The flower market of Mong Kok, Hong Kong

Facing the north coast of the island of Hong Kong is Kowloon Peninsula. As the second region to have been urbanized, Kowloon is now recognized for its high residential density of above 30,000 inhabitants per square kilometer. One of its main areas, Mong Kok, is one of the densest in the world, with numbers of up to 130,000 inhabitants per square kilometer.

Numbers like these can make us dizzy, but it is here, in the heart of this popular overcrowded neighborhood, that I discovered the images I had imagined I would find in Hong Kong: huge buildings with blinding signs, crowded streets of people jostling and pushing for space, all bathed in various odors and vapors in a deafening hubbub!

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The Pak Khlong Talaat market, Bangkok

In the early hours of the day, I lost myself on the edge of Chao Phraya, on the streets of Pak Khlong Market, the largest market in Bangkok. As the first rays of sun appear, the streets slowly come alive and exciting smells begin to awaken the olfactory senses of sleepy visitors.

Buds of jasmine, lotus, tuberoses, roses and bougainvillea mingle with mountains of orchids, towers of frangipanis and baskets of carnations. As I navigate the array of flowers, soaking in their thousand perfume scents, I see a woman sitting on a small stool wearing a colorful tight-fitting apron, her hands dancing with graceful dexterity as she prepares flower necklaces, baskets and various offerings. I do not know where to turn; everything is so beautiful, everything smells so good, there is an oasis of colors, and an overpowering fragrance that only such a unique myriad of smells entwined together can create.

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