A Travellerspoint blog

Life's a Walk in the Park!!!!

On nursing duty.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Recently I have not been going too far as I have been on nursing duty, making sure Peter takes all his drops and pills. Also the weather has been terrible. I don't want it to get too hot, but it has actually been pouring most days. We have had lots of rain signals including red and amber and a thunder storm that went on for about eight hours. Every day has been dark and dreary. Life has involved a lot of going back and forth to the doctor's.

On Monday I needed to go shopping for food, but I decided I'd go to Tung Chung instead of locally for a change of scenery and since I was going there I thought I'd take a look at Tung Chung North Park as I've never been there before. Every time I am writing a blog and look up information about trees or plants, the articles always seem to say 'This can be found in Tung Chung North Park', so I thought I'd take a look.

This park apparently opened in 2010. It's a strange park. I found the entrance and was stunned by how tiny it was. I then realised I was only in part A of the park which has a pet garden and an elderly fitness corner.

Camelia Flower with raindrops in part A.

Camelia Flower with raindrops in part A.

I walked on and found part B which is totally separate from part A. This was better. It had a herb garden with lots of information, an exhibition centre which I didn't go into and an activity centre. There was an exercise class going on in there when I visited. The exhibition centre has been open since 2013 and apparently has lots of information on different communicable diseases, not really what I want to spend my free time on nowadays. There are enough of those in real life.

Pond in the centre of the herb garden.

Pond in the centre of the herb garden.

Reflections in the pond.

Reflections in the pond.

Wild coffee in the herb garden.

Wild coffee in the herb garden.

Peppermint.

Peppermint.

Globe Amaranth. This can be made into a tea which reduces fatigue, improves skin, lowers blood pressure and even prevents gray hairs. I think I need some!

Globe Amaranth. This can be made into a tea which reduces fatigue, improves skin, lowers blood pressure and even prevents gray hairs. I think I need some!

As well as the herb garden there was also a trail of health which followed a very circuitous path up a small hill. As you walk it, you will pass boards showing you how to do some exercises and several motivational quotations from famous people.

Exercise Post.

Exercise Post.

Motivational Quotes.

Motivational Quotes.

At the far side of the trail of health you come to part C of the park which has a soccer pitch. This has recently been doubling as a COVID testing centre. There's also a fountain here.

This insect was willing to pose for me in part C.

This insect was willing to pose for me in part C.

On one side of the park stand the extremely tall buildings of the Caribbean Coast and on the other were lovely mist covered mountains. From the Caribbean Coast side there was almost constant drilling.

Caribbean Coast looming over the park.

Caribbean Coast looming over the park.

Mist covered mountains.

Mist covered mountains.

Past the park was a forest of cranes. The MTR are building a new line and a new station here so there were loads of heavy vehicles, workers in hard hats and lots and lots of noise. Very typical Hong Kong.

Sea of Cranes.

Sea of Cranes.

On Tuesday the sun finally decided to make an appearance. I decided after helping with drops and pills, I was going out for a couple of hours. I started by taking the train to Cheung Sha Wan Station. I exited at exit C2 and went to look for the Un Chau Estate Flower Tunnel. This is supposed to be a magical place with masses of pink bougainvillea. I believe it would have been like this up until a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately I had mistimed it and all the flowers had already gone. Oh well, never mind. I guess if you are the wrong time for something, you must be the right time for something else. Un Chau is a public housing estate. There were many playgrounds near the flower tunnel and lots and lots of children running, screaming and laughing everywhere. It reminded me of work. There the noise would sometimes drive me crazy. Here when I could escape it at will it was more invigorating.

Un Chau Flower Tunnel when I visited.

Un Chau Flower Tunnel when I visited.

Photo of the Un Chau Flower Tunnel taken from the internet.

Photo of the Un Chau Flower Tunnel taken from the internet.

Although the flower tunnel wasn't in bloom, there were other beautiful flowers to enjoy, especially lots of different coloured hibiscus flowers.

Yellow hibiscus.

Yellow hibiscus.

Red hibiscus.

Red hibiscus.

