Category: Hong Kong

Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門), Hong Kong

Lei Yue Mun (鯉魚門), Hong Kong

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Been to Hong Kong so many times, thought that I had seen all the tourists spots from Hong Kong but I was surprised when my friend took me to take the tram or “Ding Ding”  operating in Hong Kong. The trams traverse from the Northern part of Hong Kong Island on a East-West direction, they are cheap, clunky and slow. It was unique experience and a sightseeing attraction on its own. At only HK2.30  per ride, one of the bargain deals.

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The rackety double deckers have been traveling these routes for over a century.  They have been very much a part of the Hong Kong landscape and culture and are beloved by the locals who still use them to carry on their daily routines such as getting to work, go shopping, or the races. So riding on one of these relics gave me the unique glimpse of everyday Hong Kong street life, as we were traveling literally close to the ground.

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The locals refer to them as the “Ding Ding”, because of the constant noisy chiming along the way.Awed to see the locals jammed on the tracks, busy with their marketing even though the “Ding Ding” chimed it way toward the tracks. After our tram trip we took a bus to Lei Yue Mun.

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Lei Yue Mun “鯉魚門”or Carp Channel is named after a short channel between Tseung Kwan O and Victoria Harbour separating Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula.The Eastern getaway into the harbour is now renowned for hosting the world famous Seafood Bazaar. We simply go to market and pick up any seafood we fancy and the chef in the restaurants will cook the seafood with a  charge.

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Lei Yue Mun is one of the few places in Hong Kong where you can still see the stilt houses or Pang UK “棚屋”. It is a traditional form of house developed by fishing people when they moved onto the land, but wanted to maintain the feel and advantages of living on a boat.

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A great place for a day out with a seafood meal and a visit to the Grade II historic Tin Hau Temple, The Wish Tree, Lighthouse and the Museum of Coastal Defense. The new buildings merging with the old traditional stilt houses,  enhancing the little fishing village and bought lot of prospective investors to live at this gorgeous town.

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We finished our day with a buffet steamboat dinner in one of the restaurant, enjoyed an happy ending of the day with my friends and had gained an insight into the locals lifestyle.

 

Wang Chung Stream (橫涌石澗)

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We met with our friends at Tai Po Bus Station and took bus 275 to the Bride’s pool bus terminal. Followed the road toward the Tai Po Station about 10 minutes walk, there is a small stream with a sign “No Enter” go through the steps and about a few meters we reached the stream. Our friends are experience stream trekkers and every weekend they will escape the busy city to the rural urban reserve for stream trekking.

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This weekend they planned to stream trek at  Wang Chung Stream so we can enjoyed ourselves with nature and has a dip in the waterfall pool to cool off the hot humid  day. Wang  Chung Stream is one of the most popular streams in Hong Kong. The entrance is on the Bridge’s Pool Road . It is easily accessible and hiker-friendly. It embraces picturesque landscapes with majestic waterfalls and clear water pools. An idea way to spend a relaxing summer afternoon in the stream and leave the hassle in the city.

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We had a mini break at one of the medium fall and enjoyed ourselves at the pool of the fall. There are bountiful  of nature such as fish, mayfly, butterflies and greenery forest surrounded the waterfalls. We had to scramble up the big boulders to ascent up to the waterfall.  The next waterfall is Dragon Ball, my son and the boys enjoyed rock jumping into the pool. This is a difficult level of stream trek and don’t take risk and get hurt.  We had experience stream trekkers to guide us for this hike.

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A spectacular view from the top of the waterfall, it is serene and peaceful, the forest merging into different shades of green to black.The big boulders create a backdrop of mythical landscape around the stream.  It been advisable not to trek up the cliff of Dragon Ball Fall, as climbers have to cross the waterfall at the junction of the upper and lower half.  Someone did fall off the cliff and lost their life.

 

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There is another medium stream cascade and the pool is deep enough for swimming. We spend a few hours at the reserve to take photos of the wildlife and landscape. At last, we came upon a bridge on Pat Sin Leng Nature Trail which takes us back to the Bride’s Pool Road. We didn’t go near to the Bride’s pool waterfall as there were lot of Filipino maids enjoying the fall. We can changed our wet clothing at the toilet near the bus terminal and every half an hour there is a bus to the Tai Po Bus Station. There isn’t any bus to the Bride’s Pool Terminal except on Sunday only.

 

IMG_5473.1_edited-1Once we reached the Tai Po Bus Station, had our dinner at the Tai Po Market. What a wonderful ending for a perfect day. We hardly spend any monies for this trek, bought our drinks and prepared homemade sandwiches for lunch. Love the Hong Kong citizens’ method of keeping fit and healthy, exciting and adventurous lifestyles  which I have totally miss when I back in England.

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Sam Mun Tsai New Village (三門仔新村), Hong Kong

Sam Mun Tsai New Village (三門仔新村), Hong Kong

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Our last day in Hong Kong we went to Sam Mun Tsai New Village (三門仔新村), from Tai Po take bus 74  to the village bus terminal. Every half an hour there is a bus to the Tai Po terminal station.

