A Travellerspoint blog

December 2020

Death in Happy Valley.

sunny

Our hotel stay included breakfast so we began our day with that. Due to covid they were doing a semi-buffet breakfast. That means you preorder most of your food to be brought to your table rather than getting it yourself. Breakfast was ok. The best part was the coffee.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel.

Breakfast in the hotel.

After breakfast I had a quick wander round Wan Chai including visits Wan Chai Park which was quite pleasant. I walked past Queen's Café which was established in Hong Kong in 1952 by Mischa Yu. He trained in Shanghai under White Russian master chef Kurilov in the 1920s. He moved to Hong Kong and opened his cafe in the same year that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, hence his cafe's name. Some scenes from Wong Ka Wai's film "Days Of Being Wild" were filmed here.

Wan Chai Street.

Wan Chai Street.

Roof garden, Wan Chai.

Roof garden, Wan Chai.

Roof garden,Wan Chai.

Roof garden,Wan Chai.

Wan Chai Shop.

Wan Chai Shop.

Queen's Cafe.

Queen's Cafe.

Wan Chai Fire Station.

Wan Chai Fire Station.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

Wan Chai Park.

After a quick look at Wan Chai, I jumped on a tram and headed to Happy Valley. I wanted to go there because although I have passed its complex of cemeteries many times on the bus, I have never actually gone there and I decided it was time I visited.

On the tram.

On the tram.

Happy Valley tram.

Happy Valley tram.

Happy Valley used to be called Wong Nai Chung Valley, which means Valley of the Yellow Mud Stream. This area was muddy and swampy and was once filled with rice paddies. It was also notorious for mosquitoes. In 1840, the British Army placed a military camp here. Many of the soldiers stationed here developed fever, then died. At that time no-one knew about Malaria or that it was caused by mosquitoes, but the number of deaths was so alarming that the camp was closed and the area became a burial ground instead. A common euphemism for a cemetery at that time was Happy Valley. Happy Valley is home to six different cemeteries:
the Happy Valley Jewish Cemetery, the Hindu Cemetery, the Parsee Cemetery, Hong Kong Cemetery, Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery and the Muslim Cemetery.

Eventually the swampy land here was drained and the British decided that since the land here was flat, it would be perfect for a race course. Happy Valley Racecourse was built in 1846. On the 26th of February 1918 a terrible tragedy occurred here. A grandstand collapsed, knocking over hot food stalls and starting a huge fire in which at least 590 people died.

Other sports facilities here include the Craigengower Cricket Club and the Hong Kong Football Club. I've never been in this cricket club, but we have a friend who is a member of the football club so we have been there for meals several times.

I started my visit here by wandering around the recreation area located in the middle of the racecourse. This is used as a park and a running track in between races.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

Happy Valley Race Course.

I then wandered into a small park on the opposite side of the road from the race course.

Small park.

Small park.

Small park.

Small park.

Small park.

Small park.

After that I passed the lovely Saint Margaret's Church. This is a Roman Catholic church dating from 1923. Mass is celebrated here in Cantonese, Japanese and English.

Saint Margaret's Church.

Saint Margaret's Church.

Just past Saint Margaret's is Saint Paul's Primary School Chapel.

Saint Paul's Primary School Chapel.

Saint Paul's Primary School Chapel.

There were also some interesting shops including some craft ones. I liked the one with the toy llamas in the window. There were also lots of pubs and restaurants including some with names linked to the race course.

Shop.

Shop.

Pub.

Pub.

Pub.

Pub.

I next went to the Hindu temple. I found the lady in charge here very pleasant and she was fine with me looking around and taking photos. This temple dates from 1949. It was founded by Mr F T Melwani JP. As well as being a place for prayers, this temple hosts yoga and meditation sessions, lectures on spirituality and marriage ceremonies.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu Temple.

Hindu temple.

Hindu temple.

After visiting the temple, I headed to the cemetery. The different cemeteries all join together and they are spread out across the hillside. I find cemeteries very interesting, so I enjoyed my visit, but it was very quiet with almost no visitors. I wandered around alone listening to various small creatures rustling in the bushes. There are good views over Happy Valley from the cemetery. The most beautiful part of the cemetery was, in my opinion, Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery. There were also several military graves. Some famous people are buried here. The only one whose grave I came across was Sir Robert Ho Tung. He was a famous mixed race Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist. He was nicknamed "the grand old man of Hong Kong".

Chapel in the Protestant Cemetery, dating from 1845.

Chapel in the Protestant Cemetery, dating from 1845.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Entrance to Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Entrance to Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Grave of Robert Ho Tung and one of his wives.

Grave of Robert Ho Tung and one of his wives.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Chapel Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Chapel Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Chapel Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Chapel Saint Michael's Catholic Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Hong Kong Cemetery.

Military graves.

Military graves.

Military graves.

Military graves.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

Views from the cemetery.

After leaving the cemetery I noticed some horse themed sculptures around the streets.

Horse themed sculpture.

Horse themed sculpture.

Horse themed sculpture.

Horse themed sculpture.

