Travel to 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.
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.
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.
Call it modern but traditional: a funny juxtaposition, unless you set it alongside Shatin.
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.
You don't hear a word of English in the whole place.
Sticks and chopping block? What for?
An exception to the "no English" rule: the voice of social services, come to call.
"Dunk shots" in Hong Kong? The other side of dim sum in Oklahoma City.
The farther you proceed, the simpler things become.
The houses shrink to a single story--in this case, all abandoned.
Abandoned a long time? Hmmm... better go look!
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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