Imagine any Chinatown in your favorite U.S. city. Think of all the things you love--and all the things you don't love--about the neighborhood. Then multiply by a billion and crank the heat and humidity up as high as they go and that's Hong Kong. I couldn't help feeling like I was in some weird sci-fi future of our planet walking around this city. Imagine a time when global warming finally takes over and we're forced to live in an air-conditioned underground only to climb above ground level to go shopping--still indoors--on the 10th level of a mall. Okay, so my views of this great city are a bit skewed as we visited during a crazy heat wave, but it's not a joke that the whole city is connected by underground walkways that are 50 degrees cooler than the air outside. The food, though, was amazing. We had dim sum--awesome dim sum--almost every day (see the Lung King Heen gallery for a better look). That is something I could get used to.
I had with me my D300s, 11-16mm f/2.8, 17-55mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 35mm f/1.8, and a tripod. It's the most gear I think I've ever taken on a vacation. After my recent acquisition of the 70-200 (thanks, Jon!) I finally had an all f/2.8 collection, and I must say that I liked that flexibility. Sure the 70-200 part was a bit more weight than I wanted to carry all the time, but I took some shots that I wouldn't have been able to get without it. This is also the first time I took a tripod on vacation. I went without it often, but it was invaluable for the nighttime shots of central Hong Kong--and I didn't even need to remove the tripod from our hotel room to take those photos! I took one panorama of the skyline in the morning sunlight. It's 12 images that I stitched in Photoshop, and it was the first time I've tried to create such an image.