Abandoned villages of Hong Kong

(cnn.com)

248 points | by keepamovin 11 days ago

19 comments

  • neom 11 days ago
    Korea and Japan also have these. The Japanese ones are covered extensively on youtube, however, my favs are by Tokyo Lens, I like his style and his voice is very calming. Here are some of my faves:

    This Man Lives in an Abandoned Japanese School - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-i2Ndgrgcu8

    (cont. I Spent 72 Hours in a Japanese School - Abandoned in the Mountains - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CvPxJBiDgp8)

    Why Was This Japanese Village Abandoned? - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDPT6q_4OHY

    Inside a free tiny house in Japan - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tneLNsV3oXQ

    Series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtflILeTBlX-Klzfudsxp...

    • etrautmann 11 days ago
      I was hiking in the outskirts of HK a while ago and was amazed to wander into the middle of a massive airsoft game that was being played in these abandoned villages. The players were decked out to 100% realism, where I couldn't tell that it wasn't a military exercise. Pretty surreal
      • keiranlovett 11 days ago
        You just unlocked a childhood memory of my time in Hong Kong. There was an “abandoned” anti-aircraft battery on one of the mountains on the island. We would occasionally go there for airsoft games. Not fully decked out like you’re talking about (but I’ve seen those too).
    • Cthulhu_ 11 days ago
      There's a scene in a James May show where he visits a town in Japan that isn't quite abandoned yet, but very sparsely populated. One or several of the villagers were taken to making puppets and placing them around the empty buildings like the school.

      A shame, but also a natural progression if there are no jobs around anymore, and / or the jobs in the cities pay better and seem more attractive. We're lucky that in the software industry, a lot of jobs can be done remote now so people don't have to live in the cities unless they choose to, but that's only a fraction of the workforce.

      • somenameforme 11 days ago
        As a peer post hit on, this sort of stuff is mostly related to collapsing birth rates. Japan's lost about 6 million people since 2009 [1], and the rate of decline is still accelerating. That's millions of homes, businesses, and so on that no longer serve any purpose. And the wild thing is that, due to the way fertility works, they will keep losing at least the same ratio of people per year (currently about 1 in 200) until they either start having children, or go extinct.

        This, in turn, causes economic problems. When a country has high fertility rates, their market naturally grows year by year. And vice versa, when they have a low fertility rate. So it's likely to become a vicious cycle. The population declining because of low fertility rate drives economic chaos resulting in even lower fertility rates. And this same future awaits every country with sub-replacement fertility rates. It's like watching a train wreck unfold in ultra slow-mo, but being no more capable of independently stopping it.

        https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/japan-populat...

        • FirmwareBurner 11 days ago
          >When a country has high fertility rates, their market naturally grows year by year.

          But that market, can't grow forever. Population can't grow forever. You will hit the wall at one point unless you want your population living in cramped and impoverished conditions like in India. Is it bad they hit it now instead of 10-20 years down the line?

          • thfuran 11 days ago
            Hitting a wall is one thing. Reversing back away from the wall is an altogether different issue.
            • FirmwareBurner 11 days ago
              You can't really convince people to plateau their procreation activities so that fertility rates stay perfectly balanced over time.

              Fertility is always ciclic. It either goes up when times are good, and goes down when times are bad. And good times don't last forever.

        • Xirgil 11 days ago
          Given that fertility is negatively correlated with income until you start reaching very high levels, economic disaster might actually boost fertility. That's not to say it's entirely an economic issue, it's also social, but it's definitely a factor.
          • somenameforme 11 days ago
            The problem with that correlation is that it fails all over the place. In the past, people of high and low income alike were having healthy, large families. And even in the present places like Thailand, with a nominal GDP/capita of $9,300, has a catastrophically low fertility rate, lower than even the US and most of Europe.

            IMO there's a really simple explanation for what it's "really" observing - consumerism. Poor individuals don't have enough money to fall into consumerism, the ultra wealthy have so much that there's no carrot to be dangled in front of them that they couldn't grab on a whim. The correlation captures the remaining middle class that has just enough money to always have a carrot just slightly out of reach.

