Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hong Kong Trip 2010 – Part Two–Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok





The Markets and Tin Hau Temple.

Originally posted Monday, March 29, 2010 on my blog News From Italy

Hong Kong Trip Part Two

The next morning March 3rd we started to properly explore the amazing city of Hong Kong. We were to walk many miles during our stay and we started our tour using a useful little book 'Hong Kong Walks', a useful addition to our own Eyewitness and Lonely Planet guides.

Today's cacophony of sights and sounds took us to the Yau Ma Tei and Mong Kok districts, a non stop experience of local urban Chinese lifestyles in the heart of the Kowloon peninsula.

We visited the Flower Market, Bird Garden, Goldfish Market, Jade Market, Ladies Market (misnamed as not just for ladies but selling a vast array of items at bargain prices). Also Shanghai Street one of the city's oldest where kitchenware shops mingle with those selling Chinese style wedding clothes(more of weddings another time) and a Tin Hau Temple.

I will leave the photos to say the rest and remember if you want to see more take a look at LindyLouMac Flickr Photos

Mong Kok Flower Market

View from Casa Bella 022



The Bird Garden

Owners take their birds with them to the Bird Garden for an outing, it is also a market for all bird related purchases.

Even live food!

The Goldfish Market

The Ladies Market

The Jade Market, where yes I did buy a little something from this lady.

Tin Hau Temple

No photography was allowed inside but to finish off, here are a couple of the ones I took in the garden.

These trees are amazing and we were to see many of them during our visit.

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hong Kong Trip 2010 – Part One

Originally posted on Saturday, March 27, 2010 on my other blog News From Italy

You may have noticed that this post is headed 2010, this is not a mistake. I have decided before continuing any further with posts about our recent trip that we should skip back in time to our first trip to China in March of last year, when I shared a series of six posts on  News from Italy.


Hong Kong Trip Part One

So lets get started, with our first few hours in Hong Kong. Arriving early morning we had a few hours sleep then started the day feeling refreshed at lunchtime. We spent the afternoon getting our bearings in the Central and Western district the area closest to Selina and Chris's apartment  in Mid-Levels.  The apartment is on the 27th floor, a fact we had to keep from my husband as long as possible before the trip as he hates heights. He managed amazingly well as long as we did not expect him to get too close to the huge windows. In the master bedroom one wall is nearly all glass!
Amazing views from the apartment, so very different from the sort of views we are used to!


Our explorations that first afternoon took us through the antiques district of Hong Kong and down (literally downhill all the way) to Possession Street, also known as Shui Hang Ho which is where the British first landed in 1841, although it is now hundreds of metres inland due to multiple landfills over the years.



We returned to the apartment by returning to mid-levels on the escalator. If you have a minute do read this article about it, although written in 2004, it is still relevant and interesting. Mid Levels Escalator/Dihn Tai

That evening we had our first experience of watching the high-rise skyline light up as dusk falls over Hong Kong.

A far more professional and beautiful shot than I managed to achieve with my camera that really manages to reproduce the magical atmosphere of Hong Kong.
Uploaded on
March 9, 2010
by wickateers at

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hong Kong Park



It was when I realised just how many places and photos that I would like to share with you that I decided that News From Italy was just not the right place to do so, especially as with this third post for Travel Tales I am still sharing the same day!  Hong Kong has so much to offer its visitors that I believe I have enough material to last a good while, especially if I revamp some of the posts I wrote on our first trip last year, some of the places we did not return to this time but I would still like to include them here.

To continue the day after visiting Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens and taking a ride on The Peak Tram we visited  another beautiful garden located just across the road from The Peak Tram Station.

Another oasis of calm within the city The Hong Kong Park was built at the cost of  HK$398 million and opened to the public  on 23 May 1991 by Sir David Wilson, the Governor of Hong Kong at that time. In the early colonial days of 1841 part of the area was called Cantonment Hill, where on its upper slopes Victoria Barracks,  was built between 1867 and 1910. The barracks were handed to the government in 1979 and the construction of the park became a joint project by the Urban Council (dissolved in 1999) and the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club (renamed the Hong Kong Jockey Club in 1996).

Covering an area of 8 hectares it is an excellent example of how the old and modern designs can be made to blend in with natural landscape. A few of the former buildings of the barracks have been conserved within the park and have been put to use as a Museum of Teaware, a Visual Arts Centre and a Marriage Registry Office.

One of the main attractions of the park is the Edward Youde Aviary where I took this first group of photos, ideally one should sit there for hours with a tripod to get photos of the birds that fly freely within this area, maybe another time.  This walk-though aviary features a collection of 800 birds of 100 different species, so many more than my photos show!


The Aviary in Hong Kong Park

Around the park.

Aquatic Creatures Hong Kong Park

Water features Hong Kong Park.


I hope you enjoyed the stroll through the park and that the blog format works ok for you, please let me know if it is causing you problems and if I can make further adjustments I will do so.

If you are interested in finding out more about the park you may want to visit the Hong Kong Park Official Website and more photos can be viewed in my Flickr Album Hong Kong Park where you will also be able to view in a larger format.

Copyright All rights reserved by LindyLouMac Photo Collection

With thanks also to  Wikipedia  for the historical information.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Peak Hong Kong


No trip to Hong Kong is complete without a ride up to The Peak on The Peak Tram and judging by the number of people we saw up there this year many tourists take the ride.  The Tram station is just across the road from The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens so when we passed by on our way to another park and saw the queue for those with Octopus cards (The HK Travel Card) was empty, as I suspect many visitors to The Peak do not have these, we decided on the spur of the moment to go up and take a look at the magnificent views.  We have been up there before but the panoramic views, when the weather is clear enough are worth seeing time and time again.

