The Gateway to the East is a harbor town that glitters with the lights of international business. But to really understand Hong Kong, you have to meet it halfway.
Author Jacqueline Detwiler Photography Lauryn Ishak
THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD is a way of life in Hong Kong. Ever since the flrst mainlanders settled the hilly islands in the first and second century, the harbor city has been coveted by dozens of cultures and countries. Its best-known occupants, the British—who lived there for more than 150 years before returning the city to China in 1997—diluted its Eastern heritage with Earl Grey tea, red double-decker buses and Chinese delicacies served with the quintessentially English Worcestershire sauce. But that Western accessibility only makes the small mysteries—the all-but-abandoned temple on a tropical hillside, a traditional songbird market in the middle of a modern city—all the more remarkable.
Hong Kong is more than an international city; it is the original gateway between East and West. A frenetic harbor town that glows throughout the night with beacons of commerce, it literally exists at the end of China and the beginning of the rest of the world—making it the perfect place to explore both.