            And so that drives different motivations for this group of people. They'd rather chase the carrot, rather than go through the sacrifice involved in raising a family. This not only explains the past, when consumerism was much less of a thing, but also the present when even poor countries can be disproportionately driven by consumerism. This is probably why religion is correlated strongly with fertility. It's simply anti-consumerist by nature, so religious individuals become somewhat less likely to fall into the carrot loop.

            • paulryanrogers 11 days ago
              People in the past didn't have birth control yet did have high infant and mother mortality
              • somenameforme 10 days ago
                Birth control dates back at least 3800 years, and probably much longer, as that 3800 year old reference comes from documentation accurately referring to various substances with spermicidal characteristics. [1] The same is true of abortion and ways to induce it.

                And anybody who's had a child can tell you that getting pregnant is not as easy as you might think. In general women are only fertile for a window of several days per month, which they are capable of also determining due to various physiological changes that happen during that window (and also the fact that the window occurs during the, more or less, exact same time each month following their period). And even if you nail that window, the chances of a successful pregnancy are relatively low - only about 20% per month for young couples, and then rapidly decreasing for women beyond the age of 30.

                Notably, in the century prior to the Roman Empire's collapse, fertility rates collapsed for reasons that are still unclear. Anyhow, this is all a very long-winded way of saying that the higher birth rates of the past weren't simply because of unplanned pregnancies. If they wanted to lower their fertility rates, they would have been fully capable of doing so.

                [1] - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_birth_control

      • LoveMortuus 11 days ago
        While lack of jobs is one factor, I think a much bigger factor is the imminent colony collapse - birth rate being below the replacement level (which, if I remember correctly, is 2.1).

        And with the relatively wide availability of internet even in rural areas via satellites, the job factor is even lower. Of course, most jobs aren't computer/internet based, but there are still many jobs there, and some could say that the job market in those areas is growing (I'm aware of record-breaking lay-offs in the tech sector this year, but I think that has more to do with the current economy, I could be wrong)

        • spacebanana7 11 days ago
          With a declining population, the number of occupied residential units must fall. Japan's fertility rate is 1.34.

          I suspect that residential units can be converted into commercial space in cities, or combined with other units to make bigger homes. Neither of those are easy in rural areas, so properties might need to be abandoned.

    • nojs 11 days ago
    • freedomben 11 days ago
      Nice, the real questions I had about the Abandoned Japanese School (like how he gets power and money) were answered in a part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwGx4lXTWfw
    • throwaway4good 11 days ago
      It is not really comparable. This is more like finding abandoned villages in New York city.
      • Cthulhu_ 11 days ago
        City or state? Because while HK is a city, the area is not just the city but a whole "special administrative region" containing a peninsula + islands, where these pictures were taken from. Compare: https://www.atlasobscura.com/things-to-do/new-york-state/aba...
        • NineStarPoint 11 days ago
          Even then, the Hong Kong Administrative Region has about 430 square miles of land, compared to New York City’s 300 square miles of land. This is a more reasonable comparison than New York States 55,000 square miles of land. (The city of Hong Kong itself is more comparable in size to the Manhattan Island portion of New York City)
        • throwaway4good 11 days ago
          New York city vs Hong Kong sar. (Maybe I am exaggerating - difference in density is about factor 2.5)
      • sct202 11 days ago
        There are formerly inhabited islands in Boston harbor that are similar to these fishing villages, and they're mostly used now as stops on tourist day trips to explore ruins. It's a PITA to live in a place only accessibly by ferry.
    • boomboomsubban 11 days ago
      I assume everywhere has them, the US has tons. Some were abandoned long ago, some still have residents but are slowly dying out.

      I had a friend who liked to go visit them, and I went with a few times. They look like the original post, old looking on the outside and falling apart on the inside.

  • guardiangod 11 days ago
    Hong Kong has many of such sites. I remember when I was 7-ish years old, my father took me to an island to look for the grave of my great grandfather, who fled to HK during China's civil war. We trotted the mountains thru the tall hillside grass to reach clusters of abandoned graves, and checked the tombstones for the man's name.

    We more or less hiked (no trails) till sunset, when I suggested we should turn back before dark. The island was more or less deserted except for a newly built public housing estate at a pier. Being stuck on a (almost) wilderness mountain surrounded by abandoned tombs at night was not my idea of fun.

