Every year since 2011, usually around my birthday (March), I usually go to a nearby major city and stay there for a weekend or so, visit its tallest skyscraper, then explore the place for a couple of days. It's a fun diversion that, sadly, contrasts well with my real life (god, I really need to quit my job).
Anyway, the skyscraper thing is a requirement for each trip; I have a checklist of towers to visit and I'm ticking it one by one. I was lucky enough to visit the Malaysia's Petronas Towers, Taiwan's Taipei 101, and Hong Kong's International Commerce Center. Looking out from the vantage point of these super-tall towers is just, well, super. It's also a bit strange, too, that you're looking at a slightly top-down view of the skyline from one of the structures that define the said skyline. It's like a live map that beckons me to explore its depths, I guess.
But therein lies the problem. Well, at least a gamer's problem. You see, whenever I play games I make sure that every map of every level is 100% complete (unless they're unlockable only by paid DLC). I'm not a number-cruncher player, and I would never call myself a pro, but it feels wrong when I don't get to see everything the world has to offer. Even if I know that the unexplored portion of the map will lead to a dead end, I still obsess on getting to see that area with my own eyes (or the player character's eyes). I remember taking almost double the time in RPGs just because I'm exploring the possible edge of the map, or me deliberately turning off Journey's online multiplayer just to explore (and no pressure from strangers!). Long story short, as long as there's a big enough map in the game, I'll take the time to see it.
So imagine my dilemma as I stand before these strange lands, with all the streets and alleys and buildings and parks and mountains – I mean, where the hell do I start?
Exploring on foot can lead to some very picturesque views (like the above photo, taken at Lantau Island) but most of the time I end up frustrated because I had to force myself to stop checking every nook and cranny simply because I don't have the time and I'm getting pretty tired.
Ah, if only I have the time and stamina of a game character.
Anyway, might as well share some pics. Here's the view from HK's tallest tower: