The Harbor Plaza is within walking distance to Kowloon Bay. This makes it easy for me to explore the local scene on the peninsula, catch a classic ride on Star Ferries to Hong Kong Island, or hop on a bus to Lantau Island to see Po Lin Monastery and Big Buddha where I can experience authentic cultural Hong Kong.
Doing what the locals do is the best way to interact with people, experience day-to-day life, and make connections and potential friendships. Travelers blend in and experience local customs and traditions. We want to connect to capture portraits of locals, get invited for special access to places for unique photo opportunities, and be welcomed back with open arms. Observing cultural customs is important as it opens doors for more opportunities to capture great photographs and write richer travel stories.
Kowloon is densely populated and loud with people scrambling to get to work, families herding their way through markets and shops, and double-decker trams moving slowly through the city streets. Most people will immediately go to the well-known locations advertised in brochures and on the internet. I enjoy organized chaos of a big city - crowded streets, busy alleyways, the smell of street food, and restaurants tucked away that only locals know. The free-for-all hectic energy of big city action fuels me.
I'm aware that the highly advertised and heavily trafficked attractions are a must see by those who have visited them. People gawk, stare like a deer in headlights, whisper wow, and take the same tired photographs that are now ubiquitous on the internet. I mingle with the locals to photograph the rare and surprising, the unique and unusual. This can only happen by going where the locals go. This is where the connections happen, where smiles emerge, where friendships begin. It starts the moment I step off the plane.
(Photo by studiokanu via Flickr)
Article written by Miles Y.