  • coggs 11 days ago
    I lived in HK in the 90's at the HK University of Science and Technology. It's out in the New Territories, surrounded by small villages and otherwise mostly undeveloped dense, low-lying scrub. We'd hike in the country parks and it could be surreal; Remnants of abandoned villages like in the article. Feral dogs like in the article. We had some Hakka ladies take us on their boat out to I think it was Pak Sha Chau where there was a small pathetic abandoned amusement park. Also there was a larger island with an original refugee camp from the Vietnamese boat people era. Now I think it is a golf course.. Great memories
  • jumploops 11 days ago
    Highly recommend hiking a segment or two of the MacLehose Trail in Hong Kong.

    Section 5 [0] in particular is striking, as you're hiking through the forest _above_ Kowloon. Plus quite a few monkeys, if you're lucky!

    [0] https://www.alltrails.com/explore/trail/hong-kong/sai-kung/m...

    • KMag 11 days ago
      The monkeys are not native, and can be rather aggressive, particularly during the breeding season. The novelty wore off on me pretty quickly.

      Also, on Lantau Island, exercise caution when encountering feral cattle on hiking trails.

      But, I really miss hiking in Hong Kong, especially in the Autumn.

  • gottorf 11 days ago
    Amazing how in the 4th-most dense place in the world[0], there could be such a thing as an abandoned village!

    [0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependen...

    • ddeck 11 days ago
      Surprisingly only 24% of Hong Kong is developed "built-up" area. The rest is mostly forested. This also means that despite the density being broadly equivalent to Singapore on that list, it is actually much more densely populated in the areas where people live and work.

      Hong Kong has a mountainous topography. Of the total land area of 1,111 km 2, 24.3% (270 km2) is built-up area, with the remaining 75 .7% (841 km 2) being not-for-development or non-built-up area consisting mainly of country parks, wetland, reservoirs, fish ponds, etc

      https://www.legco.gov.hk/yr17-18/english/panels/dev/papers/d...

      • larrysalibra 11 days ago
        Government policy and moneyed interests have been aligned since the british to restrict land use to keep property prices high and buy political support of ancestors of indigenous residents through free handout of tiny plots of land for low density housing to the male descendants. All of the people that bought into the overpriced housing market also want prices to stay high.

        Hong Kong land use is fascinating and the government's Planning Department provides a great tool to explore how land is used and for what purpose: https://www.pland.gov.hk/pland_en/info_serv/open_data/landu/

        The total area used by transport (71 sq km) is very close to the total area used for all types of residential (80 sq km). Hong Kong has 733 sq km of woodland and forest.

        • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago
          I wonder if HK could otherwise go Chongqing with their mountains, building the city up on them, or maybe blowing them up like they did in Lanzhou? It’s nice that they don’t, though.
          • Arn_Thor 11 days ago
            Most Hong Kongers agree it’s nice that they don’t. The nature parks are treasured. It’s also a false dichotomy because it’s not about “housing or nature”. There is plenty of brownfield land but in the New Territories it would be politically challenging to develop on it because it would mean buying or forcing out the owners who have rights to the land because of the legacy system of male heirs.
          • resolutebat 11 days ago
            In parts they do: the Hong Kong Island side has housing all the way to Victoria Peak and public escalators etc to serve it. The scenery isn't quite as dramatic as Chongqing though, and it's much less dense (particularly the upper levels are luxury/heritage houses, not apartments), so no monorails zipping through buildings etc.
            • seanmcdirmid 10 days ago
              I’ve been up the escalators before, it doesn’t feel anything like CQ though. A lot of the mountains just don’t seem big enough or at a grade that would allow for housing all the way up (like Victoria peek or west Vancouver). They might be able to blow them up or terrace them.
          • Foobar8568 11 days ago
            They already blow up small part of mountains or filled up marsh. Typically Yuen Long area.
      • ksec 11 days ago
        Yes. That means if we accounted for that. Compare to Number 1 on the list where Macau has no such issue. Hong Kong would take the Top Spot as the most populated place on the planet.
    • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago
      A lot of Chinese municipalities have lots of rural land, they can even encompass multiple counties if that makes any sense. A few even have sane ghost cities (like kangbashi in ordos) that are severely under populated.

      HK is mostly mountainous, so there are really dense parts between the mountains (which is cool when you have a dense but not large area surrounded by hills, like a university I visited). In this case, they are talking about an island, not connected via a bridge but a ferry, so it makes sense that life would be tough.

    • bobthepanda 11 days ago
      A lot of these areas are remote via the road network, or on tiny little islands, or sometimes within the Frontier Closed Area separating Hong Kong and China. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frontier_Closed_Area
    • billti 11 days ago
      Open your maps app and go into satellite view. North of the main area most of Hong Kong is surprisingly green and unpopulated (until you hit the border with Shenzen).

      I spent some time in India years ago and remember being amazed that a country with over a billion people could have so much vast open beautiful countryside. It’s incredible how much population can fit into a few (very) dense areas.

    • vidarh 11 days ago
      A substantial proportion of Hong Kong is entirely undeveloped land.
    • solresol 11 days ago
      Likewise, I never expected that there would be a car-free village in Hong Kong. It's peaceful and quiet and laid-back: exactly what you wouldn't expect in Hong Kong.
    • makeitdouble 11 days ago
      My uneducated guess: the denser, convenient and efficient a city is, the harder it will be to maintain that level of comfort in the outskirts or remote places and people will progressively move to the concentrated areas.

      We often hear people arguing that having cheap broadband in all local areas is just impossible, and I read it as "no young adult will want to live in those areas when they've the choice to move out on their own". Broadband being just one example.

      • Arn_Thor 11 days ago
        I can shed some light on this. Most of these villages began their demise around the middle to late middle of the last century, before or during the upsurge of the economy that would lead to the city's boom times. Times were very tough, especially out in the sticks, so those that could move abroad, or send their kids abroad, did. That is a large part of why you have a huge ex-Hong Kong community in the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. Entire villages cleared out.

        The thing is, they moved but most often retained land rights. So those villages fell into disrepair as people moved but the houses and plots of land usually belong to families that have lived abroad for one, two or three generations now. They could be developed but so far there's little incentive for people to do so, despite the high property prices (those that were very successful abroad instead bought property in Hong Kong's new towns and have seen asset values skyrocket).

        Hong Kong's government has historically been very good at providing services for the outlying areas. The many villages that did not end up abandoned have for decades had all the amenities, with stable power, clean water, fiberoptic broadband and often gas as well.

        • makeitdouble 11 days ago
          Don't they have adverse possession laws that would clear the land rights after a decade or so ? (UK and most countries have, I have expected HK to have to)
          • KMag 11 days ago
            I'm not sure about adverse possession, but my understanding is that the church behind Cheung Kong Centre is the only place in Hong Kong that privately owns land rather than leasing land from the government for 99 years. It would be better to sort out efficient use of land before the leases need renewal, but at least there's a mechanism to reclaim truly unused land.
          • Arn_Thor 11 days ago
            No, in these cases the right to build one house lasts for the duration of one male heir since 1972. There are also restrictions on the conditions of sale if I’m not mistaken, which makes it more difficult to sell off to big developers.
      • cogman10 11 days ago
        Yup. I came from a small town of 300 people. Of my graduating class of 11, 1 stayed put and the rest moved to more urban areas.

        There's just a bunch of issues with being semi remote.

        Unless you can land remote work (good luck) jobs are basically have a family farm, work in the school, or work for a state agency maintaining roads, or commute for an hour to a city with more jobs.

        Then there's the lack of services, it's basically "want food, entertainment, hospital care? Welp, you are going to have to travel for an hour to get any of that". You pretty much have to leave the town if you want more than a high school education.

        Quiet literally the only thing going on in the city is high school sports.

        But hey, with small towns that also generally means that everyone knows everyone. Which can be good if you like community, but also can be real bad if you don't want to live where everyone has their nose in everyone else's business.

        But then, that was a small town. There's a large number of "communities" where instead of farmers putting their house close together they keep the "homes on the range". Which, as you can imagine, takes people that want isolation to want to live in those places.

