A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: irenevt

Right in the Sh*t!!!

A hike to Ma Shi Chau

overcast

Jagged rock formations on Ma Shi Chau.

Jagged rock formations on Ma Shi Chau.

Yesterday I went to the island of Ma Shi Chau. To get there I travelled to Tai Po Market Station, exited through exit A3, and headed down the slope to the minibus station, where I boarded a 20K minibus to Sam Mun Tsai which is the last stop. I could also have got there by bus 74K.

Sam Mun Tsai is a picturesque fishing village that moved. The original village was founded in 1898. Its name means Three Gates and it was called this because it used to be located near three distinct water channels in Tolo Harbour. However, in July 1965 all four hundred inhabitants of Sam Mun Tsai were forced to relocate to a new village on the edge of the nearby island of Yim Tin Tsai, because their original village was about to be completely submerged during the creation of the Plover Cove Reservoir.

Nowadays New Sam Mun Tsai is a sleepy fishing village connected to the mainland by a road. The village has rows of village houses, a boat-filled harbour and a couple of shops. It is known for its seafood restaurants and for its Geo-heritage Centre. The Geo-heritage Centre is here, because of the interesting and unique rock formations that are found on nearby Ma Shi Chau where I was heading.

Sam Mun Tsai has a couple of piers that I walked along to take photos of the village and all the surrounding boats. When I walked along the second smaller pier, literally thousands, and I do mean thousands, of horrible wriggly insects started scurrying away from me. I have never seen anything like it. It made me feel horribly itchy for the rest of the day.

There is some colourful artwork on the walls of the village and there are some displays explaining the village's history and enforced relocation. My favourite part though were the lazy village cats that seemed to be lying around snoozing all over the place. I guess they are very well fed in a fishing village.

Views across Sam Mun Tsai Harbour and village.

Views across Sam Mun Tsai Harbour and village.

Views across Sam Mun Tsai Harbour and village.

Views across Sam Mun Tsai Harbour and village.

View the other way towards the giant Kuan Yin statue.

View the other way towards the giant Kuan Yin statue.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

Village houses.

View from the pier.

View from the pier.

Sleepy village cats.

Sleepy village cats.

Sleepy village cats.

Sleepy village cats.

The village cats even feature in its artwork.

The village cats even feature in its artwork.

The village cats even feature in its artwork.

The village cats even feature in its artwork.

More artwork.

More artwork.

Village history display.

Village history display.

Tanks outside the seafood restaurant. This is spiny lobster, apparently its Chinese name means dragon shrimp.

Tanks outside the seafood restaurant. This is spiny lobster, apparently its Chinese name means dragon shrimp.

Tanks outside the seafood restaurant. Apparently this is Pacific geoduck, a kind of giant clam.

Tanks outside the seafood restaurant. Apparently this is Pacific geoduck, a kind of giant clam.

Near the end of the village, before the Geo-heritage Centre, I saw a signpost for Ma Shi Chau. I followed that up a flight of stairs. Ma Shi Chau is about one and a half kilometres away from Sam Mun Tsai and to get there it's necessary to walk across the top of Yim Tin Tsai Island. This takes around thirty minutes and isn't too hard, even on hot days. The top of the island is home to a large cemetery. Cemeteries here are always located in high locations and, if possible near water, to ensure good Feng Shui. Much of this walk is shaded, as you are walking through trees, but where there are gaps in the trees, there are fantastic views over Ma On Shan in one direction and Tai Mei Tuk in the other. I took some zoom shots of the nearby enormous Kuan Yin statue as well and was pleased to see I could get the whole temple in my shots. A little before you begin the descent to Ma Shi Chau, there is a little pavilion where you can take a rest if you need to.

Views towards Ma On Shan. The mountain top here is shaped like a saddle, but on this visit it was hidden in cloud.

Views towards Ma On Shan. The mountain top here is shaped like a saddle, but on this visit it was hidden in cloud.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Looking towards Tai Mei Tuk.

Kuan Yin in the distance.

Kuan Yin in the distance.

Zooming in on Kuan Yin.

Zooming in on Kuan Yin.

Pavilion where you can take a rest.

Pavilion where you can take a rest.

Looking towards Ma Shi Chau.

Looking towards Ma Shi Chau.

One of the loveliest things about this walk, apart from the views, was that there were beautiful pink and white wild flowers growing everywhere. These really brightened up the path.

Beautiful flowers. I believe most of these are rose myrtles.

Beautiful flowers. I believe most of these are rose myrtles.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

If you are wondering about my choice of title for this blog, there is a reason for it. Although Ma Shi Chau is a stunningly beautiful place, its name literally translates as Horse Dung Island. I have no idea why this name was chosen. There certainly aren't all that many horses in Hong Kong nowadays, not sure about in the past, and even if there were, this would be an unlikely place for them to live. It's covered in trees with few open spaces. Maybe there are just so many islands here, they ran out of nice names!!!!

Ma Shi Chau became part of Hong Kong's UNESCO Global Geopark in 1999. In fact, it's probably the most accessible part, as it's only half an hour's walk away from transport. Some of the other locations involve travelling on boats that only run at weekends. Ma Shi Chau is connected to Yim Tin Tsai by a tombola, which I believe gets covered over at high tide, so it is best to check tidal information before you visit.

