Monday, September 24, 2012

Views of Hong Kong

I visited Hong Kong in the summer and would like to share some photos with you. It is 15 years since the handover from the British back to the Chinese, and on the surface it has not changed much. The economy is still doing well, and more and more high rise buildings can be seen.

The traditional mixes with the modern, western lifestyle mixes with eastern lifestyle. Maybe there are less expats now and more mainland Chinese. Nevertheless, it is still a good place to relax after a long trip in mainland China, or to stopover first to have a taste of the Orient before you go on a long trip to the mainland.

This is a view of Hong Kong island, the main business district. You might be able to spot the I. M. Pei designed Bank of China building on the left background...look out for the triangles!

A bit further east is Wanchai, with the bird-like convention centre in the foreground left. You can still see traditional junks sailing through the harbour.

Here is a child's impression of Hong Kong island looking down at it from the Peak. You can see the Bank of China building and the convention centre.

This is taken on the Star Ferry ride from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon peninsula - so many new high rise buildings.

You can see the original clock tower at the pier. It belonged to the original Kowloon-Canton Railway Staion and was built in 1915. Behind it, you can see the pink coloured building which is the HKG Cultural Centre, where the very successful Annual Arts Festival is held in February.

Hong Kong - Asia's World City

Back on the island side, there is the longest outdoor covered elevator in the world, (800m or 2600 ft), linking the business district Central to Mid-Levels, where house prices seem to increase steeply the higher you go! The elevator was opened in 1993.Yes, you're right it only goes in one direction, so of course downhill in the mornings and uphill after 10.30am

All sorts of businesses can be seen along the route. Here along Hollywood Road, there are many antique shops.

They may seem similar to what we can buy in Panjiayuan Dirt Market but the prices are much higher!

Squeezed in among the dense apartment blocks is Man Mo Temple, the oldest buddhist temple in Hong Kong (built in 1841).

There are small cafes selling cooling drinks for the summer, made from old Chinese recipes, and all good for you.

There is a street full of Chinese medicine shops. How many of the herbs on sale can you recognise?

Have you heard of cordyceps...better known as caterpillar fungus.....animal or vegetable? In Chinese it's name can be translated as "winter insect - summer grass". It is very popular and very expensive, maybe because it is thought to be a very powerful medicine, as well as being an aphrodisiac! It is found in Tibet, and I remember buying some for my mother when I visited there in 2005. It has increased many times in price since then.

These also look like insects but in fact it is American ginseng.

Birds nest on the top and a huge shark's fin below.

This shop was selling medicines made from dozens of different herbs which had been ground into powder. They could make up treatments for any aches and pains, sleeplessness, failing eyesight, prostrate problems, cancer, diabetes, name it, they had a remedy for it, handed down over the generations.
I was more interested in the powders they combined for making facials.

Hong Kong is a place for making money, so no problem to change your dollars.

It is also a more open region than the mainland, so there were all sorts of books about various political leaders that we wouldn't see in Beijing. Favourite topic at that time was of course Bo Xilai.

And another sign of openness is girlie magazines openly on sale. We don't see much of these in Beijing, but we do get the real thing!

1 comment:

  1. Wow. That is very a nice view of Hong Kong. So wonderful. I so love that place and would like to visit there. Thanks for this.