Hot Hong Kong

Day 4 : Hong Kong

Sunday morning dawned and a very hot, humid day was developing in Hong Kong. Able to stay in our hotel room until noon, we pushed that envelope to the limit. We stayed at the Wharney Guangdong Hotel in Wanchai and I’d say that while it was not a stellar hotel experience, it was certainly adequate. I’ll give it a generous 3+ stars. The furnishings and carpet were well worn but the bathroom was nice (strong shower head). Quiet AC but no view whatsoever. Basically it was just a place to sleep for the night and the bed was comfortable so no complaints really. After the Ruth Chris steak extravaganza the night before I was actually happy we didn’t stay somewhere more expensive nicer. Oh, and it’s smack dab in the center of the red light district. Lily booked the hotel.

Except for the camera gear, we left our other bags at the bell-stand and then waited in the lobby for my friend Steve Peer. Steve has been a photography internet friend for about three years and we were going to meet for the first time to shoot some photographs together. Steve is the CEO of Phottix, a company that specializes in manufacturing photographic accessories. He’s based in Shenzhen but was in Hong Kong for the big computer show. He was taking the afternoon off to hang with us and we’d made a plan to grab some lunch and then head over to Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road.

Lily went to get some cash while I waited for Steve in the lobby. I saw this guy and had to grab the camera. He’s the hotel security guard and was actually falling asleep while standing. He’d move from one side of the lobby to the other… stand there for about 20 seconds before nodding off… sleep for about 20 seconds and wake with a start… then move across the lobby and start the process again. It was Keystone Coppish… until he caught me taking the photographs.




“What the… “

The guy took a couple of steps toward me and then seemed to think it wasn’t worth saying anything. I didn’t notice until I saw the images on the computer screen that he was a trainee. Perhaps a bit more training is in order…

Steve arrived soon after and we walked a short way on Lockhart to The Coyote Bar and Grill. For those keeping count that’s Mexican restaurant number three. I had the pulled pork sandwich… it was good. After lunch Steve took us on a hike a short walk across urban Asia through quaint scenic neighborhoods to Man Mo Temple on Hollywood Road. On the way, I saw this billboard and couldn’t resist the shot. It WAS hot too… Steve is good people.

Man Mo Temple located on Hollywood road in Sheung Wan and is one of Hong Kong’s photogenic icons . In fact , there are several Man Mo Temple’s in Hong Kong but this is the one that seems to draw the most photographers. At certain times of the day the light is spectacular…

There are “No Photography” signs posted everywhere but the policy is not enforced so don’t be concerned about taking your camera out. In fact, I’d say there were at least 30 serious photographers among the tourists and worshipers. There are hundreds of coils of incense hanging from the ceiling as well as stick incense and both wax and oil candles, all burning everywhere. Smoke was hanging in the humid air and the acrid-sweet scent was almost too much at times. It’s a great place to visit, in fact I highly recommend it, but be forewarned, on a hot, humid Hong Kong day with all that incense and the candles and the people mulling about, the temperature can be stifling!

One of the best things about the on-line photographic community is the opportunity to forge relationships with folks you would otherwise never know. The bond can be inexplicably strong, considering that most of these friends or contacts, you’ll never meet in person. The love of photography is the common thread. On this trip to Hong Kong I met 7 of my Flickr photography friends in person for the first time and I met 6 more that I didn’t know at all before. To a tee, they are all better photographers than me. One of my best long-time Flickr friends happened to be visiting the city at the same time we were there and she was able to meet up with us at man Mo. I was not disappointed. Sweet, funny and kind, Pei is one of the most talented photographers I know. Go here to see for yourself. It was a blast to actually watch her at work…

It was time for Steve to leave us, he had to go back to the convention center and actually work. Pei, along with her friends Angelo and Zach, were going to visit Tai O on Lanatu Island. They invited Lily and I to join them but we were a little worried about not getting back in time to make the last ferry back to Shenzhen. Pei said not to worry, as she needed to be back in he city by 7 to meet some other friends, so off we went. More coming tomorrow.

