A Travellerspoint blog

Temples, Troubles and Technology.

overcast

Monday I had a bad day. Tuesday I also had a bad day. I'm wondering if it's heading towards being a bad week.

I got up to do my Zoom lessons on Monday as usual, only to see my computer die 30 seconds before my English lessons should have started. There was nothing I could do. I had parents writing to me on seesaw saying what's happened to your class? Where are you? We are all waiting? I was on to my T.A. and colleagues to take over. The whole thing was a mess. All I could do was pick up my computer and head to school to hand it over to the school's i.t. department.

I was given a shoddy temporary replacement computer and guess what? It let me down on Tuesday too.

Add to this the fact that our bathroom sink is leaking and we had a plumber in to fix it on three days last week, only for me to come home yesterday to find the bathroom flooded. All in all, on a world scale, I know it's nothing, but I am feeling a little pissed off at the moment.

I tried to cheer myself up yesterday by taking the long route back from school and taking some photos on the way. Not sure that it helped. The day was cold, foggy and miserable, but I still had a go at being a tourist here to cheer myself up.

Bamboo grove on walk down.

Bamboo grove on walk down.

Flowers on walk down.

Flowers on walk down.

Graffiti on way down.

Graffiti on way down.

Graffiti on way down.

Graffiti on way down.

I began by visiting the Tin Hau Temple which is, unsurprisingly enough, located in Tin Hau. On route to the temple I took pictures of some of the little roadside shrines that you can find everywhere here.

Roadside shrine.

Roadside shrine.

Roadside shrine.

Roadside shrine.

Tin Hau is the goddess of the sea and there are several temples in Hong Kong dedicated to her. This temple lends its name to the entire district and nearby MTR station. Due to land reclamation this temple is no longer near the sea shore.

This temple dates back to around 1747. It was built by members of the Tai Clan, an extended family group of Hakkas from Guangdong. One day some members of this clan were travelling by boat to Causeway Bay to gather grass when they suddenly saw an incense burner floating on the sea. They believed this had been sent to them by Tin Hau herself, so they built a temporary shrine to shelter it and later, when it became more popular, they built a temple around it.

In the temple's main hall there are altars dedicated to Tin Hau, Bao Kung and the God of Wealth. There are beautifully ornate dragons on the temple's roof.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

Tin Hau Temple.

I then walked downhill past the Office for Safeguarding the National Security of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong. Now there's a mouthful!! Then on into Victoria Park. This is Hong Kong's largest public park. It is named after Queen Victoria and you can find a statue of her here. This statue once stood in Statue Square in Central, but in World War II it was removed by the occupying Japanese forces. At the end of the war it was found on a rubbish dump. It was re-erected in Victoria Park rather than Statue Square for some reason. When we arrived in Hong Kong in 1996, this statue had just been attacked by a local with a hammer and a pot of red paint. Despite all this, it's in remarkably good condition.

Victoria Park was once a typhoon shelter providing safe haven to fishing boats and yachts during typhoon season. Then in the 1950s, this area was reclaimed and turned into a park. Victoria Park has a pond, a fountain, a swimming pool, basketball courts and a jogging track. Large events like Hong Kong's Flower Festival and the Lunar New Year Fair are held here. Victoria Park is a much needed green lung in the heart of built up Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Central Library faces on to Victoria Park.

Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria.

National Security Office.

National Security Office.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Central Library.

Central Library.

Central Library.

Central Library.

Central Library.

Central Library.

Buildings around the park.

Buildings around the park.

Buildings around the park.

Buildings around the park.

Buildings around the park.

Buildings around the park.

Still trying to stay healthy.

Still trying to stay healthy.

Still trying to stay healthy.

Still trying to stay healthy.

Exiting the park I went into the main shopping area of Causeway Bay to do a bit of Christmas shopping. I was expecting Christmas displays but instead I bumped into a display about "Dragon Ball Z" a Japanese computer game which follows the adventures of Goku who, along with the Z Warriors, defends the Earth against evil and an advert for Monopoly Dreams, the world's first monopoly theme park.

Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z.

Dragon Ball Z.

Monopoly Dreams.

Monopoly Dreams.

When I reached Sunny Bay Station on my commute home, I noticed the trees were covered with beautiful yellow flowers.

Beautiful trees.

Beautiful trees.

Beautiful trees.

Beautiful trees.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Sunny Bay in better weather.

Wednesday and I'm feeling a bit cheerier. Traipsed all the way across Hong Kong to get my computer but at least it is now fixed. The plumbing saga continues but hopefully it may be getting somewhere. Walked around Central taking photos and Christmas shopping before I came home.