Before walking across to the island, I took a look at some beautiful red rocks near the entrance to the tombola. The colours of these were amazing. I don't think photos do them justice.

Red rocks before I crossed the tombola.

Red rocks before I crossed the tombola.

View across colourful red rocks.

View across colourful red rocks.

Looking across the tombola.

Looking across the tombola.

On the tombola.

On the tombola.

There are good views from the tombola and once you cross it, there is a map with information about the different types of mainly sedimentary rocks you can find on this island. These rocks are from the Permian Era and were formed two hundred and eighty million years ago. It's only possible to walk on the southern side of the island, as there's no path on the north side. On route you will pass several different areas of rocks. These areas include: an area of siltstone, a shell beach, examples of mud stone, some quartz stone, areas showing differential erosion, some sandstone, rocks that formed on a fault line and rocks that show evidence of folding. If you go to the very end of the island, which I did, you will also reach the Ma Shi Chau Viewing Point. This looks towards the Plover Cove dam wall.

I'm not an expert on rocks, but there were things I loved here. For one there were great views towards Ma On Shan. There were some lovely flowers and trees. The rocks themselves were amazing colours and fascinating shapes. Genuine rock experts would go into raptures over this place.

Welcome to Ma Shi Chau Noticeboard.

Welcome to Ma Shi Chau Noticeboard.

Map of Ma Shi Chau.

Map of Ma Shi Chau.

Lone figure sitting amidst the siltstone.

Lone figure sitting amidst the siltstone.

I apologize if I get my rock information wrong. I know very little about rocks. I think most of the beautifully shaped colourful rocks are mudstone. Even if they aren't, I am pretty sure that their beautiful shapes comes from constant erosion by the wind and waves

Jagged rock formations.

Jagged rock formations.

Interesting rock formations.

Interesting rock formations.

Oddly shaped rocks.

Oddly shaped rocks.

Colourful rock formations.

Colourful rock formations.

Jagged rock formations.

Jagged rock formations.

I may not know my mudstone from my siltstone, but I could certainly identify Shell Beach. I'm not sure I have ever seen so many shells. There were also lots of rocks with shells attached to them or embedded in them. These glistened like diamonds in the light. They were so beautiful.

Shell beach.

Shell beach.

Rock encrusted with shells.

Rock encrusted with shells.

Sparkling shell rocks.

Sparkling shell rocks.

Sparkling shell rocks.

Sparkling shell rocks.

Rocks embedded with shells.

Rocks embedded with shells.

View along the beach across shell encrusted rocks.

View along the beach across shell encrusted rocks.

In addition to shells there was also coral and seaweed on the beach. I also came across a length of rope, maybe for tying up a boat.

Rope.

Rope.

Coral.

Coral.

Coral.

Coral.

The areas of quartz stone were also fairly easy to identify, I think. These rocks were absolutely beautiful, so colourful and sparkly. Apparently the quartz veins are inside sandstone rocks. The sandstone is softer than the quartz so weathers faster, leaving the quartz to stand out.

Quartz stone.

Quartz stone.

Quartz stone.

Quartz stone.

Quartz stone.

Quartz stone.

Close-up of colourful rock.

Close-up of colourful rock.

At a certain point, there were lots of rocks arranged in almost straight lines. Again this is due to some rocks weathering faster than others, causing the harder ones to become raised as the softer wear away. The Chinese have a more poetic explanation. They call these 'dragon entering water' as if the lines are impressions left by a mighty dragon's tail.

Trails known to locals as dragon entering the water.

Trails known to locals as dragon entering the water.

Dragon entering the water.

Dragon entering the water.

Rocks sticking out into the sea like this are also known as dragon entering the water as if the dragon is swimming and bits of it are visible above the water.

Rocks sticking out into the sea like this are also known as dragon entering the water as if the dragon is swimming and bits of it are visible above the water.

There were other areas of rock that I just liked without having a clue what they were and many lovely views to look at. There were lots of boats around. I believe you can come here by sampan if you don't want to do the walk. At weekends sampans wait to take tired looking people off the island and back to Tai Mei Tuk for a negotiable fee.

Looking across the harbour.

Looking across the harbour.

In some areas the rocks were very dark, like this.

In some areas the rocks were very dark, like this.

I don't know what kind of rock this is, but I found it rather photogenic.

I don't know what kind of rock this is, but I found it rather photogenic.

Everywhere was beautiful.

Everywhere was beautiful.

This rock looks like a comfortable place to sit.

This rock looks like a comfortable place to sit.

Boats in the distance.

Boats in the distance.

Fishing boat in the distance.

Fishing boat in the distance.

There were quite a few other people visiting Ma Shi Chau at the same time as me, so on many of the beaches, or areas with lovely rocks, there were major photo sessions going on. I thought I might as well join in with at least one selfie.

Photo time

Photo time

Photo time.

Photo time.

Selfie.

Selfie.

There also seemed to be some school trips going on. This surprised me as I thought they had all stopped for COVID. As a teacher I was interested in observing some of the pupils on these trips. There were three teenage girls who had slumped themselves down on a bench and brought their phones out. When their instructor tried to get them to walk around and look at the rocks, they just kept saying they were too tired. Their instructor was very patient as he tried to coax them to learn something. Personally I'd have wanted to slap them. Sometimes life is wasted on the young.

