Posts tagged with "Hong Kong"

Apartment Hunting in Hong Kong

Main hall with furniture

Thumbnail: Bathroom
Thumbnail: The view
Thumbnail: Study room
Thumbnail: Main hall without furniture
Thumbnail: Master bedroom
Thumbnail: Closet doors
Thumbnail: Second bedroom
Thumbnail: Dock view

I had the chance to take part in some apart­ment hunt­ing, and saw two suites in a new sky rise. The small­er was $1.3 mil­lion CAD, the larg­er $1.8 mil­lion CAD. Which pret­ty much means that I could nev­er afford them, even if I won the lot­tery, but I still dream of liv­ing here one day. A cozy space with a nice view and mod­ern trim­mings. Mortgages go up to 30 years in Hong Kong. If you’re buy­ing a place that has­n’t been built yet, you get to design the lay­out of your con­do like a house.

Space is so expen­sive here that offices are often com­bined with bed­rooms, unlike Canada where there’s a sep­a­rate room for each (unless you’re a stu­dent). Furnishing a place would be much cheap­er though, since emp­ty areas get filled quick­ly. I imag­ine that it’s hard to be a pack rat when stor­age areas are at such a pre­mi­um.

Hong Kong Flower Show 2009

Domi and Ami

Thumbnail: Entranceway
Thumbnail: Flower dragon boat
Thumbnail: Flower statues
Thumbnail: Fountain pond
Thumbnail: Full garden
Thumbnail: Hanging plants
Thumbnail: House garden
Thumbnail: Japanese garden
Thumbnail: Miniature farm
Thumbnail: Monkey pot
Thumbnail: Mushroom star
Thumbnail: Orchid display
Thumbnail: Photographers
Thumbnail: Swing set
Thumbnail: Rest area

I just hap­pened to be here dur­ing the Hong Kong Flower Show, a demon­stra­tion of var­i­ous flower cul­ti­va­tors and appre­ci­a­tion orga­ni­za­tions. Each group had their own lit­tle sec­tions to present their areas of spe­cial­iza­tion. It’s amaz­ing to see how cre­ative peo­ple can be with flow­ers; liv­ing things, no less.

Hong Kong: Nights

Tung Choi Street (or Ladies’ Market), as seen in my Hong Kong: Markets video as the area cov­ered with blue tarp, is for the ladies, and opened all day.

Temple Street, on the oth­er hand, only starts to come alive at night, and is also known as Men’s Street. There are no stalls out dur­ing the day. This is the street that one of my favourite Stephen Chow movies, God of Cookery, is based on, so it was awe­some to be able to see it in per­son.

Instead of hand­bags, clothes, and posters sold in Ladies’ Market, they sell cheap men-ori­ent­ed trin­kets like bat­ter­ies, lighters, base­ball caps, elec­tron­ics, cam­era gear, and sex toys. There’s also a sec­tion with rows of stalls for for­tune telling (at 2:12), offered in both Chinese and English lan­guages, and European (tarot) and Asian (face, palm read­ing) flavours.

Temple street is also known for it’s road­side din­ing, where you can order pots stuffed with meat or deep fried del­i­ca­cies. I was warned not to eat any­thing on tem­ple street though, as the stan­dards are too low now1. One might get away with an upset stom­ach at best, and end up with a trip to the hos­pi­tal at worst.

Since Temple Street is noto­ri­ous­ly shady, where there’s more open pros­ti­tu­tion, drug deal­ings, and oth­er unsavoury activ­i­ties, I lim­it­ed my film­ing on the off-chance that I may have cap­tured some­thing I should­n’t2. Can you spot the two hook­ers?

  1. Even my dad won’t eat there any­more, which is say­ing some­thing. []
  2. During the walk through the stalls, I was yelled at once by a ven­dor to put my cam­era away. []

Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak at sunset

Victoria Peak is the high­est moun­tain on Hong Kong Island, offer­ing an oth­er­wise unavail­able view of Hong Kong, includ­ing the Kowloon side. On clear days, you can see the hori­zon go on into the dis­tance.

Thumbnail: Tram arrival
Thumbnail: Riding the tram
Thumbnail: Riding the tram
Thumbnail: Tramway incline
Thumbnail: Victoria Peak Tower

To get to the peak, you can a tramway train, which is about a five minute ride. On the oth­er hand, wait­ing to get on the tram took me about 30 min­utes on a good day at a good time. The tram actu­al­ly has stops like a bus, because some peo­ple actu­al­ly live on the peak, though these are con­sid­ered lux­u­ry estates.

Victoria Peak at sunset

At night, the lights of Hong Kong’s famous sky­line start to turn on, and the view changes dra­mat­i­cal­ly. The sky­line is nor­mal­ly seen and pho­tographed from the Kowloon side, so this is a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive from usu­al Hong Kong pho­tographs.

Thumbnail: Peak side
Thumbnail: Shopping area
Thumbnail: Foggy restaurant
Thumbnail: Mall and patrons
Thumbnail: Peak Galleria

There’s an entire lit­tle vil­lage at the peak, with lots of touristy areas sell­ing over­priced mem­o­ra­bil­ia.

Star Ferry

Hong Kong is com­mon­ly divid­ed in two — Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula — by Victoria Harbour. One of the most icon­ic ways to trav­el between the two sides is by Star Ferry. It’s a pop­u­lar and pic­turesque method of trans­porta­tion, because it’s inex­pen­sive (about $2.2 HKD or $0.30 CAD for a one-way ride) and allows for a great view of Hong Kong’s famous sky­line. A fleet of 12 fer­ries car­ries 70000 peo­ple a day, even though there are many cross-har­bour tun­nels and bridges that have been built to allow for auto­mo­bile trans­porta­tion. The ride takes about 10 min­utes, includ­ing board­ing and alight­ing.