8 days of filming have taken their toll. I overslept by a few hours. By this point, I found myself going again to the local ‘Watsons’ pharmacy / convenience store next to the hotel to pick up some more band aids for my foot blisters. But, the show had to go on, at least for a couple more days.
To avoid the heavy traffic which, I have experienced the previous day, I decided to get to my first destination using a combination of walking, several MTR lines and an Uber ride. The walking and MTR got me from my hotel in Tai Kok Tsui back to the Ocean Park MTR station in Wong Chuk Hang. The Uber ride from the station got me to my first destination of Repulse Bay Beach. The entire trip took just over an hour.
Repulse Bay beach is one of Hong Kong’s most popular beaches as well as one of its most beautiful. It is also home to some of the most expensive real estate properties in the world where condo prices rival those in Manhattan and Monte Carlo.
The time of year and the grey weather most likely contributed to the beach being relatively empty, apart for several tourist groups from Mainland China. The crowds grew larger as the weather gradually improved and the sun made its appearance. Luckily, I managed to get the shots that I wanted prior to the crowd’s arrival. Funny enough, the same Uber driver picked me up and took me to the 2nd filming destination of the day.
While it is true that Hong Kong has some of the most densely populated areas in the world (Mong Kok for example), it also has sparsely populated areas as well due to the nature of the region’s topography. The Shek O Peninsula, located in the south-east region of Hong Kong Island is such an area.
The remote beaches and rocky terrain, covered in green vegetation, are a paradise for outdoor activities. Dragons Back Ridge is located here. The Dragons Back hiking trail is world famous and one of the best ‘urban’ hiking trails (despite the ‘remoteness’ of the Shek O, urban Hong Kong is close by).
The weather was grey for most of the hike. It is a fairly easy hike if you are in reasonable shape. Carrying around the Movi M5 made the hike more difficult but manageable.
Once you reach the top of the ridge, the views are great, especially the view of the village of Shek O below. The pair of eagles ‘dancing’ in the air added to the splendor of the view. The few hikers nearby made me feel as though I have the place to myself.
I really enjoyed the fact that such natural beauty exists a mere 20 minutes from one of the busiest metropolises in the world. Apparently, Hong Kong has the best of both worlds. I spent several hours on the trail before returning to trail’s point of origin to catch the bus. 15 minutes on a winding yet beautiful road got me to the Shau Kei Wan bus terminus, located in northeast Hong Kong Island.
Shau Kei Wan serves as the terminus for several of the Hong Kong tram lines, running across northern Hong Kong Island. It was already afternoon by the time I boarded the tram. The plan was to ride the entire route, watching daily life go by as day turned into night.
Since I boarded the tram at the terminus, it was easy to grab the best seat for filming on the tram, located at the very front of the tram, on the second deck. It was cramped and not very comfortable but I managed to position the Movi M5 camera stabilizer so that it captured smooth shots of the tram route.
I was on the tram for about 2 hours as it slowly crossed Hong Kong Island. For the sake of filming, it was the best time to be there since it was the beginning / thick of rush hour. Riding the ‘Ding Ding’ is a fantastic way of capturing the vibe of urban Hong Kong by simply staring outside and watching the city go by. It was one of my favorite experiences during my time here.
The area was crowded although the vendors at the Graham Street Market were closing up their stalls for the night. I am sure that the place is far busier during the day.
It was getting late and I was starving. I was disappointed with my dining choice on the previous evening and decided to eat at a highly recommended place. I made my way back to the MTR and took it to Admiralty station. There, I walked into the posh Pacific Place Mall where I dined at Michelin starred Ye Shanghai. The meal was delicious, the best that I have had during my visit to Hong Kong. I would highly recommend eating here.
It was getting late and I wanted to film one more area before calling it a night. I walked a short distance to Hong Kong Park and filmed a few spots. I had the place practically to myself before the night security guards told me to leave due to the park’s closure.
Armed with a good collection of footage and having been well fed, I called it quits and returned to the hotel. Day 8 was done.