At the opposite end of the spectrum there was a young teenage boy who was having such a great time paddling in the water that his teacher almost had to threaten him to get him out, so they could go back to camp. In the end the teacher promised he could paddle as much as he wanted back at camp if he'd just get out of the water and go there. I felt sorry for him. He was so obviously just quietly really enjoying his day. In addition there were school groups practising kayaking. This looked fun. I've never done it. It was interesting to see all the hustle and bustle going on.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

Kayaking.

I also took some close-ups of some beautifully patterned and colourful pieces of rock.

Beautiful piece of rock.

Beautiful piece of rock.

Holding a colourful rock.

Holding a colourful rock.

Of course along the way there were some wonderful plants. Many of the trees were growing at odd angles, probably as a result of having to cope with very strong winds from time to time.

Trees bent over by the wind.

Trees bent over by the wind.

Wind blown tree.

Wind blown tree.

Screw pine.

Screw pine.

Screw pine.

Screw pine.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers.

Beautiful flowers on the island.

Beautiful flowers on the island.

Beautiful flowers. I think this is Lathyrus grandiflorus, a species of peaplant.

Beautiful flowers. I think this is Lathyrus grandiflorus, a species of peaplant.

Flowers line the beach.

Flowers line the beach.

There were several areas of beach on this walk, all of them different. Maybe not the kind of beach that was comfortable to sunbathe on, but I did wonder what it would be like to swim here. No-one was swimming, so it may have been too shallow near the island.

Walking along the rocky beach.

Walking along the rocky beach.

Beautiful stretch of beach.

Beautiful stretch of beach.

A more sandy beach, surrounded by grass.

A more sandy beach, surrounded by grass.

Secluded beach.

Secluded beach.

Rocky beach.

Rocky beach.

At the very end of the island there is a viewpoint looking towards the Plover Cove Dam. There were lots of yachts and other boats around here. At this point it started to rain. I was quite happy about that as I was way too hot and the rain wasn't too heavy, just cooling.

Looking at Plover Cove Dam from the viewpoint.

Looking at Plover Cove Dam from the viewpoint.

Yachts near Plover Cove Dam.

Yachts near Plover Cove Dam.

Yachts near Plover Cove Dam.

Yachts near Plover Cove Dam.

It wasn't a long walk, but all the scrambling over rocks was quite tiring, so I made my way back to the tombola on the inland path through the woods rather than along the shore. Some parts of this path involved a bit of scrambling, too.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Coming back on the path through the woods.

Back at the tombola I watched a boat coming in. The people on it seemed to be trying to clean up all the rubbish that got washed up on the island.

Crossing the tombola to leave.

Crossing the tombola to leave.

The people on this boat were collecting the rubbish from the beach.

The people on this boat were collecting the rubbish from the beach.

It was growing dark as I recrossed Yim Tin Tsai, not because it was late, but because a storm was coming in. I didn't bother to take any more photos, I just rushed back to my minibus and made my way back home before the deluge started.

Posted by irenevt 14:31 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (13)

Firewood Bay in the Rain.

A Look Around Chai Wan

rain

Law Uk Museum.

Law Uk Museum.

Yesterday, I had arranged to go to North Point and meet my friend Jason for a drink after he finished work. Since I was going all that way, I decided I might as well combine my trip with a bit of sightseeing, so I took the train all the way to Chai Wan at the far end of the Island Line. I've recently discovered a lot of things I want to do in this area. Unfortunately, the weather yesterday was terrible. If I hadn't arranged to meet Jason, I'd have left the sightseeing till another day.

Chai Wan nowadays is filled with modern housing estates and, at first glance, may not appear interesting, but if you look further there are many things to see here. On this occasion, I only had time to do two of these, but I am planning to do them all. Chai Wan translates literally as Firewood Bay, presumably because it was a good place for collecting firewood in the past.

At Chai Wan Station I exited through exit B. I wanted to visit a Hakka folk museum called Law Uk and was pleased to see it was only two minutes away from the MTR. Law is a surname and Uk means house. Hakka families used to use the word Uk to mean a group of houses or a village, so Law Uk was the village of the Law Clan. Nowadays the only remaining village house has been converted into a museum run by the Hong Kong Museum of History. Like all museums in Hong Kong, entry to this museum is free. The museum is open from 10am to 6pm, daily, except Thursdays.

In the early eighteenth century around three hundred Hakka people migrated southwards from Guangdong. They settled in what is now known as Chai Wan, where they built several villages such as: Law Uk, Shing Uk, Lam Uk, Sai Tsuen and Tai Peng Tsuen. At that time this area had many trees, which the Hakka families chopped down, and probably used as firewood. They used the cleared plots of land as places to grow vegetables and raise animals, such as pigs and chickens. These villages were originally closer to the sea, as there has subsequently been quite a bit of land reclamation here. Villagers would mainly have got around using sampans. By the 1960's the population of Hong Kong had risen immensely. This area was becoming more and more urbanised and the Hakka families no longer had enough space for their small farms. The last generation of Law Uk villagers moved out at this time and most of their houses were demolished, but, fortunately for some reason, one remained. It was initially left to fall into ruins, but then in 1976 a decision was made to renovate and preserve this building turning it into a museum.

Law Uk is a typical Hakka building. It has few windows and the ones it does have are very small and high up. This was a defensive measure. Hong Kong was a dangerous place filled with many pirates and robbers. Behind the wooden doors of the building with their images of the door gods, there is a tiny open courtyard. This acted as a light well, otherwise the house would be too dark inside. The toilet is actually located just behind one of the main doors. An odd quirk in Hakka house design is that if you want privacy behind a door when you are using the toilet, you have to cover the toilet area with the front door of the house. In other words when the front door is closed, the toilet is exposed. When the front door is open, it covers the toilet. My friend, Jason, who is a couple of years younger than me, remembers his grandmother in Fanling having a toilet like this, though he said hers did not have an actual toilet in this space. It had a water tap and people went here to wash. When they needed the loo, they had to use a bucket. They used their wee to help fertilize their crops. This would have been in the late 60's, early 70's. In my view not that long ago.

I visited on a very rainy day and can verify that rainwater pours in to the house through the open light well. There are drains on the ground to try and stop the water going into the rooms of the house.

Directly opposite the front door is the main hall of the house. This was basically the living room and would have housed the ancestral shrine. Weddings and festivals would have been celebrated here. To the left there is a kitchen and to the right there is a storeroom. Wooden stairs on both sides of the house lead up to bedrooms. Unfortunately, you cannot go up there.

The house has been furnished with objects and furniture from Hong Kong History Museum. These objects include a wooden pram, a washstand, tools, baskets, cooking utensils, models of Hakka food.

The communal area in front of each house would have been used for drying food, drying laundry, socialising with other villagers, celebrating festivals and cooling off on hot summer evenings.

I was the only visitor to this museum on such a miserable day. The attendant was very friendly and helpful.

Law Uk Museum.

Law Uk Museum.

Front doors with door gods.

Front doors with door gods.

Behind the door inside that white boxlike area is the toilet. When the house door is open, the toilet has some privacy. Can you see the rain pouring in?

Behind the door inside that white boxlike area is the toilet. When the house door is open, the toilet has some privacy. Can you see the rain pouring in?

The main hall with tables, chairs and ancestral shrine.

The main hall with tables, chairs and ancestral shrine.

Main hall.

Main hall.

Kitchen with stove, cooking utensils and food models.

Kitchen with stove, cooking utensils and food models.

Stove.

Stove.

Baby's cradle and rather uncomfortable looking baby's pram.

Baby's cradle and rather uncomfortable looking baby's pram.

Storeroom for tools.

Storeroom for tools.

When I had finished looking at the museum, I returned towards the MTR. I wanted to go to Chai Wan Park. I knew the easiest way to get there was through exit D of the MTR, but I saw a sign outside the MTR and followed that by this time the rain was pelting down and I was tempted to just abandon going to the park all together. The route I took to the park involved me crossing a huge road, the Eastern Corridor I think, on an overhead walkway.

Chai Wan Park is really beautiful even in the rain, though it wasn't easy to take pictures without soaking my phone. If I have time, I may return in better weather. The park has quite a lot of sports facilities. It also has many, many water features such as ponds, fountains and waterfalls. It's a park in which you can climb up to many different features. I started by climbing up to the terrace garden. I'm sure some of the structures here are old, but there was no information about what they were. I also climbed up to the hilltop area which is topped with a sort of weather vane. Another area to climb to is the top of the cascade. The cascade was not functioning when I visited. The top of the cascade has a pyramid shaped glass structure and old canons. I could not see any information about where the canons came from. Either there was no information, or I was just missing everything as I was getting absolutely soaked even with an umbrella.

I walked, or more accurately paddled as the floor was pretty wet by then, around the park's many water features. There is a lily pond filled with turtles and fish. The turtles appeared to be happily enjoying the weather. There is a lovely model boat pond here, though no-one was using it. There is an area known as the channel fountain.

Entrance to Chai Wan Park.

Entrance to Chai Wan Park.

Terrace Garden.

Terrace Garden.

Terrace Garden.

Terrace Garden.

Lily pond.

Lily pond.

Lily pond.

Lily pond.

Looking down from the top of the cascade.

Looking down from the top of the cascade.

View over the lily pond from the cascade.

View over the lily pond from the cascade.

Pyramid at the top of the cascade.

Pyramid at the top of the cascade.

Canons at the top of the cascade.

Canons at the top of the cascade.

Canons and pyramid at the top of the cascade.

Canons and pyramid at the top of the cascade.

Model boat pond.

Model boat pond.

Channel fountain.

Channel fountain.

Weather vane.

Weather vane.

Fountains.

Fountains.

I was pleased to see it was time to get back on the train and head to North Point, because the weather was not really improving and I was pretty wet. I was meeting my friend Jason, who used to be my T.A. We decided to meet at at the bottom of the hill I used to walk down from work every day, and go to Villa Villa where we used to sometimes go and have a drink after work. Of course, Jason wasn't the only person I used to work with who walks down the hill, so I actually bumped into several others and got a row for not telling them I was coming or they would have joined us. No problem, I'll just have to go back again. It was lovely to catch up with Jason and get up to date on all the latest gossip. I could also grill him for information about the museum, as he is Hakka. Now that COVID is going down again here, I really need to catch up with a lot of people.

This beautiful little girl used to be in my class. Her mother is my friend and works in my old school.

