Travel to Hong Kong

We recently returned from a wonderful visit to Japan and Hong Kong. I really enjoyed the vibrancy and energy of Hong Kong, here are a few favorite memories:

1. Kindness of Strangers: We arrived to torrential downpours in Hong Kong! Our first full day of exploration was also marked by on and off rain storms. As we wandered the harbor, Gregg wanted to check out the “walk of stars” and I settled myself on a bench to make a painting of the Hong Kong Convention Center across the Bay. It was raining on and off and I didn’t have an umbrella, so each time it rained, I turned my paper upside down and sheltered it under my coat. After this happened a few times, two kind women, who were sitting on a nearby bench sharing and umbrella, offered me an extra umbrella they had. It made my painting so much easier and was so kind! 

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2. Tian Tan Big Buddha. We made the journey via train and cable car to Lantau Island to see the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Big Buddha. The foggy conditions were not ideal for scenic views from the cable car or Buddha viewing, but the Buddha is still mighty impressive at 34 m high! I made a postcard sized sketch outside of one of the intricately carved temples.

3. Mong Kok. We stayed in the Mong Kok neighborhood, which is very dense and a little overwhelming, but such an interesting place to visit. We explored the markets of Mong Kok—the bird, flower, ladies, jade, and night markets. I found a good spot above the street to make this painting of Shanghai Street, which captures some of the color and bustle of the neighborhood.

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4. Views at Victoria Peak. We took the historic tram to Victoria Peak one evening. It’s a wonderful place to see the skyline and lights at night. I didn’t get to make a painting at Victoria Peak, I did make paint the view from our hotel, before we headed out to the night markets and the tram up to Victoria Peak for nighttime skyline views.

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5. Neighborhood Exploration. My favorite travel days are usually days spend meandering through an interesting neighborhood. We spent one day exploring parks, the Hollywood Road Antique Market, and coffee shops. We enjoyed both the large, beautiful Kowloon Park and the much more modest Hollywood Road Park, where I made a painting of the men playing chess under one of the pavilions.

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6. Coffee Shops. My sister gave my partner, Gregg, a great book about the best coffee shops around the world. It led us on a coffee/sketch crawl to 18 Grams and Barista Jam, keeping Gregg satisfied with great coffee and me delighted by hot beverages (matcha latte 18 Grams and masala chai at Barista Jam) to paint!

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