Same Country, Contrast In Living Style


I’ve visited Hong Kong several times in the past few years and it’s always struck me how different parts of the Special Administrative Region vary in living styles. Sprawling across Lantau and Tai O Islands is a well-known village called Tai O which  is definitely a must-go for photographers. Home to a community of fisher people, who’ve built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats, Tai O has become a bit of a tourist must-see. Through generations, this tightly knit community, which literally lives on the water, have built unusual structures which are all interconnected.

Tai O Stilt Houses

Wandering around Tai O is a dream. No traffic, a lazy way of life, well at least for me anyway, and peace to stop and look at what’s for sale, mainly fish. I think I prefer this life-style. What about you?

Walking round Tai O I found this gentleman sleeping on a bench in a park. It seems to be catching…..

Lazy-Way

…..because the cats were taking it easy as well.

Cats

Contrast that with down town Kowloon. Here the apartment blocks rise ever higher and higher but are still very tightly packed.

Hong Kong Streets

Over on Hong Kong island there are more and more high-rise buildings, still tightly packed. Space is at a premium in the SAR and so the only way to build is up. The sound of traffic is almost continuous and every time I have visited air pollution has always been evident. Nearly every photograph I have shows grey skies. If you live in or have visited Hong Kong SAR is it ever any different. Maybe you could let us know?

Harbour-View

And yet there is plenty of wildlife in Hong Kong. A photographer I know from the New Territories manages to get some fantastic bird and wildlife photographs. Check him out.

That’s my contrast for this week. I hope you enjoyed the photographs and let me know what you think.

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10 thoughts on “Same Country, Contrast In Living Style

  1. Andrew July 1, 2014 / 03:59

    Thanks for the plug, Mike. Let me know if you are in Sai Kung. Yes, the pollution continues although the rain is keeping the skies clear for now. Tai O is wonderful. My wife was there a few weeks ago and found a terrific little cafe. The SAR is fraught with political and social tensions now and the contrasts and inequality grow. It feels like a tinderbox. But escape into the countryside and there is greenery and tranquility still. Thanks heavens.

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    • Mike Hardisty July 1, 2014 / 15:19

      Hi Andrew, you’re welcome. I always think that Hong Kong, like many ex-British colonies, has a mix of old style colonialism, slowly dying away, and a sort of modern new style. But look behind the scenes and you will find the people who’s lives haven’t changed, or if they have, it’s for the worse.

      Before I came to Hong Kong for the first time I had this idea of a bustling neon-lit city which hardly ever sleeps but I was surprised to find, get out of the city and you would be in a totally different world, which I much prefer.

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  2. sued51 July 1, 2014 / 11:10

    I really like the photo of the man sleeping on the bench…nice shot…

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    • Mike Hardisty July 1, 2014 / 15:21

      Yeah! That was a good one. All around him, tourists were walking and taking photographs, but he was blissfully unaware of what was going on.

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  3. Mabel Kwong July 3, 2014 / 12:02

    Two different places so near in Hong Kong, yet so different in terms of housing and lifestyle. But I bet in both places everyone works hard for a living amidst the pollution everywhere. – it’s a challenging life everywhere in the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. Did you like the village or the city better?

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    • Mike Hardisty July 3, 2014 / 18:19

      I much preferred the village Mabel. As much as the city has some absolutely fantastic photo opportunities I really liked the peace of the village. I’m hoping to visit HK next year and Tai O will definitely be on my visit list. Last time I was there it was a bit rushed as we had already been to the Buddha and were running short on time.

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      • Mabel Kwong July 4, 2014 / 10:31

        I guess the village is quieter and things go at a slower pace than the city. For me, I don’t mind either but I guess it depends on our personal preference. Rushing on a trip is never really good as you might miss out on seeing what’s around you. But then again, travel is always so unpredictable and there’s every chance you don’t have the time to do everything. Plan well, safe travels.

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