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Hong Kong: The Other Side (#2).

Saturday in Hong Kong, 12/15/14.

Vivian and I slept for a long time, until noon. Much needed, since we had woken up at 4:45am for our flight the previous morning. After waking up, we ate lunch by slowly walking down the Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui district and eating a ton of small foods.

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Hong Kong streets are super unique. It’s more packed than Taiwan, yet the buildings are more uniform. There are a lot more one way streets, but traffic doesn’t seem to be overly horrid. Street signs pop out of the side of buildings ten times more than San Francisco Chinatown, and a ton of clothes hang from windowsills on the highrises.

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After that, we took an hour long boat tour around Hong Kong! Victoria Harbour Cruise.

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We pulled up some chairs and hung out on the deck. The entire boat had only ~10 people or so, and they all stayed indoors.

After that, we took another boat across the channel to Central. Spent the next few hours walking around the area, absolutely magnificent.

It’s a shame pictures cannot portray just how tall these buildings are. And there’s more than just a couple dozen. It feels more like a couple hundred of these. Unlike San Francisco, where most of the buildings are in one central location, Hong Kong has skyscrapers throughout the entire country.

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Remember this photo. I’ve taken another one in the night from a similar angle.

Not only that, there are a lot of large parks scattered throughout the area. There are natural birds, parrots even, chirping around.

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We tried to go to Victoria Peak, but the wait was 2.5 hours long. Here’s the back end of the tram. Again, it’s unreal to see this rail in a residential area, with highrises in the background. Felt like Bioshock: Infinite.

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Then, the sun slowly set. This looks like a scene out of a Japan import car magazine.

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All these banks and corporations with so much status.

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Compare this to the photo from earlier.

We ate dinner in the International Finance Center.

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I had sashimi salad, ate too much throughout the day.

Afterward, we took our time to meet Vivian’s friend, a fellow Cal alum named Kenny. We met at a Jazz bar called One Visage. It’s a barber shop during the day, so the place was tiny.

Five of us squeezed in on the second floor. The musicians were fantastic, each knowing how to play several instruments. Their voices were great, and they were also very humorous.

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Did I mention we were a group of 5? Who were the other two? Their names were Nicole and Elise. And, how did we meet them? Well, the jazz bar is famous for foreigners, not just because of its uniqueness and great artists, but because it’s notoriously hard to find.

Vivian and I spent 30 minutes trying to find the place, and we couldn’t call Kenny because we didn’t have a local SIM card. After asking several other people unsuccessfully, we stopped Elise and Nicole in their tracks and asked for directions. Elise had lived in Hong Kong for the past six years and had never found the place herself. She too was curious, and allowed us to use her phone to ring Kenny.

30 minutes later (because Kenny too got lost trying to find us, AND got lost trying to get back to the venue), we found ourselves on the second floor of the room listening to grandeur and hipsters. Kenny chose well, great choice, it was a temporary getaway from the busyness of the city.

Afterward, we went to a bar to eat, drink, and bond. Kenny’s friend Mic joined us. Mic’s a professional magician, and he blew my mind away. To keep it short, he did disappearing tricks with coins with short sleeves, and with having his wrists grabbed by us. He did a ton of other things, completely mindblown, all original.

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I wish the six of us had taken a photo. Kenny, Mic, Elise, and Nicole were all great. Hope we keep in touch.

We called it a night at 12:30am, took a taxi back, and slept soundly.

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