The Peak Tram is probably the most enduring emblem of Hong Kong's unique past. It has seen war, been featured on films and television and played host to numerous dignitaries. Tens of millions of people from every corner of the globe have taken the ride, which affords a uniquely spectacular perspective of the city.

By 1883 Hong Kong's population had reached 173,475 with some families starting to the Peak their home. Although the Peak Hotel had opened in 1873 and was attracting an eager clientele, reaching the Peak was dependent on the use of the sedan chair for transport. In May of 1881, the enterprising Scotsman Alexander Findlay Smith devised a plan to speed the development of new residences in the hill districts with the introduction of a new tram system that would connect Murray Barracks to Victoria Gap. In 1882 approval was granted and the Hong Kong High Level Tramways Company was born. With the commencement of service on 30 May 1888, the Peak Tram became the first cable funicular in Asia, extending 1,350 metres and connecting five intermediate stations. The Peak Tram, which was operated by coal-fired steam boilers then, ended up serving 600 passengers on its first day and about 150,000 in its first year.

In 1926, an electrically powered system replaced the coal-fired steam boilers. However, following the Japanese occupation of Kowloon on December 11, 1941, the Peak Tram engine room was damaged in an attack. On Christmas Day in 1945, the Peak Tram service resumed but part of a Japanese shell was lodged under the main base plate of the two haulage drums. A 72-seat, lightweight all-metal tramcar was introduced in 1959 before the Peak Tram began service in its present form in 1989 following a HK$60-million overhaul to upgrade it.

From its earliest days of operation, The Peak Tram has been the focus of artists and photographers who have tried to capture its spirit while simultaneously documenting its service. From amateur shots meant to preserve a personal memory, to professionally prepared views intended for commercial sale, The Peak Tram has proven itself a particularly compelling subject. The early years of operation seem to have produced the most varied scenes, with shots taken not only at both the upper and lower stations, but also at many points along the way. These views were reproduced by a small number of Hong Kong printing companies as black and white postcards which were then hand-coloured to enhance their beauty. From all evidence they were highly popular, with elegantly handwritten notes sent around the world commenting on the remarkable views and surprisingly efficient and comfortable service.

By the end of the Second World War, photographers seemed less enthralled with the tram as subject matter. Perhaps its novelty was wearing thin in the face of new advances in transportation, or was overshadowed by Hong Kong's rapidly changing skyline. Cards from the late 1960s and 1970s focussed more on the newly built Peak Tower and the panoramic vistas that some visitors claimed yielded views as distant as Macau.

Throughout its long history, The Peak Tram has remained one of the most visited and photographed sights in Hong Kong by offering not only an enviable view, but also a quiet respite from the city below.

For a fuller account of The Peak Trams History please visit my source of information. The Peak

The best way of letting you view a large selection of photos easily is by sharing some collages.

I hope you enjoyed the photos I selected to share here, there are more if you are interested in the album The Peak Tramway at

Previous Travel Tales The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens

More information can be found by visiting The Peak, Hong Kong on Fun Tourist Attractions

Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens


A Halloween Welcome to the Gardens!


The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens were one of our favourite places on our first visit to Hong Kong last year, so it was somewhere we decided to revisit very early on in our trip this time. It is such a surprising oasis of peace right in the city centre amongst all the skyscrapers. We did not spend much time there this visit as we had a couple of other destinations planned for the same day and had after all seen it all before albeit at a different time of the year. Although if I lived in Hong Kong I would certainly spend many happy hours there with my camera, there is so much to see. If you want to see more photographs of the Gardens taken last Spring you are welcome to peruse my Flickr Album  China 2010 - Hong Kong Volume 4

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens ( 香港動植物公園) is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centres in the world. It occupies an area of 5.6 hectares at Mid-levels, on the northern slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Founded in 1871, its first stage had been opened to the public in 1864. The Zoological part of the name was in fact only added in 1975 when the Gardens were renamed to reflect the increased number of zoological exhibits.

The park was previously named Bing Tau Fa Yuen (「兵頭花園」) "Bing Tau" literally means "the head of the soldiers" or the "Commander-in-Chief". Some said it was named such way by the Chinese because it was once the private garden of the governor. Other said Bing Tau was just the phonetic transliteration of the first two syllables of the word botanical.

At the southern entrance to the gardens, at Upper Albert Road, is a memorial arch dedicated to the Chinese who died assisting the Allies during the two World Wars. The inscription on the lintel reads: "In Memory of the Chinese who died loyal to the Allied cause in the Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945". The granite arch in the shape of a paifang was erected in 1928. Reference to the Second World War was added later.

Memorial Arch


By far the easiest way of letting you view a large selection of photos easily is by producing some collages, the photos can be viewed individually in larger format in my Flickr Album by those of you interested in more detail. Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens


The photograph in the middle of this second collage is a bronze statue of King George VI which was erected in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of British colonial rule over Hong Kong (1841–1941).


More can be learnt about The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens by visiting Wikipedia and the Official Website.  Also lots more information at The Peak, Hong Kong on Fun Tourist Attractions

The complete set of my photos can be viewed in the Flickr Album Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens