A Travellerspoint blog

Sunday Wanderings.

Exploring Tsim Sha Tsui, Jordan and Cheung Sha Wan.

rain

Today I decided to go and see the Avenue of Comic Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. It's located in Kowloon Park, but for some reason I have never been to this part of the park before.

On my walk along Nathan Road from exit A Tsim Sha Tsui Station, I noticed lots of beautifully painted stairways leading into the park as well as a large sculpture.

Swan Lake on Stairway into the Park.

Swan Lake on Stairway into the Park.

Musical Ensemble on Stairway into Park.

Musical Ensemble on Stairway into Park.

This statue is entitled 'Please' and it's by sculptor, Van Lau.

This statue is entitled 'Please' and it's by sculptor, Van Lau.

This statue is entitled 'Please' and it's by sculptor, Van Lau.

This statue is entitled 'Please' and it's by sculptor, Van Lau.

Wonderful old tree on Nathan Road.

Wonderful old tree on Nathan Road.

Then I saw a stairway lined with models of cartoon characters; I had arrived at the Avenue of Comic Stars. To be honest, I am not really familiar with Hong Kong comic characters, but even so I found the walkway good fun, despite the fact it started bucketing down with rain as soon as I arrived. Apparently the characters on show here are all popular Hong Kong comic characters from the 1960's to the 2010's. This walkway was opened in 2012. Each character is near their handprint to make it just like the Avenue of Stars.

Stairway leading to Avenue of Comic Stars.

Stairway leading to Avenue of Comic Stars.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

Detail of Characters on Stairway.

I believe this character is called Old Girl.

I believe this character is called Old Girl.

Comic Character.

Comic Character.

Comic Character. I think this is Little Horse.

Comic Character. I think this is Little Horse.

Statues with tall buildings on Nathan Road.

Statues with tall buildings on Nathan Road.

Statues with beautiful old building, probably part of the army barracks that was once located here. This cat is called Din Dong.

Statues with beautiful old building, probably part of the army barracks that was once located here. This cat is called Din Dong.

Ding Ding, Comic Penguin.

Ding Ding, Comic Penguin.

Cartoon Panda. It's called panda-a-panda.

Cartoon Panda. It's called panda-a-panda.

New Take on The Little Mermaid. Apparently she's called Sau Nga Chun, I think.

New Take on The Little Mermaid. Apparently she's called Sau Nga Chun, I think.

Not sure who this pink boy is.

Not sure who this pink boy is.

Hero Type Characters.

Hero Type Characters.

Hero Type Characters.

Hero Type Characters.

Hong Kong's James Bond perhaps. Yes it is. He's known as K.

Hong Kong's James Bond perhaps. Yes it is. He's known as K.

View after the rainfall.

View after the rainfall.

In addition to the sculptures, there was a beautifully painted Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Looks a bit Alice in Wonderland-like to me.

Looks a bit Alice in Wonderland-like to me.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

Comic Wall.

I noticed the flowers in the park's roof garden looked beautiful after the rain.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

Beautiful Flowers.

There were two buildings opposite the park on Nathan Road that I wanted to see. One was the Former British School, the other building was Saint Andrews Church.

The Former British School at 136 Nathan Road is the oldest surviving school building in Hong Kong for the children of expats. It was paid for by Sir Robert Ho Tung and officially opened by Governor Blake on 19th April 1902. Later this school moved to new premises, then it was closed down all together by the Japanese during World War II. After the war, The British School reopened as King George the Fifth School, generally shortened to KGV, which is the oldest of all the English Schools Foundation schools here. The original school building located here now houses the Antiquities and Monuments Office and was declared a monument on 19th July 1991. Unfortunately for photography purposes, this building was being renovated, so was covered everywhere with tarpaulin and scaffolding.

I found this photo of the school online.

I found this photo of the school online.

Next door at 138 Nathan Road is Saint Andrew's Church. This is the oldest English speaking Protestant church in Kowloon. It dates from 1906 and was financed by Sir Catchick Paul Chater who owned the land here. During World War II the Japanese turned this church into a Shinto shrine. I was fortunate as a service was just ending as I arrived, so I got to look inside the church.

Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Storm clouds gather behind Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Storm clouds gather behind Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.



Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.



Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.

Stain Glass Window, Saint Andrew's Church, Kowloon.



