Hong Kong Rooftopping – The Giant Neon Sign
I didn’t waste any time getting settled, my goal was rooftopping in Hong Kong, and in less than 8 hours I found myself enshrouded in the blue glow of a towering neon sign, overlooking the harbor.
Getting off the plane, I wondered if my expectations of Hong Kong would cross anywhere near the reality. I found out soon enough. A few days before my trip I managed to find and contact a local Hong Kong explorer named, Airin. She runs a blog dedicated to rooftopping and urban exploration, and has a number of Hong Kong rooftopping posts as well as many others. You can find her blog here: http://timeless-time.blogspot.com/
She agreed to show me around near where I was staying in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Chungking Mansions. Chungking is renown for being the among the cheapest places to stay in Hong Kong, along with Mirador Mansions. Both Chungking and Mirador have notorious reputations as hubs for a whole spectrum of seedy activities and dealings; I never found it particularly dangerous, but it certainly has a different atmosphere from the other areas in Hong Kong.
After showing me around on top of Chungking, we moved on towards the bay; a few hours still remained before the last ferry to the Hong Kong Island side. Therein, my expectations of Hong Kong soon met reality.
The lights were intensely bright, combined with a constant buzzing sound, you could almost feel the electricity flowing around you.
Photographs really fall short of portraying the sheer size of the sign. It was massive, you could disappear into a blue haze simply walking to the other end.
I feel quite lucky to have met Airin on my first day there. Usually, I would expect to spend a day or so getting a feel for the place, but fortunately my introduction to Hong Kong rooftopping wasted no time. Standing underneath the sign, in an ocean of blue, became one of my favorite memories in Hong Kong, and motivated me to explore further on my trip.