A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: irenevt

Springing Back Into Action.

Dining out and visiting Kadoorie Farm.

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Beautiful Spring Blossom Against a Bright Blue Sky at Kadoorie Farm.

Beautiful Spring Blossom Against a Bright Blue Sky at Kadoorie Farm.

I admit it, I am now officially a delicate princess. I have been in hibernation for most of the Chinese New Year Holiday, because I am so used to being able to visit places when they are not too busy that I can't bear to share them with crowds again! So for about a week and a half, I did not do much at all. That is, I didn't go and explore anywhere, but I did meet up with several friends.

First, we got together with our friend, Bonnie, and for a variety of reasons, very belatedly celebrated Christmas in a Thai restaurant in Discovery Bay! The food there is always excellent. We had pork with garlic and black pepper, green curry with pork and a rice dish. Then, we met up with our friend Agnes in the Outback in Tung Chung. It was very busy there. The food was good, but the service was quite slow and the beer was definitely off. After that I went to Whampoa, where my friend Janet works, and we had lunch in the Dockside Food Court in the Kerry Hotel. I had Thai green curry with chicken and Janet had a minced pork dish. We also had Thai fish cakes. The food was very good and the beer was, too. The food court did Indian, Thai, Chinese and Western and probably more that I have forgotten.

Janet and I after the meal.

Janet and I after the meal.

Street art Whampoa.

Street art Whampoa.

As I was early for meeting Janet, I had a look around Hutchinson Park again. It wasn't as nice as it was the first time when I came here with my friend, Iris, as the pond was drained for cleaning. I couldn't help wondering what happens to all the fish when they do this. I can only assume they are all in a tiny undrained area for a while. As well as people wandering across the almost empty pond to clean it, there was a hopeful cat prancing around it too, presumably looking for all the marooned fish.

Hutchinson Park through a moon gate.

Hutchinson Park through a moon gate.

A drained pond.

A drained pond.

After the meal, I decided instead of going straight home, I would walk to Hoi Sham Park. I thought I could do this along the front, as l could see it clearly in the distance, but I had to go inland for most of it, as there was a construction site on the waterfront. I passed some interesting murals about Hong Kong industry on the inland route.

Fashion.

Fashion.

Fashion.

Fashion.

Fashion.

Fashion.

Movies.

Movies.

I've been to Hoi Sham Park before and just took another quick look at Fish Tail Rock and the pier. This is a pleasant park, well-used by the locals, but quite small

Fish tail Rock, Hoi Sham Park.

Fish tail Rock, Hoi Sham Park.

The Pier at Hoi Sham Park.

The Pier at Hoi Sham Park.

Then on Thursday 2nd February I thought: 'Everyone should be back at work now; it's safe to go out sightseeing.' So, I decided to visit Kadoorie Farm. I've been here before on school trips and, although it is interesting, I didn't expect it to be all that popular.

Kadoorie Farm is located about half way between Yuen Long and Tai Po, not too far from the wishing trees I visited recently. I went there by 64K bus from Kam Sheung Road MTR and got off at the Kadoorie Farm bus stop. I arrived about five minutes after opening time and expected to be practically the first person there. I couldn't believe my eyes, there was a queue stretching for miles, all the way down the road. Hundreds of people were there, so much for avoiding the crowds!! I normally don't queue for things and I was tempted to head off and do something else, but I had come such a long way and Kadoorie Farm is in the middle of nowhere, so I joined the queue and stood in it for around half an hour just to get in!! I asked one of the workers there why it was so busy and was told it was because it was spring blossom season. I vaguely remembered reading that there was spring blossom here, but had no idea it was so popular.

Kadoorie Farm occupies one hundred and forty-eight hectares of land on the northern slopes of Tai Mo Shan, the tallest mountain in Hong Kong. It was created in 1956 by two brothers from the prestigious Kadoorie Family: Sir Horace and Lord Lawrence. The Kadoories are one of Hong Kong's wealthiest families. They own the Peninsula Hotel and the China Light and Power Company, among other things. They are Iraqi Jews, originally from Baghdad, though the family have also lived in Mumbai and Shanghai. A few years after the Second World War the Kadoorie brothers decided to try and help the floods of refugees fleeing the civil war in China, so they started a farm and created the Agricultural Aid Association to teach these refugees about farming. Their idea was that if the refugees had farming skills, they could become self sufficient.

Statue of Sir Horace Kadoorie near the entrance.

Statue of Sir Horace Kadoorie near the entrance.

The farm has many different parts to it. I couldn't visit them all on one day and may well go back again in a less busy season. The lower farm area has a lot of different animals. Almost all of these animals are rescue animals, though some like the flamingos were given as gifts. The rescue animals may have been injured, or have been freed from illegal animal smugglers, or have been unwanted pets. Among the animals there are: monkeys, pigs, chickens, birds of prey, parrots, owls and reptiles. I was particularly interested in seeing the native Hong Kong mammals. I managed to see barking deer and a leopard cat. I think there may also be a masked civet cat, but I didn't see this.

Barking deer are supposed to be relatively common here, but they are very shy, so they are seldom seen. I have heard them near where I live, but never seen them in the wild.

Barking deer.

Barking deer.

Barking deer.

Barking deer.

Barking deer.

Barking deer.

Leopard cats are native to Hong Kong, too, but are nocturnal and fairly shy so are also rarely seen. There is a story here, possibly an urban myth, about two terrified hikers who encountered one and thought it was a tiger. Fortunately, they are a lot smaller and less dangerous than tigers! Leopard cats are about the same size as a large domestic cat. Their bodies are normally around forty to sixty centimetres long and they weigh around two to three kilos. They live in forests and feed on rodents, birds and frogs.

Leopard cat.

Leopard cat.

Leopard cat.

Leopard cat.

I had originally intended to take the shuttle bus all the way up to the top of the farm, but as it seemed to be mainly sold out, I decided just to walk. I kept following signs for the Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion, which is about ninety minutes walk uphill from the entrance. I passed several colourful examples of animal art decorating the walls of the lower farm as I walked.

Animal Art Monkeys.

Animal Art Monkeys.

Animal Art Deer.

Animal Art Deer.

Animal Art Quotations.

Animal Art Quotations.

Animal Art Oxen.

Animal Art Oxen.

