Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hong Kong

Hot and sweaty, filled with plants, flowers, birds and goldfish.

We all loved it and are desperate to go back ASAP, as we only had 4 full days there are had to shorten our excursions due to the heat, and the nap requirements of the small girl.

I miss the hotel housekeeping service, the smell of flowers, the bubble tea, the fabulous exchange rate, the amazing food..........what's not to like?

Here's a brief look:

9 hours on the plane was not so bad. Hazie loved the food trays, give her a bowl, a spoon and some food and she is amused. Leo watched endless movies, and didn't take his headphones off at all, even to go to the toilet! He was living like a Lord the whole time.

Hong Kong is the home of Tiger Balm! Loads of lovely packaging in cabinets.

We didn't really have much blue sky while we were there, it was rather hazy due to smog and weather. This was our first day, we didn't see sky like this again. Looking from Tsim Sha Tsui over to Central.

Sadly for me the traditional junk boats are not used any more, I love the silhouettes of their sails. This is the last remaining one, and it's used as a tourist boat. We saw it on our ferry ride over to Wan Chai to visit the Art Fair.

Gorgeous painting, I love the colours and expressive style, and of course the beautiful brunette.

Classic Hong Kong taxis - the Toyota Crown. The doors open for you, and the fares are super cheap. Nearly every day we caught taxis and they were rarely over $4 or $5 AUD.

From the tram ride up to the Peak, holy shizzle that ride is steep! I had no idea it was going to be so freaky, I was white knuckled on the ascent. A gorgeous shady walk at the top, we let Hazie off the leash and she loved it, stomping around in her summer dress. She was a huge hit with the locals, everybody wanted to talk to her and blow her kisses, take her photo, and Leo got lots of pats on the head.

The Bird Market in Mongkok, we went first thing in the morning. Hong Kong is a night time city, with most shops and museums not opening till 10 or 11 am, and staying open till 9 or 10 pm. With Hazel waking at 6 am we were desperate for things to do, and were pleased that the Bird Market opened early.

Here are some gents talking shop. The birds were all song birds, in amazing decorative cages with porcelain drinking/food bowls. All the men there were so proud of their birds, toting them around and getting admiring glances from the other stall holders. There were bags of live grasshoppers for sale, Leo was enthralled!

Always people sweeping, cleaning, maintaining, with these traditional bamboo brooms. So many street plants, even in the public toilets there were plants everywhere. We got around on lots of aerial footpaths, with planter boxes of flowers along the whole way.

Flower Market is right next to the Bird Market, and is literally a whole block full of florists and suppliers. So darn cheap, the orchids were to die for, I wish I could have brought so many plants home.

It reminded me of the Flower District in New York City, and I was wondering why we don't have areas like this in Melbs?

Typical street in Mongkok, much less touristy, market stalls everywhere and loads of street food too. Whole blocks devoted to a particular industry, electronics, sportswear etc.

The Goldfish Market was a block full of pet shops, some upstairs to house all the giant aquariums, but some on the street. I have always kept goldfish, and was smitten with the amount of fish in Hong Kong. I want a tank in every room!

I love the appreciation of aesthetics and feng shui, people beautifying their environments regardless of how posh or gritty they were.

Bamboo scaffolding. We were shocked to see it at first, on the most serious of building sites. But as we thought about it, it makes perfect sense. The fastest growing plant on earth, sustainable, light, cheap, flexible, strong.

This was the only day we didn't take the pram. Kowloon was easy in the pram, apart from the weekends when it gets really packed with people. When we went to Mongkok we took the backpack, which was really sweaty, and Hazel fell asleep on my pony tail, which meant I couldn't move my head. I was fairly grumpy in this pic. But some shopping at Muji soon fixed that!

Giant Buddha sculpture in TST, made from a few different original statues.

More to come, a few pics of the Art Fair, and other musings.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Oohh I love Hong Kong too - so much to see and do. I love the contrast of the old parts of Hong Kong with traditional markets, and then all the new shiny buildings. Am jealous of your shopping trip to Muji too!!