Hong Kong and “The Monkey King”

Greetings from Macau! Today I wanted to discuss my trip to Hong Kong as well as a theater show I saw just last week at the Sands Cotai Theater, “The Monkey King.”

Hong Kong
So a group of fellow exchange student at the University, including myself, pooled money together for a 2 day, 1 night trip to Hong Kong. We did almost everything a tourist could do, except visit the giant Buddha statue (we ran out of time, it’s a two hour boat ride from Hong Kong to the island where it is located). We took the metro and walked around Hong Kong, visiting the Garden of the Stars, a tribute to Asian movie stars, as well as various other tourist hot spots like Ocean Park and the Hong Kong observation wheel.

The Garden of the Stars was a good way to learn about Asian film history, and we even got a nice pose picture with the statue of Bruce Lee! Ocean Park was a lot like Belmont Park at Mission Beach, but has more rides available and seemed more crowded than Belmont Park at this same time of year. That may have been due to the fact it was still the Lunar New year, which is celebrated for two weeks. The Observation Wheel was also really fun, even though I am terrified of heights. It helped that they are small enclosed rooms that you sit in while going around three times. I was able to get some good pictures and panoramas while riding!

The last place of note that we went to was Victoria’s Peak at night. We didn’t want to wait the three hours to take the tram up the mountain to the Peak, so we took a cab! Five of us crammed inside a four person taxi, haha! At the Peak is a shopping center and places to take pictures of Hong Kong from above. I am glad we went at night, as the city lit up made for a wonderful view (and pictures)!

That same night, we also had a chance to visit the Lan Kwai Fong district, similar to the Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, but a bit larger and definitely more crowded on the weekends (population seven million, no wonder). It made for a good night of checking out some bars and even a dance club. At one point some fellow American tourists came up to me to inquire about the law and drinking on the street there . I laughed and pointed all around to the hundreds of locals doing exactly that and said “When in Rome…” They knew what I meant and laughed, mentioning how different it is there than in America.

We had a good time. Here are my Hong Kong Pictures:

The Monkey King
I want to finish this blog by talking about the theater show I saw last night …”The Monkey King!” This play was an adaptation of the traditional Chinese story “Journey to the West” by Wu Cheng’enwritten in the 16th Century. The show itself was a combination of theater, acrobatics, Chinese magic, and computer graphics; for a theater show it was quite revolutionary, 8 years in the making and a $300 million USD production. It only lasts a month here, and I am glad I got to see it as its last day playing here is the 28th of February.

I was truly amazed at the visuals, the production quality and especially fond of the story itself! The production company plans on producing the remaining three Chinese traditional stories in the same fashion and were seeking input on the show. I was interviewed by a local Chinese news station afterwards and provided my feedback on this amazing show. I am not sure if it will go to the US, but if it does, I highly recommend you all to see it!

For my fellow anime fans, “Dragonball, the story of Goku”, is a lose adaptation of the same story in its own unique way, borrowing elements from the Monkey King adding its own unique twists (saiyans, etc). Also, on Netflix, is a movie called the “Monkey King: Havoc in Heavens Palace,” which is very similar to the play I saw AND has obvious familiar ape battles anime fans will recognize as the saiyan monkeys, haha!

Worth a watch! Below are some pictures from the theater show:

Alex Nestler is a junior majoring in management information systems. He is spending the entire Spring semester studying at the University of Macau, in Macau, SAR, China.

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