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The fishermen now residing in Sam Mun Tsai New Village, they used to live on boats at the original Sam Mun Tsai which is close to Tai Kau of Luk Heung. The original Sam Mun Tsai is now on the northeastern shore of Plover Cove Reservoir. They were relocated to their current residence in 1966, due to the construction of the Plover Cove Reservoir. At the time, only 36 families were moved to housing on land. In 2006 to 2007 the government conducted an extensive renovation work to the village.

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Amazed to learn the members of the Hakka Chan (陳) clan  moved from today’s Shenzhen and settled in Yim Tin Tsai during the 19th century. Other members of the clan settled in Yim Tin Tsai,   Sai Kung and  Ping Yeung and Ta Kwu Ling, North District.  My late mother-in-law came from the Hakka Chan (陳) clan, to my knowledge, she used to work in the construction site carrying the basket loads of cement and bricks all day long.

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It kinda of cool to walk around the houses built in stilted with modern transportation merging with the old. There is a small light house on the pier.  Behind the church, there are some seafood restaurants which open in the night.  With the  dark grey sky and water, some  boats were moored  around on the sands. This place was so serene and peaceful and the mountains form a dramatic backdrop to the little village. Opposite to the sea is the majestic Pat Sin Leng mountains and the giant size statue is the Goddess of Mercy facing the Sam Mun Tsai Village.

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Plentiful of wildlife such as egret and crabs can be seen, busy feasting at this sea. Totally fascinated with this urban village, it is so rich in history there ain’t any tourists or visitors at all. There is a trail link to  the island of Ma Shi Chau in the east by a tombolo that is only accessible when the tide is low.

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An urban fishing village in a Lonely Planet and would recommend  for anyone if you happen to be in Hong Kong, this village worth a visit and sunbathing at here but it does not has a public toilet.

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Lamma Island (南丫島), Hong Kong

Lamma Island (南丫島), Hong Kong

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Our 1sr  attempt to visit Lamma Island was not successful,  we reached the Central Pier around 2.30 p.m., it was too late to take a ferry over there and be back within 2 or 3  hours.

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The next day, we were packed and started our journey from Tai Po, took a bus to the Central Pier, the bus journey took about one and half hours to reach the Central Pier.  There is a ferry leaving  every half an hour. The ferry took about half an hour to reach the Yung Shue Wan Pier.

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Lamma Island has a very different pace from Hong Kong Island. There are no cars on the island with  lot of parked bicycles at the pier. All apartments around here must be built with a maximum 700 square ft per floor.  The weekend attracts hoards of Hong Kong people and the ferry docks the town gets very full quickly.

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There are a lot of Westerners living on the island and people tend to come and live here for an alternative lifestyle rather than modern living which makes it great for relaxation.

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There are three villages on Lamma Island, the main one is Yung Shue Wan in the north. It is the main town where most of the island’s population lives and connected to the central piers.

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There are lot of seafood restaurants at the sea front and the price of the seafood dishes were very expensive compared those in Hong Kong. We had  black beans clams and   seafood noodles for lunch which cost us around HK$350.00. The 2nd village is Sok Kwu Wan in the South is basically a street lined with large seafood restaurants. It is connected by ferry to Aberdeen and the Central Piers.

 

The 3rd village, Mo Tat Wan is a tiny village to the east with a few houses and a couple of restaurants. The ferry from Aberdeen  and Sok Kwu Wan stops here, enjoy a large lunch and stroll over here before catching the ferry back. We walked from the main village, Yung Shue Wan to the Lamma Winds, a wind farm. There are lot of signs showing the directions and how long it take to reach the destination.  It was an enjoyable stroll as there wasn’t a lot of tourists around here.

 

it took us another 25 minutes to reach the Hung Shing Ye Beach, It was overshadowed by a coal fired Power Plant in the background. There were lot of locals and tourists swimming and suntanning on the beach. Followed the platform leading up to the mountains, it took us about 45 minutes to reach to the top. We were lucky as there was a young lad selling drinks and fresh pineapples. We bought some cans and slices of pineapples from him.

 

Enjoying ourselves with the fresh fruit and water, with a serene and peaceful scenic view of the fishing village. Totally enchanted with these gorgeous and beautiful villages and it took us about 45 minutes  to reach the Mo Tat Wan Pier, we took a 5.30 p.m.  ferry to Aberdeen.  A beautiful and gorgeous fishing village, there are lot of nature at the wind farm and awesome scenic view of the villages.

 

Avenue of Stars (星光大道) Hong Kong

Avenue of Stars (星光大道) Hong Kong

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I had extended my stay in Singapore and now back in Hong Kong to meet my husband and son. We went to Tsim Sha Tsui,  hope to visit the art gallery at one of the conference hall next to the Avenue of Stars.  There were some sculptures displayed in front of the building but no art exhibitions being held at the time.Been told by one of the staff from the Art shop, this place will be closed soon for renovation.

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We went to Avenue of Stars (星光大道), models on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is located along the Victoria Harbour waterfront. It honours celebrities of Hong Kong Film Industry.

