Yes, I do realise bonsai are Japanese, but these miniature trees are also very popular in Hong Kong, too. You can buy them pretty cheaply at Hong Kong Flower Market, Mong Kok. I used to own several but was not very successful with them, so sadly they are no more. There is also always a wonderful display of them at the Hong Kong Garden Festival. I love the ones that are used to create an entire mini-landscape as in my photo here.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
While I was staying at the Conrad I was surprised to receive a birthday card signed by then entire executive level staff as well as a piece of tiramisu. Thank you to you all.
PS. I wish you made the bears like in the card. :-))
Chinese New Year
This is the biggest festival here. It takes place in January or February on a different date each year. Each year is called after a different animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit,dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig.
In preparation people clean out their homes and decorate them. During the festival red packets containing money are given to children and unmarried adults. Families get together for special meals. Children wear traditional Chinese clothes.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
Handover to China 1997
The handover to China took place on 1st July 1997. This is marked by a public holiday on July first each year - SAR Day - Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Day.
These old photos show the royal yacht Britannia waiting to take the last British govenor - Chris Patten and his family back to the UK and HMS Chatham waiting to take back some of the army.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Smoking is not allowed in several outdoors areas in Hong Kong. Within these areas thogh, there might be specific smoking areas. Look for ban signs before getting fined up to HK$ 5,000.
Where not otherwise posted, smoking seems allowed in the vicinity of large orange color trash bins.
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the 1st day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. If you are visiting Hong Kong during Chinese New Year you may be lucky to witness the parade which travels through Tsim Sha Tsui in Kowloon. The streets are packed with people, as are the windows of the office buildings lining the route.
There are a lot of cultural performers as well as marching bands from other countries. Usually in the past it has been held during the day but I believe it has now started to be held at night time – probably has more effect.
Chinese New Year Fireworks
During the Chinese New Year time, there is also a Fireworks display which he held over Victoria Harbour. You need to pick the vantage point that suits you best on either side of the harbour and get there early to secure your spot. Probably one of the best places on Kowloon side is along the Avenue of Stars on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. It is really quite a splendid show.
I don't think there are too many people who haven't by now heard of Jackie Chan. Of course in Asia he has been around forever but only more popular in the USA and other parts of the world the past few years.
Jackie had an office within our studios when I worked in Hong Kong and he joined the staff for lunch on Christmas Eve one year that I was working there. Seen here with Raymond Chow (Well known HK Film Producer who also produced the Bruce Lee movies) and our secretary Rosalie.
Later that afternoon, I was leaving the studios well after everyone else, walking through the car park when a car pulled up beside me. It was Jackie, offering me a lift into town. Well, how can you refuse - certainly beats taking the train and although I had not intended to go into town, I soon changed my mind. After all it was Christmas Eve… why go home.
He is the most charming person, sang the Chinese version of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town' to me (it was a version relating to Jiang Zemin and the handover of Hong Kong). When we reached town, he gave me a kiss on both cheeks and wished me a merry Christmas. The girls in the office were beside themselves when I told them after Christmas. He's a sweetie in my books.
That duck again
On a rare clear day in Central looking towards TST I could not resist taking a picture of that duck again. Sadly the duck has sailed off into new waters now. Hopefully it will come back some day. It was quite a popular attraction.Related to:
The Lamma island ferries are not just a deal financially, they are a window into the Chinese psyche. Here one can grasp the fact that locals are passionate about making money any possible way (the easier the better). It also becomes clear why the casino monstrosities of Macao were possible to conceive, build and saturate with customers. The favourite pastime of the ferry passengers (in this case) is not contemplating the sunset over the South China Sea, it is making money on the go, quite literally, from their fellow travelers and receiving a kick (and a buck) of it. As always there are winners and losers, both parties very visible despite the language barrier. They part amicably after the ferry docks most probably because there are no big sums involved. There is no time for many transactions; Lamma Island is not that far away for the hit of the century but surely far enough for satisfying the gambling itch.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Noon Day Gun
Sadly a Custom no more since the 1997 handover to the PRC, was the firing of the Noon Day Gun.
Started originally as a signal by the trading house Jardine Matheson (one of the oldest trading companies in HK and still in existance today) to welcome home their ships.
After a dissagreement with the then Govenor of HK they were made to fire the cannon at noon every day.
Located near the Excelsior Hotel.
do you like chinese tea?
a place where displays teaware. telling the history and development the cultrure of `yum cha` (drinking chinese tea)
NOte: it's used to be a 3-flag house, now it's a museum as well as a historical building
MTR FARE SAVER MACHINE.
I wandered why locals were queueing briefly to scan their Octopus cards at a machine at the start of the Mid Levels Escalator so wanting to be a pretend local I joined the queue. When I got closer I found out it is an MTR Fare Saver Machine. Yay!!!
MTR Fare Saver machines have been placed at various locations to reward people who choose to walk to certain designated MTR stations rather than take buses or taxis. The machines are located a few hundred metres from the designated station (in my case Sheung Wan, Central or Hong Kong) and allow Adult Octopus Card holders a discount of HK$2 on their next journey from the listed station provided the journey is made on the same day. The machine automatically adjusts the balance on the Octopus Card once you enter the designated station.
The majority of these machines are not in tourist areas but I have also seen one at Harbour City Shopping Centre - designated stations to apply discount are Tsim Sha Tsui and Austin.
As you shuffle onto the escalator as part of the frantic activity at any MTR station or shopping mall, just remember your escalator etiquette and move to the RIGHT HAND SIDE. That is unless you are in somewhat of a hurry and want to save a few seconds by climbing up the left hand side.
Right for relax for a few seconds or left for leaving in a hurry! Also be mindful that Hong Kong escalators move fairly quickly in comparison to other cities so take note of the announcements and...PLEASE HOLD THE HANDRAIL.
Terms and words used in HK
Ah-Ba - father (affectionate term)
amah - house maid
ban mui - Filipina (derogatory term)
Cantonesecatty - Chinese unit of weight; approx. 1.33 lb/0.7 kg
CMB - China Motor Bus; HK bus company known for reckless drivers
choi sum - delicious Chinese vegetable
cognac - as advertised, something to be consumed only in the presence of men
congee - rice porridge
conservative - in HK context, someone whose politics are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun
Consumer Council - HK government body that investigates retail fraud
daai paai dong - low-priced street-side restaurant
dim sum - tasty dumplings served literally a la carte, on carts wheeled table-to-table in Chinese restaurants.
Disco Bay - Discovery Bay
Discovery Bay - bland, antiseptic housing development on Lantau Island
dollar 1 - Hong Kong dollar (HK$1.00) = US$0.13 r
expat/expatriate - normally refers to Caucasian residents of Hong Kong
faan gwailo - more belligerent term than gwailo
fung shui - Chinese traditional belief in good fortune in relation to geographical alignment of structures; used by HK immigrants abroad to explain cutting down every tree in sight
Giordano - clothing retailer founded by Jimmy Lai, an outspoken critic of Beijing
Green card - identity card given to legal immigrants by the USA government (by the way, it isn’t really green)
Hong Kong Hotels
I am two people really. Either businessman or traveller. So, if your on business or the budget's not...more
The location is handy for TST but the rooms are a little tired. I first stayed here in 2006 and...more
No.18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, New Territories, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Region, China
Good for: Couples
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