Leaving Happy Valley I walked past the golden dragon statue on Morrison Hill Road. This was erected to mark the end of the SARS outbreak. Let's hope we can build one to mark the end of the covid 19 outbreak soon.

Golden Dragon Monument.

Golden Dragon Monument.

I then wandered through a colourful and crowded market area.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

Market.

In the early evening, or in fact, late afternoon, we ate in Grill 28 to make sure we had a meal before the witching hour of 6pm when everything shuts due to covid. On the walk home I took a photo of a building that stood out as different among the usual high-rise buildings, later found out it was The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Grill 28.

Grill 28.

Grill 28.

Grill 28.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Back to the hotel after a ridiculously early dinner.

Back to the hotel after a ridiculously early dinner.

Posted by irenevt 12:15 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (11)

Wanderlust in Wan Chai

Finally, I have made it to the Christmas holidays. Any other year we would be setting off on a trip, but, of course, not this year. We discovered we had an accumulation of hotel points to use up and unable to go anywhere, we decided to use them in Hong Kong, so we have booked ourselves into the Novotel Century, Wan Chai for two nights. When we planned this, we were looking forward to having an outdoor pool and dining out in the evenings. Both plans have been stymied by covid 19. All swimming pools and sports facilities are closed. Restaurants and bars have to close at 6pm. Still we will just enjoy what we can.

Our Room.

Our Room.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

The pool.

The pool.

The pool.

The pool.

Rooftop Gardens.

Rooftop Gardens.

Rooftop Gardens.

Rooftop Gardens.

Rooftop Gardens.

Rooftop Gardens.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

View from the hotel.

Wan Chai is a nightlife centre of Hong Kong, though not under present circumstances. It is also a centre for the arts. Both Hong Kong Arts Centre and The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts are here. Wan Chai is also home to the convention center.

I started my wander around by heading towards the harbour. As always in Hong Kong there's construction work going on everywhere. I passed over all the mess and chaos to reach the Wan Chai ferry pier where it's possible to catch a ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui. I didn't want a ferry. I wanted to go to the observation deck on the roof. This is a free sitting out area with a cactus garden and beautiful harbour views.

On the walk to the pier.

On the walk to the pier.

On the walk to the pier.

On the walk to the pier.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

Cactus Garden.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

View from the Observation Deck.

Star Ferries.

Star Ferries.

Star Ferries

Star Ferries

Star Ferries.

Star Ferries.

Star Ferries.

Star Ferries.

After the observation deck I headed towards the convention and exhibition centre and Bauhinia Square with its golden bauhinia statue. In front of the convention centre stands Anicom Park - an exhibition of cartoon characters to promote Hong Kong animation. People take selfies with them.

On route to the convention center.

On route to the convention center.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Convention center and Golden Bauhinia.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park..

Anicom Park..

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

Anicom Park.

I then wandered along the harbour side walkway in the direction of Central. There were lots of people out for a walk or jogging along the promenade. Along the route there were lots of exhibits to pose with, most of them were Christmas themed.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Along the walkway.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Christmas decorations.

Exercising.

Exercising.

A doggie convention.

A doggie convention.

Tamar Park.

Tamar Park.

Tamar Park.

Tamar Park.

Fishy decorations.

Fishy decorations.

Fishy decorations.

Fishy decorations.

As the sun began to set, I wandered back the way I came. I noticed a group of people gathered around something and went to investigate. They were looking at a group of cats living on the rocks next to the harbour. It seems someone feeds them there and they were hungrily awaiting their next meal.

A gathering of cats.

A gathering of cats.

A gathering of cats.

A gathering of cats.

A gathering of cats.

A gathering of cats.

As darkness descended the harbour became filled with beautiful coloured lights. I wandered back to the observation deck to take more photos all lit up wonderfully at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Hong Kong at night.

Finally I went to the Hop House Bar and Grub to buy take away food to eat in our room. I liked their twinkling Christmas tree.

Streets on my way back.

Streets on my way back.

Streets on my way back.

Streets on my way back.

Hop House.

Hop House.

Hop House.

Hop House.

Hop House.

Hop House.

Posted by irenevt 14:09 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

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 Comments (10)

Boats, Buildings and Bridges.

A stroll along Tsing Yi Promenade.

sunny

Today I decided to go to Tsing Yi to go for a walk and to do a bit of shopping. Tsing Yi is an island between Tsuen Wan and Lantau Island. The name Tsing Yi literally means Green Clothes, but the island is actually called after a type of fish that once thrived in the waters off this island. Apparently around sixty years ago Tsing Yi was only accessible by row boat, but now it's a transport hub with eight huge bridges connecting it to other parts of Hong Kong.

I arrived in Tsing Yi by MTR so exited into the Maritime Square Shopping Mall where I took some photos of the Christmas displays.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Christmas at Maritime Square.

Restaurant in the mall.

Restaurant in the mall.

I exited the mall onto the promenade outside. It's Sunday - a day off for most of Hong Kong's multitude of helpers, so many of them were spending it picnicking here in the open air. I noticed a very large number of the maids here were Indonesian, while most maids in Hong Kong are Filipina.

