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Notes on the Geography of China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng

Is there any part of Hong Kong that isn't Hong Kong? Clarification: any part of the city that isn't hugely crowded or set aside as a park? Answer: a few bits. One of them is a village named Luk Keng.

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China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 1

To get to Luk Keng, you pass through Shatin, one of Hong Kong's famous new towns. This picture, with its hint of Vermeer, is about as poetic as one can get about the place. It's shown here along the channelized Shing Mun River, which leads northeasterly to Tolo Harbour, in the distance.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 2

Far from Shatin now, in more senses than one. This is Luk Keng, fronting on Starling Inlet.  Population? Maybe a couple of hundred, but that's just a guess.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 3

Call it modern but traditional: a funny juxtaposition, unless you set it alongside Shatin.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 4

What's traditional about concrete buildings? The traditional elements are the quiet of the place, the arrangement of single-family homes along a single street--and the blessed absence of motorized traffic.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 5

You don't hear a word of English in the whole place.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 6

Sticks and chopping block? What for?

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 7

An exception to the "no English" rule: the voice of social services, come to call.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 8

Globalized sport.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 9

"Dunk shots" in Hong Kong? The other side of dim sum in Oklahoma City.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 10

The farther you proceed, the simpler things become.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 11

The houses shrink to a single story--in this case, all abandoned.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 12

Abandoned a long time? Hmmm... better go look!

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 13

Answer: negative.

China: Hong Kong 3: Luk Keng picture 14

Where's everyone gone? Well, this is back at the entrance to the village, which lies behind the camera. Buses come here and feed right back to the metropolis. Some residents merely go there to work; others have pulled up stakes.


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