This beautiful little girl used to be in my class. Her mother is my friend and works in my old school.

Villa Villa.

Villa Villa.

Jason is happy when he has a beer in his hand. Here he is double happy.

Jason is happy when he has a beer in his hand. Here he is double happy.

Selfie time.

Selfie time.

Selfie time.

Selfie time.

I wanted a photo where I didn't have a double chin. Jason says I look like I'm strangling myself.

I wanted a photo where I didn't have a double chin. Jason says I look like I'm strangling myself.

Finally, I went to the supermarket I used to always shop in after school and stocked up on some of the things I miss. Then I headed home. When I reached Sunny Bay Station, the sun was starting to set. It had finally stopped raining.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Sunset at Sunny Bay.

Posted by irenevt 07:55 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (6)

In Search Of Inspiration.

A Cheapskate's Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland.

sunny

Flame tree and shelter.

Flame tree and shelter.

Once again I decided not to go too far while Peter is still on quite a lot of meds, so I took the bus to Sunny Bay. I then boarded the special train with the Mickey Mouse ears which would take me to Disneyland.

Boarding the train.

Boarding the train.

And through the Mickey window....

And through the Mickey window....

Inside the train.

Inside the train.

I have been to Hong Kong Disneyland once, years ago. It is the only Disneyland I have ever been to and it was fun, but I have absolutely no desire to go back or ever visit another Disneyland. I'm sure I would feel differently if I had kids. The real reason I was heading towards Disneyland was not to go there, but to go to Inspiration Lake. This is a lovely lake set in a large park and it is free to enter. In fact, I intended to do only the things around Disneyland that I could do for free.

When I arrived at Disneyland, I knew that the fastest way to the lake was to follow Fantasy Road, but I headed in the opposite direction as I wanted to photograph the fountain outside Disneyland.

Fountain outside Disneyland.

Fountain outside Disneyland.

Fountain outside Disneyland.

Fountain outside Disneyland.

From the fountain, I could clearly see the entrance to Disneyland where most people were heading. Nowadays you must scan your leave home safe app to get in. I'm not sure if there are other requirements or not.

Entrance to Disneyland.

Entrance to Disneyland.

Entrance to Disneyland.

Entrance to Disneyland.

I had originally intended just to look at the fountain and then head to the lake, but I noticed a sign for the pier. I think we went there before, but our last visit here was so long ago, I can't actually remember. I think the original idea was that there would be lots of boats to Disneyland. There may be some, but I don't think the pier took off in the way it was intended to. On the walk to the pier, I passed many sign posts with pictures of Disney characters and several hedges cut into animal shapes. Best of all, there were lots more flame trees in full bloom.

Welcome to Disneyland Resort Hong Kong.

Welcome to Disneyland Resort Hong Kong.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

The Fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

The Fairies from Sleeping Beauty.

Topiary Dragon.

Topiary Dragon.

Fountain and Flame Trees.

Fountain and Flame Trees.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

It was quiet and peaceful at the pier. Most of the people around were sitting peacefully fishing. They had also come here without any intention of visiting Disneyland.

Disneyland Pier.

Disneyland Pier.

Disneyland Pier.

Disneyland Pier.

Disneyland Pier.

Disneyland Pier.

Looking back at the pier.

Looking back at the pier.

I had intended to walk straight back and head to the lake, but once again I was waylaid. This time it was because I noticed a waterfront promenade which passed directly in front of the Disneyland Hotels. I don't think this was built on my first visit. There are now three hotels next to Disneyland. Pretty sure on our first visit there was just one. The waterfront promenade provided great views of the hotels, but it also afforded wonderful views over Peng Chau and Discovery Bay.

The three hotels are: the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, Disney Explorers Lodge and Hotel Hollywood. I had a quick look and they get mainly good reviews online, though some people complain about the food and wait times for things. I noticed that each hotel has very beautiful, spacious gardens with lots of wide green lawns and flowering trees.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is supposed to look like a Victorian palace and has four hundred rooms. Apparently it has a garden maze in the shape of Mickey Mouse and an outdoor pool. It was the first hotel built here. It is closest to Disneyland and I think it is the most expensive of the three.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel.

Disney Explorers Lodge is an explorer themed hotel. It has seven hundred and fifty rooms, four different styles of gardens and an outdoor swimming pool. Apparently the hotel rooms are in four different blocks and each one is based on a different tropical climate, so there's an Asian area, an Oceanian area, a South American area and an African area.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Disney Explorers Lodge.

Hollywood Hotel is a glitzy and glamorous Hollywood themed hotel with six hundred rooms. It has a piano-shaped pool and a garden courtyard of vintage cars and famous landmarks.

Hollywood Hotel from Magic Road.

Hollywood Hotel from Magic Road.

In addition to the hotels, the promenade was lined by a wide variety of flowering trees. Most of them were frangipani trees. They were absolutely beautiful and they came in a wide variety of colours.

Screw pines.

Screw pines.

Screw pines.

Screw pines.

Cerbera manghas, also known as the sea mango.

Cerbera manghas, also known as the sea mango.

It looks beautiful, but apparently it is highly toxic. The leaves and fruits contain the potent cardiac glycoside cerberin, which is extremely poisonous if ingested.

It looks beautiful, but apparently it is highly toxic. The leaves and fruits contain the potent cardiac glycoside cerberin, which is extremely poisonous if ingested.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

I walked right to the end of the promenade which ended in a locked gate. I didn't mind as I was enjoying the views over Peng Chau and Discovery Bay where I live, though they were not especially clear views as it was a bit hazy. There was a little boat nearby with some local fishermen in it.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Close-up of small boat.

Close-up of small boat.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Looking towards Discovery Bay.

Instead of walking all the way back to the MTR station and then following Fantasy Road, I decided to follow Magic Road to Inspiration Lake. This was a walk of about two kilometres. It was well signposted. Close to the park entrance I found a beautiful tulip tree.

Magic Road.

Magic Road.

Tulip Tree.

Tulip Tree.

The Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre occupies around thirty hectares of land. It was opened in 2005 and is free to enter. In its centre is the twelve hectare Inspiration Lake. This is an artificial lake, which was built in conjunction with Disneyland. As well as being a leisure facility, the lake is apparently also used for irrigation. Near the lake there is also an arboretum with lots of wide green lawns. This is a good place for a picnic.

Sign for Inspiration Lake.

Sign for Inspiration Lake.

There are pedalos for hire at Inspiration Lake, though no-one was on them during my visit. They are probably more popular at weekends. It's also possible to hire a Surrey bike and cycle around the lake.

Pedalos on the lake.

Pedalos on the lake.

This park has toilets, a convenience store, a children's playground and a 1,500 metre jogging track. If I had gone the short route along Fantasy Road, Inspiration Lake is a fifteen minute walk from Disneyland Station. If you don't feel like walking, there is also a bus.

I noticed straight away that the waters of the lake were absolutely teeming with fish and turtles. This was especially true near the end where the Pedalos were. The water was very clean and clear.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Turtles.

Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

Fish and Turtles.

I decided I would stroll all the way around the lake. It was a Friday afternoon, so not the busiest of times. There were some people having picnics, others enjoying the fresh air. Some people had hired Surrey bikes and were cycling around. The lake has a water spout which wasn't on during my visit. There is a little island in the centre of the lake.

Boat Hire on Inspiration Lake.

Boat Hire on Inspiration Lake.

Pedalos on Inspiration Lake.

Pedalos on Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake with flowers.

Inspiration Lake with flowers.

Flowers and Inspiration Lake.

Flowers and Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Inspiration Lake.

Selfie at Inspiration Lake.

Selfie at Inspiration Lake.

Dragon Boats on the Lake.

Dragon Boats on the Lake.

I'm not sure if you are supposed to walk along this, but I did.

I'm not sure if you are supposed to walk along this, but I did.

I walked to the arboretum which always has lots of beautiful flowers. There were some unusual Golden Lotus Banana Plants and beautiful white flowers along the borders of the arboretum. In the centre there was a very ornate shelter nestling under a flowering flame tree. At the far end of the arboretum I found a lovely crepe myrtle tree. There were also lots of irises.

Golden Lotus Banana.

Golden Lotus Banana.

White flowers in the arboretum.

White flowers in the arboretum.

King's-mantle.

King's-mantle.

Shelter with flame trees in the arboretum.

Shelter with flame trees in the arboretum.

Shelter with flame trees.

Shelter with flame trees.

Shelter with flame trees.

Shelter with flame trees.

Walking Iris. They are called this as they self-propagate and so spread or 'walk' all over your garden.

Walking Iris. They are called this as they self-propagate and so spread or 'walk' all over your garden.

Spanish Iris.

Spanish Iris.

Walking Irises.

Walking Irises.

Crepe Myrtle Tree.

Crepe Myrtle Tree.

When I returned to the lake from the arboretum, I reached a pretty little jetty sticking out into the lake and passed a small island.There were two jetties on the lake. The second one was being used for a wedding photoshoot. This was a traditional western style white wedding. Nearby there was a second photoshoot going on. This was for an Indian wedding. I can honestly say I have never seen such colourful clothes. They were quite stunning.

Little Jetty.

Little Jetty.

Jetty and Island.

Jetty and Island.

Island in Inspiration Lake.

Island in Inspiration Lake.

Island in Inspiration Lake.

Island in Inspiration Lake.

Bride posing on the jetty.

Bride posing on the jetty.

White Wedding.

White Wedding.

Colourful Indian Wedding.

Colourful Indian Wedding.

Colourful Indian Wedding.

Colourful Indian Wedding.

It was a very hot day and although I had enjoyed my walk, I was pleased to return to the park entrance so I could return to the MTR as I was getting sunburnt. I took the short way back along Fantasy Road.

Fantasy Road Sign.

Fantasy Road Sign.

Mickey Mouse fence on Fantasy Road.

Mickey Mouse fence on Fantasy Road.

Colourful Plants on Fantasy Road.

Colourful Plants on Fantasy Road.

Azalea on Fantasy Road.

Azalea on Fantasy Road.

Eventually I reached the Disneyland Station and caught the train back to Sunny Bay. I was glad I came in the early afternoon as the train coming in was heaving, while my train back had lots of room.

Thank you for visiting.

Thank you for visiting.

Disneyland Station.

Disneyland Station.

Posted by irenevt 01:19 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

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

On nursing duty.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

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

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

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

Camelia Flower with raindrops in part A.

Camelia Flower with raindrops in part A.

