Hi! I’m back

Hi! I’m back and updating my sculpture on Peace Earth which exhibited in May 2016.

Due to my computers broke down since March 2016 and finally managed to a get a new one on December 2016. I have miss out so much of my life, as busy travelling, taking photos and explore the lonely planets till I finally find out my interest in photography is wildlife and will go […]

via Peace Earth — Catherine Tan Portfolio

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Hollyhead, Anglesey

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We started our journey early in the morning to Hollyhead, Anglesey. When we reached there strong wind and rain beat us away from Holly head. We took our lunch at the shopping mall and did some shopping at the Tesco.  Once we had our lunch we drove around the town and the busy ferry port.

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Unfortunately, the bad weather of grayish with misty clouds covered the surrounding landscape.  Our spirit wasn’t flatten by the bad weather, the scenic view from isle and the harbor were beautiful and enchanting.

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After cruising around for an hour or two, we drove back to the National Park of Bala and enjoying the beautiful Welsh countryside scenic view.  We reached the hotel around 4.00 p.m. and cooked an early dinner so some of my friends can relax and have and early night.

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Once we had finished our dinner, we decided to go out to explore Conwy  Fall which about 15 minutes drive from our hotel.  Our trip to Wales was meant to be free and easy due to my friend, he is 83 years old and we wanted him to relax end enjoy the Pretty  Welsh Country Scenic View. The fabulous Conwy Fall will be in my next post soon.

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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.

 

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

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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.

 

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Singapore

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We met our friends at Chinatown, Singapore and she took us to try the dessert in one of the shop in Chinatown.  I had ordered a mango dessert and a mango Chee cheong fun, it was delicious but  a bit pricey for these two desserts.

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The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is 5 minutes walk from the shop. The entrance lead to the main hall with high ceiling, it is a four storey temple. There is a bell tower and drum tower at the same level. It was a prayer day, the monks and the followers were busy chanting and praying to the Gods.

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There is a solid gold two metre stupa on the Fourth floor where  the sacred relic is kept. At the top of the roof, there is a pagoda with a large prayer wheel. The temple was built in a style based on the Buddhist mandala integrated with the Buddhism of the Tang dynasty.

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On the third floor is the Buddhist Culture Museum with more than 300 Buddhist artifacts from all around Asia. The little tea house is on the second floor,  where we can enjoy and relax with a cup of tea and some vegetarian cuisine.

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It is a memorable experience of culture, art and history of the Buddhism. Once we finished our tour around  the temple,  we went to the People Park Centre to enjoy the local cuisine at  the food court. There are a lot of shopping malls and day or night markets in the China Town. The local shops and market stalls selling  Chinese art, goodies and dried herbs and foods.

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At night the Chinatown became a busy hub where the locals and visitors come here for the  famous local cuisine and shopping. All the shops and market stalls close at 10.00 p.m.daily. Singapore is a city of shopping, clubbing and foods paradise, it is a clean and safe city to be out enjoying all night till morning.

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Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

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Every year we went back to Singapore, my sister will get a room for 3 days at Marina Bay Sands Hotel for us.  In 2015 we went back home, We stayed for 3 days. It worth to splash some of the money at this 4 stars hotel, as we  totally relaxed ourselves at the hotel pool any time of the day,  there are also restaurants on top of the hotel where  you can have your meal without leaving the poolside.

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There are several shopping malls  link to the hotel and a food court with international  cuisines to suit everyone taste buds.  The price of food from the food court is slightly more expensive than the normal food courts or hawker center.

 

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I love it here especially my friends will come to the hotel to meet me and stay to talk till late into the night. We  enjoyed the musically fountains show around 7.45 to 8.00 p.m. every night or stay  at the infinity pool to enjoy the the lighting display. There is a  MRT train station within walking distance. It is so easy and convenience as everywhere there is sign board to show the direction to the tourists attraction spots, within easy access of walking distance, buses or trains.

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I found the cost of foods at the hotel here was still cheaper for the foods we paid for in Hong Kong. The standard of living in Singapore is much lower than in Hong Kong.  A city of  shopping and food paradise, if you want to sunbath there are several beaches in Singapore to enjoy sunbathing.

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