Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Day 3 pt 4

After walking the harbour we decided to take the ferry back instead of walking all the way back to the subway. The ferry terminal in HK works quite well, and it's SUPER cheap to ride.

From the ferry terminal top floor.

Enroute to Kowloon side.

We made it!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 3 pt4

So I'm already becoming fuzzy as to the origins and the timeline of these pictures, so I'll have to get more out while I still have my memory, bad as it may be.

I'm going to take a wild guess that after roaming around the streets and not finding a place where we could enjoy a beer after sweating in the humidity for 2 hours, we eventually returned to IFC to have a beer and lunch at a pub inside the mall. After which we proceeded out a walkway towards the harbourfront area which was undergoing a massive facelift. Here are some construction pictures:




Too red, but also too lazy to CC properly.

This one looks better really big.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 3 pt 3

After riding the never ending escalator, we wandered around partly lost, partly exploring. We found some markets and slowly retraced our way back to Central.

Standing under the escalator to get this shot. There's another one I took from on top of those signs.

Nothing says, "Asia" like meat hanging out in the open. Little did we know what awaited us in Vietnam.

This one had some great light.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 3 cont'd

So I forgot to mention that in the morning (and really the whole point in coming to the Hong Kong side) we ate at this breakfast place known for their (insert Chinese name here). Basically it's a deep fried bread stick thingy surrounded by shredded pork and encased neatly into a plastic wrapped sticky rice torpedo. DELICIOUS. You're supposed to have it with soybean milk but I had just drank a whole bottle during my morning excursion so I passed. We also went on an egg tart hunt in the city. Carol took us to a place known for their egg tarts. It was really good :) I still think that Golden Gate Bakery in San Fran is the best I've ever had though. On this day I had 3 egg tarts at 3 different places. *High five*

Anyways, on to the pictures. I mentioned before that the escalator was never ending...well here is the proof. All these pics were taken from the escalator.

I loved how condensed everthing was in this picture, with a pocket of sunlight hitting the street in the middle.

Love the colour of the taxis in Asia. Strange how they seem to be the same colour in HK as they are in Japan.

I think we had already passed Soho at this point on the climb.

More taxis. They seem to be queuing up where ever we went in this area.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day 3

Like every other day in Hong Kong, this one starts with me wandering around looking for good food to eat. I've come into the habit of stuffing my face with at least one dahn taht a day. I'm not here to lose weight.

On the way back from my morning face stuffing, I passed by these guys working on the street. I liked the juxtaposition of elevation and the contrast in their body language.

We met up with Carol again and she showed us "Times Square" and IFC/Central on the Hong Kong side. I remember fumbling for my camera when I saw this guy on the bike passing by. Barely got him in time. I think this is one of my favorites from the trip. Thanks Carol!

After Carol dropped us off at Central, our journey into Soho began with this innocuous looking escalator. Little did we know that it went on forever.

I should post a neon sign every day.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Day 2 ends

Yes, in retrospect it was a short day. As it turns out, the more touristy the place, the less photos I seem to take. Also, I decided I was not going to take a lot of night photos because each photo would remind me that I wanted to by a D700 before going to Asia.

That night Carol treated me and Aaron to a delicious seafood dinner. We walked down an alley with merchants selling fresh fish and eventually came to a place where she was a regular. They selected and weighed the fish while discussing the best way to prepare the dish and then somebody carried the fish to the restaurant and put down the order for us. The restaurant dispatched the food and transformed it into a delicious meal. I wish my appetite wasn't so rattled by the jet lag.

No pictures of the food, just one on the way back from Lantau island.

Yes, I love neon.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day 2 pt 2

After my early morning exploration, I met up with Aaron at Prince Edward station and we took the train out to see the giant buddha on Lantau island. Once we exited, we saw some of the newer housing developments that surrounded the station. Hong Kong's architecture is interesting to me. For one, it shows a lot of foresight in city planning. By controlling population density, they can more effectively make a "new settlement" grow; both in population and amenities. Consider the simple case of if you were to populate a new island. The Hong Kong mentality would be to send a cruise ship full of people. The Los Angeles mentality would be to send 1000 small yachts. It's pretty easy to see which civilization would work better. If it weren't for the automobile, LA would be a horrible place to live.

All that being said, perhaps they took things a little too far...

If you look closely, you can see what looks like somebody trying to escape their small apartment

I wonder what the apartments look like inside. By the way, those are TWO separate buildings built right next to each other.

We had to take a cable car up to the monastery. You can see the apartments to the right. If I ever visit this island again, I'm either going to hike that trail you can see next to the tower or bike. On the way in, I saw a bunch of people biking in so I'm assuming there's a nice trail out there.

