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storefront, open to the street in Hong Kong, with large steam baskets holding a variety of dim sum.

Hong Kong Impressions

My less-than-a-week in Hong Kong was a stimulating, perhaps over-stimulating, series of strong impressions. Here are some of the strongest ones: Housing in Hong Kong I booked an Airbnb room for my trip to Hong Kong, so I stayed in a residential neighborhood of Kowloon: the section of the city across the bay from central…

small fishing boats in the foreground, houses partly on stilts in the background, with large balconies: on Lamma Island

On Lamma Island, a Meditative Walk

Hong Kong isn’t just one island; it’s a collection of islands and a piece of the mainland. I already posted about two destinations on Lantau Island: the Big Buddha and Tai O. The other island I managed to visit (besides Hong Kong Island itself) was Lamma Island. Lamma Island is the third largest island of…

scene of jumbled houses, with boats moored outside them, in Tai O

Tai O, Hong Kong: Village on stilts

People who go to Lantau Island in Hong Kong usually go for one of two reasons: to use the airport, or to visit the Big Buddha. But there’s another, somewhat less-visited tourist destination on the island: Tai O village. Tai O was originally a fishing village, known for its houses on stilts. It makes a…

The Big Buddha sits in a lotus, his right hand raised

Big Buddha Hong Kong (and a Cable Car)

Stepping off the bus onto a concrete plaza on Lantau Island, I followed the signs reading “Big Buddha.” A distance of about a city block down a paved walkway, very wide, and edged with neatly-kept landscaping, was another plaza: a big circle. Signs pointed the way toward the Po Lin Monastery, the cable car, and,…

the skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Kowloon and the waterway between them, seen from Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak: The Top of Hong Kong

Victoria Peak, the mountain that looms over the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, is one of Hong Kong’s top tourist attractions. Although I usually prefer the more off-the-beaten-path destinations, I couldn’t resist going up there. I’d been there before and enjoyed the views. The ride up Victoria Peak While you could take the bus (cheaper) or…

a view of the front of the colonial-era Flagstaff House in Hong Kong Park

Hong Kong Park Has a Lot to Offer

On my recent visit to Hong Kong, I went to Hong Kong Park because my Lonely Planet guide mentioned an aviary that sounded worthwhile, and, since I was in central Hong Kong anyway, I thought I’d go check it out. It turned out that Hong Kong Park is a destination in itself, with an oddly…

The hanging monastery looks like it's glued to the side of a sheer cliff.

Sadness of the Hanging Monastery

The hanging monastery outside of Datong, China, a UNESCO world heritage site, is breathtakingly beautiful, yet also, in a way sad. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one and spend money, I will get a small cut of what you spend. It will not affect your price. The monastery was built…

A toothbrush lies on the edge of a sink.

On losing things: a rumination

One day, in a strange city, my husband took out his wallet in a telephone booth to find a number he had scrawled on a bit of paper and stuck inside. Or maybe he was looking for small change in his wallet. I don’t know. What I do know is that he put his wallet…


As we left Yangshuo (fantastical landforms, bamboo rafts on rivers, lovely ecolodge, Chinese cooking class) on our way to Guilin to catch the night train for Guangzhou so we could catch the ferry the next day to Hong Kong, I realized that China has, at least temporarily, affected my general tolerance for risk. This occurred…