Hong Kong is frenetic.
Flashing neon lights.
Honking horns and stop-and-go traffic.
People bustling, talking, laughing, shouting.
Trains coming and going.
I had to make toilet paper ear plugs before I could get even a wink of sleep in this megacity.
It took forever to doze off and then squeaking breaks & honking horns would startle me awake all.night.long.
So in the end we gave up on sleep and did our best to keep up with this never tiring city.
It was a bit hard for our more chilled-out, going Taiwanese selves.
But in the Hong Kong spirit, we sought out this city's iconic nigh time views instead of sleep:
The train goes vertical up the mountain side and we had to hold on for dear life as it climbed and twisted its way up to this precarious view point.
The whole weekend was a foggy and soggy mess but I think the city looks just as it should with its bizarre skyscrapers poking up over the haze of clouds and mainland China's pollution.
We also wandered outside downtown to explore the islands we flew over on our way into Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is not pretty, really.
And neither are its surrounding islands.
That's the price it pays for its relentless development and economic drive.
Or, maybe I've just seen so much of Asia that now I'm hard to impress.
One does go to Hong Kong for the glitz and dazzle and sparkle.
So we hoofed it to the Avenue of the Stars to be blown away by the city's skyline only to find the lights had been shut off for Earth Day.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the earth, but when you're in Hong Kong and it's your last night there and you discover there will be no flashing & strobing lights, it's hard not to feel mad at the earth for being such a drama queen and inspiring cities all around the world to turn off their lights to make a point or something about how we all need to treat it a wee bit better.
All in all, what was great about Hong Kong had absolutely nothing to do with the city itself and more to do with the weekend away with friends and doing something a little bit different.
Hong Kong: check.