Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, Central, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay.

But this photo: I can almost forget about the bitter expats that fill your bars and the fact Jackie Chan is still allowed to make films. This scene: That is why I love you.

And hate you.

Update: This was written in the year that I loathed Hong Kong. Now I call Hong Kong home. Over the years my outright hatred softened until I learned to love the world’s greatest city. From vibrant central to the more sedate Sheung Shui – I love it all.

29 thoughts on “I hate Hong Kong: A conflicted: love/hate relationship with my mistress

  1. Oh! This one I understand completely!
    The Dallas area is hot, sticky, dusty, and crowded. The traffic is horrible, and living here is expensive. But the sight of the Dallas skyline will always mean I’m home.

    It’s beautiful, Stevo. How could you not love it?

    Shawn Ws last blog post..The Atomic Fur-Ball

  2. Jennifer: Thank you kindly.

    Shawn: It’s nice to know someone in the same boat.

    Ron: Maybe if I took it from a ferry in the middle of the harbor the easiness factor would be removed?

    Craig: In fact I did. Picked it up a week ago. Love it.

  3. That is an awesome shot! I have seen a lot of them very similar, but I can see why. I have never been to Hong Kong, but hope to make it there in the near future!

  4. HeyJules: Merci.

    DLD: It is quite a site.

    Unguided: That’s an interesting comparison.

    DurbanBay: I have never been to the peak at night. I’ll have to give it a try.

    Justin: Let me know if you get there, we can meet up.

    Gary: I missed sunset, I’ll try next time.

    yb: Thanks.

    Robin: 谢谢

  5. Christine: Thanks, the 40D is great.

    Carrie: Thanks.

    Ben: Yes, but it’s the “superiority” of Hong Kongers that gives me problems.

    Allen: Thank you for that. Correction made.

  6. Oh, I love Hongkong! I love that view Steve. Like you, I was capturing the views and sights every day and night I was in Hongkong – without the tripod. Hongkong is my kind of city. Everything is there…accessible, affordable, classy, foodsy (foodsy?), fun, diverse. I love shopping there…the big shops, the small stalls. The expensive restaurants..and the small vendors. You captured that breath-taking view of Hongkong lights. And ..the light show…every night at 8pm — it is like going to the fair.

    Keep up the good work – and the photos.

    (Edita) –
    PinayMOB@AirlineTravelersGuide.com

    Edita´s last blog post..Air Travel Guide to Best Travel Deals and Flights

  7. I’ve been to Hong Kong. I lived in Tehran at that time, so Hong Kong was a little haven for me. If we think of it in terms of an Amusement Park rather than an incomplete fill-in-the-blank destination, it becomes much easier to hold it in some esteem. Your photo is beautiful, BTW, because of your “take” at that moment. If more people “hated” Honk Kong it seems as if it would become a better place, somehow.

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