To begin with I headed up the Butterfly Path. This is a steep set of stairs through the forest. All around me everything was calming and green and I had soon left the crowds behind.

Sign for Butterfly Path.

Sign for Butterfly Path.

Butterfly Path.

Butterfly Path.

Stairs on Butterfly Path.

Stairs on Butterfly Path.

Eventually my path lead me to the Convent Garden, which is a lovely place to sit down and have a picnic, surrounded by peace and quiet. I was curious about why this area was called Convent Garden and later discovered it was because at one time it was covered with nun orchids.

Sign for Convent Garden.

Sign for Convent Garden.

Convent Garden.

Convent Garden.

Picnic tables in Convent Garden.

Picnic tables in Convent Garden.

Picnic tables in Convent Gardens.

Picnic tables in Convent Gardens.

From there I continued onto the Fern Walk, but encountered a school filming a dance routine there, so I had to turn back. However, I walked through here later on.

Sign for Fern Walk.

Sign for Fern Walk.

Plants in Fern Walk.

Plants in Fern Walk.

Plants in Fern Walk.

Plants in Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

Fern Walk.

On the walk up, I got my first sight of spring blossom. There were lots of people around taking photos.

People photographing blossom.

People photographing blossom.

Selfie with blossom.

Selfie with blossom.

I continued on to the Orchid Garden. This also had beautiful blossom, but the orchids were not flowering at this time of year.

Orchid Garden Sign.

Orchid Garden Sign.

Orchid Garden.

Orchid Garden.

At one point, I reached sign post corner where a huge sign post points out the distance between Kadoorie Farm and many international cities. Apparently this was inspired by a relic from 1950's Britain.

International Sign Post at Sign Post Corner.

International Sign Post at Sign Post Corner.

I decided to stop following the signs for the Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion and head instead towards the Kwun Yum statue, as I wanted to see this, too. Before I reached the statue, I came to the T.S. Woo Memorial Pavilion, located in an area full of blossom laden trees. Most of these are Taiwanese cherry trees. It was this that people had come for and it was very busy. T.S. Woo was the first farm manager at Kadoorie Farm. He helped lay out the farm and worked towards fulfilling its aim of educating refugees about farming. There were two different kinds of blossom here.

The T. S. Woo Memorial Pavilion.

The T. S. Woo Memorial Pavilion.

Light pink blossom.

Light pink blossom.

Light Pink Blossom.

Light Pink Blossom.

Light pink blossom.

Light pink blossom.

Light pink blossom.

Light pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

Dark pink blossom.

I was really pleased to see that several people had dressed up in traditional Chinese clothes and were having their photos taken with the trees. I took some pictures of them, too.

Posing in Chinese costume.

Posing in Chinese costume.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

Posing in Chinese costumes.

I noticed there was a path from here up to the Sky Walk and the pavilion I wanted to see, but I decided to continue onto the Kwun Yum statue first. This is located on top of a mountain. Near the foot of the mountain are the Dragon and Phoenix Pillars. These symbolise prosperity, longevity and harmony.

Kwun Yum is the goddess of mercy. Her statue is at the top of a very steep hill. At the foot of the Kwun Yum Mountain are the Dragon and Phoenix Pillars. These symbolise prosperity, longevity and harmony.

Pillars at the bottom of Kwun Yum Mountain.

Pillars at the bottom of Kwun Yum Mountain.

Pillars at the foot of The Kwun Yum Mountain.

Pillars at the foot of The Kwun Yum Mountain.

Chinese character near Kwun Yum statue.

Chinese character near Kwun Yum statue.

Meaning of the Chinese symbol.

Meaning of the Chinese symbol.

As I puffed and panted my way up the steep hill, I could see the bright colours of the cherry blossoms splashed around the surrounding greenery.

Looking down at the blossom from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

Looking down at the blossom from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

The Kwun Yum statue is located on top of Kwun Yum Mountain about 550m above sea level. People come here to pray for fertility and bountiful harvests. Apparently, there are hot pots next to the statue where hot air escapes from cracks in the mountainside. On cold days this creates a rather atmospheric mist known as dragon's breath.

Kwun Yum statue sign.

Kwun Yum statue sign.

Kwun Yum statue.

Kwun Yum statue.

Kwun Yum statue.

Kwun Yum statue.

The views from the top of the hill are very expansive and would be wonderful on a clear day when apparently it is possible to see all the way to Shenzhen. Unfortunately, it was quite hazy during my visit. Well, you can't have everything, can you?

The Views from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

The Views from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

The Views from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

The Views from the Kwun Yum Mountain.

After wandering around the top of this mountain, I returned to the area with all the blossom and walked through it again. The dancing school girls I had seen earlier had arrived here and were dancing away again. I continued on up a steep staircase, consisting of a few hundred stairs. At the top, I could go right and walk to the Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion in one hour via the Sky Walk, or I could turn left and reach the same place in ten minutes. I had already walked a long way, so I had no hesitation in taking the easy option. What a lazy bum I am!

Dancing school girls.

Dancing school girls.

Dancers.

Dancers.

It did not take too long to reach the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion. To get to it I walked through an elegant moon gate. Apparently the Chinese inscription here says: "Clouds and mist float under the pavilion and birds sing to your heart".

Sign for the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

Sign for the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

Moon Gate at the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

Moon Gate at the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

Moon Gate.

Moon Gate.

This pavilion was built in 1997 to commemorate Lord Lawrence Kadoorie who passed away in 1993 and Sir Horace Kadoorie who passed away in 1995. The twin roofs of the pavilion symbolise how close the two brothers were. If you look up into the rafters, there is a carving of a little mouse. This represents Horace's playfulness and love of children. In 2014 a carving of the musical score of Chopin's Nocturne, Opus 9 No. 2 was added to the pavilion, in memory of Lawrence's wife, Lady Muriel Kadoorie.

The Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion.

The Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion.

Kadoorie Brothers'Memorial Pavilion.

Kadoorie Brothers'Memorial Pavilion.

The mouse in the Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion.

The mouse in the Kadoorie Brothers' Pavilion.

Musical score for Lady Muriel.

Musical score for Lady Muriel.

There were lots of people inside the pavilion having a picnic. I wandered around on the short circular path and found some other memorials. I believe one was for Sir Michael Kadoorie's wife Betty, who died in 2021. She was originally from Cuba. They had three children together.

