Streets of Hong Kong Premium Tours--Dispatch #004: SOCIAL SAFETY NET


Kowloon City, February 2018 (All Rights Reserved, William Banzai7)

We were in Kowloon City over Chinese New Year to have a meal at one of our favorite authentic Thai local joints when I grabbed this image on the fly.

Anyone who has perused my Hong Kong images on Flickr will recall that I have taken many images of refuse street people. To many to even catalogue. But this image strikes an emotional chord with me.

They are ubiquitous in Hong Kong. And unfortunately, the vast majority of them are elderly. The lack of a proper social safety net to cover folks of this ilk is an involved story and not the immediate subject of this post.

However, the woman in this image most certainly is. Like so many others, she has the rough weather beaten look of a long haul street person. She was with her husband who had a similarly rough appearance. When we passed them, they were both eagerly wolfing down pineapple buns (bo lo bao) and hot milk teas (yit nai cha) from a famous old local cha chaan teng restaurant in the neighborhood. I don't know whether someone bought the snack for them or they covered it on their own. But they certainly appreciated the tasty carbs! 

As is usually the case you could see the two of them had been toiling very hard all day collecting cardboard boxes for recycling.

Anyway, this woman grabbed my attention immediately. Reviewing the image afterwards I reflected on who she might be, wondering if she has family and pondering all of the changes she and her husband have witnessed over the years.

I spend plenty of time reading, talking about all of those changes. But these two folks have something I can never replicate, their memories spanning decades most likely to the 1950s. And I am sure they have seen it all!

See you on the Streets of Hong Kong!


End of Dispatch



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I am an American of Asian descent from NYC who has spent many years living and working throughout Asia, most recently based from a very old Chinese neighborhood called To Kwa Wan in Old Kowloon for 15 years. I am also a retired international lawyer with strong Asian roots and I have reinvented myself as a professional artist, photographer and street savvy Hong Kong premium tour guide.

I specialize in premium private walking tours with an emphasis on street culture, local history and, for those so inclined, all levels of photography. My private tours are personalized to match your unique interests. Inasmuch as I am a professional photographer, all of the points of interest covered in my repertoire have a very strong visual appeal coupled with a well informed narrative adding dimension and context to your images.

Whether you are into simple travel snapshots, social media image sharing or serious landscape, architectural or urban street photography or just enjoying the Hong Kong experience, I am in a position to maximize your time spent in Hong Kong and its surrounding locales to the fullest.      

Hence, my mission can be encapsulated as follows: To provide all of my clients with an entertaining, deeply informative and street savvy premium travel experience ultimately leading to cherished memories, a portfolio of stunning on-tour photographs, an urge for further investigation and a strong desire to navigate your way back to this wonderfully engaging city.

My premium walking tours are ideal for acclimating and orienting first time visitors to Hong Kong as well as for returning visitors eager for a new experience.

I accept engagements up to one year in advance or, subject to my availability, last minute and/or same day. Families with children are always welcome and children 16 years and under are free of charge. Special needs clients are also welcome.

You can book a tour or send me an inquiry now by going to my Contact/Booking Page.

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