January 11, 2016 42 Hong Kong

New Year’s Resolution: return to the Motherland.

Margaret-Zhang-Hong-Kong copy

I like to think that I don’t dwell on past events or hold grudges… with the exception of Sammy in Year 2 who made fun of my 糟菜粉干 lunch – it tasted so much better than your Wonder White and Kraft peanut butter, you asshole (#asiankidproblems).* Once in a while, usually on a long-haul flight, something will trigger a memory of pronouncing “Niger” incorrectly in Year 5 geography class, or a contact lens falling out in the middle of a speech in front of the whole school, and I’ll spend the next three hours systematically working my way through every mortifying moment in my lifetime until I feel like the entire plane is judging me.

Aside from that, I feel like I’m a pretty forward-thinking person.


And yet, my one genuine source of recurring regret is not having spent more time with my extended family in China. Growing up, we returned to the Motherland once every couple of years, which was certainly not often enough (nor did we stay long enough) to be treated as anything but disproportionately important guests. Asian sisters in the room (or any family-based culture, for that matter) – you know how it is. Being force fed the home-cooking so good that you want to vomit, bruised cheeks from elderly pinching with bonus running commentary on how “fat” you are and don’t forget the violent battle for the cheque at the end of a meal at a restaurant.

Over the course of my travelling career, my body has associated particular sensory experiences with particular continents. In Europe, I feel like my chest is wide open, my breathing deepens and slows down, I’m constantly looking up in awe of the architectural history and I see colours in periodically relevant music (hot tip: walking around the white hills of Granada with Granados playing in your ears is the closest you’ll ever be to any kind of bizarro enlightenment people claim to reach). Every Asian city I’ve worked in over the past four years has had a similar effect of stirring sensory memories I built between ages 7 and 16: the weird contrast between beautiful weathered old women with a tonne of corn attached to their bike and the youth’s hyper-reliance on technology, the blur of sewerage and Arctic air-conditioning, the simultaneous mass obsession and rejection of Western culture and commerce. You definitely internalise to cope with the clockwork masses. And you definitely try not to breathe the smog and secondary cigarette smoke.

A 48 hour work stint in Hong Kong last month (during which these shots and elaborate tripod selfies were taken – more on that later) definitely reignited all of the above. The last time I was in China, I was hiking in 四川, with numb toes from the December freeze, and a numb mouth from the famous provincial chillies I overzealously consumed with every meal. The time before that, this website didn’t even exist, and Justin Bieber still had a bowl cut.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

HONG KONG by Margaret Zhang


  • So cool to see these images from China– on an aesthetic level especially, deviates from the quintessential blogger in Europe or New York/LA street style photo. And of course, holla at the ethnic lunch platter situations… brown girl feel ya all to well ;)

  • Daniel

    Hope to see you next time in HK!!

  • Sometimes going back to your roots is just what you need in this day and age of being always on!

  • love this – love hk!

  • Stephanie

    Beautiful shoot! I wish I can go to HK and anyway seems like you had a great time there. Have fun!

  • fixatedfaiyaz

    Lmfao totally feel you, especially about visiting relatives. Love this!

    xx Faiyaz

  • luciana

    I would love to visit HK one day!
    I was lucky to visit Shanghai in 2015 and loved it!

  • Oh I feel the same pains of being from a migrant background! I have often had sandwich fillings that my peers deemed questionable.


  • Nice pics!

    Don’t miss my new boots today with an amazing B&W outfit…

    Kisses from

  • How you do this amazing gif like timelapse :O?

  • loved this post

  • I miss Sichuan, Hong Kong. China is great:P

    Shall We Sasa

  • Hahaha I love your writing. Eluding to pop culture is your special touch. Also you are so on point about that Arctic air conditioning of Hong Kong!! And everything else really (the mass obsession and rejection of Western culture and commerce)!!

  • Always enjoy reading your posts

  • george

    I’ve always had the chance to live with my extended country in my

    motherland, which is something you don’t know how important it is unless you’re separated from them…

  • Francesca

    beautiful pics!

  • Luke Ross

    Lovely shots, I love the tone and lighting!

  • Lovey Fleming

    Gorgeous babe. I hope all your love and success throughout the years make the past wounds heal <3


  • Ellie

    I’m in love with your blog. Lovely post! Very well written. Keep in touch.

  • It’s been almost 6 years still I visited the Motherland (HK)! I miss it so much and I wish I could afford to go more often. Can’t for your snaps to remind me of Asia!!


  • I haven’t spent enough time in western countries to really get to know the culture, but I must say I really love Asian cities (outside of SEA). I’m in love with China and HK. I spent a month in Nanjing with a friend’s family there, and her uncles’ battle over the cheque at restaurants was really intense. Quite an eye opener. Also while I haven’t been to Sichuan, since Sichuan food is practically my favorite in every province in China, I think I’d be stuffing myself full of mala dishes when I get there myself.


  • Jennifer

    Omg “memory of pronouncing “Niger” incorrectly in Year 5 geography class” – that is GOLD – how hilarious and cute. WE love you Margaret!

  • Your articles are always so entertaining haha! We love! xx

  • mcboodles

    Much like Bieber’s haircuts, ur blogs keep getting better too!

  • Bibi Bogaarts

    Your pictures are amazing and I love the way you write your post!

  • another well written post =) (can totally relate)

  • Love your blog! It’s amazing! <3

  • I guess that I somehow understand you, even though my situation isn’t that drastic: Half my family lives in Florence, and I’m from Spain. Every time that I travel there, I sense some particular things in a different way… I even get excited about the smell, or the taste of pasta (even though I also cook it at home).

    Check out my new post, and get a first view on the next 2016 Fashion Trends – A post inspired on some of the greatest spring-summer ad campaigns.

    Have a wonderful year! Bests, María.

  • Your love for your Motherland and extended family is totally relatable and heart-warming! The pictures taken in Hong Kong are so charming too, thanks for sharing!

    Giveaway Now At

  • Amazing photos and great post, love how you have an unique eye for both western and eastern cities! Love you!!


  • Fifi

    Stunning photos, such a beautiful post xoxo

  • Sophie Lee

    Amazing post <3

    Love how the photos look so vivid and lively <3

    xoxo, Best Bags 2016

  • Amazing post, dear!

    Love, Marie Roget

  • <3 Seems like a lot of people have been in Hong Kong the past few weeks.

    xoxo Aela


    We think your style is truly phenomenal. Continue the great
    work. Best, MODENOVA /

  • I’ve been far from home for too many years, so I know what you mean (I guess).
    Freaking awesome photos and really interesting post, by the way. I’m glad I found your blog. :)

  • ashley
  • Love this instagram short video!

  • Shelly





  • Love the video Instagram shots. I totally get what you mean. Not being an Asian girl from the East, I do have the same processus going though my whole face when visiting Family in Paris. There’s something bringing me back to age of 16 when I was just a teen completely under pressure of doing everything perfect pleasing grandma for too many years Haha. Still loving the motherland tho x


  • Remsun Debbarma

    Just with your content you have took us to a trip to Hong Kong. The pictures you ave given have kept up the interest for Hong Kong more. Thank you for the content

  • I am obsessed with you, your photos and your photos! You inspire me to take more self portrait shots ❤️