    • razakel 11 days ago
      They look like beautiful places to live, there just isn't the infrastructure or economy to support them. Which, admittedly, is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    • ijhuygft776 11 days ago
      CNN reported that... so maybe double check their claims?
      • jesterson 11 days ago
        2024 and people still blindly believe what CNN is "reporting". Unbelieveable
  • Terr_ 11 days ago
    I imagine part of it has to do with how how land-control works in HK, and the relationship between government income, taxes, and property developers.

    As a former resident, I sometimes hear people talking about how HK is ranked highly by some US think-tank with respect to business taxes and regulation--usually with a "we should do that in America" bent.

    Many of them don't seem to realize all the other idiosyncratic policies--ones they might dislike--which balance that and make it possible. For example, huge amounts of subsidized and/or government-run housing, revenues from the land leases, and an enormous sovereign-wealth fund.

    • ulfw 11 days ago
      LOL at the "enormous sovereign-wealth fund" comment. No such thing. We finally got one new just a year or so ago and it's miniscule (obviously, as it's new):

      https://www.chinadailyhk.com/article/304054

      • LudwigNagasena 11 days ago
        It is basically a restructuring of existing funds. The Exchange Fund acted as an SWF in all but name for a long time.
        • blitzar 11 days ago
          The Exchange Fund is a SWF - the 4th largest in the world.
  • papaver-somnamb 11 days ago
    Once upon a time, I went on a spontaneous solo trek along a trail I stumbled upon, after crossing a large, modern bridge on foot. Lan Tau maybe. It was beautiful. The hills were remarkably fragrant, and I wondered if that's a contributing factor in how HK got it's name ("Fragrant Harbor"). Saw a collection of no-longer-tended graves in the traditional womb shape. And along the ridges with views on both sides, I could really get a sense of lay and scale of HK. It was so enjoyable that I even forgot my exhaustion until I was solidly back in the built environment.

    That evening, when I returned and shared my excitement, I received a dressing-down for walking on the trails alone; explanation being people that have entered HK without permission or those fleeing within HK from like the law tend to hide out in the hills, and they are known to sometimes attack out of desperation or suspicion. To this day I'm still not certain about it, what was their reasoning rooted in..

  • ksec 11 days ago
    On a related topic: Anyone want to sign up for a HN meet up in Hong Kong. I have read at least a few expats on HN said to be working in HK. Not sure if there are many more of us.
    • patanouk 11 days ago
      Count me in!

      For people interested in abandoned villages, I can heartily recommend the 'Hong Kong Abandoned Villages' group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/801573476651269/

      The group still has content posted daily, with almost exclusively Hong Kong places

    • dewey 11 days ago
      Sign me up! Tried to get something going last year and met some people there (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=35243008).

      Also if you are in HK and are interested in hacker spaces there's https://www.dimsumlabs.com which is great. Has an open door every Tuesday (today!).

    • alun 11 days ago
      Check out Dim Sum Labs, it's a really cool hacker space in Sheung Wan. I think meet ups are every Tuesday
      • ksec 11 days ago
        Thanks will do that.
    • ksec 11 days ago
      WOAH.... I wasn't expecting anything. Let me figure out how to get this moving forward. ( Need to find a Venue )
      • dewey 10 days ago
        Two proven meetup locations would be the IFC rooftop terrace (Next to Shake Shack) or Inn Side Out (Monthly BTC meetup is happening there).
    • 0web 8 days ago
      Me too if you're still checking these replies!
    • gyzmau 10 days ago
      Some HN fellow in Hk, Nice to see! Kung Hei Fat Choy
    • ulfw 5 days ago
      So... anyone?
      • dewey 5 days ago
        I'm not the OP, but I also just checked in on this thread again and thought I'll just start a HN HK WhatsApp group to get everyone in one place so we can see how many people we would be.

        Otherwise grabbing a beer with 1-2 people is also usually not a bad outcome:

        https://chat.whatsapp.com/J0figJGIgTkAwUkbmOzuLQ

        I hope this invite link works, otherwise email in my profile.

    • mishu2 11 days ago
      I'd also like to join.
    • ulfw 11 days ago
      I'm game. Am in Central.
    • qazxcvbnm 11 days ago
      Sounds like a fun idea!
    • btzs 11 days ago
      I am interested, too!
    • faichai 11 days ago
      I’d be interested.
    • yololol 11 days ago
      One more o/
    • Renaud 11 days ago
      Hear, hear!
    • larrysalibra 11 days ago
      sure!
  • jjcm 11 days ago
    Meta comment - what is going on with the network traffic on that page? Seems like there's ~20 network requests per second that are sustained when I open it up. Scrolling through the article and it ended up with 2k requests.

