Articles

Half a World Away

In Hong Kong, Updates on July 24, 2011 by triotriotrio

Peng Chau

Many people refer to Hong Kong as a place of two worlds. They are often describing the unique mix of Chinese and Western traditions. But the two worlds that I often find more striking and far more interesting are the two worlds of urban verses rural. One can travel a short 5 miles in distance and go from a 21st century wonderland of high speed broadband and universal access to a community where electricity has not yet reached many people’s homes and food preparation is still done in a traditional manner just as it has been done for centuries.

Peng Chau

If one is traveling to Hong Kong one is likely to hit the high spots. There is the Peak, the extravagant shopping or perhaps a horse race at Happy Valley. But when one has the opportunity to live here day in and out, there are a number of smaller excursions that can all take place within a day. Using Central Pier Ferries as a starting point, one can travel to a number of smaller outlying islands where the pace of life is simpler and less hectic than the Asia World City of the banking, commerce and congestion.Peng Chau

One example of a day extrusion is to the island Peng Chau. It is a short 45-minute ferry ride from Central. The ferry chugs along the busy waterway and takes the traveler to this other world. Peng Chau is a small island that can easily be traversed by foot within a few hours. There are numerous temples, hiking paths and scenic areas to enjoy. It is important to come prepared. There are a few Chinese style restaurants and a grocery store but overall this sleepy little community is more about serving its local population verses being a resource to the visitor.

Jennifer and I landed at Peng Chau on this hot summer afternoon at the ferry landing. The first thing that we noticed that there were no cars, but bicycles were everywhere. There were parking lots of bicycles just waiting for their owners to return.  We began walking along the marked hiking path and quickly discovered how quickly it was to step into this rural adventure. Peng Chau Butterfly

Along the path, we discovered numerous roadside shrines, old temples with fresh offerings and people going about their daily activities. People fishing from the bridges, fish being dried on makeshift tarps and older people sitting under the shade of trees conversing were the sites along this easy going trail. We also encountered some wonderful wildlife. Butterflies and dragonflies filled the salty air and gave us some fresh air that we had not breathed in our lungs for quite some time. There were also times when we heard some rustling in the bushes along the path, but we chose not to investigate just in case it was more than just a friendly rabbit.

Peng Chau

One of the most striking portions of the hike was a beach we discovered overlooking the water. In the distance one could spot the high rises and the busy airport traffic. It was so close – but yet a half world away.

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One Response to “Half a World Away”

  1. really beautiful… wish i could visit =/

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