Memorial for Michael Kadoorie's wife, Betty.

Memorial for Michael Kadoorie's wife, Betty.

After looking around this area and having a short rest, I began to walk back down to the lower farm. My route took me past good views of the Kwun Yum Mountain. I could really see how steep it was from here. No wonder I was struggling on the climb up.

The road down.

The road down.

The Kwun Yum Mountain seen from near the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

The Kwun Yum Mountain seen from near the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

View of Kwun Yum Mountain from near the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

View of Kwun Yum Mountain from near the Kadoorie Brothers' Memorial Pavilion.

There was lots of lovely yellow and white blossom all around me as I walked down the road back towards the lower farm. The air was fragrant with it.

Beautiful yellow blossom.

Beautiful yellow blossom.

Yellow blossom.

Yellow blossom.

Close up of the blossom.

Close up of the blossom.

Close up of the blossom.

Close up of the blossom.

Gorgeous white blossom.

Gorgeous white blossom.

Gorgeous white blossom.

Gorgeous white blossom.

I loved all the road signs I was passing, telling drivers to go slow due to all the creatures that live in the wilds of this area. Most of them are nocturnal. I didn't see any except some birds and insects. I heard lots of rustling in the bushes though.

Don't disturb the pangolins.

Don't disturb the pangolins.

Take care not to knock down the barking deer.

Take care not to knock down the barking deer.

Don't drive into the wild boar.

Don't drive into the wild boar.

Be aware of the amphibian and reptile life all around you.

Be aware of the amphibian and reptile life all around you.

I also saw lots of lovely swaying silver grass. The sun had come out and the skies were blue. It was paradise.

Yellow leaves, blue skies.

Yellow leaves, blue skies.

Silver grass.

Silver grass.

Silver grass.

Silver grass.

As the road descended, I passed by an area of terraced farmland. There were many people working in the fields here. I believe all the produce here is organic. I laughed when I saw one of the workers check their mobile phone. It just didn't go with the rural image inside my brain.

Workers in the fields.

Workers in the fields.

Workers in the fields. This one is having rather incongruously is having a quick look at his mobile phone.

Workers in the fields. This one is having rather incongruously is having a quick look at his mobile phone.

Workers in the fields.

Workers in the fields.

Organic farms.

Organic farms.

At one point, I passed a wide patch of autumn leaves. It felt strange, because it's winter; I'd just been looking at spring blossom and suddenly I see all these autumn leaves. Three seasons at one time.

Autumn leaves in winter, not far from spring blossoms.

Autumn leaves in winter, not far from spring blossoms.

Eventually, I left the road and went back on the forest paths again. Everything around me was green and all I could hear was trickling water, the buzzing of insects and the songs of birds.

Jungle scenery.

Jungle scenery.

Jungle scenery.

Jungle scenery.

Bridge.

Bridge.

After a while I came to a Golden Pavilion. Apparently it is worthwhile coming here in autumn when a nearby Ginko tree turns yellow and sheds its leaves on the roof of the pavilion.

Sign for The Golden Pavilion.

Sign for The Golden Pavilion.

The Golden Pavilion.

The Golden Pavilion.

Later I passed by Rainbow Walk. I didn't actually follow it, as it was heading back up the way I had just come down, but I will remember it for my next visit. It follows the stream that cascades down the mountainside in a series of mini waterfalls.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Stream.

Fellow Hikers.

Fellow Hikers.

Bridge.

Bridge.

Back in the Lower Farm, I visited the flamingos, raptors, owls and parrots

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Great Grey Owl.

Great Grey Owl.

Horned Owl.

Horned Owl.

Birds of prey. I think this is a hawk.

Birds of prey. I think this is a hawk.

Birds of prey.

Birds of prey.

I saw some more lovely camelias. I encountered the school girl dancers yet again. They were still dancing away and still being filmed. They must have been exhausted by the end of the day.

Camelias.

Camelias.

There was plenty more I wanted to see, such as the Post Office Pillars, the monkeys and the reptiles, but by this stage, I had been walking around for five hours and to be honest I was pretty tired. I decided to call it a day and head home. I had had a very pleasant re-entry to the outside world.

Contented Selfie.

Contented Selfie.

Posted by irenevt 05:00 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (5)

Rabbiting Round the City.

Chinese New Year decorations for the Year of the Rabbit.

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Happy Year of the Rabbit.

Happy Year of the Rabbit.

Saturday 21st of January, is the Eve of Chinese New Year and on Sunday we will have left behind The Year of the Tiger and entered into The Year of the Rabbit, more specifically The Year of the Water Rabbit, as each year has an element as well as an animal.

In Chinese Mythology the white rabbit was the pet of the moon goddess, Chang'e, and embodies noble beauty. Those born in The Year of the Rabbit are quiet, gentle, polite and patient. Famous Rabbits include: physicist Albert Einstein, footballer David Beckham, actress Angelina Jolie, basketball player Michael Jordan and tennis star Novak Djokovic.

Although I don't celebrate Chinese New Year personally, it is the most important celebration of the year in Hong Kong. I have been wandering around looking at displays for the Year of the Rabbit and today I went along the waterfront from Central to Wan Chai, then back again. After that, I took the star ferry across Victoria Harbour to Tsim Sha Tsui and looked at the displays there.

The reason I wanted to look along the Central harbour front was that I had seen a photo of a huge rabbit sitting on the Central Star Ferry Pier and I wanted to see it for myself. It's not that easy to view it from the shore in Central, though I got some reasonable shots of it. Later I viewed it from the star ferry.

The huge rabbit on Central Pier.

The huge rabbit on Central Pier.

And viewed closer up.

And viewed closer up.

I noticed an aeroplane flying over the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and stopped to take a photo of that.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel  with a passing aeroplane.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel with a passing aeroplane.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel.

I had also read that there were beautiful Year of the Rabbit displays outside Government Headquarters in Tamar Park, so I wanded along there. I thought these displays were very pretty. They were made up of rabbits, flowers and butterflies. If you placed your hand above a petal, all the nearby flowers would start sparkling. Of course, in daylight that wasn't particularly wonderful, but I am sure it would look beautiful at night. I was a bit surprised at how many security guards there were around the display. They really don't want you climbing on it, or breaking it!!

Year of the Rabbit displays in front of the harbour.

Year of the Rabbit displays in front of the harbour.

Year of the Rabbit displays in Tamar Park.

Year of the Rabbit displays in Tamar Park.

Year of the Rabbit displays in Tamar Park.

Year of the Rabbit displays in Tamar Park.

Government Headquarters, Tamar in the background.

Government Headquarters, Tamar in the background.

Flowers, rabbits and butterflies.

Flowers, rabbits and butterflies.

I continued along the waterfront as far as the exhibition centre in Wan Chai. On the way I saw two beautiful junks. I keep seeing these when I am in Tsim Sha Tsui, so it was interesting to see them from the other side. I couldn't resist taking a few photographs of them.

The Aqua Luna passing the Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Aqua Luna passing the Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

Close up of the Aqua Luna.

Close up of the Aqua Luna.

A different smaller junk passing the Cultural Centre.

A different smaller junk passing the Cultural Centre.

Close up of the smaller junk.

Close up of the smaller junk.

There are always displays along this waterfront. I feel sure I already saw some of the Din Dong ones, or certainly something very like them, on the waterfront at Tsuen Wan. Some of the Din Dong ones were outside stalls where you can hire bikes and cycle along the waterfront.

Din Dong bike stall.

Din Dong bike stall.

Din Dong cycling model.

Din Dong cycling model.

Din Dong sunbathing.

Din Dong sunbathing.

Din Dong Lilo.

Din Dong Lilo.

However, there were also some musical and ballet dancing ones I had not seen before.

Flower filled piano.

Flower filled piano.

Flowery violin.

Flowery violin.

Ballet Display.

Ballet Display.

Ballet Display.

Ballet Display.

I turned round at the golden bauhinia, stopping briefly to photograph a rather cute cat, and headed back to the star ferry. I took the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui. I could have got there from Wan Chai without the walk back, but I wanted a good view of the white rabbit on Central Pier roof.

Flags outside exhibition centre.

Flags outside exhibition centre.

Cat outside the exhibition centre.

Cat outside the exhibition centre.

Star ferry.

Star ferry.

When I arrived in Tsim Sha Tsui, I had a look at the rabbits outside Harbour City and Ocean Terminal. Just like with the Christmas decorations here, this was the busiest of all the displays.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Rabbits outside Harbour City.

Then I headed over to the old Kowloon Canton Station clock and had a look at the decorations lining the ponds in front of it. The displays here had lots of rabbits and lots of dragons.

Rabbits on the approach to the clock tower.

Rabbits on the approach to the clock tower.

Rabbits in the display.

Rabbits in the display.

Rabbits in the display.

Rabbits in the display.

Dragons in the display.

Dragons in the display.

Dragons in the display.

Dragons in the display.

I decided to go up to the viewing platform to view the clock and displays from there. To my surprise there were even more rabbit displays up there, again there were lots of security guards making sure no-one damaged them.

Displays on the walkway.

Displays on the walkway.

Displays on the walkway.

Displays on the walkway.

There were also good views over the ground level display and towards the clock tower.

Overlooking the clock tower from the walkway.

Overlooking the clock tower from the walkway.

Clock tower and cultural centre.

Clock tower and cultural centre.

At this point I was ready to head home, but I noted that one of the two gummy bear displays I had seen previously was still going strong and that the Chinese dragon horses had been moved closer to the harbour. This is the third time I have encountered these dragon horses, each time in a different location.

Gummy Bear.

Gummy Bear.

Dragon horses.

Dragon horses.

Dragon horses.

Dragon horses.

Dragon horses.

Dragon horses.

Just before heading to the MTR, I noticed that the exterior of the Peninsula Hotel was covered with lots of beautiful bright red lanterns. I'm not sure if there were good decorations inside, as I did not cross over to see.

Lanterns adorn the exterior of the Peninsula Hotel.

Lanterns adorn the exterior of the Peninsula Hotel.

Posted by irenevt 11:31 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

Karma, Karma, Karma, Karma, Camellia.

Winter in Shing Mun Valley Park.

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Beautiful pale pink camellia flower.

Beautiful pale pink camellia flower.

The other day when I wandered around the botanical gardens in Mid-Levels I visited the Camellia Garden. This reminded me of the posters in Shing Mun Valley Park: summer - lotus blossom ✓ autumn - roses ✓ and now that it is winter - camellias. Well, I had to go. I could not miss them. Spring, which is magnolias, is on my to do list as well. I'm perfectly happy to have an excuse to go back.

I am not knowledgeable about camellias. In fact, I wasn't even sure what they were, so I have read up a bit about them. Camellias were named after Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel who encountered them when he worked in The Philippines. He brought many Asian plant species back to Europe. Camellias are native to eastern and southern Asia where there are more than two hundred species of them. They are sometimes referred to as Japanese roses. Their blossoms are certainly very rose like. In the Language of Flowers pink camellias symbolize loving someone and missing them. The leaves of some species of camellia can be used to make tea. The seeds of others can be made into a cooking oil, hair oil or essential oils.

The camellias in Shing Mun Valley Park lined every walkway I wandered along and were gorgeous. My timing was right for once as the majority of the blooms were still in very good condition.

Perfect pink camellia.

Perfect pink camellia.

Beautiful red camellia flower.

Beautiful red camellia flower.

The majority of the camellias growing here are camellia sasanqua, which is native to China and Japan.

A cluster of camellias.

A cluster of camellias.

Camellia and buds.

Camellia and buds.

This camellia looks rather like a carnation.

This camellia looks rather like a carnation.

Beautiful camellia.

Beautiful camellia.

Such a bright and cheerful flower.

Such a bright and cheerful flower.

A second species of camellia found here camellia japonica. This seems to be in bloom here for a much longer period of time. It is native to China, Taiwan, South Korea and southwestern Japan.

Camellia Japonica.

Camellia Japonica.

Camellia Japonica.

Camellia Japonica.

After a while even I felt I had enough camellia pictures to last a lifetime and I concentrated on just enjoying being in the park. It usually rains when I come here but today was sunny but cold.

Park scenery.

Park scenery.

Lady sleeping next to Chinese New Year display.

Lady sleeping next to Chinese New Year display.

Wheel barrows.

Wheel barrows.

