Friday, May 27, 2016

MENU goes East - Hong Kong, Cheung Chau Island

We read a lot about them in our newspapers, but have yet to see any in SA. Electric Tesla cars are popular in Hong Kong and one often sees several at a time in the street. The acceleration away from a traffic light is ... electric. And silent
Hong Kong does not only have excellent public transport. It also has great facilities for pedestrians. We took a long walk along this overhead pedestrian walkway
with a view across the harbour to the Convention Centre
past a big wheel - It looks bigger than the V&A wheel
and, at the end of the walkway, reached the ferry terminal at Central Pier
We just made it onto the ferry. Using our Octopus cards (similar to Oyster and Istanbulkart & can be used on all public transport - maybe one day the MyCiti will work the same way) cost us $HK2 each way - about R4; pensioner rate!
The ferry at the pier in Cheung Chau
Thoroughfares are very narrow on the island. Bicycles are very popular and the few motorised vehicles are very narrow
like this
The harbour, filled with large and small boats
fishing or simply watching the water
Junks and more familiar craft
The junks have evolved and one sees very few sails
These pedal trikes are for hire
Western food with a few Chinese influences here
The Black Kite is one of Hong Kong's most familiar birds. One sees them in the air most of the time, searching for food
Pedestrian traffic is quite heavy along the quayside, but one does dodge bikes and the occasional four wheeler
Time for an upgrade?
and it was hot, so we chose a more shaded, quieter route
through the alleys
a relic of colonial times, but it still works
To Tung Wan Beach
This crab was all defensive
and the dogs were playful
This golden retriever kept her owner very busy, throwing her toy into the water for her to fetch
How to hold a shaking dog
Off to find the Catch of the Day
Catch a tan
In 36ยบ heat, thirst quenching became a priority, so we went into this little bar
run by Peter Lee, whose mother is English. He speaks perfect English
It had a wide variety of imported, mostly Belgian, beers
and did a roaring trade in mounds of shaved flavoured ice
and seemed to be popular with the ladies who lunch
but we chose a Tsing Tao, the popular Chinese beer
A banyan tree with its tangle of roots
and the making of a dragon
Joss sticks; all sizes, all aromas
Don't park here, but we're not very busy anyway
Lovely fresh fruit, on ice if necessary
Beautiful plants and good luck ornaments on the door
This house is next to
the Temple
which has some beautiful ceramic decoration
The temple interior
A beautiful moon gate
A shrine inside the temple
protected by fierce warriors
A bell and a gong
The smoke of the joss sticks fills the air with spicy aroma
In the courtyard at the back, a ceremonial fireplace and a small gazebo
and in front, the rather messy remnants of the Cheung Chau Bun Festival, held the previous week
Lots of plastic packaging tape and the occasional rather tired lantern
Then back to the waterfront to see the famed seafood restaurants - not as many as Lynne remembered from her previous visit, twenty years ago, but the fish is alive and waiting to please you: blue crabs
groupers and other unidentified fish
A junk being loaded
with poles
A view over the harbour
with more picturesque junks
and very little activity
Looking into one of the restaurants. Our timing was way off - we would have had to wait for about four hours to be served and that was a bridge too far, sadly
More groupers and, at the back, what looks very much like what we would call a leervis or garrick
and an army of crayfish
blue crabs
We're not sure, but it could be sea bream
drying squid
and cuttlefish
with more blue crabs, all good to go
Then it was back to the terminal, in time to catch the ferry
with a last look at the boats
no possibility of an outside seat, so a half hour ride in the packed ferry
back to Hong Kong
One of the old ferries which run between Hong Kong and Kowloon
The Underground works very well and comfortably, but you can ride these at no charge
The "Morning Star" ferry arrives at the pier
and back along the walkway to catch the MTR Underground
with views of the city centre in the late afternoon light
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016
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