January 17, 2011

Hong Kong, Not So Long

This is the part of the voyage where the ports come fast and furious. We have just a few days in each port and then just a day or two between one port and the next. And it keeps going like that for a few weeks.

First up on the Asian express was Hong Kong. We loved visiting here a few years ago with Semester at Sea. It was great to check out some different markets (including the gold fish market in the photos below), experience various forms of transit (they have a great ferry, bus and subway system), and immerse ourselves in the local cuisine.

Personally, I love Hong Kong. It's a great example of lots of people enjoying a relative high standard of living with a relatively low ecological footprint. Hong Kong teaches us that a high degree of urban density means access to speedy and affordable transit, a vibrant urban experience, and the preservation of parks and open space. A strictly visual framing of the urban landscape feels constraining (like the photos below), yet the access and richness of that density makes it liberating. It's complicated of course, yet from what I've seen around the world, Hong Kong has a lot to teach us. Here's a great little video on urban sustainability and Hong Kong, produced by Semester at Sea and featuring my colleague Rick Barnes and students from the Fall 2010 voyage.

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High density housing near the entrance to Hong Kong harbor

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View from the ship

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Every night the lightshow begins again!

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Don't worry about wasted energy. They are probably LEDs!

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Elevated sidewalks, above the traffic, took you to and from stairs to the subway. Sweet!

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This is one of maybe 100 goldfish stores all within a few blocks.

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Hanging out with my new little pal in HK

Posted by rohwedde at January 17, 2011 4:22 PM