Hong Kong III
There’s not really a concise story to tell with these final photos from the Hong Kong batch, but I wanted to post them anyway.
I ended up with a “bonus day” in HK after missing my flight back to Europe due to a 2+ hour delay from Beijing to Hong Kong with China Airlines. Nothing I could do about it, other than book a hotel and figure out what to do with my extra day.
I decided to sleep in as long as possible, left the bags at the hotel desk, and ventured out with the camera. Being as Victoria Peak was still completely covered in cloud, I decided to not bother attempting that trek as it was humid enough without actually going into a cloud. I ended up pretty much at the base of Victoria Peak, at the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centres in the world. It occupies an area of 5.6 hectares (14 acres) at Mid-levels, on the northern slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Founded in 1864, its first stage had been opened to the public in 1871.It is the oldest park in Hong Kong.
Similar to Hong Kong Park, Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens provides a natural environment and atmosphere in Central District. It is bigger than Hong Kong Park and contains more plants, birds and facilities.
I have a mixed view on Zoos. On one hand, I am very interested in animals, especially the exotic or rare, but I don’t really approve of captivity. Being as the gardens are free to enter, I didn’t feel I was promoting the captivity of animals directly at least. Well, not funding it directly.
The birds can’t fly in limitless skies, other animals cannot hide in the forests. Worst of all, was seeing the Orang Utans, though. Having seen them in the wild in Borneo, seeing them inside metal cages is rather awful. It’s not like looking at a fish in a tank, Orang Utans look back at you. They look into your eyes. You can see they’re thinking.
I am always reminded of some lyrics from a favourite song of mine:
See the animal in his cage that you built
Are you sure what side you're on?
Better not look him too closely in the eye
Are you sure what side of the glass you are on?
See the safety of the life you have built
Everything where it belongs
Feel the hollowness inside of your heart
And it's all right where it belongs
I was lucky and avoided any heavy showers. I headed back to the hotel, where I had been offered use of a shower—an absolute godsend after a day in 30ºC with 95% humidity… before a 12 hour flight.
I would definitely like to visit HK again. I am fortunate that the political instability followed the week after my visit, and I do feel for the people of Hong Kong. By 2050 Hong Kong could be assimilated into the PRC and just a distant memory, the last bastion of the British Empire.