Archive for April, 2013

So the Weekly Photo Challenge is change.

For me Change can mean many things,  the change in people, seasons or even as simple the change in location.  I could have talked about how I have changed over the years, I could have talked about the changing of the seasons. In the end I decided to talk about the a change that you can see within Hong Kong if you travel no more than one hour from the down town area around the Harbour.

Most people when they think of Hong Kong think of this image. IMG_4632

Or the images that I linked in My Neighbourhood.

But what a lot do not realise about Hong Kong is that there is a huge area of Hong Kong that is country parks. (If you do not believe me just look at a satellite map of Hong Kong on google and you will see a lot of greenery, especially in the north east.)

So in this post I want to highlight what a change travelling out of the centre can make. All of these photos are from the North East corner of Hong Kong around the villages of Sam A Tsuen etc. in the Plover Cove Country Park.  There are a lot of abandoned Villages in this part of the world that the young men and women left in the 60’s to go and work overseas in the UK for example. The villages continued for about 20 years more and started to be abandoned in the 80’s as parents got too old to hike 6 or 7 km in and out of some of them. I can get to this park in about an hour from where I live in the down town area.

Nature is changing and claiming them back slowly but surely, but in some of the villages there are holdouts. People who keep the places on for weekend homes or in some cases the sons returning from overseas to claim their family homes back, a lot of whom are retired. I wonder how many of them will be able to keep going.

There is a huge amount of Nature in the area and some really interesting structures, there are also the infamous wild cows of Hong Kong. Anyway I hope you like the images below that show the change that can be seen from the Down town area and the country park.

So the weekly photo challenge is colour.

I live in Hong Kong which has a really unique set up as part of China, as they say one country two systems. It is remarkably different between the two systems, in terms of what happens. A while back I was lucky enough to go to Xi’an with work, as part of that trip we went to Mount Huashan. Mount Huashan is a popular destination for tourists as it has amazing views from the top of the five peaks. When I went you had to walk up or take a cable car, we walked. Now there are apparently two cable car routes up, with a new one starting recently that is faster and has better access to the peaks. It is incredibly beautiful and has some rather dangerous drop off points along the ridge of the peaks.

So how does colour tie in with this and Hong Kong. Well the colour most commonly associated with China is Red due to communism, This is the case in Hong Kong as well with lots of red colour found all over. But Red is not just associated with communism it has a much older meaning of luck. This is why you will find the red pockets that are little pouches of money given to people for weddings and Chinese new year.

At Mount Huashan one of the most amazing things I saw was the locks on chains, seen in the images below. People climb the Mountain then they buy a padlock from one of the many vendors then have them engraved with a message to their family wishing  good luck, health and fortune. People then attach them to the chains on top of the mountain so that the good luck can reach the entire family no matter where they are.

You will never find red at funerals for example as it the colour linked to happiness. Though writing the name of a person in red can be offensive, as it was the colour previously used to write the names of the dead. In the case of the locks the red strips are added to bring that much needed luck.

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Well that is all for me this week. Over the weekend I am going with a friend doing a 12km hike in the new territories of Hong Kong. We are going  to be photographing some of the old abandoned villages in the plover cove country park. It should be a lot of fun.

Jamie

Well I missed the photo challenge last week due being really quite ill with food poisoning and I am late this week due to having a lot of work to catch up on.

As a teacher my days are usually quite regimented. I normally get up at 6.30 in the morning. get some breakfast, shower and then head off to work in a cab. This journey usually takes me 15 minutes and then it is educating young minds all day, or at least trying to. I have always loved teaching there are great holidays and…. well that is about all there is. I am joking teaching is a great job, you get to see students suddenly understand something and it is the best feeling in the world. The students I teach now are absolutely amazing, and unlike the UK I get to “teach” more often.

Unfortunately I can not really put together a set of photos that I felt were to do with my normal day. So what I have done instead is put some together of a couple of days over the holidays. All of them were taken with my iphone as quick snaps.

Next week I will be back to taking regular photos and not phoneography ones.