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

Pond in the centre of the herb garden.

Pond in the centre of the herb garden.

Reflections in the pond.

Reflections in the pond.

Wild coffee in the herb garden.

Wild coffee in the herb garden.

Peppermint.

Peppermint.

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

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

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

Exercise Post.

Exercise Post.

Motivational Quotes.

Motivational Quotes.

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

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

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

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

Caribbean Coast looming over the park.

Caribbean Coast looming over the park.

Mist covered mountains.

Mist covered mountains.

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

Sea of Cranes.

Sea of Cranes.

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

Un Chau Flower Tunnel when I visited.

Un Chau Flower Tunnel when I visited.

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

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

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

Yellow hibiscus.

Yellow hibiscus.

Red hibiscus.

Red hibiscus.

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

Cheung Sha Wan Sitting Out Area.

Cheung Sha Wan Sitting Out Area.

Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

The streets of Cheung Sha Wan.

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

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

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

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

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

Front of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Front of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Ground floor of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Ground floor of the Jao Tsung-I Academy.

Statue of Jao Tsung-I.

Statue of Jao Tsung-I.

Beautiful pond on the ground floor of the academy.

Beautiful pond on the ground floor of the academy.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Water hyacinth.

Yellow Waterlily.

Yellow Waterlily.

Pink Waterlily.

Pink Waterlily.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Inside the exhibition centre.

Display relating to the centre being a customs post.

Display relating to the centre being a customs post.

Old boundary stone.

Old boundary stone.

Old photo of when the buildings were a customs post.

Old photo of when the buildings were a customs post.

Old photos of opium smokers.

Old photos of opium smokers.

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

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

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

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

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

Stairs from ground level to middle level.

Stairs from ground level to middle level.

Leave a message for luck.

Leave a message for luck.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Looking down on the ground floor from above.

Hotel accommodation.

Hotel accommodation.

Coffee shop on middle level.

Coffee shop on middle level.

House of Joy Restaurant.

House of Joy Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Decoration outside the restaurant.

Decoration outside the restaurant.

Piano.

Piano.

In the middle level.

In the middle level.

Floral Display.

Floral Display.

Bicycle decoration in middle level.

Bicycle decoration in middle level.

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

Looking over the middle level.

Looking over the middle level.

Looking at the middle level from the upper level.

Looking at the middle level from the upper level.

Shrine.

Shrine.

Heritage accommodation on upper level.

Heritage accommodation on upper level.

Heritage accommodation.

Heritage accommodation.

Old rickshaw outside the accommodation.

Old rickshaw outside the accommodation.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

Indian wedding.

View from the upper level.

View from the upper level.

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

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

On the walk down to Mei Foo.

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

Market.

Market.

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

Lai Chi Kok Park Sign.

Lai Chi Kok Park Sign.

Butterflies on the way to Lingnan Gardens.

Butterflies on the way to Lingnan Gardens.

Flowering Southern Magnolia Tree.

Flowering Southern Magnolia Tree.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Novelty bins in children's play area.

Old and Modern at Lingnan Gardens.

Old and Modern at Lingnan Gardens.

Turtles and Snakes.

Turtles and Snakes.

A turtle surveys his kingdom.

A turtle surveys his kingdom.

Lingnan Garden.

Lingnan Garden.

Shelter in Lignan Garden.

Shelter in Lignan Garden.

Window with bamboo.

Window with bamboo.

I got to see bougainvillea after all.

I got to see bougainvillea after all.

Gateways.

Gateways.

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

Tulip Tree.

Tulip Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

Flame Tree.

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

Bird statues.

Bird statues.

Birds and lotuses.

Birds and lotuses.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Lotus blossom.

Ponds and Lilypads.

Ponds and Lilypads.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

Reflections in a pond.

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

Walls and flowers.

Walls and flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Beautiful four seasons camelia flowers.

Purple blossom of a crepe myrtle tree.

Purple blossom of a crepe myrtle tree.

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

Posted by irenevt 03:12 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (8)

Health Matters.

Peter's next eye operation.

View at Sunset.

View at Sunset.

The COVID numbers put us off going back to the hospital with Peter for a while, but we finally decided he should have his left eye operated on. This eye is very badly damaged with glaucoma, so we were told the operation may not make a lot of difference. We decided any improvement at all, even slight, was probably worth it.

On the night before his operation, we decided to go out for dinner. We wanted to go to the Bounty Bar, which at one time was our local, but which has been closed for months, as all bars were shut down here due to COVID. They have recently been allowed to reopen. To our disappointment this one hadn't reopened, not sure if it will. Lots of businesses went under due to all the restrictions.

We decided we would go to Cali-Mex instead. Restaurants have recently gone back to normal working hours, so it felt wonderful being able to stay there past the witching hour of 6pm. Service and food are hit and miss in this restaurant. Actually this time we got excellent, very friendly service. Peter had fish sliders which he really liked. I had chicken enchiladas which was reasonably good, though not great. We drank Blue Girl beer, which was excellent and isn't that easy to find on draught here.

Peter with his fish sliders.

Peter with his fish sliders.

My chicken enchiladas.

My chicken enchiladas.

