Nov 23, 2010

Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery

"Get thee to a nunnery!" haha anyways I did go to a nunnery in Hong Kong, more precisely Diamond Hill. First I went to the Nan Lian Gardens, there were amazing trees, flowers, rocks, waterfalls, etc. It was awesome! There was just so much stuff there to look at. The Coy fish were so huge and fat, obviously very well fed! lol! The gardens connect onto the Nunnery by way of a lotus pond terrace that you climb many stairs up to. Once you get into the nunnery they have the stupid no photos rule once again. I did however manage to sneak a few here and there, but unfortunately not the massive golden structures at the very end. They were huge and amazing!!! Anyways I did get photos and then I listened to a cute little old lady that wanted to explain all the facets of Buddhism to me. She was very sweet and then she gave me a bracelet that is supposed to bring me good luck, good fortune, and a nice man! I am never taking this bracelet off!!!! lol. Anyways that was my awesome day. Then I met my mum and we got manicures and pedicures at this wonderful little Filipino shop. After the mani/pedi we went out for dinner at Marouche which is a cool little Lebanese Restaurant, it was tasteeeeee!
And now......the photos!

Nov 9, 2010

Shau Kei Wan aka 4 temples,1 museum,and a church

 Shau Kei Wan which means pail bay used to be a haven for ships and a typhoon shelter, it has a lot of temples dedicated to deities for fishermen for this reason.  Ok, so I went to Shau Kei Wan and as you can tell from the title I was stoked! One area with all these things equals grand excitement. However, I was not so excited when I got to the first temple -Shing Wong Temple- and found out that I cannot take photos...its illegal! Yeah that's right the temple is protected under the Chinese Government Temple society blah blah blah. So I took some photos of the outside and went on my way to the next temple- Tin Hau Temple (tin hau is the goddess of the sea)- yeah I got there and again no photos! Pfffft I turned my flash off and went into stealth mode. I think I got three and then got in trouble, apparently my stealth mode needs improvement. So next I went to the Tsung Tsin Church, this church was built by the Hakkas with the help of Swiss Basel Priests and during the Japanese invasion served as a military headquarters. Got there and it was closed so took some photos of the outside and then continued on to the next temple- Yuk Wong Temple (yuk wong is the protector from floods and saver of peoples lives). This one was a bit more difficult to find and a bit not worth the trek, haha. Although later i learned its more of a shrine than a temple which made more sense, and yes there was a no photo sign but I got the outside and inside anyway. Next on my trek was the museum of coastal defence, I was not so excited about this one as its about war and stuff and I don't really like war but it was awesome! So much history and cool exhibits and its up on the top of a mountain. It used to be a real fort used by the British to protect Hong Kong so theres a little historical trail that you can walk down to get a more vivid picture of what happened there. It covers the history of Hong Kong from the Ming dynasty to present day (1300's-now). They have all the uniforms worn from the 1300's on by the military, weapons, replicas of boats, and recordings of people who had fought in the wars. I listens to one by a man in the Royal Winnipeg Battalion talking about his capture by the Japanese. Very interesting and very sad, but at least he lived to tell his story and maybe we can learn from that and become better. They also had a replica of the Treaty of Nanking, the whole treaty half english and half chinese, amazing part of history. I was running out of time before I had to get to work so the historical trail was very rushed and I missed the torpedo station which I thought was going to be super cool, guess I'll just have to go back. Next I rushed to the last temple- Tam Kung temple (a patron god of fishermen and only known to Hong Kong)- There was a no photo sign again and I didn't really have time to go in anyways so I took some photos of the outside and then one from the door of the inside and ran to the train, barely making it to work on time. After work I went to the Wanch for an 80's quiz and failed remarkably at it (last place) but to be fair I wasn't there for the first 3 rounds and we did much better on the last three, although I did call my brother a few times for help.
Shing wong temple
little black turtle in tin hau

a replica of a war scene 

inside tin hau temple
more inside tin hau temple
tin hau temple
Tsung Tsin Church
Yuk Wong Temple

that one tent-y looking thing is the museum the big stone structure
 is where you take the elevator up

Nov 8, 2010

Day 11 Fanling, Tai Wo, Tai Po Market

Fanling has the biggest Taoist Temple in Hong Kong, it was built in 1929 when devotees of Taoism fled from the Anti-Superstition Campaign in Guangzhou. It was HUGE! there was building after building after building to go into. There were so many burial buildings as well and also there is a wall with the entire Taoist scripture inscribed in it, its called the Tao Te Ching and it's kinda short actually. They also have a Vegetarian restaurant there that I might go back and try because the Vegetarian Restaurant at the Sitting Buddha on Lantau is awesome!!!
After that I went to Tai Wo And the first place I intended to go to was Fu shin Street to the market street which was first laid out in 1892. However, I got lost almost immediately because I went the wrong way. To be fair there were no signs to tell me where to go in the exit I went out of. This was of course a good thing though because I got to see more of Tai Wo and saw these cool shacky looking houses. Some of them were barely tall enough for someone to stand up in. Once I finally got to the market, the long way, I saw a lot of fruits, roots, vegetables, raw meat, live fish, toads, and some clothes. After the market street I went to the Man Mo Temple. A very cool temple but very small and very very very full of smoke from 5 different kinds of incense sticks and coils. Behind the temple is the town Earthgod shrine and finally I went to the Railway Museum. I'm not particularly into trains or the railway but the museum was there and so was I so I went on in. I'm pretty sure though that the only cool part of the museum was the entrance way. strangely though after being at the museum I did want to go ride a train on the railroad tracks. And now some photos of my day! Hoorah!!!!!