We make it to the top. Exiting the cable car, you can just make out the buddha in the distance through the fog. The first thing that struck me was actually how "disneyland" like everything was. That should have been a big clue about this place. Aaron ruined it for me later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Day 2

I start out my second morning in HK as I did my last one. Wandering the streets for things to eat. dahn tat (egg custard tart) is a must, and I usually supplant that with some sort of other tasty item, and then wash it down with a tasty drink. I don't remember now what I ate on which day.

I do remember though when I saw this lady that perhaps at that exact moment, we were feeling the same thing.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

day 1 ends

I eventually meet up with Harry, get some Hong Kong style iced milk tea (dong lai cha), some curried fish balls and then hop on a bus to go to the harbourfront area: Tsim Sha Tsui to meet up with Aaron for some dinner.

Took this while waiting for the bus. I already had an obsession for neon signs before HK, but I think it got a little worse. Looking through my pictures, I have a lot of random ones with just the sign. Nothing else. This was one of the better ones.

We make it to TST for sunset. It is super foggy the whole time I'm in HK, Vietnam too. It makes for an interesting sunset.

We ended up eating at a sub-par seafood restaurant in a trendy area. Probably the only bad meal I had in HK.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

day 1 pt 2

When I travel I tend to grab a map, memorize where I am, and where I need to go and then stick a compass in my pocket. This way, if I ever become disoriented, I just have to check if I'm going in the general direction rather than whip out a map to signal to everybody that I'm a tourist.

This was the plan for my first day out. Hit the Ladies Market (flea market), Nathan road, Fa Yuen Street, goldfish market, flower market, bird market and then head on back. I'd then shower and then meet up with Harry and Aaron for Dinner.

I'm not going to ask whether there's a humane way to make these fish these colours. There probably isn't

Apparently, people buy a lot of fish here. There were dozens and dozens of shops like these lining the streets

On my way to the flower and bird market

Some birds for sale. This place I will not visit again. There's something creepy about 100's of birds calling out from cages, many of whom have escaped and fly about you. Also, birds generally eat worms, and insects, which is the other thing that they sell there. I'll spare you the pictures.

That's over $50US a pop!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day one cont'd

I call Harry when I arrive at the Cityview hotel in Yau Ma Tei. Lucky for me they have an airport shuttle that waits for you at Kowloon station. 2 more points for HK.

We plan to meet up later so I have the morning and the afternoon to explore by myself. My first day in Hong Kong seemed to last forever. Time seems to tick by that way when you have some time to yourself. Which is probably why Asia this time passed by in a wink, whereas Japan seemed more timeless for me.

Here are some pics from my morning walk.

Setting up for the ladies market

Hong Kong, much like Tokyo has lots of alleyways with really soft light pooling into them.

The city is still waking up

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Starting all over

So now that I am back I can do proper posts with images that I've actually colour corrected.

Day one

Airports to me constitute the first impression of a country. It's that moment when you meet a person for the first time and they either look you in the eye and shake your hand firmly, or you get a passing glance with a rubbery grip. Hong Kong has a nice airport. It is convenient, well laid out and clean. Furthermore, like any proper airport to a major city, there is a train that will take you into the city. Definitely a good first impression.

I was expecting crazy architecture and neon lights. I've seen the pictures. But standing infront of something like this building and staring (like a tourist) is the only real way to appreciate how this city has come to terms with its architecture and its advertising.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Missing it

Found myself missing vietnamese food today.

Grabbed some Pho and some Nem Nuong. Yum. Would have been nice to wash it down with this:

They didn't have it :P

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Halong

Here is another.

We got lucky that day as the clouds disappeared for a bit of sun. All these pics are out of Picasa so there's very little image manipulation I can do. It really was that nice that day. Especially considering we technically signed up for the tour on the wrong day and so shouldn't have been there anyways.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

back in LA


Asia was awesome.

Here is Halong Bay.

*EDIT* Made it bigger by request

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm about to leave Singapore now. For such a modern city, it's suprisingly hard to find cheap internet. This one cost me $7.80 to buy tea. It seems like the poorer the country, the more available free internet there is. Strange.

Anyways, not much has been done here due to the CRIPPLING HEAT. This place is HOT and HUMID. It's pretty ridiculous. At night and in the mornings, it's quite nice though. Definitely one of the most impressive cities I've ever visited. I could probably live here for awhile. Here are some random Vietnam pics:

Fits four

EARLY morning smoke

Selling at the market

We rode past some REMOTE villages on our cycle tour. These kids were pretty fascinated with us. Didn't know what to do or say, so they just sat on the ground.

This village was less remote and the naked kid ran out from his hut to meet us. The Mother quickly followed.

We biked up a dirt path into a green tea field where workers were picking leaves. I tasted a couple at their insistence. It tasted like strong tea.

Stopped for a lunch break from riding. I think I'm in two of my 3000 pictures. All courtesy of mirrors.