Rock and log display.

Rock and log display.

Rock and log display.

Rock and log display.

Autumnal trees by the water.

Autumnal trees by the water.

In summer you can scarcely see this boat due to all the flowers.

In summer you can scarcely see this boat due to all the flowers.

Windmill.

Windmill.

Angel with lamp.

Angel with lamp.

As it is almost Chinese New Year there were spring blossom displays, but these were made using real, living, growing blossoming trees, rather than plastic models, so they were much lovelier. There was also a rabbit mosaic made from black and white pebbles.

Year of the rabbit.

Year of the rabbit.

Chinese New Year blossom.

Chinese New Year blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom, too.

Spring blossom, too.

Spring blossom.

Spring blossom.

Of course, there were lots of other wonderful flowers and I couldn't resist them either. I'm not sure what they all are.

Callicarpa Japonica, a cluster of purple berries.

Callicarpa Japonica, a cluster of purple berries.

I thought these were lovely. Apparently they are a type of arum lily.

I thought these were lovely. Apparently they are a type of arum lily.

Apparently these are a kind of milkweed plant often referred to as hairy balls. Haha. I had a better picture of these but it refused to load, probably fell foul to some pornography filter.

Apparently these are a kind of milkweed plant often referred to as hairy balls. Haha. I had a better picture of these but it refused to load, probably fell foul to some pornography filter.

Coneflowers.

Coneflowers.

Coneflowers.

Coneflowers.

Begonias.

Begonias.

Dhalias.

Dhalias.

Dhalias.

Dhalias.

Black eyed Susan.

Black eyed Susan.

There were lots of gorgeous blue and pink hydrangeas. These always remind me of staying in a bed and breakfast in Girvan as a child. The landlady had lots of them in her garden.

Hydrangea.

Hydrangea.

Hydrangea.

Hydrangea.

Even some of the roses that I went to see before were still thriving. This park is a real winter oasis.

Roses represent the park in autumn but some were still flourishing.

Roses represent the park in autumn but some were still flourishing.

Roses.

Roses.

Roses.

Roses.

The Indian rhododendron seems to bloom all year round. It has looked beautiful on all of my visits.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

Indian rhododendron.

I was impressed by these wonderful healthy looking Poinsettia.

Poinsettia.

Poinsettia.

Poinsettias.

Poinsettias.

Poinsettia.

Poinsettia.

Everywhere is so colourful.

Everywhere is so colourful.

I spent quite a long time at the pond where the lotus blossoms grow in the summer. I was watching a large elegant heron hunting for fish. The lighting was perfect for beautiful reflections in the water.

Heron and its reflection.

Heron and its reflection.

Heron.

Heron.

Heron and its reflection.

Heron and its reflection.

An egret flew into another part of the pond and began searching for its lunch, too.

Egret and it's reflection.

Egret and it's reflection.

Egret.

Egret.

Egret.

Egret.

At that point I noticed something blue and sparkling - it was a kingfisher. It was really quite far away. I took some shots then tried to get nearer but it flew away. I waited a while to see if it would come back but it didn't, so I headed back home.

Kingfisher.

Kingfisher.

Kingfisher.

Kingfisher.

Posted by irenevt 02:19 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

Tigers, Rabbits, Monkeys and Birds.

A Visit to The Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

overcast

Chinese New Year Flowers.

Chinese New Year Flowers.

Saturday 21st of January will be the Eve of Chinese New Year and by Sunday the 22nd we will have left The Year of the Tiger to enter The Year of the Rabbit. Naturally, I had to have a look at some of the displays and decorations that have been put up to welcome in the new year.

I began in Discovery Bay where I took some night time shots of a few new year displays, before revisiting them by day. These are not too far from my house. One of the figures depicted in this display is Caishen, god of fortune. People pray to him in the hope that their new year will be a prosperous one. He is usually surrounded by boat shaped bars of gold. Near him there were several waving cats. These are Japanese rather than Chinese, but are also believed to be lucky. There were also branches laden with spring blossom as Chinese New Year marks the beginning of spring.

Display to welcome in The Year of the Rabbit.

Display to welcome in The Year of the Rabbit.

Caishen by day.

Caishen by day.

Waving cats by night.

Waving cats by night.

Waving cats.

Waving cats.

Reds and golds are lucky colours.

Reds and golds are lucky colours.

Next day, I decided to head to Hong Kong Island. I had some shopping to do, so I combined my trip with a look at more Chinese New Year displays and a trip to the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

I began by looking at the displays in the IFC building. Their displays depicted The Garden of Auspicious Delights. This had lots of beautiful flowers and butterflies.

Tree weighed down with blossom and wishes for good fortune.

Tree weighed down with blossom and wishes for good fortune.

Trees with blossom.

Trees with blossom.

Trees with blossom.

Trees with blossom.

The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

Flowers in The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

Flowers in The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

Butterflies in The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

Butterflies in The Garden of Auspicious Delights.

Kumquat tree.

Kumquat tree.

I then walked to Central Market where I knew there would be a Chinese New Year Flower Market. This sells orchids, bamboo, kumquat trees and much more. There were also lots of hanging lanterns around.

Central Market.

Central Market.

Central Market.

Central Market.

The Secret Garden Flower Market.

The Secret Garden Flower Market.

Orchids. These symbolize fertility.

Orchids. These symbolize fertility.

Orchids.

Orchids.

Kumquats. They look like the sun and symbolize positive energy.

Kumquats. They look like the sun and symbolize positive energy.

Kumquat Stalls.

Kumquat Stalls.

Kumquats and telephone boxes.

Kumquats and telephone boxes.

Lucky bamboo symbolizes strength..

Lucky bamboo symbolizes strength..

I always thought this plant was just a heap of lemons placed on top of each other, but apparently it is a real plant known in English as Nipple Fruit or Cow's Udder or Apple of Sodom. Apparently it symbolizes the togetherness and good health of different generations. Don't eat this one; it is poisonous.

I always thought this plant was just a heap of lemons placed on top of each other, but apparently it is a real plant known in English as Nipple Fruit or Cow's Udder or Apple of Sodom. Apparently it symbolizes the togetherness and good health of different generations. Don't eat this one; it is poisonous.

Lanterns in Central Market.

Lanterns in Central Market.