Next day we headed to Hong Kong Sanitarium Hospital in Happy Valley. We were not as scared as we were for the first operation. For that one the doctors had spent so long emphasising everything that could go wrong due to the glaucoma that we were absolutely terrified. Two doctors had refused entirely to carry out the operation saying the risks were too great. We had the same surgeon as last time, and she is wonderful, so we were perfectly happy.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Fortunately, the surgery went smoothly. Peter also woke up compos mentis this time. Last time he told the anaesthetist his name was Fred and denied ever having met me. We've been married for thirty-four years. He also shouted at the anaesthetist for having a bad bedside manner when he tried to wake him up last time. This time there seemed to be a general agreement just to let him sleep and he woke up normally.

It's a long journey home from the hospital, plus we knew we would have to go back there the next day, so we booked a night in the Regal Hong Kong Hotel in Causeway Bay instead of going home. The attraction was the hotel's proximity to the hospital, plus it offered a late check out till 4pm on the deal we booked. When we checked in, they tried to fob us off with a twelve o'clock check out, so we got really angry. Just what you need after surgery - a good fight!!! They readily agreed to changing our checkout till 2pm, but we weren't having that. We had no idea how long we'd have to wait in the hospital for all of Peter's checks, so with a two o'clock check out we'd probably have to actually check out before we left for the hospital to be on the safe side. Eventually we reached a stage where I was telling the receptionist I would never stay there again and she was telling me next time I must not ask for a late check out. Somehow it all got resolved and we won. We had a room till four p.m.

Last time we stayed in this hotel our room was all glass and had fantastic views. This time it was a bit darker and only had windows on one side. This was better for Peter's eyes anyway as bright light hurt them. It was a lovely room nonetheless, with a bed much bigger and much more comfortable than the one we have at home. We both slept really well.

Our room.

Our room.

View by day from room.

View by day from room.

View by day from room.

View by day from room.

View by day from corridor.

View by day from corridor.

View at Sunset.

View at Sunset.

Night time view.

Night time view.

Night time view.

Night time view.

Our deal included access to the club class lounge. Last time that was on the thirty-first floor with great views, snacks and alcohol you helped yourself to. This time there were renovations going on, so it had been moved to the ground floor and there was no alcohol in sight. At the risk of getting a reputation as the grumpiest guest ever, I went to complain. We were brought alcohol, so I feel I was on a winning streak. The food on offer was little tuna sandwiches, small hot beef pies and some cream cakes. It was all very nice.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Relaxing in the lounge.

Peter was too tired to go out for dinner so I went out and bought us ham and mustard sandwiches from Mark's and Spencers Food. We ate these in our room before getting an early night.

Next day the breakfast location was also different from last time. Most people seemed to come in and pour themselves a coffee, plus load up a paper bag with croissant and pastries to take away. Our deal included a hot cooked breakfast. I was tempted a bit by the idea of congee which I like, but in the end, decided it was so long since I'd had a full English breakfast I would have that. Of course, Peter had that, too, without congee ever passing through his mind.

Breakfast room.

Breakfast room.

Sporting his fetching eye shield.

Sporting his fetching eye shield.

Looking very serious with my breakfast.

Looking very serious with my breakfast.

After breakfast we had to jump in a taxi to the hospital. We were slightly late as it took us so long to find a taxi. It wasn't that there were no taxis, just nowhere for them to stop. Eventually we found a taxi rank near the MTR. We hardly ever use taxis so we are both totally rubbish at ever finding them. Everything seemed to be fine with Peter's eye and the pressure was nowhere near as high as last time.

One of the things I like about this hospital are its views over Happy Valley Race Course. There are lots of sports facilities in the middle of the grounds. There was a football match going on when we were there.

Looking over Happy Valley.

Looking over Happy Valley.

Looking over Happy Valley.

Looking over Happy Valley.

Looking over Happy Valley.

Looking over Happy Valley.

After the hospital we returned to the hotel and just took it easy till check out time. We were going to go home by MTR but a taxi pulled up outside the hotel as we were leaving, so we jumped in and took it to the ferry. This meant there was considerably less chance of Peter getting bumped or walked into on the way home.

The amazing thing about this hotel stay is that we both felt we had been away for ages. I was expecting to return to a big build up of mail. I think this is because we never ever go away anywhere at the moment. It really felt like we had had a substantial holiday.

Since then I've been on full-time nursing duties. The most exciting thing I've done recently was walk to the shops. On the way I passed some fantastic trees and beautiful birds. Unfortunately, I just had my phone not my camera. My camera has a good zoom, but my phone doesn't.

Flame tree.

Flame tree.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Flame tree against blue skies.

Bird of paradise flowers.

Bird of paradise flowers.

I think these are herons.

I think these are herons.

I think these are herons.

I think these are herons.

Since then it has rained torrentially every day. We cancelled going out to dinner yesterday due to the weather. Today I have to go to the shops for food but it has been thunder and lightning for the last five hours. The rain is non-stop. I don't mind the rain but I'm not going out in that lightning. The storm is making all the windows in our flat shake. It doesn't seem to be passing. Oh well, looks like I'm having a day in.

Now that it has finally stopped raining, I went back and photographed the flame tree with my camera. There were no herons around, but there were plenty of turtles.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Flame Tree Flowers.

Turtles.

Turtles.

Turtles.

Turtles.

Passing Boats.

Passing Boats.

Posted by irenevt 05:21 Archived in Hong Kong Comments (11)

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