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There were some sculptures of the famous actors and actress who had passed away, walking along the harbour waterfront and enjoyed myself taking some street photos. When we went back to Hong Kong in January 2016, this place was  being closed for renovation till 2018.

 

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This is the first time I had ever seen immigrate begging  on the street  in Hong Kong.

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After our walk we went back to Tai Po Market for our dinner, we arranged to meet our son at the train station and walk to the market as it is only 5 minutes walk from the station. At the 3rd level of the Market the food stall open late in the night for the locals.

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We ordered 4 dishes and the foods were tasty and gorgeous until I had accidentally chewed a used cigarette butt in the clam dish.  The worker immediately  cancelled the dish out of the bill. With this incident happened, all of us had lost our appetite for the food and settled our bill and went to another shop for our dessert.

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The foods in the Market stalls are cheaper than the shops or restaurants due to the high rental problems in Hong Kong. After this incident we were more caution food.

 

 

Hakka celebrate Chinese New Year, Hong Kong

Hakka celebrate Chinese New Year, Hong Kong

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I had my first opportunity to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Tai Po, Hong Kong. My husband’s brothers and sisters were all back home for my father-in-law funeral in 2015 before the Chinese New Year. the ethnic group of the Hakka People have suffered huge controversy. Historically, the Hakka in Hong Kong were considered as outcasts.  The population of Hakka has appeared a rapid decline and their traditional culture and language are under threat.

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None of our children are able to speak Hakka language,  with just a minority of  older Hakka locals in the community.  Every year this community will organize the Chinese New Year  feast  for the local Hakka, each family can either give free donation to this good cause.

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We reached the rural temple in the village, hundreds of tables  were set and ready for all the locals to enjoy themselves with the traditional Hakka Poon Choi.  Before the feast started the villager headmaster  will lead the lion dance into the temple to pay their respect to the God, and he gave a red packet  for the lions to catch it.

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There was a stage for troupe of dancers and singers to perform whilst the Hakka locals enjoyed themselves with Poon Choi and a good gossip.  Poon Choi is a traditional dish originated from Hong Kong village Cantonese Cuisine. It is served in wooden porcelain or metal basins due to its size and communal style of consumption. Poon Choi consist of the best food gathered together, cooked it in the basin and served it to a table of 12 people.

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It was awe inspiring to see the rural temple come to life with bright colors, and there were laughter and smiles from the locals,  all their friends, members of relatives and guests. If you happen to be in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year,  go for it as it is a amazing  experience and the Poon Choi are so yummy.

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After our Poon feast, we went to Ah San to see our ancestors’ land, the place where our ancestors’ land fall in decline and in  need of new buildings to replace it soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sharp Island or Kiu Tsui Chau -橋咀洲

Sharp Island or Kiu Tsui Chau -橋咀洲

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We took a bus to Sai Kung District, surprised to the floating market at the pier or harbour of Sai Kung.  It is cheaper to see the volcanic rocks by ferry than follow the trips by Administration of Sai Kong District. By the ferry we pay $50HK Dollars.

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It is believed that 140 million years ago a volcano was located in Sai Kung. Sharp Island was on the margin of the caldera.  This is probably the reason for widely distributed different volcanic rocks from different geological periods around Sharp Island.

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Sharp Island or Kiu Tsui Chau –橋咀洲 is the largest island in the Kiu Tsui Country Park located at Port Shelter of Sai Kung. Local go there for BBQ, fishing, swimming and diving. Sharp Island is under the Sai King District.

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The sea currents near Sharp Island pushing sand and gravel near the shore. After several years they formed a tombolo, a natural bridge made of different sized rocks and sand connecting Sharp Island and Kiu Tau. At high tide the tombolo is submerged in water and can only be seen when the tied goes out.

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During our ferry ride the captain  give a brief description of the different rocks formations of this place. The rocks are amazing beautiful similar to some of the rocks formations and textures of the craters that I have seen in Iceland.

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The trip took about half an hour and we alighted at Sharp Island. There are several walking trails leading to the beach, tombolo unfortunately for us, it is high tide and it is submerged in the water, and also up the hills.  We enjoyed ourselves at the beach but it is too hot and humid, so we follow the trail up to the hills.

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It take about half an hour to reach the top of the hills and we can see the island with the light house and also the surrounding islands around the Sharp Island.

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The High island Geo Trail about 1 km long, is an easy level walk. The trail starts at the East Dam, and visitors can enjoy marvelous landforms along the trail, such as hexagonal rock columns, faults, distorted rock columns and an intrusive dyke. Unfortunately we were unable to covered all the sight-seeing of this island.

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We only managed to visit The Sharp Island Geo Trail about 500 m, along the trail we can see various igneous rocks such as volcanic breccla, rhyolite and quartz monzonite.

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I strongly recommend this Sharp Island to all my friends if you happen to be in Hong Kong, just make a day a this gorgeous place and there aren’t lot of tourists around this island. A fantastic place for trekking, sunbathing and diving.

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