I then wandered up Pottinger Street, also known as Stone Slab Street. This was decorated with lanterns and lined with stalls selling Chinese New Year goods.

Chinese New Year lanterns on Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Chinese New Year lanterns on Pottinger Street, Central, Hong Kong.

Chinese New Year outfits.

Chinese New Year outfits.

Market stall selling goods for the Year of the Rabbit.

Market stall selling goods for the Year of the Rabbit.

Market stall selling goods for the Year of the Rabbit.

Market stall selling goods for the Year of the Rabbit.

I had decided to visit The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens. I have been here several times, but a lot of it was closed during COVID. Now most of it is open, but there's a lot of repair work going on. It had certainly got into the spirit of Chinese New Year, as parts of it were beautifully decorated.

Sign for the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

Sign for the Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens.

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens was the first park ever created in Hong Kong. It was opened to the public in 1871. It started out as a Botanical Gardens, but since 1876 it has been building up a collection of animals, too. These consist of mammals, reptiles and birds.

The gardens occupy 5.6 hectares and consist of two parts, separated by a road. The eastern part, also known as The Old Garden, has aviaries and a fountain terrace. The western part, or the New Garden, is mainly home to mammals and reptiles.

There are also several historical structures here including: old stone pillars, a fountain, an old flight of steps, the Pavilion dating from 1866, which was once a band stand, the Chinese War Memorial, an inscribed archway dating from 1928 and a bronze statue of King George VI.

I began my explorations at the meerkats enclosure. I could only see two meerkats inside, though there are probably more. One was right up the top of its enclosure, standing on its hind legs and the other was running around in front of the enclosure window.

Meerkats' Home Sign.

Meerkats' Home Sign.

Meerkats' models.

Meerkats' models.

Meerkat art.

Meerkat art.

Pensive looking meerkat.

Pensive looking meerkat.

This one largely stayed still.

This one largely stayed still.

This one, on the other hand, was very active.

This one, on the other hand, was very active.

I then had a look at the mammals and reptiles. They are not easy to see as they are in wire mesh cages, surrounded by re-enforced glass and behind plastic barriers. It's very difficult to photograph them. My only decent photos make them look like they are in a tiny cage right up against the wire, but that isn't the case, they actually have quite a lot of space to move around in, though I'm sure they would still rather be free.

Just like at the meerkats there was some Monkey Art, too.

Just like at the meerkats there was some Monkey Art, too.

The most memorable animals here were the extremely active gibbons, the orangutans and the white faced sakis. Perhaps the easiest to photograph were the tortoises as they don't tend to run out of your shot

This gibbon was very acrobatic and fast.

This gibbon was very acrobatic and fast.

There were two orangutans. Someone came and fed them while I was there.

There were two orangutans. Someone came and fed them while I was there.

This is a White-faced Saki.

This is a White-faced Saki.

This is a Common Squirrel Monkey.

This is a Common Squirrel Monkey.

Various types of tortoises are the only reptiles in this zoo.

Various types of tortoises are the only reptiles in this zoo.

There were quite a few more monkeys, lemurs and sloths, but they were too difficult to photograph, or in their homes asleep. Honestly, in terms of photography a visit here is hard work.

Strangely enough, when I came here, at least twice, with my class as a teacher, I remember the monkeys being incredibly noisy and this time amazingly it all seemed very quiet, until I went to the herb garden higher up the hill than the monkey enclosure and a huge cacophony of noise started up, not sure what sparked it off, but it went on for a long time. The herb garden had information about what each herb could be used for and a pond filled with colourful fish.

The herb garden.

The herb garden.

The herb garden.

The herb garden.

Colourful fish.

Colourful fish.

I then crossed the road to the older part of the gardens. I believe you can also cross through an underpass if you want to avoid traffic, though the road was not particularly busy. Near a little cafe there were lots of animal models all done up for celebrating Chinese New Year. These were a hell of a lot easier to photograph than the real animals.

Orangutan model.

Orangutan model.

They should have read the no climbing label. Haha!.

They should have read the no climbing label. Haha!.

Gorilla model.

Gorilla model.

All ready to celebrate Chinese New Year.

All ready to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Flamingo model.

Flamingo model.

Chinese Hardy Banana Plants..

Chinese Hardy Banana Plants..

There is a wonderful fountain in this area which was surrounded by flowers and animal models. Some of the trees here were quite autumnal.

Fountain.

Fountain.

Fountain.

Fountain.

Model by the fountain celebrating twenty-five years since the handover.

Model by the fountain celebrating twenty-five years since the handover.

There were lots of beautiful flowers in this area.

Arum Lilies.

Arum Lilies.

Bougainvillea.

Bougainvillea.

Foxgloves.

Foxgloves.

Rose.

Rose.

I wandered up towards the aviaries past some colourful paintings celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong. There was an arched walkway covered in orchids.

Artwork for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the handover.

Artwork for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the handover.

Artwork for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the handover.

Artwork for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the handover.

I wonder if this is a leopard cat. They are native to Hong Kong.

I wonder if this is a leopard cat. They are native to Hong Kong.

Orchid.

Orchid.

Orchids.

Orchids.

Orchids.

Orchids.

Orchid Archway.

Orchid Archway.

Orchid Archway.

Orchid Archway.

I took a look at the old pavilion which used to be a bandstand. It had several historical photos. Nearby there was a beautiful camelia garden. I noticed that this park had many stone benches with animal statues at each end. Some of them were quite cute.

The Pavilion.

The Pavilion.

Cat bench.

Cat bench.

Animal bench with rabbits.

Animal bench with rabbits.

Bench with bears at each end.

Bench with bears at each end.

Camelia.

Camelia.

Camelias.

Camelias.

At the top of the stairs in this part of the garden there was a statue of King George VI. This statue was created by Gilbert Ledward, a British sculptor and was erected in 1958.

Statue of King George VI.

Statue of King George VI.

I managed to get reasonably good photos of some of the birds, though again their enclosures did not make them easy to see. In some of the enclosures I managed to align my camera so that the wire mesh around the cages disappeared.

Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot.

Blue-Fronted Amazon Parrot.

Red-billed Hornbill.

Red-billed Hornbill.

Black crowned crane.

Black crowned crane.

Black crowned crane.

Black crowned crane.

Speckled pigeon.

