Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Hong Kong III: Fireworks

The Hong Kong skyline at night.

We were supposed to meet Eric and Matt on the Avenue of Stars at 7:30 to watch the fireworks that Hong Kong has every Saturday night. We had specially arranged to meet on Kowloon (rather than Hong Kong Island) so that we could get a good view of the Hong Kong skyline.

Avenue of Stars is basically Hong Kong's answer to Hollywood Boulevard: a long promenade along the harbor built to pay tribute to the actors, directors, and other professionals of Hong Kong's film industry. As a former British colony (until 1997), Hong Kong had a greater degree of political and economic freedom than both mainland China and Taiwan, so it's little surprise that it developed into a filmmaking hub for East Asia, as well as Chinese-speaking people the world over. For decades, Hong Kong was the third largest motion picture industry in the world (after Bollywood and Hollywood).

We had arranged to meet by Jackie Chan's handprints.

As you see from the picture above, we found the handprints pretty easily, but Eric and Matt took a little longer to turn up. We whiled away the time taking photos...

Me with skyline.

...and exploring the area, which was rich with Hong Kong movie history.

Kevin found a statue of Bruce Lee.

However, it was the fireworks that we had come to see -- and it was so worth it!

The pyrotechnics were awesome!

Hong Kong has a light and laser show every evening at 8pm, to show off the glittering heights and lights of its famous skyline. I'm not sure if this is something Hong Kong is only doing in 2007, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its reunification with mainland China, or if it's something they've been doing for some time. The flashing lights of the buildings across the way and the exploding fireworks overhead were accompanied by rousing classical music that floated across the water from speakers along the promenade. It was a really magical experience.