If you re here to register for one of the free September giveaways, all you need to do is subscribe to the feed and then leave a comment here. As a reminder, to celebrate the launch of the new site, we are giving away an iPad, a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 MACRO lens, autographed limited edition prints and copies of Saving Faces – A Portrait Collection.

My first week of the new term is complete. Lethargic students doing their level best to act enthused about spending time in my classroom… good times.

Tomorrow: Day 4 continues with drama on the MTR

28 Responses to “Hot Hong Kong”

  1. Alex Keene says:

    Hi Michael, the new site looks great!

    And get me in on some of that contest goodness! I need me some free stuff!

    BTW, subscribed via google reader. Hope that satisfies your reqs? :)

    • Hi Alex, hope all is well up there. I was thinkIng about you the other day… my printer went belly up!

      • Alex Keene says:

        Hi Michael, just saw this. You should add an option to get email notifications to comments (especially replies!). Sorry about your printer, still haven’t gotten around to getting myself one. Probably pick your brain again when that time comes :)

  2. shannon says:

    Whether or not I win, I would love a couple of your pics. I brag and show off your photos all the time! Let me know how to purchase them!

  3. Carrie says:

    Hooray! You finally got your new site off the ground. It looks great and I’m thrilled to participate in your snazzy contest for new readers. Since I’m an old fan and friend, do I still get to participate? :-)

    Seriously though, it warms my heart to see that you are having so many positive moments. I hope it all continues and I wish you everlasting success. You deserve the very best, my friend!

  4. Rosy says:

    Yay for the new website. I’m in via google reader.
    Love those photos of that trainee! Gutsy!

  5. Wow! Your new site is AMAZING! I’ve updated my Google Reader to bring in the new feed and can’t wait to see all the new beauty and stories you are going to share. I’m off the island, and am currently ‘expating’ it in France. oo-la-la. Peace, joy and gloriously amazing wine and cheese – wishing you continued success. From France, la Pilgrim de Minnesota. :)

  6. Petra Postma says:

    Wow, not enough time in a day, did you really have to mention another photographer? Now I’ll have to check out her site also.

    Find it amazing that Flickr connects so many people from all over the world and even more amazing that we can witness it from the other side of the world.
    Love the pictures from the Man Mo temple, you are right, the light is spectacular, but it takes a person that appreciates lighting to notice it. And you are one of those who know how to use it.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question today, it made me research some and I’ll be adding a rss reader to the Mac. Learning stuff every day :-)

  7. Mark Haywood says:

    The site continues to look fantastic, Michael!

    I like your images from HK- this guard is something else! Looks like he could use a latte or something.

  8. Michael, great site…really impressive photography. Enjoyed thoroughly. Will be back for more via my g-reader subscription.


    /// AjS

  9. Taylor says:

    Haha, the rent-a-cop trainee series is priceless.

    Really like the rest of your work too. Thanks for tossing it up on the blog.


  10. Andrea says:

    Me too Me too– sign me up to win some of your good stuff. Do you deliver? -ak

  11. Ok says:

    Ha ha ha… more interested in the iPad! Winning or not winning is not my main deal. :)

    Since i use an iPod more often than computer, I subscribed it via email or else i cant check your update.

    Hope all is well too!

  12. terri says:

    Always love it when I stumble across something that makes me do a double take.. but then your vison, your narratives, always do.

  13. Sue Anne says:

    Michael! Congratulations on your most EXCELLENT new site! I recognize the template, haha, as I have too been searching for a new layout. But it’s wonderfully informative without being too cluttered. You must have put in a lot of effort into this, I still can’t quite figure it all out.

    Congrats again, look forward to coming back here over and over again.

    Sue Anne

  14. Laura says:

    Saw your Flickr stream and surfed my way here – great site! Living in Japan for this year and trying to get better at photography; thanks for all the good inspiration!

  15. Chris Wong says:

    Hi Michael. I just saw this and congrats on the new website! Gutsy shots of the “Trainee”! :)

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