    Was getting lag even on an m1 pro.

    • wallawe 11 days ago
      I tried it and only got 80 requests. Then turned off uBlock Origin and got the same 2k ish you did. That's pretty wild.
    • ipaddr 11 days ago
      Tracking mouse movements my guess. Maybe crypto mining.
  • xianwen 11 days ago
    This is strange. Hong Kong is not that large, as compared to South Korea or Japan. Many people in Hong Kong live in tidy space. Why are there abandoned villages in Hong Kong?
    • rdoherty 11 days ago
      If you read the article it says exactly why:

      > In the 1950s and ‘60s, as Hong Kong grew as an industrial hub, many people migrated to the rapidly expanding urban centers for better working opportunities. “It’s hard farming and fishing out there in these remote areas, so a lot of people moved to the city to work in the factories,”

      • resolutebat 11 days ago
        That explained why they were abandoned, but not why they haven't been reoccupied, since HK's population has exploded since the 1950s.

        The short answer seems to be corruption: a cabal of property developers colludes with the government to ensure prices are sky-high and nobody outside the system (like, say, whoever owns the land in these abandoned villages) gets building permits.

        • Arn_Thor 11 days ago
          A missing part of the story is that so many moved abroad. So the land rights now belong to first or second generation migrants and there just isn't enough pull to get them back. Yet there are sentimental and family reasons to hold onto the land--it costs nothing. And the land plots can't really be sold to developers at a high price unless the whole village, or a section of it, all get together and agree.
          • CyberDildonics 11 days ago
            And the land plots can't really be sold to developers at a high price unless the whole village, or a section of it, all get together and agree.

            Where are you getting this? Do you have a source?

            • Arn_Thor 11 days ago
              I added “really” to imply it’s impractical. What developer would pay a high premium? They can’t build a big tower unless they have a ton of adjoining plots. The village is abandoned and the owners are all abroad or just disinterested. The developer would have to do a lot of leg work just to find these people. And if one of them objects then the thing stalls.

              It’s a lot of effort and high risk. Much easier to buy out active villages where you can knock on a door, show them a check and do it that way.

              Edit: actually it may be even more difficult than that as the inheritance right appears limited to the heir building one house. I’m not sure the plots even can be sold. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_House_Policy

    • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago
      Do you want to live in the city with utilities and transit infrastructure, or do you want to live in the middle of a mountainous island with nothing but a ferry connection to shore?
  • dheera 11 days ago
    > “I started the habit of carrying dog biscuits in my camera bag when I went out to these places,” he said

    That makes them more likely to attack other visitors, unfortunately.

    • el_benhameen 11 days ago
      Dogs aren’t like criminals. They aren’t going to assume another visitor has treats and attack when the visitor doesn’t produce them. They’re going to emulate whatever behavior got them treats last time.
      • keepamovin 11 days ago
        The deer of Japan disagree with you haha :)

        But more seriously what is a good strategy for dealing with wild dogs?

        • Terr_ 11 days ago
          Also tribes of monkeys in various part of Asia.

          "Oh look, a visitor. You will allow us to rifle through every pocket and steal your backpack, or else."

          No food? Some will take glasses, wallets, and phones hostage.

        • fnordian_slip 11 days ago
          At night, I would expect a high-powered flashlight or a proper pepper spray to work best. As for flashlights, anything recommended on budgetlightforum.com, you can find something for every budget there (and the reviews usually include CRI and beamshots, which I find essential), the pepper spray should be the kind with a directional nozzle, not just a mist that hits you as much as the dogs.
          • keepamovin 10 days ago
            Really, dogs don't like flashlights? That's interesting! :) appreciate the link
            • fnordian_slip 10 days ago
              You do need extreme brightness of course, but a modern pocket rocket with an 18650 or even better a 21700 is more than capable of providing enough power.

