I was on a friend’s terrace on Sunday night, we were in the middle of Sheung Wan in downtown Hong Kong, among the sky scrapers and bright light in the middle of the night. I looked up and saw the stars. About 15 stars. But they were stars, and they were visible.
This has only happened to me in Hong Kong in the villages on other islands, never actually on Hong Kong island itself. It was an exciting moment for me. Most nights are characterized by an opaque navy blue with the orange glow of city.
The stars were apparent that evening for two reasons: it was slightly less humid than normal and the pollution levels were low. The factories in Mainland China were all shut down for Chinese New Year-or Golden Week. Some even take longer breaks. The particulate levels consequently take a tumble. While CNY can be a difficult season to travel-more costly, more crowded-the aftermath seems to be fresher, clearer air.
Thanks to a lengthy holiday in China, I was able to see Orion from the middle of the city.