The city thrives with a sense of ironic juxtaposition: a bustling metropolis commercialized by remnants of history. I cross not only the spiritual abyss but a roadside and couple of tuktuks.
Here is a curator who encloses Buddha behind velvet ropes.
I see monks quietly passing by, donning white earphones that drape across their orange robes.
Around me is a metropolis residing at the footsteps of the temple with roadside altars that are conveniently placed by street corners and shopping malls.
I know that everything has a tradeoff: What do we give up in order to move forward? Conversely, how do we hold on without feeling backwards? Overall, how do we retain authenticity in the end?
What was once a remote Chinese trading port has flourished into a flytrap of tourists seeking for escape and adventure. Back then it was the merchant who commoditized the city. Now, it is I, the traveler who brokers experience. I reform history with my iPhone.