I have been to Hong Kong several times but I still haven’t quite gotten the hang of being here. There are still a lot of places to visit and see and I get amazed by everything as if it were my first time to visit.
For this trip, I’ve decided to get lost in the side streets and unusual places for a typical tourist to go to. Don’t get me wrong, I still went to the usual haunts but sometimes, it feels good to be engulfed by the maze of side streets and tight little nooks that are hidden from the usual busy roads. It’s like being part of a secret club.
For this particular day, I decided to go hop on a Ding Ding for my exploration. A ding ding is the old railed tram, called that because it usually rings its bell to warn pedestrians that it is coming and may eventually run them over if they don’t get off the fucking path. It is the cheapest way to get around the city – at $2.30 a ride. (Make sure you have exact change or have an octopus card. The drivers do not give change) It’s also the most brainless way to get around because you can only go East or West. You can’t get confused. Granted, it’s also the slowest mode of transport BUT you never get stuck in traffic, so really, you win at all points. You can also just hop off and on at different stations. Just don’t do the thing that I did where I got off when everyone got off – apparently, you don’t have to. On a side note, this mode of transportation is perfect for those who play Pokemon Go. Lots of pokestops and lots of pokemons to catch.
You can also get on a MTR – the fastest way around the city. The best and most recommended way of moving around is walking – it’s healthy and you have more freedom to weave through the side streets.
I read somewhere that the best way to really experience a place to get lost in it. Not hopelessly lost, but just lost enough – if that makes any sense at all. I think what it really means is that we should go and get off the usual tourist path and go exploring. This is where you find the real treasures or where you have your real adventure.
Because I thought you had to get off a stop when everyone else did, I found myself completely lost. There were older shops, there was a meat market, a seafood market and a place under the fly over where you can have your enemy’s name written on a white paper tiger and then burned and hammered with a shoe. There were narrow streets lined up with interesting shops that sell dried everything that used to live: plants and animals. There were noodle shops, dimsum shops who sell eye-closing delicious food (although I will not tell you about the questionable sanitation).
It was easier to appreciate and understand the history and culture of the place from these unusual side trips. So, go ahead! Go get lost and have fun!