Local Tourism

Growing up in one place my whole life, I’ve taken my city for granted. The language (sweet familiar Cantonese that rings familiarity and comfort in my ears), the food (egg waffles and fishballs and siu mai), the culture (i lust after stamps and anything that bleeds colour and symmetry), the Hong Kong-y places (which ranges from corners that creak of age to modern skyscrapers)…
And the tourist attractions, which sits at #1 on the list of things I usually ignore. One glance (plus a sigh at the long queues, at the sea of bodies, at the abundance of camera flashes) and I move on, knowing it’ll be there if I wish to return (haha no I won’t because it’s too crowded). I’ve never had the chance to look at Hong Kong (H香NG K港NG) from an outsider’s perspective.
Given a glorious vacation away from school and stress (more like on the run from) I decided to take a breath and activate the tourist in me. It might not have been the smell of coffee mixed in cold breezes or intense sunshine on a gleaming blue ocean, but it was very holiday-like.
Over the Christmas Break, I went to Western Market, the General Post Office (probably my favourite place in the whole city) and walked around the general Central area.
It was good. For an hour (or so), this wasn’t my home. I didn’t go to school here. I was walking down unfamiliar streets (without the aid of a map), basking in foreign sunshine and breathing foreign air. It was good.
Tourist attractions aren’t worth it. If you ever visit another country, be local. I mean, don’t completely abnegate the places, some are there as a way to preserve culture and stuff. Don’t go to the global chains in the country. (e.g. Don’t go to the Disneyland in HK unless you’re out of things to do. Go to Ocean Park. It’s more local.) They might have hints of local culture, but seriously, fully local made things are more awesome.
I guess I mean walking down the streets and taking the public transport (Word of advice: buy an Octopus card if you’re in Hong Kong. If you add cash value in it, it can pay for pretty much anything, from buses to trams to convenience store goods) exposes you to more things, in contrast to visiting attractions specifically built to cater to tourist needs. (I should just make a separate post to sum up the list of Hong Kong attractions approved by me.) Instead of going to Pacific Coffee or Starbucks, go for the local drinks. Instead of only playing around and relaxing, immerse yourself in local culture! (Goodness, even I’m getting sick of me saying ‘local’) Spend a day hiking around (mountains, streets, whatever) and don’t fall prey to the malls which sell pretty much the same things they do back home. Try eating in local restaurants! Who knows, you might stumble upon foods that may thereafter be regarded as your one true love.
Well. Anyway. Here are some pictures from when I was around town.

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