One thing I’ve noticed when travelling is that pending your destination, the name of your accommodations change; hostel, pension house, guesthouse, and so forth. In Ubud, most places were referred to as “homestays” and it is quite a fitting name, as the accommodations were very home-y, alluring, and comfortable.
When someone mentions Bali, what are the first thoughts or images that come to mind? For me it was serenity, beauty, Balinese architecture, culture, and so forth. If that is in fact what you’re looking for, you should scratch Kuta off your list. However, if you’re looking for any and every possible souvenir to bring home, shopping galore, lots of Australians, and are ready to party like you’re back in first year university, this is definitely the place for you.
You’ve been living and working in Hong Kong for well over a year now and are starting to notice some changes (or you are completely oblivious to them and your friends are not-so-kindly pointing them out to you): either a magician has waved his magical wand and miraculously made this crazy city irritate you less, or -let’s face the truth here- you’re becoming more like a local.
Continue reading Top 13 Mostly True Signs You’ve Become A Local Hong Konger
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.
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.
My first off-the-island adventure was to Lantau Island (the largest island in Hong Kong!). This island is immediately to the west of HK and we took a ferry to get there and the MTR to get home. The airport and Disneyland are actually located on this island. The island is not heavily populated and mostly caters to tourists.
The Big Buddha is a huge pull for people to travel to the island and there are many trails for the adventurous hikers who are looking for a new challenge. Once up there, there are many sights to see – temples, incense burning areas, beautiful architecture, statues of warriors, and the Buddha of course.