Posts Tagged ‘Asia’

So the weekly photo challenge is Escape. I was thinking about sharing some more images from Mongolia which is my idea of escape from the crazy world that I love in Hong Kong. It is definitely different from Hong Kong and an escape fro the craziness of the high pace. But in the end I decided to share some images that I took in Melbourne a couple of years back.

I was in Melbourne a few years back for my summer holidays along with the Gold Coast of Australia. Australia was an incredibly beautiful country with some amazing scenery and interesting wildlife. But the point of this post is about what I saw in the urban part of the country. I will be honest here and say that I do not believe that any city comes close to the imagery that you can get in Hong Kong. No where else has the skyline of our harbour or the dramatic back drop of the hills behind all of the skyscrapers. But one thing that we do not have as much of is street art. I am always fascinated by street art ( what some call Graffiti), not the kind that says bob loves sarah but the amazing art that can be found. For example the art found on the Duke of Lancaster. I know that some of this is preplanned and has permission from the owner of the property but in a lot of cases it does not.

So why do I believe there is a link to Escape? Well a lot of these images are an escape from the reality that surrounds them. They add brightness in a world of modern greyness that is often found in any city.

I found the following street that was covered in graffiti completely by chance. I was looking for an apple supplier as I needed to get a charger plug for my iPhone. Anyway as I left the shop I took a wrong turn and was walking along when i happened to see this out of the corner of my eye. IMG_1270

Now normally I do not go down dodgy looking alleys where even the bins are painted. but then I saw this image on the corner and so decided to explore more. IMG_1271

Anyway as I walked down I took a few snaps and they are below.

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But I feel my favourite of them all is this one.

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Just the surreal feeling I get with the scooter in the foreground.

Anyway there you have my take on escape.

 

So the Weekly photo challenge is from above. Take an image of something from above and show it in a different light.

Some of you may be aware of the rubber ducky that is Hong Kong at the moment near the star ferry in TST. It is doing a world tour at the moment to promote peace and harmony and is the work of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.

Well being a typical Hong Konger I had to go along and see the rubber ducky and feel better about myself. off I went with some friends and we decided to take some pictures from the area that most people are trying to get them from, but then decided that we would get some pictures from the car park above Ocean Terminal. So below are the images I have taken from the original position. SAM_1535

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The following is the image that I took from above in the Ocean Terminal building car park. In the image you can see all the people down below trying to get pictures of the duck, there is not a great deal of peace and harmony in the flailing elbows.

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Whilst I was up here I also noticed the sunset over the new bridge that connects the down town area to the airport. SAM_1550

And the final image is for those who say that the duck is not taken from directly above. Enterprising individuals have started selling miniature ducks along the waterfront, I was given one of these by a friend. It is much easier to get an image of that from above.

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I hope you all feel more at peace having seen the rubber ducky. Have a great weekend.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

So the Weekly photo challenge is Home.

For most people home is the place they grew up in, this is a bit of an issue for me as growing up I never really spent more than about 3 years in one area. I suppose you could say that my schools years from the age of 11 to 18 gave me some stability as I was at boarding school in Buxton Derbyshire. But my parents were still moving around. I loved growing up and seeing all these new places and cultures.  I also believe that it help shape the person that I am today for better or worse.  I know at times I can be very independent to the point of not always listening to other people, but I also feel like I can make new acquaintances  very quickly ( I will talk to anyone.)

So what does home mean to me? Do I talk about my family that are based in the UK? Of course I would they are part of who I am and I speak to them often on the phone ( the wonders of Skype.) What about the city I live in now? Yes of course I love Hong Kong. I have probably spent longer in Hong Kong than anywhere else in my life. And I still do not want to leave, not bad for a person that used to itch to leave after 2 years of being anywhere. Why do I stay? because Hong Kong changes so quickly and is so Dynamic that it is never the same. What about my British heritage? I love being British but I would not want to live there. But I do miss parts of it. But Hong Kong allows me to get around that with the fact that it is a former British Colony and so has a lot of features that are British.

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So what did I decide to share in the end for the photo challenge? something that encapsulates all of these? not really I went for something much more literal, I decided to show you some pictures of the estate that I live in. Like most people in Hong Kong I live in an estate that has a lot of people and a lot facilities. There are 10 towers each with 43 floors and 8 apartments on each floor. There is a pool, gym, four lane bowling alley, climbing wall, massive shopping complex underneath and a big public podium area on the fifth floor to name a few features.

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This is the podium at night with the water feature in the middle. Lit by decorations for Chinese New Year.

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Looking up at four of the towers. You can see the light pollution that Hong Kong has from all of the lights, it is almost impossible to see stars at night.

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My apartment is on the 42nd floor, six down from the top. And this is the view that I get from my Balcony. You can see the building on the right which is fairly new and is over 60 floors high. I used to be able to see Lion Rock from my Balcony until they built that.

Anyway until next time have a great Year of the Snake and Gung Hei Fat Choy.