Speckled pigeon.

Yellow-casqued Hornbill.

Yellow-casqued Hornbill.

Feeding the Yellow-casqued Hornbill.

Feeding the Yellow-casqued Hornbill.

Red crowned crane.

Red crowned crane.

Red-crowned Crane.

Red-crowned Crane.

After looking at the birds, I found a little otter which I was determined to get a good photo of. I stood there for ages the first time, and returned later and took picture after picture, but he was either running around, swimming, hiding or there was so much reflection from the glass, or someone else pushed in. It was pretty much impossible. I'm putting up my better pictures anyway, as I spent so long trying to get them. I know he is blurry. I have sharpened him and colour adjusted him. I spent so long on him, he's staying.

The otter who couldn't stay still.

The otter who couldn't stay still.

The otter.

The otter.

The otter.

The otter.

One of the best bits of the old garden enclosures is the flamingo pool, because you can actually go inside and be next to the birds. There are also ducks, geese and blacksmith plovers inside here, too. I noticed later when I was outside that there's a lovely waterfall in here.

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Flamingos.

Flamingo waterfalls.

Flamingo waterfalls.

]

Blacksmith plover.

Blacksmith plover.

Hawaiian Goose.

Hawaiian Goose.

Hawaiian Goose.

Hawaiian Goose.

From the flamingo enclosure, I could see into an enclosure that contained what looked like small kangaroos, due to renovations there did not seem to be a way to get close to these.

Wallabies.

Wallabies.

Wallabies.

Wallabies.

Looking all around the garden was beautiful with lovely scenery and pleasant views.

Scenery around the park.

Scenery around the park.

Scenery in the gardens.

Scenery in the gardens.

There are lots of beautiful little gardens scattered all around. I had a look in the Native Species Garden.

Native species garden.

Native species garden.

Native species garden.

Native species garden.

Then I descended the old staircase and had a look in the Bamboo Garden.

The top of the historic stairway.

The top of the historic stairway.

Entrance to the bamboo garden.

Entrance to the bamboo garden.

Bamboo garden.

Bamboo garden.

Bamboo garden.

Bamboo garden.

From the Bamboo Garden, I headed down the hill towards the exit. On the way I came to the lovely Chinese War Memorial. This was erected in 1928 and commemorates the Chinese who fought and died in World War I.

The Chinese War Memorial.

The Chinese War Memorial.

The Chinese War Memorial.

The Chinese War Memorial.

Next to the war memorial there is a seating area with a view over Government House where the Chief Executive lives.

Overlooking Government House.

Overlooking Government House.

From here I walked down to Marks and Spencer's where I had come to shop. I passed Saint Joseph's Church, the Helena May Building and Saint John's Cathedral. The Helena May Building is a private members’ social club. It opened in 1916.

Saint Joseph's Church.

Saint Joseph's Church.

Saint Joseph's Church.

Saint Joseph's Church.

The Helena May Building.

The Helena May Building.

Saint John's Cathedral dates from 1849, making it the oldest Anglican church in the Far East. During World Wat II, it was occupied by the Japanese, who used it as a social club. I was very pleased to see the Cathedral open, as it hasn't been on my last few visits. I was able to go in to the peaceful church surroundings and offer up a prayer before going home.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Saint John's Cathedral.

Inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Stained Glass Window in Saint John's Cathedral.

Stained Glass Window in Saint John's Cathedral.

Floor inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Floor inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Banner Inside Saint John's Cathedral

Banner Inside Saint John's Cathedral

Chairs inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Chairs inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Flowers inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Flowers inside Saint John's Cathedral.

Near the Cathedral there is a memorial cross for the soldiers who died in World War I This was unveiled by Governor Sir Reginald Stubbs in 1921

Cross outside Saint John's Cathedral.

Cross outside Saint John's Cathedral.

After visiting the Cathedral, I got my shopping done then headed home.

Posted by irenevt 15:30 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (5)

When You Wish Upon A Tree...

A trip to Lam Tsuen.

rain

I'm glad I went hiking on Monday, because it's been raining most days this week. The only other nice day was Wednesday when we met up with our friend, Michael, for lunch. To our astonishment we realised we had not seen each other for almost three years, despite the fact we all live in Hong Kong. We can thank covid for that, plus the fact that although it is small here people get really bogged down with work and it becomes really hard to find time to do anything. I say it's like that here, it's probably like that everywhere.

Anyway, we had a very pleasant lunch in Figo's Italian restaurant in Discovery Bay, which Michael very kindly treated us to. Peter had his usual thin crust four cheeses pizza and I had a set lunch. My lunch consisted of cauliflower soup, halloumi burger and lemon tart. Michael also went for the set lunch. He had the soup, roast chicken and a coffee.

Lunch in Figo's.

Lunch in Figo's.

Lunch in Figo's.

Lunch in Figo's.

After lunch we had some drinks in Three Sheets, a bar near Figo's. In this place you can either sit by the bar or inside a nearby marquee. We sat in the marquee.

Drinks in Three Sheets.

Drinks in Three Sheets.

Drinks in Three Sheets.

Drinks in Three Sheets.

On Friday, I decided to visit the famous Hong Kong wishing trees. These have been on my to do list for a while. I wasn't sure whether to do them now or wait till Chinese New Year when they will be inundated with people, but eventually I decided to do them now and avoid the crowds. To get there I went to Tai Po Market Station on the MTR and then took the 64K bus to Fong Ma Po Village in Lam Tsuen. Fong Ma Po is a Punti Village in the Eastern New Territories and its name translates as 'Place for Grazing Horses.' Like all traditional villages in Hong Kong its entrance is guarded by a gate with two lions.

Village Gateway.

Village Gateway.

Once I had passed through the gateway, I could see many statues of gods and goddesses and boards covered with wishes. I later learned these boards had been put up for people to place their wishes on so that they would not damage the trees by placing their wishes there.

Statues of deities.

Statues of deities.

Statues of deities.

Statues of deities.

Statues and incense.

Statues and incense.

Wishing papers.

Wishing papers.

Wishing papers.

Wishing papers.

This village has a Tin Hau Temple dating from around 1768. It was beautiful inside, but I was not allowed to take photos, so I had to make do with photographing the outside only.

Rainy day at theTin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

Rainy day at theTin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

Doorway of the main temple building.

