Instead of the usual highrise buildings, urban architechture, holiday lights, bustling traffic, throngs of people and trendy store fronts that I've photographed so often, I sought out a different side of Hong Kong. There are some parts that are not glass and concrete, but one has to go a bit out of the way to get to these remanents of old Hong Kong. They are mostly in the New Territories, the chunk of northern HK land that is attached to China.
Kat Hing Wai (also known as Kam Tin Walled Village) is a residential area that encompasses some old village remains from 300 years ago. Not THAT old, compared to, say, ruins in Italy, But still a refreshing change in photographic subject. I like old buildings, with peeling paint, rusting hinges, dilapidated roofs. These old buildings were intermingled with modern homes, 2-3 storey houses, so it takes some exploration through narrow alleys to find the old houses. In some cases, people still live in them; others were boarded up, windows painted over.
The people who live here are Hakka, which is a disctinct group of Chinese people, with their own language (apparently other Chinese can't understand it at all), food and customs. An interesting tradition: women do the manual labor and the men stay at home to take care of domestic matters, such as child rearing (this no longer applies to modern families). I'd first heard of Hakka when as a kid, I observed women working the few rice paddies in HK back in the 80s. They wore distinctive hats - wide brimmed straw hats with a curtain of gauzey black fabric encircling the brim edge (you can make it out on the top photo; the traditional hat with jeans and wind breaker). "Those are Hakka women" someone would offhandly mention. Of course, the modern Hakka woman looks like any other Hong Kong career woman, with jobs in commerce instead of the rice paddy.
The peeling paper on the red door are old prints of Chinese door guardians. In temples, they might be actual larger than life size statues, 2 burly armored Chinese dudes with weapons and Angry Eyes. They're also known as "Kum Kong", as in "Gold Sturdiness". Sound familiar? Westerners borrowed the words to name a certain Large Ape.
And this is a T-shaped key-hole. I really enjoy travel photography, not just for the new subject matter, but because the experience of travel is so quick and there is so much new information, I don't have time to investigate things further at the time. Photos allow further reflection and research at a later date, a delayed enhancement of the experience.