Hong Kong — So Sweet!


Hong Kong 266 Oct. 3-5:  I’ll start by reviewing a running debate our family has been having about Hong Kong.  Should we view Hong Kong (HK) as a distinct country, or as part of China?  Sounds like a simple question to answer, right?  Well, there are some good arguments to view HK as a separate country — it has its own currency, legal system, customs policy, and immigration policy.  On the other hand, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has sovereignty over HK, controls its government, is responsible for its defense and foreign policy, and plans to completely absorb it into the PRC in 2047.   Separate country??  You’re guess is as good as ours.

Hong Kong 269 One thing that isn’t ambiguous is the spectacular beauty of Hong Kong — surrounded by lush mountains, the China Sea, and a gorgeous harbor.  It consists of some 262 islands and peninsulas, the largest of which are Hong Kong Island, Lantau Island, and Kowloon Peninsula.  Hong Kong literally translated means “fragrant harbour.”  The city is a center of finance and tourism, with a population of about 7,000,000.

Hong Kong 301 A highlight of our stay in HK took place some 8,005 miles away in Boston, MA, where the Red Sox opened their series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  While we would have loved to have been there live, we were able to watch the game in our hotel room.  It started at 6:30 a.m. HK time, and we watched a gorgeous sun rise over HK harbor and an even more gorgeous game from Josh Beckett.  I also traded e-mails with my good friend Jeff Bussgang, who was at the game.  He kindly e-mailed me back a delicious Fenway Frank using a revolutionary attachment technology developed by one of his portfolio companies (another good investment, Jeff!). 

Hong Kong 311 A highlight of our time in Hong Kong was a trip out to Mai Po Nature Preserve.  After a dreadful lack of wildlife in China, we saw almost 50 different types of birds, including this grey heron sunning itself on the edge of one of Mai Po’s marshes.   It was terrific to spend time at such a protected spot just a short drive from downtown.  After three weeks in China, we had seen a shockingly anemic grand total of three different species of birds, so it was great to see some beautiful birds in HK.

Hong Kong 283 At night, HK is alive with activity.  Each evening there is a laser show at 8:00 p.m. which we observed one evening from a boat in the harbor.   HK lies in the tropics, and the weather in early October is balmy; it was a fabulous night to be out on the water.

Hong Kong 263 The architecture of the buildings in HK is varied and interesting.   In the photo on the left, the larger building on the left hand side with the two antennae and the criss-crosses running up and down is an I.M. Pei design and was one of our favorites.  At night, the cross-hatches were lit, and it was pretty jazzy.

Hong Kong 015 We managed to squeeze in a bit of baseball while in HK, but it wasn’t easy.  We ended up walking fifteen minutes from the hotel to the nearest “park.”   As far as I can tell, “park” in Chinese means “tiny amount of land that is mostly cement, and anything grassy is strictly off limits, with a policeman ready to stop you in a matter of seconds.”  So we threw on a little sidewalk area.  The guy on the left was running very small laps around the park, and passed us every 180 seconds — like clockwork.  Gibson was tempted to use this opportunity to work on his brushback pitch, but decided to keep his pitches away from the “runner.”

The contrast between HK and some of China’s (other) cities couldn’t have been more stark.  As one person put it, in Beijing you see lots of bicycles being used for transportation by a relatively poor population.  In HK, the only bicycles you see are in fitness centers, of which there are many.  It’s cosmopolitan and multi-cultural.  HK was as diverse as any place we’ve ever been, with a very educated population.  It has great culture, museums (we didn’t make it to any, unfortunately, since we only had two days there), shopping, and restaurants.   We’ve generally allocated the right amount of time to the places we’ve visited, but we would love to spend more time in HK.  It gives us a great excuse to return!



If you want to take a look at our Hong Kong  photo album, go to http://dintersmith.phanfare.com/album/394279/605896#imageID=28097166

One Response to “Hong Kong — So Sweet!”

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