Doorway of the main temple building.

The Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

The Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

Close up of doorway at the Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

Close up of doorway at the Tin Hau Temple in Fong Ma Po.

Offerings on a shrine outside the Tin Hau Temple, Fong Ma Po.

Offerings on a shrine outside the Tin Hau Temple, Fong Ma Po.

Flags behind the Tin Hau Temple.

Flags behind the Tin Hau Temple.

Near the temple there is a cultural centre. It did not seem to be open and I could find no information about it online, except a blog by someone who comes here a lot and says the cultural centre never seems to be open. It has very ornate doors. There were beautiful displays of plants here for Chinese New Year and some colourful murals decorating the walls.

Lam Tsuen Cultural Centre.

Lam Tsuen Cultural Centre.

The doors of the Cultural Centre.

The doors of the Cultural Centre.

Spring blossom and dragon at the cultural centre.

Spring blossom and dragon at the cultural centre.

The Cultural Centre Mural.

The Cultural Centre Mural.

The Cultural Centre Mural.

The Cultural Centre Mural.

The back of the Cultural Centre.

The back of the Cultural Centre.

The Cultural Centre, lions and mural.

The Cultural Centre, lions and mural.

The Cultural Centre, lions and mural.

The Cultural Centre, lions and mural.

Chinese New Year flowers.

Chinese New Year flowers.

Chinese New Year flowers.

Chinese New Year flowers.

Behind the cultural centre there are three large banyan trees which are considered to be wishing trees. The legend of the trees began hundreds of years ago when a man saddened by the fact his son had difficulty learning sat down despondently next to one of the trees and made a wish. Soon after this his son began to make good progress in his lessons and the man believed his wish had come true. Around the same time a woman suffering from a terrible illness visited the trees and was miraculously cured. News of these events quickly spread and the legend of the wishing trees was born. The first ever wishing tree was actually a camphor tree, but it burnt down and a nearby banyan tree took over the role of wishing tree.

During the Lunar New Year Festival crowds used to flock to this village to write their names, dates of birth and wishes on joss paper, tie the paper to an orange and throw it at the wishing tree. If it gets caught in the branches, the wish will come true. The higher up in the branches it lands, the quicker the wish will be fulfilled. If the paper and orange fall to the ground, the wish was too greedy and it won't come true, though it is possible to tone the wish down a bit and try again.

However, in 2005 while people were performing this custom, a branch fell to the ground injuring two people, one of them was just four years old. The branch had no longer been able to bear the weight of all the wishes.

This prompted the government to intervene. Nowadays it's possible to look at the wishing trees, but if you want to throw your joss paper and orange, you can only do this on a fourth fake plastic tree. I'd have to say, this fake tree looks pretty realistic. The real wishing trees are being given a rest and some time to recover.

When all the wishing trees were in working order, each tree symbolised a different thing. The first tree would grant wishes related to academic performance, career and wealth. The second would grant wishes related to marriage and pregnancy. At the third tree wishes about anything and everything would be granted, a sort of miscellaneous wishing tree!

Old building near the wishing trees.

Old building near the wishing trees.

The plastic wishing tree looks quite real.

The plastic wishing tree looks quite real.

Oranges and wishes.

Oranges and wishes.

One of the real wishing trees next to the plastic tree..

One of the real wishing trees next to the plastic tree..

A closer look at this tree.

A closer look at this tree.

One of the original wishing trees at the entrance to the village.

One of the original wishing trees at the entrance to the village.

Shrine next to the tree.

Shrine next to the tree.

You must not throw things at the trees nowadays.

You must not throw things at the trees nowadays.

Message about letting the trees recover.

Message about letting the trees recover.

When the branch collapsed,the tree was pruned, some of the wood from its branches has been kept.

When the branch collapsed,the tree was pruned, some of the wood from its branches has been kept.

Near the trees there was a circle of statues representing the animals of the Chinese zodiac. These were fairly basic. I struggled to identify some of them. Most of them were covered with coins which had been placed there for luck.

Animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Animals of the Chinese zodiac.

The snake. I am a snake.

The snake. I am a snake.

The ox. My husband is an ox.

The ox. My husband is an ox.

The pig.

The pig.

The rabbit, next year is the year of the rabbit. I struggled to identify this animal.

The rabbit, next year is the year of the rabbit. I struggled to identify this animal.

The rooster.

The rooster.

Near the trees there was a centre for making ceramics and an activity centre for children.

Centre for ceramics.

Centre for ceramics.

Centre for ceramics.

Centre for ceramics.

Activity Centre for Children.

Activity Centre for Children.

I had a quick look at some other parts of the village, too, but these seemed to be mainly residential. There were several restaurants near the entrance to the village.

A quick look at the village.

A quick look at the village.

Restaurant in the village.

Restaurant in the village.

When I arrived back in Tai Po, I had a short walk around. I could see signs that Chinese New Year was on its way.

Chinese New Year lanterns decorate a street in Tai Po.

Chinese New Year lanterns decorate a street in Tai Po.

Shop selling Chinese New Year decorations.

Shop selling Chinese New Year decorations.

I had a quick look at the Tin Hau Temple here. This temple was built in 1691. It is dedicated to Tin Hau, the goddess of the sea, as well as Guanyin, the goddess of mercy and Guan Yu, the emperor of benevolence, courage and prestige.

Lion guard outside the Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Lion guard outside the Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Incense coils inside the Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Incense coils inside the Tin Hau Temple, Tai Po.

Shrine inside Tai Po Ton Hau Temple.

Shrine inside Tai Po Ton Hau Temple.

I also found some beautiful autumnal trees, some interesting street art outside a pub and some cherry blossom.

Autumnal trees.

Autumnal trees.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art outside a pub in Tai Po, Hong Kong.

Street art outside a pub in Tai Po, Hong Kong.

The cherry blossom was absolutely surrounded by photographers taking pictures of it. In fact if they had not been there I doubt I would have even noticed it.

Photographers surrounded the cherry blossom.

Photographers surrounded the cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Cherry blossom.

Instead of taking the MTR home, I jumped on a bus that was heading to the airport and got off in Tung Chung. The scenery on these airport buses is normally beautiful, but it was raining heavily and fog had descended, so I did not photograph it.

Posted by irenevt 13:11 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

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