Destinations / Editor's Choice

HONG KONG – A Dazzling Display of Intricacies

HONG KONG ARCHITECTURE

I thought I was dreaming when my phone rang and the voice of Jacques Dumont, Publisher of PHOTO News Magazine, echoed in my ears… I was the Grand Prize Winner of their travel-themed photo contest, “The World Through My Lens”! As reality sank in, my mind began to anticipate the journey across the continents to Hong Kong, the highlight of the Grand Prize package.

VICTORIA PEAK

The subtlety of the British heritage remains very present across the mainland. The Langham Hotel, the five-star palace that had gracefully sponsored my accommodation, reflected The Victorian tradition of elegance. While the room was luxuriously furnished, the bathroom was second to none. I soaked in the Jacuzzi style bath that connected to the main bedroom with louvered shutters, with a glass of wine and a plate of delicate chocolate made in the hotel kitchen. This was a refreshing way to unwind after the 13-hour flight from Vancouver, before setting off to experience the Symphony of Lights across the harbour, aboard the Duck Ling fishing boats converted into cruising facilities. The world-famous laser beam show started at 8 p.m. and swept across the bay for fourteen minutes.

Duck Ling Duck Ling

As the almost full moon shone in the clear night, in the heart of the city the old and the new world converge into an awe-inspiring testimonial of opulence. This truly is a land of contrasts, where land and sea, merge into a fairy tale story, filled with intricacies.

Our first excursion was “The Fishermen Folk and the Great Outdoors tour” on Lamma Island. Renowned for its prolific tourist activities, the island is nestled in picturesque lush mountains, famous for hiking. Taoist temples adjoined artisan shops.

Lamma Island

Judy, our guide, conversed with us in perfect French, as she pointed to some dried fish maws hanging in plastic bags from the ceiling. These are reputed for their collagen properties, a holistic way to promote youthful skin! The village hosted about thirty thousand inhabitants whose only means of transportation is by foot or bicycle. At the end of our visit, Judy gifted us with some tiny, sun-dried, uncooked octopus as snacks; nice and crispy, with a sweet flavour!

Judy

Our next excursion took us to the Lam Po Monastery on Lantau Island. We made a brief stop on one of the array of attractive beaches, where whooshing waves crashed ashore from the mounting tide, and the horizon blended with the overcast sky.

LANTAU BEACH

Those who live by the sea have a deep respect of customs and traditions. As such, fishermen would never flip a fish while eating it. They eat from one side and take out the bones before finishing the fish. It is a common belief that whoever turns a fish while eating it would have their boats capsized!

MONASTERY

Cable Car

We continued the excursion towards the Po-Lin monastery that overlooked luxuriant hills, with wave-like structures bathed in mist. Silence and fervour greeted us, as the smell of incense impregnated the air. As per the Buddhism tradition, incense is always burned in multiples of three, in reverence to heaven, earth and mankind. We ended the visit with a relishing, vegan lunch at the monastery. Our return journey was via the crystal bottom cable car that offered amazing bird’s eye views.

buddhist

THE BUDDHA THE BUDDHA

I had discovered the existence of the Hong Kong pink dolphins while doing my pre-trip research. The sea was quite calm and hardly a breeze when we ventured out on the yacht. As the first mother dolphin and her calf surfaced briefly, cheers echoed on the boat and I started clicking with my Tamron 600 mm lens. Sadly, the pink dolphin community, numbered as few as 48 is declining rapidly. Territorial, the pods tend to remain in the inshore waters and are exposed to pollution and accidents.

pink dolphin

No photo shoots are complete without a sunset shot! We opted for a location at Deep Water Bay. There were some wispy clouds drifting above the horizon when I decided to prolong my sunset shots with a few long exposures on low ISO with a 5-stop ND filter on my 14mm lens. The result was quite amazing with a sky filled with stars.

Back in Vancouver, I have this gnawing urge to return to Hong Kong to photograph the pink dolphins – I hope to be on my way soon to Lantau Island…

LANTAU MONASTERY


About the Author  

Tanouja Narraidoo, of Surrey B.C., took the winning photo in our “World Through My Lens” Photo Challenge, capturing this incredible evening image of multi-coloured badlands, sandstone hoodoos, petrified wood and dinosaur bones at Ah Shi Leh Pah in San Juan County, New Mexico.

For more information on the PHOTO News “World Through My Lens” contest, and a gallery of winning photos, please follow this link: http://www.photonews.ca/index.php/25th-anniversary-photo-challenge/

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3 Comments

  1. Don Saunders says:

    Excellent photo as contest winner, and Ampris to be congratulated for the
    Excellence of preparation for the contest winner.

    Certainly a worthy winner, and a worthy gift selection.

    Congrats., to all

    Don s

  2. Tanouja Narraidoo says:

    Hello Don,

    I really appreciate your kind comments. Thank you so much 🙂

    Tanouja

  3. Absolutely emazing photos. Would love to go there……