Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Walking Tour: Typhoon Week

This week not one but two typhoons swept past Hong Kong. The first, Nesat, was strong enough to warrant a T8 signal, which meant that schools and almost all businesses shut down on Thursday. The second, Typhoon Nalgae, was not as strong or as close, so it only called for a T3 strong wind signal on Sunday and Monday. The rain and wind of these two storm systems meant that this was not the ideal week to photograph a walking tour. Instead, I'm going to share some of the pictures I took of the storms.

I woke up late on Thursday and didn't realize the T8 signal had been raised, so I headed to work as usual. I have to leave at 6:45 am, so there usually isn't that much activity anyway and the rain hadn't started yet. When I finally realized my mistake (and kicked myself for missing the chance to sleep in) I took the MTR home to Central. The normally bustling alleyway by the MTR was gloomy and abandoned.

There were a few people walking with umbrellas, but the storm had definitely begun.

I huddled under the shelter of one of the skyscrapers before darting across the nearly empty Queen's Road Central.

By this time the rain was drumming on the steps of the big Coach on the corner.

I took a side street in the direction of my apartment and noticed that everything was closed.

Pottinger Street, which was full of noise and color just the day before was now silent. However there was a warm glow coming from The Chippy, apparently open for business.

I made my way up to the Escalator, which goes right by my apartment building.

The markets still had some activity, but everyone was rushing to get their shopping done.

When I made it back to the safety of my apartment, the wind and rain began in earnest.

In came in spurts, and sometimes it looked almost calm outside.

But there was a dark cloud over everything as Nesat tore her way past the island.


There was a momentary respite from storms over the weekend, which also happened to be Chinese National Day.

I took a walk to one of my favorite coffee shops on Hollywood Road, and saw a strange sight.

There were huge puppets dancing around in the streets, trying to attract people to a show at the cultural center.

I though they were kinda scary, but the puppeteers seemed to be having a good time.

I took this picture right after one of the puppets patted me on the head with its huge hand.

By Sunday the storms were back.

And everyone brought out their umbrellas again to keep Nalgae away.

I hope you've enjoyed this brief typhoon tour. Now that the rains are gone it is nice and cool in Hong Kong. Get ready for more exciting walking tours.

Next week's tour will be special. EATING SMOKE, a Hong Kong triad memoir by Chris Thrall, will be released in the US on October 16th. It is already out in HK and available in certain airport bookstores. I've been really excited about sharing my review of this seriously cool book, and I am also going to create a special walking tour to go with it. Most of the action (and there's plenty of action) takes place in the infamous Wan Chai district, so next week's tour will take us through the gangster heartland. 

Note: Hong Kong is a very safe city, and I am planning to do my tour in the daylight. Wan Chai is not nearly as scary as it sounds, and I suspect it is a very different place now than it was 15 years ago.


  1. Great storm photos; they made me want to fix a cup of hot tea or cocoa!

  2. Great photos, I would like to go to Hong Kong, some friends live there , they are studying, they told me that this place is amazing !

  3. The style absolutely superb. These types of tiny facts usually are fashioned using lots of story practical knowledge. I'd prefer everthing appreciably. free tour stockholm


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