Thursday, 31 January 2013

4 Days in Hong Kong- Day 4 Stanley, Bird and Fish Markets and The Peak

On my final day in Hong Kong the Hotelink bus was collecting me at 7.30pm so I had a whole day and a lot planned!

I decided to go to the furthest place I wanted to visit first, Stanley, an hour by bus, is on the south east coast of Hong Kong Island. And the south is certainly very different to everywhere I had seen so far with dramatic coast lines and beautiful beaches and no high rise buildings!

On one side of this peninsula area is Stanley Beach.

panosmall

And on the other, the promenade, where you will find wonderful markets, a very English suburban shopping centre and important sites like Murray House.

panosmall

And another temple called Tin Hau

SAR_8650

After Stanley I went in completely the opposite direction back over the water to find the bird market that I wanted to see. And I was not disappointed! How strange is this little park area which has been taken over by men selling all kinds of birds in way that makes you feel like it's all very wrong and not animal friendly, but irresistible to photograph.

SAR_8652

SAR_8654

SAR_8657

SAR_8659

SAR_8660

Near to the Bird Market is the Goldfish Market, as in fish for pets not to eat, this was less of a market and more of a particular area of a high street however what a colourful array of fish!

SAR_8664

SAR_8666

And every 'in-tank' accessory you could imagine.

SAR_8663

Finally I went to find the tram up to The Peak, a must-see location that I hadn't realised would be quite so busy on a Monday afternoon! However trying not to panic about missing flights I waited out the line, paid the extortionate additional cost to access the highest viewpoint (not worth it unless you're short of time and after 'the' picture!) and eventually got this view.

panosmall

SAR_8712

And the other way...

SAR_8698

SAR_8713

SAR_8715

And this is the building I was standing on the roof of for those views.

SAR_8716

On the way back down I took this picture from the tram showing the steep jungle that lies between down town Hong Kong and The Peak.

SAR_8728

My final photo from Hong Kong actually comes from the window in the bathrooms of my hotel, Rosedale, as I went for the first time to their sky view bar on the 33rd floor while I waited for my bus to the airport. This is the view over Causeway Bay.

SAR_8732

So I'm kind of sad that I don't know what amazing place I'll get to blog about next but hopefully something will come up soon. Meanwhile it's back to a regular photographer's blog, anyone got any weddings, families, events they want me to shoot? ;)

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

4 Days in Hong Kong- Day 3 Macau and Kowloon at Night

On my third day I decided I wanted to leave Hong Kong and get a bunch of stamps in my passport for visiting Macau. Macau is the only other area of China under 'special administration' with it's own currency, immigration etc like Hong Kong because it remained under Portuguese rule. It makes it's money from tourism, mainly from its incredible casinos but it also has some interesting Portuguese areas.

I arrived on an incredibly grey Sunday and it turned out to be a very busy day to go, so I got an overpriced tour to show me all the main sites in 4 hours!

SAR_8546

Right next to the port is where most of the casinos are and the Macau Tower.

SAR_8550

SAR_8555

Then the A-Ma temple

SAR_8558

SAR_8559

SAR_8561

Where there was some folk dancing going on!

SAR_8560

Then off to the very busy Portuguese centre.

SAR_8563

SAR_8564

SAR_8566

And the most famous image of Macau, the ruins of St Paul's.

SAR_8570

The weirdly wonderful casino Lisboa was the first on the island.

SAR_8575

Then I was taken to this church

SAR_8577

Which had this great view over to Macau Tower.

panosmall

Then we went to visit the border with China, which was crazy busy but I was to get a photo of this old archway amongst the new land terminal.

SAR_8591

Finally up to the Guia Fortress and lighthouse.

SAR_8594

With this view

pano

Giving you a better idea of how Macau can be the most densely populated region in the world (18,428 persons per square kilometre) rather than the empty tourist and casino areas.

That evening was actually my last night as I flew home the following night (after a packed day!) so I went out to experience the Temple Street Night Market.

IMG_1842

Where I found some great street food (I used a fork though)!

IMG_1844

Walked back through Kowloon Park.

IMG_1851

This is Nathan Street, the main street running down to the water.

IMG_1855

Before returning to my hotel I decided to stop into the bar Felix, top of the Peninsula Hotel as my guide book said if you visit any bar it has to be this one! I had a luxury cocktail called Sparkling Candy.

IMG_1860

And finally the Star Ferry back to my side of the harbour.

IMG_1866

My final day in Hong Kong was when I finally got myself up to The Peak to see the best views in Hong Kong- that's the next post!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

4 Days in Hong Kong- Day 2 Linden, Wong Tai Sin temple and Kowloon Walled City Park

I was extremely lucky on day 2 to have a tour guide! This time was much more about catching up with Linden, a friend from Manchester who now lives in Hong Kong, and having a potter about, than manic site seeing.

So no big camera but we did visit some nice spots north of Kowloon getting away from the crazy tourist areas. This is Wong Tai Sin temple.


 With it's zodiac Buddha's like I also saw at Lantau.


And then a beautiful wish garden (thanks Linden for the picture).


After the temple we walked to Kowloon Walled City Park. On the way we got a clear (as clear as hazy Hong Kong gets) view of 'lion rock'.


Kowloon Walled City Park is the site of the walled city that found itself outside of regulations when the area was handed to the British, this particular spot remained China and became a compact area of drugs and disease until it was knocked down and turned into the park there today. There's lots of information at the site and this image shows what it looked like:
 

Today it's a lovely park with some cos play going on while we were there!


I couldn't help myself taking photos that show the full height of surrounding skyscrapers, the whole of Hong Kong was like this. With some time to kill before meeting up with Linden's fiancée she showed me the longest outdoor escalators located around the Soho area.


We did not travel anywhere near the whole way, it gets a bit ridiculous after a while! And stopped for drinks instead.


Do you see the tube sign! The Soho area is full of ex-pats!

And that was about it for day 2. On day 3 I go to Macau.