Monthly Archives: November 2012

A not-so-secret garden. Also, a Buddhist nunnery.

Mostly a photo tour today, but a good one.

Last weekend, Cate and I took a short jaunt on the MTR, just three quick stops east on the Kwun Tong MTR line to Diamond Hill.

We were heading to two excellent sights, the Nan Lian Garden and the Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery. Both of these are relatively recent creations, but they’re both done in ninth-century Tang style: impressively solid, dark-timbered buildings that surround spacious courtyards and pools. Oh, and the buildings don’t use any nails. (The Garden has a nice exhibit showing how the timbers are made to interlock. The short answer: with an exceptional level of craftsmanship.) Continue reading

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Filed under Kowloon

China under construction

Last week Cate and I went on a short adventure to mainland China. Zhuhai is just across the Pearl River delta from Hong Kong, adjacent to Macau. It’s about a 70-minute ferry ride away. Oh look, here’s a map.

The first moment of hilarity was on the ferry ride over. China is well known as a producer and purveyor of fakes—errr, replicas. Copies. Tribute creations. You can’t walk down the main touristy thoroughfares of Hong Kong without offers of “copy watch, copy handbag,” and it’s even more out in the open and ubiquitous in the shopping centers of Shenzhen.

While it’s one thing to see knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags and Rolexes on offer, there’s something extra hilarious about the audio system in the Chu Kong Passenger Transport Co., Ltd.‘s ferry sporting an iTunes logo on its “MyGica” player.

Where have I seen that icon before?

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Filed under China, travel

Fire safety, Chinese-style

We found a couple of interesting lunch-box-sized containers in our Zhuhai, China hotel room last week.

I don’t read Chinese, but I’m guessing this is what it says: “In case of terrifying, metropolis-consuming conflagration, calmly put on this aluminum respirator and a thick, acid-wash denim jacket. Stand still. Breathe normally.”

The images of skyscrapers are for scale. The person wearing the fire helmet is actually 97 stories tall.

Fair enough.

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Strange banners

In the past few weeks, some puzzling banners have appeared in the high-traffic area of Tsim Sha Tsui. (For those interested, that’s pronounced “Chim Shah Choy” by Anglophones, which is actually a pretty good approximation of the Cantonese pronunciation.)

Labeled as the work of the harmless-sounding “Hong Kong Youth Care Association” (which has this benign website), the banners sport very strongly-worded slogans about Falun Gong. Continue reading

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Greyhound comes to town

There’s a new restaurant under construction in our mall. It’s called Greyhound Café.

Two things about this are noteworthy.

  1. They will serve Thai food. I like.
  2. They have no problem with trademark infringement. Continue reading

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Filed under food

Sheung Wan and Man Mo Temple

Last weekend we explored a bit around Sheung Wan, on Hong Kong Island. Sheung Wan is one of the old neighborhoods of Hong Kong Island. While the British were developing Central (just east of Sheung Wan), the Chinese population of 19th-century HK were developing Sheung Wan. Here’s a little map for you.

In Sheung Wan is Possession Point and Possession Street, which mark (you can probably see this coming) the spot where the British formally took possession of Hong Kong in 1841 near the end of the First Opium War. Behold:


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Filed under Hong Kong Island, temples

Banqueting

A couple of weekends ago we had the unique opportunity to attend the City University Banquet. This is an annual event put on by the Student Union, largely as a fundraiser but also in large part as a hell-raiser. (Hey now!) One of the open spaces, normally a rather staid taxi drop-off point near the gym and the main administration building, gets transformed into a giant sea of tables, with a stage at one end and massive sound and lighting gear all over. Here’s an overview:

On most days, this space is basically empty.

Some serious lighting. Some seriously loud audio.

Tickets to attend aren’t super expensive, but they aren’t super cheap either. My office purchased an entire table, so we were there with a bunch of colleagues.

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