|In Mongkok - Occupy Hong Kong|
It has been exactly a month since Occupy Central began. When we decided to book a trip to Hong Kong with my parents, Occupy Central was non-existent.
It was right after we booked our flights and apartment in Wan Chai that the protests began churning and of course, it was too late to cancel anything (well, not without a fee). We weren't too worried about it and we were ready to back out if government issued some type of warning but that never happened. We just needed to stay away from the protest areas and everything should be fine (we had hoped). As days passed, there were waves of violence but closer to our date of departure, the number of protesters decreased and we were pretty assured that it was safe for us to travel to Hong Kong. Our only concern was, will these protests prevent us from eating yummy foods? (Nope!)
On the first day we arrived to Hong Kong, we needed to kill some time before dinner and while we were on the subway from Wan Chai to Central station, I asked my parents if they wanted to take a peek at the protests at Admiralty subway station. That's where the root of the protests began right by the Central Government Complex. Dave assured them that the protests have died down and tourists were able to visit and at moment's notice, we hopped out of the subway train and on our way to visit the site. I reminded my parents...didn't we agree to stay away from these areas? Curiosity killed the cat.
When we exited the station, we heard some ruckus yet it didn't stop us from moving forward. We were even more curious to see what was going on (common sense, out the window). Turns out, it was just anti-protester giving his piece of mind and a bunch of people swearing at him. It was all in cantonese. Despite it, the rest of the protest area was calm and quiet. It was a nice cool day in Hong Kong. It was actually cool the whole time we were there except on the last day contrary to the hot and humid weather we were expecting. Some people were napping, some were setting up their tents, a few were hanging out or reading and maybe studying (many of the protesters are students). There were electronic charging stations, first aid tents and a row of boxes full of donated supplies including food, water, blankets and some rubbish. What surprised me was the lack of authorities. We saw maybe a dozen policemen by the Government Complex but none inside the protest site. You know, to protect people in case shit goes down.
A woman was on a makeshift stage speaking about something which was broadcasted over loud speakers but we have no clue what she said. We applauded when everyone else did so we didn't look too out of place. Probably did not work since we were obviously tourists (My dad's big camera was a big clue.) There were many visitors on the site and signs saying "pictures are welcome but no faces to protect the students" were posted.
So here are some of the pictures we took in Central and Mong Kok (two out of six protest sites) on the same day. It was all very interesting to see. I didn't even check out Occupy Wall street in New York when it happened and here I was gallivanting Occupy Central while it's hot. That week, at night, there were some clashes with the police but we were far away and safe.
More pictures after jump...
|Protesting is exhausting|
|Charging stations for all electronic devices|
|A major highway was just shut down|
|Plants were planted directly in the cement on the closed off highway|
When we got to Mong Kok, we stumbled onto another protest site without knowing. This was where most of the violent clashes were happening as shown on the news. We didn't stay too long, we had wontons to eat!
Photos by David, my papa and myself