I decided to walk from Un Chau Estate through Cheung Sha Wan to the Jao Tsung-I Academy, which I planned to visit next. On route I passed the Cheung Sha Wan Sitting Out Area and the Sham Shui Po Sports Ground. I once again noticed that although Cheung Sha Wan is very built up, and mainly concrete, concrete and more concrete, the wide roads make it feel more open and less claustrophobic.

Cheung Sha Wan Sitting Out Area.

Cheung Sha Wan Sitting Out Area.

Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

I had noticed on Google maps that the Jao Tsung-I Academy was quite close to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. I had no idea what that was. At one point I had to cross a major road called Butterfly Valley Road. I wanted to change from Cheung Sha Wan Road to Castle Peak Road on the other side. At first I only saw one way to go. Thus I accidentally walked into the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre. I suddenly realised I could see the road I wanted to be on, but it was blocked off by tall walls, topped with barbed wire. Looking around I saw there were also tall walls topped with barbed wire on both sides of me. I suddenly realised the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre was a prison and I seemed to have walked right into the middle of it. There was a guard watching me surreptitiously. I think he found me quite amusing, but didn't want to have to speak English to me to tell me to get out. I had the choice of attempting to scale the fence, and probably getting shot in the process, or backtracking. I decided to backtrack and got onto the rather narrow road next to the prison. Phew, was I glad to get out of there!

A short walk onwards and I arrived at the Jao Tsung-I Academy. This is a group of very old buildings which are currently used as an exhibition centre, restaurant and heritage hotel. In the past they have been used as almost everything you can think of.

They began life as a customs post between Hong Kong and China. At that time these buildings were right on the sea. They are now a long way away from the water due to land reclamation. In the past there was a pier here and customs boats patrolled the waters making sure any passing boats paid the necessary duties. Later these buildings became accommodation for Chinese labourers who were waiting to sail overseas. Some of these labourers were going willingly, others were being forced. Later still these buildings were used as a quarantine station. For a while these buildings acted as a prison. After that they were used as a hospital for infectious diseases, such as plague, cholera and leprosy. After that they were a psychiatric rehabilitation centre.

The centre nowadays is named after an esteemed Chinese scholar, Jao Tsung-I, who was born in 1917 and died in 2018, at the age of one hundred. Jao Tsung-I was a sinologist, calligrapher, historian and painter. He made extensive contributions to many fields in the humanities and published over a hundred books.

The academy is on three levels. The lower level has a beautiful pond, exhibition halls and a statue of Jao Tsung-I. The pond was filled with waterlilies and water hyacinths. The exhibition centres deal with the history of the buildings and contain information about Jao Tsung-I.

Front of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Front of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Ground floor of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Ground floor of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Statue of Jao Tsung-I.

Statue of Jao Tsung-I.

Beautiful pond on the ground floor of the academy.

Beautiful pond on the ground floor of the academy.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Yellow Waterlily.

Yellow Waterlily.

Pink Waterlily.

Pink Waterlily.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Display relating to the centre being a customs post.

Display relating to the centre being a customs post.

Old boundary stone.

Old boundary stone.

Old photo of when the buildings were a customs post.

Old photo of when the buildings were a customs post.

Old photos of opium smokers.

Old photos of opium smokers.

Old photo of when the buildings were a hospital. These children are attending lessons even though they are ill.

Old photo of when the buildings were a hospital. These children are attending lessons even though they are ill.

The middle level of the complex has a restaurant called the House of Joy, a coffee shop, accommodation and exhibition blocks. There are nice views over the lower floor from here.

Stairs up to middle level. They are covered with little lights, so would be pretty at night.

Stairs up to middle level. They are covered with little lights, so would be pretty at night.

Stairs from ground level to middle level.

Stairs from ground level to middle level.

Leave a message for luck.

Leave a message for luck.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Hotel accommodation.

Hotel accommodation.

Coffee shop on middle level.

Coffee shop on middle level.

House of Joy Restaurant.

House of Joy Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Decoration outside the restaurant.

Decoration outside the restaurant.

Piano.

Piano.

In the middle level.

In the middle level.

Floral Display.

Floral Display.

