Hong Kong provides an intersection of east and west, of northern Asia and southern Asia, and of nature and the city. In Tsim Sha Tsui, at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula, just across from the old British settlement of Victoria, Kowloon Park combines many of those antagonistic pairs that define Hong Kong. It serves as the center of Hong Kong’s muslim and South Asian population, it hosts a Chinese garden, and on large stone walls grow Banyan wall trees, while traffic rushes by, on the left side of the road. And in one of its ponds, a school of koi rule the waters, echoing in their vibrant colors the vibrant city around them.
Across Nathan Road, luxury malls abound, while to the west moore container tenders, lifting goods of container ships docked around the harbor. With goods moving east and goods moving west, few would suspect that a large part of international trade depends on rickety vessels lifting heavy containers, far away from the harbor’s quais.
And so, just south of the tropic of cancer, Hong Kong hosts Japanese Koi, in midst of an English-influenced park, in a Chinese garden lush with bamboo, near a large mosque.