Monday, May 09, 2005
One thing we just can’t get over is how quick and easy it is to get away from the big city and the millions of people and all the commotion they create. A 20 minute bus ride from a subway station is the village of Shek O which is on the southeast tip of HK Island. This is a very small village right on the beach. The bus ride there will take you through areas that are absolutely breathtaking. As the road climbs over hills that take you into the clouds, you will pass surrounding land that is so green, lush and thick you would think you’re in the jungle.
We arrived in the early evening so as we walked along the beach we came across several families having a BBQ dinner along the waterfront. The people here are so laid back that it was a refreshing site to see compared to the craziness of their neighbors on the north side of the island.
As you stand on the beach there is not a single car to be heard and all you can see is the island on either side of you and the open ocean in front of you. If you were to automatically transplant someone to this beach and have them guess where they were, chances are very slim they would guess Hong Kong Island.
Walking down the small main street, there are sidewalks that are like tributaries into the heart of the village. These sidewalks would take us right past people’s doors and windows. I couldn’t help but be nosy and walk down a few of these sidewalks. In one doorway (literally, in the doorway) is an old man asleep in his rocker chair. Across the way is a young boy on his computer and further down the path is a family eating dinner. Outside of a home, we even came across several pots that were cooking over red hot coals. Basically it was their oven in front of their home. I felt like I was invading their privacy but it was just so fascinating seeing the people in their daily lives.
We had dinner at the Black Sheep restaurant. This was a very small place that served really good pizza. As we sat on the patio, we could take in the surrounding sights such as the temple next door with their gaudy gold dragons on top. Locals would walk by with their dogs or visit with friends at the café across the walk from us. One of the many things we have noticed about Chinese, is they are sooooooooooo loud! So the people across the way from us are not just visiting, but talking so loud it is at times difficult to order another beer from our waitress. Riding in an elevator with them is the worst! It can be excruciating listening to them talk at such high volumes in such a small area.
So far Shek O has been my favorite place. It doesn’t have any shopping so tourists don’t really come here. I have a feeling Troy and I will be spending many summer weekends on their beach.