              It's the most convenient self-defence EDC imho, at least at night, since not being able to see will catch most human and non-human attackers off-guard for quite a while. Of course, pepper spray or a really loud signal horn are better in theory, as they attack senses more important to the dog. But they are bulkier and not allowed everywhere, and you are therefore less likely to EDC them and have them with you when they are needed.

              • keepamovin 8 days ago
                Never thought of that. Thank you, it’s an interesting idea. Although it does require you not being close quarters with your attacker, as they could just wrap you up. But from a distance could be effective it sounds like.
                • fnordian_slip 8 days ago
                  Of course if you attacker is within grappling range, a flashlight is no longer fully effective, but I believe this is the case for all self-defense weapons. And you can still hit their eyes and nose with it.

                  But most flashlights that I have bought have Narsil or Anduril as their firmware, which includes double-click for turbo. With this, you can quickly blind everyone even if they are approaching rapidly.

                  https://github.com/ToyKeeper/anduril

        • dheera 11 days ago
          Pepper spray, but it might not be legal in Hong Kong.

          Basically they need to learn to not mess with humans. Same with bears and coyotes. Never, ever feed them.

        • ggm 11 days ago
          Nara.. they just gently bum-butt you I find. Maybe there's a more violent interaction I'm not aware of?
        • seanmcdirmid 11 days ago
          Oh man, my bum can still feel being rammed by Nara deer looking for treats.
          • keepamovin 11 days ago
            Hahaha! Yeah man. Those Nara deer. They look so innocent and then they suddenly turn. Hahaha, so funny! :)
  • GianFabien 11 days ago
    Looks like an amazing area for a movie set. Just need the right script that takes advantage of the surreal scenery.
  • jez 11 days ago
    • rcMgD2BwE72F 11 days ago
      Thank you. I can't access the page otherwise, CNN says

      >Browser Blocked (Firefox) > >We apologize, but your web browser is configured in such a way that it is preventing this site from implementing required components that protect your privacy and allow you to view and change your privacy settings. This functionality is required for privacy legislation in your region.

    • circularfoyers 11 days ago
      Unfortunately this removes the images it seems.
  • thriftwy 11 days ago
    It's very weird. Any of these houses in HK could have been a great dacha, and would cost hundred of thousands dollars.
  • dewey 11 days ago
    Funnily enough I just walked by this gallery yesterday and planned on visiting it after the holidays. Looks really interesting.
    • keepamovin 11 days ago
      Yeah by posting it I hoped to encourage people to visit the gallery too :)
  • wkat4242 10 days ago
    Too bad they destroyed the walled city.. Id have loved to see it one day.
  • hansonpeter 11 days ago
    [dead]
  • MPlus88 11 days ago
    [dead]
  • jojobas 11 days ago
    >remote villages

    Please, the entirety of Hong Kong is like 40x50km.

    There sure are some tall steep hills making some areas just not worth messing with.

    • bobthepanda 11 days ago
      There are also lots of tiny little islands, some of which used to be fishing villages.
    • keiranlovett 11 days ago
      Remote in this context can mean “out of the way and hard to get to”.

      Some of the outlining villages that are heavily populated are regarded as “remote” because they have limited public transport infrastructure. The density of the city combined with the mountainous topology makes it impossible to directly go to your destination.

      Then, these abandoned villages are on outlying islands from these heavily populated villages. You need to hire a private charter boat or a “tour service” to get to.

      So it can take 1-2 hours from the city center to get to one of the villages (if you’re going to Sai Kung Village, you’re on a single road prone to congestion during peak traffic), then you’re taking another 1-2 hour ride on a boat to the islands you want to go to.

      Certainly possible as day trips, but also certainly an inconvenience.

      • jojobas 11 days ago
        Anywhere else in the world 1-2 hours away from a metropolitan city centre is anything but remote.

        People commute from Pakenham to Melbourne (~1:20), from Alpharetta to Atlanta (~1:30) etc.

        • keiranlovett 11 days ago
          Yes, which is my point…

          For Hong Kong, the density and “business” driven expectations of the city make it so that a 1-2 hour journey sitting on a bus is considered a long route. People do not want to waste time traveling within the city.

          It is common for some people to roll their eyes at the thought of traveling to Kowloon side if they live on Hong Kong side, even if it’s a 5minute train / 15 minute ferry trip.