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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hong Kong: what's to love about the backstreets

I've been thinking about what I love about Hong Kong's backstreets: dried seafood stores with their just-arrived produce laid out on the pavement; down-to-earth eateries with delicious glazed ducks hanging in their windows; medicinal herbalists selling snake skins, animal tails, herbs, potions, and other oddities we can only guess at; tiny shops carving bespoke wooden, ivory and jade seals, a unique souvenir; cluttered second hand stores with whimsical bric-a-brac waiting to be discovered; self-serve bakeries where you take a tray and tongs to select your snacks of choice from an array of tasty Chinese buns and golden Portuguese tarts; textile shops crammed with shoppers bargaining for rolls of gaudy fabrics; tea shops with tins of aromatic teas lining the walls; tiny temples heady with incense like Man Ho Temple, Hong Kong's oldest... What do you like?

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