Bicycle decoration in middle level.

Bicycle decoration in middle level.

The upper level is the main accommodation level. I have no idea what the rooms are like inside, but the while place is very peaceful from the outside. There were several ladies in beautiful saris walking up and down while being filmed, possibly for a wedding. There was an old rickshaw outside one of the buildings.

Looking over the middle level.

Looking over the middle level.

Looking at the middle level from the upper level.

Looking at the middle level from the upper level.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Heritage accommodation on upper level.

Heritage accommodation on upper level.

Heritage accommodation.

Heritage accommodation.

Old rickshaw outside the accommodation.

Old rickshaw outside the accommodation.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

View from the upper level.

View from the upper level.

When I was done looking around here, I found a walkway on the other side of the road which took me all the way to Mei Foo MTR Station without me having to cross any of the major roads which were all around.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

When I got to Mei Foo MTR, I knew I was opposite the beautiful Lai Chi Kok Park which I have visited before. I thought I might as well go in and take another look. Before I reached the park, I passed some colourful market stalls.

Market.

Market.

Lai Chi Kok Park is a large park with beautiful Chinese gardens and lots of sports facilities. I headed towards the Lingnan Gardens first. These are Chinese style walled gardens with ponds. On the way I passed a children's playground with cute novelty bins, butterfly models, a jogging track and lots of flowers and trees.

Lai Chi Kok Park Sign.

Lai Chi Kok Park Sign.

Butterflies on the way to Lingnan Gardens.

Butterflies on the way to Lingnan Gardens.

Flowering Southern Magnolia Tree.

Flowering Southern Magnolia Tree.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Old and Modern at Lingnan Gardens.

Old and Modern at Lingnan Gardens.

Turtles and Snakes.

Turtles and Snakes.

A turtle surveys his kingdom.

A turtle surveys his kingdom.

Lingnan Garden.

Lingnan Garden.

Shelter in Lignan Garden.

Shelter in Lignan Garden.

Window with bamboo.

Window with bamboo.

I got to see bougainvillea after all.

I got to see bougainvillea after all.

Gateways.

Gateways.

I then went up to the sports grounds and discovered a sloping path which would take me at treetop level past tulip trees and flames of the forest trees which were all filled with flowers.

Tulip Tree.

Tulip Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Then I went to the other Chinese style park here. There was a photography class taking place with everyone photographing lotus blossoms, so I joined in. I also loved the reflections on the pond.

Bird statues.

Bird statues.

Birds and lotuses.

Birds and lotuses.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Ponds and Lilypads.

Ponds and Lilypads.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

Around this garden I also noticed some beautiful scarlet flowers and some trees with purple blossom.

Walls and flowers.

Walls and flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Purple blossom of a crepe myrtle tree.

Purple blossom of a crepe myrtle tree.

Finally, I remembered I had come out to go shopping, went to the supermarket and went home to my nursing duties.

Posted by irenevt 03:12 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Globe Amaranth tea sounds like a winner. Wonder if I can find it in our local supermarket? Your flower photos are absolutely beautiful. I love them.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, can't say I have ever actually seen the tea on sale anywhere. I was really pleased to see the water hyacinths. Apparently they are regarded as a pest but they are certainly beautiful.

by irenevt

The colours of the flowers are beautiful .---Who are you kidding " scale the fence " Ha Ha. All the best.

by alectrevor

Yes, there wasn't really a high chance of me getting up and over there. Took me all my energy to backtrack truth be told. Haha.

by irenevt

Pity about the bougainvillea tunnel but so glad you didn’t get imprisoned! Beautiful colours too thanks for sharing

by Catherine

Yes, I certainly mistimed that one. I've been reminding myself to go for ages, too and it was always too early. Oh well, never mind. Thank you for viewing.

by irenevt

You have those beautiful ponds everywhere!

The turtle looking at his kingdom looks great! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, there are lots of parks here. Most people live in small cramped flats and they need somewhere they can go out and sit or wander around doing exercise. Most of the parks will have a Chinese style pond, and most of the ponds will be filled with brightly coloured koi and turtles.

by irenevt

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