This winter we were lucky enough to get to spend 6 days in Hong Kong. The land of skyscrapers and street markets, there is a strange symbiosis between Chinese culture and westernization. On day one, we did what we do every Saturday in SF, wandering the streets hitting up the best coffee shops, indie book sellers and clothing boutiques. If you can avoid looking to the towering residential blocks above, the street level of Hong Kong island looks just like the Mission. But venture beyond the financial and highly gentrified areas of Central or Wan Chai, and you can get a more authentic feel for China. For just that we took the Star Ferry over to Kowloon and the train up towards Shenzhen to escapes the skyscrapers and visit a monastery tucked into the mountains. Here we present Hong Kong: the city of lights and the fragrant bay.
Tucked onto a small block surrounded by modern towers is the Man Mo temple built in 1847. The scent of burning incense wafts through the neighborhood around the template.
Build into the hills 20 minutes outside of Hong Kong, the Ten Thousands Buddha's monastery is famous for its 10,000 buddha statues. The path up to the monastery is lined with painted Buddhas each with a different expression and pose.
The transport system in Hong Kong has to be one of the cheapest in the developed world. A ride across the bay on the Star Ferry cost roughly 40 cents in US dollars, the same for a ride across town on the double decker trams.