Nov 3, 2010

Day 10 Kam Tsin Walled City

Today i called called into work but then when I showed up someone else was already there to teach the class! So instead I went to explore a walled city. I went far into the New Territories in Hong Kong and walked for a very long time to find this walled village and was unfortunately a bit disappointed. it was pretty small and not as impressive as I had envisioned but it was pretty cool to walk through it and think this used to all be walls and closed off and it's super old. I had walls that were hundreds of years old around me. I also got to see a papaya tree and a banana palm which was pretty sweet. The people around there also seemed like there was not a lot of Westerners that ventured out there as everyone was looking at me with dropped mouths and big eyes. One guy even almost went out into traffic cuz he was staring so hard at me and not looking at the road.

I also saw a super funny sign in the MTR station the other day so I thought I would post it now for your amusement.

Day 9 Greeks, dentists, and Philipino Americans...

So Monday was really busy! I went to the Greek Consulate in Hong kong to try to figure out how and if I could get a Greek Passport (which means EU passport) After much sorting through papers and reading and researching Irene let me know that it would be possible but I have to do a few things first in Canada so even though my trip is really short I will have to find some time to get my butt into the greek Consulate in Vancouver, and down to a police station as well for a Criminal Records Check. After this I went to the Dentist for a cleaning. I now feel as though i know why the Chinese have such bad teeth, my cleaning was quite literally 5-7 mins long. I was a bit disappointed as I love that fresh clean mouth feeling and the smoothness of your teeth when you first leave the dentists office and I did not get that this time! Boooo! After that I met up with my friend Emily to go for some Egyptian food at a place called Habibi, I would highly recommend it! Fantastic food and great service (mostly, we had a small problem with the bill) then we met up with another travel buddy named Brian who was born in New York but lives in Cebu sometimes and sometimes he lives in Las Vegas. He also just recently broke the Guiness World record for the most fireworks rocket lit at the same time or something, which was pretty cool. We had a lot of fun despite his "I'm super hot and rich" attitude. I'm pretty sure he told us about 8 or 9 times how he could get hot chicks anytime he wanted and how he has no problems picking up women. Hahahahahaha i love it when guys do that! I wonder if they realize it makes them look worse. anyways it was good fun and a long day.

Day 8 Starcrossed Halloween!

So the day started off pretty slow and relaxed, I read in my bed and didn't even consider leaving my bed until like 2:30 in the afternoon. Once I finally got motivated to get going my mom and I left at about 3 ish and went to Tequila Jacks for some fantastic mexican food! My brother also met us there so it was like a little family meal out. Afterwards we went to Starcrossed Tattoo in Hung Hom to join their halloween party fun. They had a coloring contest which took forever for me to complete (I still don't know who won but considering the artistic talent in that place I'm guessing it wasn't me! lol) and they were giving away free halloween tattoos. My mom got a little purple and pink ghost on her shoulder and I got a little nightmare before Christmas face on my shoulder. Danny got a toilet paper roll on his leg, hahaha!

Day 7 Halloween

Oh Halloween! What fun Halloween is; free candy, you get to dress up and be silly and its a reason to have a party and gather all your friends. For halloween I dressed up as Little Red Riding hood, I made the costume myself instead of buying from a store as I had no desire to look like a skank which is what the costumes look like nowadays. Well I didn't exactly make it ALL by myself, my mom had to help me haha! How pathetic am i? My mom and I also made her costume, she was a cake! It was awesome and my brother even helped us out with that one. For halloween I had a very busy night. My friend Nicole and I went to Tessa's house for a halloween party, then we went to the Fringe to the rooftop party to meet up with my mum, my brother, Monica and a bunch of other friends, then we went to Wanchai and went to Amazonia to finish the night off with a bit of a boogey! lol! All in all a very fun and eventful night!

Day 6 Hong Kong Pub Crawl

So after work I met up with a lovely Australian Bloke named Simon who was traveling alone in Hong Kong. I belong to this website called where people can meet up with other people traveling to the same country or who already live in the country they are traveling to so that they can have help in getting around a new city. After Simon and I met up in TST we took the Star Ferry over to Central to meet up with some other friends in Bassment Bar in Soho. One of them is the organizer for Hong Kong Pub Crawl and so I thought I'd show up. We went from Bassment to V16 to Baby Buddha to Otto to Tavis  and then called it a night. It was super fun and we got to meet new people, some that live here and some that are just traveling through.

oops laziness set 5

Okay so day 5 of fun was a weds. I went to the Heritage Museum which I haven't been to in a really long time so it was mostly new and very interesting. I spent most of the day before work there. They had some exhibits that I wasn't allowed to take photos in, ironically one of them was a photo exhibit...haha but it was really interesting and gave me some ideas of some cool things i might be able to do with my own camera. They had a Chinese opera exhibit as well and you could superimpose your face on that of a chinese opera singer which was really fun, even the security guard came over to help me choose which characters I should be, we had quite a bit of fun.

We also went to a play from the revised shakespeare company doing the Entire Bible in 90 mins. It was very funny and the three guys were very talented. After the play I got the guy's autographs as they were standing there with markers in their hands. Then we went into Wanchai for ladies night as they have free drinks for ladies. I also saw a friend I hadn't seen out for a while so I stayed out for a bit with Steph and we had a great time despite me getting home a bit later than intended. lol!