Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31: Hong Kong

Today is the first day of the Lunar/Chinese New Year! Have some tea!

I was invited to the family I was staying with's celebrations at the family matriach's home. As part of the tradition, good wishes for the new year are given, in order of age, along with the exchange of "red packets", with some money inside the packets.

Then the food. Lots and lots of food.

And then mahjong. No idea how to play it...

A beautiful, warm day.

Chinese New Year is like Christmas and New Years all rolled into one. Family and friends come to pay respects and have tea and desserts, family dinners, games, and well wishes all around. It is a very joyous and wonderful time to be in Asia!

My haul of red packets - a surprise to be sure.

About $175!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 30: Hong Kong

Nothing happened today of any note. It was a good day.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29th: Hong Kong

Another day of relative calm, and more decorations for the New Year!

Did I say calm? I meant a day of terror - cable car to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island.

I'm supposed to get into that thing, and ride where, how high up?

All. The way up there!? Did I mention I'm afraid of heights?

Okay, so it wasn't all that bad. View of the Hong Kong Airport was cool.

But the way back is also in the cable cars...

Disney-like village of gift stores and food stalls at the top, as you walk to the Buddha.

Collection of cable cars from around the world.

And there it is, the Tian Tan Buddha.

Up these stairs...yeah...

It's quite impressive.

View to the South.

Buddha butt.

And then back down the stairs.

A view to the east from Lantu Island. Looks like they are building a bridge - maybe all the way over to Macau?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28th: Hong Kong

Another day of doing not much of anything. Drinks at an Italian Restaurant/Bar that was open to the skyline was nice.

Then dinner with a friend of a friend from Providence in Causeway Bay at an Indian Restaurant. 

This crosswalk is one of the largest in the world.

Two walls of thousands of people meet and collide in the middle of this crosswalk. Impressive that no one gets maimed or injured!

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27th: Hong Kong

Today was a rest day again, just a little bit of shopping, mostly for myself. A ride at the back of one of the trams gave me a good vantage of one of the brake wheels.

This is a toy store.

A long, narrow toy store that carried ridiculous amounts of Tomica toy cars. Tomica is the Japanese version of Matchbox. I was in heaven. 

The street markets were full of people buying all sorts of things for the upcoming New Year Celebration.

Time for some more Hong Kong food. Yum!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26th: Hong Kong

After a whirlwind trip to Vietnam, it was odd to be back in Hong Kong and realizing that a rest day was in order. After all, Hong Kong is still a new, exciting place with so much to offer. After being deathly ill, and traveling from one end of the country to another, however, my body just couldn't take much more. The day was nice, however, so lunch in the seaside expat Sai Kung wasn't too much.

On the way to eat, I passed this...reminds me of home a little!

Jaspa's had excellent food - poached salmon on a "bed".

Looking out at Inner Port Shelter harbor.

Looking back from the pier at Sai Kung proper.

Then it was off to the Hong Kong Museum of History, one of my favorite museums of all time.

Hong Kong junk, a traditional boat for fishing, and living.

Life size replicas of the Chueng Chau Bun Festival  bun towers. Young HK boys and men would race up the structure to grab the highest bun - the higher the better luck you would have for the year.

The most impressive part of the Museum is the full size replica of the HK waterfront wharf...

...and a typical HK street from the earlier part of last century.

The street even had shops from the era. These were not replicas - often when a traditional shop was about to close down, the Museum would buy everything in the store, from the shelves to the goods on the shelves and reinstall it in the museum as a reminder of what HK used to be like.

One of the trams in it's original glory.

One of the streets on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong, light up like a circus.