I started on Statue Square, which used to be known as Royal Square, because it had lots of statues of British royals. These were removed by the Japanese during World War II. The statue of Queen Victoria survived and is the one I already mentioned is now located in Victoria Park. Statue Square is home to the Court of Final Appeal. This building dates back to 1912 and was once Hong Kong's Supreme Court building. From 1942 to 1945 this building was used as the Headquarters of the Kempeitai or Military Police during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. The cenotaph is also located in Statue Square.

Outside the headquarters of HSBC, I admired the HSBC lions: Stephen and Stitt. These are named after Alexander Gordon Stephen and Gordon Holmes Stitt, who were both former managers of HSBC, Shanghai. Stephen is depicted roaring while, Stitt is sitting peacefully. Apparently this is in keeping with the characters of the two famous bankers. During World War II Stephen and Stitt were also removed by the Japanese who planned to melt them down. Fortunately, they were saved before this happened. The lions have bullet or possibly shrapnel damage from the war.

Statue Square and the court of final appeal.

Statue Square and the court of final appeal.

Statue Square and the court of final appeal..

Statue Square and the court of final appeal..

Stephen and Stitt, the HSBC lions.

Stephen and Stitt, the HSBC lions.

Stephen and Stitt the HSBC lions.

Stephen and Stitt the HSBC lions.

The HSBC Christmas tree.

The HSBC Christmas tree.

The Lippo Building, which someone told me is designed to look like koalas climbing a tree.

The Lippo Building, which someone told me is designed to look like koalas climbing a tree.

There are not many old colonial buildings left in Central, but I went in search of a couple: the Former French Mission and Saint John's Cathedral.

The former French Mission is located on Battery Path. It was built in 1917 by the French Society of Foreign Missions. During its long and varied history this building has been used as the temporary headquarters of the Provisional Hong Kong Government, then by Hong Kong's Education Department, followed by Victoria District Court, the Supreme Court and the Court of Final Appeal. It is now occupied by legal offices.

St. John's Cathedral dates from 1849. This Anglican Cathedral is the oldest surviving Western Christian building in Hong Kong. The cathedral was originally intended as a parish church to be used by the British Army garrison. It was located near the former Murray Barracks and the Parade Ground. During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong the cathedral was at first left as a religious building, but was later used as a club house for Japanese officers. Unfortunately due to covid the cathedral closes early and I couldn't go inside. Nowadays only twenty people are allowed in at a time.

Former French Mission.

Former French Mission.

Former French Mission.

Former French Mission.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Then I wandered along through Central's shopping streets and admired the reflections in some of the buildings before heading home.

Battery Path which links the cathedral to Central.

Battery Path which links the cathedral to Central.

Moss on the wall in Battery Path.

Moss on the wall in Battery Path.

Street in Central.

Street in Central.

Reflections on City Life.

Reflections on City Life.

Posted by irenevt 23:35 Archived in Hong Kong

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Sorry to hear about you having a bad day(s), hope this one will be better!
Fascinating story about the origin of the temple! The skyscrapers looks out of place surrounding the temple! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna yes it's dwarfed by those buildings sadly. I put that photo in to show the reality. Roll on the Christmas holidays. Desperate for a rest. All the best.

by irenevt

Interesting has usual. Liked the Temple. Thanks for posting.. Seems a bit cheeky to say ' Have a Nice Day.' Alec.

by alectrevor

Hi Alec actually my day has improved today so far. My computer is fixed. My plumber thinks he can mend my sink and my lessons went all right. Feeling a bit cheerier.

by irenevt

Nice pictures as usual, Irene.....even the statue of Queen Victoria seems to share your depressed mood!

I hope you are managing to sidestep the dreaded Covid, as if things are not bad enough there is now a warning that the virus might develop into stage three, whatever next?

by Bennytheball

Sorry to hear you've had a few bad days but it sounds like things are on the up, a bit at least. I enjoyed all your photos, especially the temple and the HSBC lions :)

by ToonSarah

Hi Benny, I guess Queen Victoria is not amused with the world at the moment. She's not the only one. You're on stage three, we're in our fourth wave they keep saying here. Got to end some time. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

Hi Sarah, I believe you have these lions in London, too. When I looked up info it said the lions were in Shanghai, Hong Kong and London. Thank you for visiting. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

So glad you got your computer fixed. The old saying is, "When it rains, it pours" and it certainly poured on you. Hopefully, the plumbing will resolve soon and COVID will go away and life will return to a semblance of normal. Not sure I can remember normal any more.

The flowers were beautiful.

by Beausoleil

Hi Sally, I feel a bit better now that I've had a good moan. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login