In front of the mall.

In front of the mall.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Maids' day off.

Looking towards the waterfront.

Looking towards the waterfront.

I decided I would follow the promenade for as far as I could go in both directions. I began by heading off left in the direction of the Ting Kau Bridge.

In the distance I could see Tsuen Wan Permanent Cemetery, perched like most cemeteries here on the slopes of a hill. Apparently the Chinese prefer cemeteries to be placed on hillsides facing north for good Feng Shui. I could also see many tall buildings in Tsuen Wan.

A boat passes in front of Tsuen Wan Permanent Cemetery.

A boat passes in front of Tsuen Wan Permanent Cemetery.

A boat passes in front of Tsuen Wan Permanent Cemetery.

A boat passes in front of Tsuen Wan Permanent Cemetery.

The cemetery viewed through one of Tsing Yi's bridges.

The cemetery viewed through one of Tsing Yi's bridges.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Buildings and boats.

Near the end of the promenade on that side I could see the Ting Kau Bridge in the distance. It was a bit hazy so my shots of it aren't great.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

Looking towards the Ting Kau Bridge.

I liked the atmosphere of the promenade which was filled with people fishing, jogging, cycling, sitting peacefully reading, performing tai chi, attending an outdoor dance class, listening to Chinese music, strolling or walking their dogs.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Gone fishing.

Walking the dog, sort of.

Walking the dog, sort of.

Posing.

Posing.

In quiet contemplation.

In quiet contemplation.

Dance Class.

Dance Class.

Dance Class.

Dance Class.

Jogging.

Jogging.

As with everywhere in Hong Kong there were plenty of pretty flowers if you just looked hard enough.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Looking at Maritime Square through the bauhinias.

Looking at Maritime Square through the bauhinias.

Roots.

Roots.

Returning to Maritime Square and heading right I passed lots of bridges, cranes and container ports. There were some rather complex road systems here, too.

Container Ports.

Container Ports.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Bridges.

Roads.

Roads.

Roads.

Roads.

Boats.

Boats.

There was quite a bit of washing drying in the open air which you don't see as much as you used to.

Hung out to dry.

Hung out to dry.

Just liked the idea of this in black and white.

Just liked the idea of this in black and white.

Even the tiles went with a fishy maritime feel.

Fishy tiles.

Fishy tiles.

Fishy tiles.

Fishy tiles.

Fishy tiles.

Fishy tiles.

Posted by irenevt 11:01 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (11)

In Search of Autumn and Winter.

Was it really just a few weeks ago that life here was good? Well, it's all gone wrong again since then.

Schools, for the year group I teach, closed down again on November 20th. At the time I was really annoyed, as it seemed unnecessary, but our covid numbers have shot up again recently and now all schools here are closed. Actually for me it turned out to be lucky that schools closed when they did as two children in our school came down with covid and this meant all pupils and staff were strongly encouraged to be covid tested. As one of the students was in my class, I took the test. Here a positive result means you are put in hospital, even if your symptoms are mild, so I was hugely relieved when my results came back negative. I've been a bit more wary about going out too much since then so my redoing of Hong Kong has not happened.

From Thursday 9th December many things are set to shut again. Restaurants are to close from 6pm, bars are already closed, gyms, swimming pools, beauty parlours will all be shut. Everyone is encouraged to go out as little as possible. I am working from home mainly. I only need to travel across Hong Kong to go to work once a week.

Today, however, I just couldn't take any more of being constantly in, so I took my phone and went for a walk in search of some traces of autumn and winter.

Hong Kong doesn't really have four seasons. It is hot, humid and rainy in summer. It can get quite cool in winter. Plants seem to thrive here all year round. Trees don't all shed their leaves at the same time, so I started out just looking for any traces of autumnal colours.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Hints of Autumn.

Berries.

Berries.

Four Seasons.

Four Seasons.

There are also still plenty of flowers around, too. The palm trees seem to be covered in either coconuts or dates and I found a beautiful praying mantis sitting on a leaf.

Dates.

Dates.

Dates.

Dates.

Coconuts.

Coconuts.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Ever feel you're being watched?

Ever feel you're being watched?

Ever feel you're being watched?

Ever feel you're being watched?

Back in civilization I walked past our chapel.

Looking through our chapel.

Looking through our chapel.

Our chapel.

Our chapel.

A little further on there were certainly many signs of winter or at least Christmas.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

A plethora of poinsettia.

The bringer of poinsettia.

The bringer of poinsettia.

The colours of Christmas.

The colours of Christmas.

The colours of Christmas.

The colours of Christmas.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Merry-go-round.

Oh Christmas tree.

Oh Christmas tree.

Oh Christmas tree.

Oh Christmas tree.

Oh Christmas tree.

Oh Christmas tree.

In the midst of all the gloom and doom it was comforting to know that at least Santa and Rudolph are still having a good time.

Santa's happy!

Santa's happy!

Rudolph's happy!

Rudolph's happy!

Posted by irenevt 08:44 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (12)

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