Next I walked along Austin Road at the northern end of Kowloon Park, then turned right onto Shanghai Street. I walked along this street until I reached King George V Memorial Park. There are two parks dedicated to King George V in Hong Kong: one here and one in Sai Ying Pun. This park was built in 1940. It was opened by Norman Lockhart Smith in 1941. He was chosen in place of the governor, who was ill. In the centre of the park stood a statue of King George V. A few months after the park was opened, the Japanese invaded Hong Kong. They removed the statue and used the park as a rubbish dump. Nowadays the park has several Chinese style pavilions and some sports facilities. It is a welcome bit of greenery in a pretty built-up area. I noticed the Xiqu Centre I visited last week is just across the road from the park.

Entrance to King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Entrance to King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

Chinese-style Building, King George V Memorial Park, Kowloon.

After visiting the park, I walked along Jordan Road and noticed the entrance way to Temple Street Night Market on my left, so although it wasn't night time and the market wasn't on, I crossed the road to take a look. The gateway to the market is the same, or certainly very similar to, the one I saw at the Yau Ma Tei end of Temple Street when I visited there. As I started to walk along Temple Street, I was delighted to see a red and green sign for a pawn shop. No, I didn't want to pawn anything, but I have read that these signs are becoming increasingly difficult to find as more and more pawn shops close down.

Apparently, pawn shops have been around in Hong Kong for about two hundred years. The traditional pawn shop sign depicts an upside down bat holding a coin in its mouth. This sign is considered to be lucky as the Chinese word for bat which is, fook, sounds similar to the word for - fortune. In addition, the phrase 'upside-down bat' sounds similar to 'fook dau', meaning 'good fortune has arrived'. When I say words sounds similar, what I mean is, Cantonese mainly has words of one syllable. Their meaning changes depending on which tone people pronounce them in. Cantonese people say words 'sound similar' if they are the same word pronounced in a different tone. To give an example sze means four when pronounced in one tone and death when pronounced in another, so four is considered to be an unlucky number as it sounds like death.

Anyway let's get back to pawn shops. The entrance to a pawn shop always has a screen to block people's view of who is in the shop and thus lend some privacy to those forced to pawn their belongings. Apparently, the counter inside the pawn shop is always very high to show the superior status of the pawnbroker and to prevent people from seeing how the value of their goods is worked out. Pawn shops in Hong Kong are not allowed to charge more than 3.5 per cent interest per month on any loans they issue, and they cannot provide loans of more than HK$100,000.

Entrance to Temple Street Night Market.

Entrance to Temple Street Night Market.

Pawn brokers' sign.

Pawn brokers' sign.

Looking back towards Jordan Road.

Looking back towards Jordan Road.

Looking down Temple Street.

Looking down Temple Street.

Older People pushing carts is a common sight here.

Older People pushing carts is a common sight here.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Foot massage parlours are common here.

Foot massage parlours are common here.

Narrow lane with no traffic.

Narrow lane with no traffic.

Taking a break in a quiet lane.

Taking a break in a quiet lane.

After looking at Temple Street, I walked further along Jordan Road until it crossed Nathan Road. Here I found Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium. I loved it. It was beautifully laid out and very photogenic. It felt more like a museum than a shop. This department store occupies five storeys. It sells food, teas, ceramics, clothes, paintings, calligraphy sets and much more. It dates from 1959.

Entrance to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

Entrance to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

Lions guard the entranceway.

Lions guard the entranceway.

Entrance to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

Entrance to Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

Old pictures of the shop were on display everywhere.

Old pictures of the shop were on display everywhere.

Food Stuffs on Display.

Food Stuffs on Display.

Food Stuffs on Display.

Food Stuffs on Display.

Ceramics.

Ceramics.

Ceramics.

Ceramics.

Beautiful Teapots.

Beautiful Teapots.

Just Looking.

Just Looking.

The Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

The Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium.

Furniture.

Furniture.

Furniture.

Furniture.

Screens.

Screens.

Goods on Display.

Goods on Display.

Stairways.

Stairways.

Stairways.

Stairways.

Outside on Nathan Road.

Outside on Nathan Road.

Outside on Nathan Road.

Outside on Nathan Road.

Outside on Nathan Road.

Outside on Nathan Road.

I then wandered further down Jordan Road to Kowloon Union Church. This beautiful building was one of the first inter-denominational churches in Hong Kong. It was built by the London Missionary Society in 1931 and was partly financed by Sir Paul Chater. During World War II, the Japanese used this church as a stable for their horses. After the war in 1947 the church was reopened and rededicated. It was declared a monument in 2017. Some renovation was being carried out when I visited, so the church tower was covered in scaffolding. I looked inside, but could not take pictures, as a service was going on when I arrived.

