Hiking in Hong Kong is much more enjoyable when the humidity isn’t slowly suffocating you with each step you take. Thanks to the cooler weather, hiking has become bearable. Looking for something to do on the weekend? Why not get up early, (fingers crossed the sun is out and the smog is not as apparent), hike up a mountain, and appreciate the breathtaking views of the city.
I have been wanting to see the Flag Raising Ceremony at The Golden Bauhinia Square for quite some time, but with an early 7:45 am start, I found it difficult to crawl out of bed and head over to Wan Chai. However, everything seemed to align this past Sunday morning as I had an early night on Saturday and vowed to haul myself out of bed (which is becoming increasingly difficult to do with this cold weather) to watch the “enhanced” ceremony.
For those who aren’t familiar with Times Square in Causeway Bay, there have massive themed displays that are put on every few months that can be quite impressive. This area becomes a hub for locals and tourists alike to gather around and take photographs of themselves with every single thing on display.
What expat doesn’t like going out with their coworkers for a delicious cold beverage after a long day of work? Add in some horses, beer drinking contests, and gambling, and you’ve got yourself a great evening at the races for Oktoberfest at Happy Valley Racecourse.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club (Happy Valley Racecourse) is a cesspool for expats on any given Wednesday night, however, during Oktoberfest the racecourse was completely packed to the brim with people. To get from the entrance to midway into the racecourse was maze-like, with a whole lot of “excuse me’s”, some elbows in the air, and a few not-so-subtlety mumbled curse words scattered about.
When it comes to hiking, I like getting lost in the lush mountains (for a reasonable, I-know-eventually-I’m-going-to-find-my-way-home amount of time), walking up and down dirt trails, and having that general “I’m not actually in Hong Kong right now.. Am I?” feeling. Unfortunately, this hike did not live up to these expectations.
I had never been to Cyberport before (waaaaaay too far west on the island and its name was never too enticing; sounds very bionic and bizarre), so I wasn’t sure what to expect. My friend who arranged the hike assured me that it would be relatively easy, as we had all been out the night prior and that there was a waterfall. The waterfall alone sold me and off we went to the Wan Chai bus terminal to hop on a Citybus to Cyberport. We made a relatively educated guess as to where to get off the bus and from there set out to find the start of our “hike”.
Unfortunately, this was not the hike I had in mind – Cyberport Waterfront Park is very much man-made with concrete paths everywhere. While this was disappointing, we did happen to come across a gated off section that led down to a beach area. Here we also came upon the waterfall, though it was not one in which you could really swim in.
Earlier on this month Lantau Island held a weekend-long festival called Silvermine Bay Music Festival on Silvermine Beach (located right beside the ferry pier). You really have to hand it to Hong Kong for being able to put something like this on; with the initial support and minds of a local group of Mui Wo friends whose passion for music brought them together to organize this yearly event, it has since grown in popularity and scale.
Here’s the lowdown: On October 11, 12, and 13, Lantau Island saw a tonne of local and international performers and music lovers flock to Silvermine Beach for the day or night (or both!) to enjoy some street-eats, a few drinks, and some live music.
As you all know from my last post about China, I absolutely love the Mainland, so what better way to spend a long weekend than in Guangzhou?! Due to rather unfortunate circumstances regarding a passport (how does it take twenty working days to process a work visa in China?), C was unable to come to Hong Kong. Though being in Guangzhou China during a long weekend is the absolute last place I’d want to be, here I was making the trek via the Intercity Through Train from HK to GZ.
As a Canadian expat living in Hong Kong, there are many everyday things here that drive me absolutely mad. Take, for example, how it is socially acceptable here to violently suck back your boogers into your throat and then spew them out on the side of a crowded street. Or, perhaps, how most of the population is incapable of walking down a street at an appropriate speed or in a straight line; I swear some people have eyes on the back of their head and will purposely move right in front of me when I am trying to pass them..
It’s that time of the year again – Mid-Autumn Festival is on September 19th 2013 this year (also known as the Moon Festival as the moon is currently at its roundest and brightest). This festival has been around since the Zhou Dynasty of 1046 – 246 BC when it was a moon sacrificial ceremony. The ceremony was all about giving thanks to the moon for the seasons, as it allowed their crops to harvest.
Since then, this festival has clearly been adopted to a festival with family and friends; either indoors where you eat Moon Cakes and give thanks, or outdoors where many celebrations take place in the form of dragon dancing, the lighting of lanterns, traditional Chinese plays, large displays, and so forth.
Lamma Island, Hong Kong is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong. It’s a great mash-up of traditional Chinese life and Western modernity. This is a popular day trip destination for tourists and other expats, as it was quite busy with other hikers. To get there, you need to take the MTR to Central Ferry Pier and hop on a ferry for about 30 minutes.