Kowloon Union Church.

Kowloon Union Church.

Inside the church.

Inside the church.

Inside the church.

Inside the church.

Since I was so close to it, I next walked to Cox's Lane and looked at Kowloon Cricket Club and Kowloon Bowling Club. I couldn't go inside either of these, as they are for members only. The Kowloon Cricket Club was founded in October 1904. The club's foundation stone was laid by Sir Hormusjee N. Mody, the club president. Their is a bust of him in the entrance way. As the whole ground is surrounded by high fences, it's impossible to get a good photo of the cricket field from the outside.

Kowloon Cricket Club.

Kowloon Cricket Club.

Kowloon Cricket Club.

Kowloon Cricket Club.

The club was opened by Sir H. N. Mody.

The club was opened by Sir H. N. Mody.

Its hard to get a good shot of the cricket field.

Its hard to get a good shot of the cricket field.

Its hard to get a good shot of the cricket field.

Its hard to get a good shot of the cricket field.

Kowloon Bowling Green Club.

Kowloon Bowling Green Club.

Kowloon Bowling Green Club.

Kowloon Bowling Green Club.

I then got back on the MTR, but I didn't go home. As I was on the Tsuen Wan line and would pass through Cheung Sha Wan, I decided I would go and visit Lei Cheng UK Han Tomb.

After World War II, many Chinese immigrants flocked to Hong Kong. Many had little money and ended up in huge squatter camps. On Christmas night 1953 a massive fire broke out in the squatter camp in Shek Kip Mei. The fire raged for five hours and left 53,000 people homeless. The government responded by building Hong Kong's first public housing. While construction was underway in the Cheung Sha Wan/Sham Shui Po area, workers unearthed an ancient Han Tomb. Construction was halted and the area sealed off. Professor F.S. Drake of the University of Hong Kong and his students were brought in to excavate the site.

The tomb is made of brick and has four interconnected chambers. Fifty-eight pottery or bronze objects were found inside the tomb.

Nowadays it is possible to view the tomb through a glass panel. The bronze and pottery objects found in the tomb are on display and there is a pretty Han Chinese style garden around the tomb. The garden has ponds, statues, rock formations and waterfalls. As I visited on a Sunday, many maids had gone there to celebrate their day off.

Lei Cheng UK Han Tomb.

Lei Cheng UK Han Tomb.

Lei Cheng UK Han Tomb.

Lei Cheng UK Han Tomb.

Photo of the great fire of Shek Kip Mei.

Photo of the great fire of Shek Kip Mei.

Professor F.S. Drake and his student excavate the tomb.

Professor F.S. Drake and his student excavate the tomb.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Pottery items found during the excavation.

Bronze items found during the excavation.

Bronze items found during the excavation.

Bronze items found during the excavation.

Bronze items found during the excavation.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

The surrounding Han Garden.

This area of Cheung Sha Wan is built up but with wide open roads.

This area of Cheung Sha Wan is built up but with wide open roads.

This area of Cheung Sha Wan is built up but with wide open roads.

This area of Cheung Sha Wan is built up but with wide open roads.

In recent years MTR stations have been made more attractive by the art in the MTR program. In Cheung Sha Wan Station the walls are decorated with 'Tea Pots, Bowls, Cups and Some Spoons' by Mariko Jesse.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Art in Cheung Sha Wan MTR.

Posted by irenevt 10:51 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hello, Irene! Thanks for your great story and excellent photographs! You guys really have some wonderful places to explore...

by Vic_IV

Hi Victor,

I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for visiting. Hope all is good with you.

Irene

by irenevt

Hi Irene, You had a very interesting day. I found your blog very interesting too. [ I thought the blue boy was Tin Tin with a gun !]

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, that blue boy is called K and is the Hong Kong equivalent of James Bond. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

I could never learn to speak chinese becouse of the pronouncing, I am sure I would end up mixing the similar-sounding-words....

Didn't recognize any of the superheroes but from your photos the Panda-a-panda is my favorite! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, I've learned almost no Chinese all the time I've been here. It's embarrassing. The comic characters are all well-known in Hong Kong but nowhere else. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

I think I like the painted stairs more than the comic character one, although the wall is colourful. The stained glass in Saint Andrew's Church really appeals to me :) Also, the Chinese Products Emporium looks fascinating - I would be very tempted by those pretty tea cups!

by ToonSarah

The Chinese Products Emporium was certainly very photogenic. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

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