April 2, 2008

Hong Kong Island in Black and White from Victoria Peak

POST #    2751

In continuing the whole image manipulation thing with Lightroom, here's a photo from last year's trip to Hong Kong. You can see a similar picture on flickr.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 5:15 PM

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August 29, 2007

The Hong Kong Subways, Everything NYC's Aren't

POST #    2590

It's unfair to compare New York City's subway system with that of other cities. After all, it's older, larger, and transports more people than most other systems. Because of this, it lacks a lot of the newer, modern features that are in other cities. This is slowly changing with the new cars on the 4/5/6, 2/3, L and the new R160s that are rolling out, but cars are only part of it. If the 2nd Ave. line is ever built, then NYC will have something that is comparable to that of other cities.

In Hong Kong, they have platforms that prevents debris/people from falling onto the tracks, modern stations, smooth rides, and you know when the trains are coming. While I do love NYC's subway system (most of the time, anyway), there's definitely a lot that can be improved. Then again, there's a shortage of money too.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:55 AM

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August 16, 2007

Offerings from McDonald's in Hong Kong

POST #    2579

Why eat at McDonald's when you're in a foreign country? Never underestimate the power of air conditioning and the knowledge that they have clean bathrooms.

Pictured here is the red bean pie (not nearly as good as the apple pies at non-U.S. locations or the sweet taro pie), corn (not very good), and a coffee from the McCafé.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:49 AM

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August 15, 2007

The View From Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

POST #    2578

Hi above Hong Kong Island is Victoria Peak, the island's tallest mountain at 552 meters (1,811 feet). It's also Hong Kong's biggest tourist attraction, drawing about 7 million visitors a year. Once you get to the top of Victoria Peak via the Peak Tram (it gets to what seemed like at least a 45° angle at points), there's a modern mall (complete with an EA Sports zone and Bubba Gump restaurant) that you walk through before reaching the observation deck at The Peak Tower.

As you can see, the observation deck offers a great view of Hong Kong. It's a shame that it was so cloudy again.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:33 AM

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August 14, 2007

Ngong Ping Skyrail

POST #    2577

While you can get to the Giant Buddha in Lantau by car or bus, the newest way to get there is the Ngong Ping Skyrail. It's a 3.5 mile (5.7km) cable car that takes you from Tung Chung station on the MTR to Ngong Ping Village. It's probably the longest cable car ride that I've ever taken and certainly the only tram/gondola that I've been on that passes through two stations where the actual route changes (see map). The ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping takes about 20-25 minutes. The skyrail offers nice views during the ride, but they would have been much better if we experienced nicer weather.

Construction on the skyrail started in 2004 and it opened in mid-September, 2006. Right now, it seems like the skyrail is closed indefinitely after an "incident" in June. Apparently, a gondola cabin fell from the cable for no reason. Nobody was hurt and the skyrail remains closed while they investigate the accident.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:20 AM

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August 8, 2007

Nestlé's Mango Madness

POST #    2572

In case you were wondering, the Mango Madness ice cream cone does in fact taste like mango. It definitely hit the spot on a hot day at Ocean Park.

P.S. - Sorry for the late update, I had about 3" of flooding in my basement because of the wild storms this morning in New York City.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Travel at 11:39 AM

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August 2, 2007

The Ocean Park Tram

POST #    2568

Like many amusement parks, Ocean Park in Hong Kong has a tram to get from one part of the park to another. Except at Ocean Park, there are two distinct parts to the park where you have to use the tram to travel from one side to the other. The tram goes small mountains (or are they very large hills) right by the water. It makes for some pretty cool, but scary, views. I can't imagine what would happen if the tram suddenly broke down.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:38 AM

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July 31, 2007

More of Hong Kong's Urban Architecture

POST #    2565

I would say that most of the buildings in Hong Kong look like these. They aren't skyscrapers, nor are they the neon-lit buildings lining the harbor, but functional gritty buildings that give the city character.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:43 AM

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July 30, 2007

A Colorful Building Facade in Hong Kong

POST #    2564

This was just down the block from Calvin's Grandma's veggie stand.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:10 AM

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July 26, 2007

Angry Hong Kong Garbage Can

POST #    2561

This purple garbage can is clearly tired of having stuff thrown into his mouth.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:17 AM

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July 25, 2007

Pizza in Hong Kong

POST #    2560

I can't really remember exactly where we got this pizza, but it seemed like a restaurant that turned into bar at night and it was on a somewhat secluded street that had a bunch of bars on it. Nice, right? I think after a few days Japan and a couple more in Hong Kong, I was definitely craving pizza. Pictured is a sausage and olive pizza, which was actually pretty good. I'm not sure if it was good because it was actually good or because I missed pizza that much. If you're so inclined, here's a pizza upskirt.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Travel at 8:38 AM

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July 24, 2007

Grandma Wong's Vegetable Stand

POST #    2559

One of our stops in Hong Kong was to the vegetable stand that Calvin's grandmother used to own (Calvin's great aunt currently runs it). While his grandmother is now in New York, the stand is still there. I thought it was a pretty cool, non-touristy stop for us.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Friends/Family, Hong Kong, Travel at 8:22 AM

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July 18, 2007

Sad Pandaless Ocean Park

POST #    2552

Our biggest disappointment when we arrived at Ocean Park was that the panda exhibit was closed! The panda exhibit, which was one of the main reasons we even went, was closed for construction. When Johnny asked if we could get a discount for entry to the park, he was met with a blank stare from the ticket salesperson.

All I could do is take this lousy picture with a panda sign.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:22 AM

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July 17, 2007

Over the Streets of Hong Kong

POST #    2551

Competing for the eyeballs of pedestrians in Hong Kong must be really hard. I can't imagine how much electricity is used with all the signs that hang above the streets in Hong Kong.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:07 AM

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July 12, 2007

Night View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon

POST #    2547

While New York City's skyline is famous, it can be argued that Hong Kong's is even more famous. Both skylines are mentioned in top-skyline lists, with either New York or Hong Kong taking the crown. I'm a little biased to New York, but Hong Kong's is pretty nice. One thing's for sure, Hong Kong's is much more colorful.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:11 AM

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July 11, 2007

In a Past Life, Happy Valley Cemetery

POST #    2546

You might say that I have a slight fascination with photographing and visiting cemeteries, but I don't really think I do.

This is a photo of Hong Kong Cemetery in...Hong Kong. Founded in 1845, It used to be called Happy Valley Cemetery, but for some reason they changed the name, but not all the signage. I took this photo while on the way back from Stanley on the bus, which is the reason for the reflection of my shirt and the interior of the bus. It's hard to tell in this photo, but the cemetery is essentially surrounded by buildings. Despite the reflection, I still like this photo a lot.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 7:41 AM

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July 10, 2007

The Aquarium at Ocean Park

POST #    2545


As if a dolphin show wasn't enough fun at Ocean Park in Hong Kong, we also went into the aquarium. There, they had sharks, lots of fish, and some of the animals seen here.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:12 AM

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July 9, 2007

Our First Meal in Hong Kong

POST #    2540

Our first meal in Hong Kong was breakfast. What did we get? No, not dim sum, but noodles and Hong Kong-style French toast.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:03 AM

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July 6, 2007

Tian Tan Buddha (aka Big Buddha)

POST #    2542

On a plateau on Lantau Island in Hong Kong sits a huge statue of Buddha. In fact, it's so large that it was once ( a Korean one eclipsed it this year) the largest outdoor bronze statue of Buddha in the world. The statue is 34 meters high and weighs a whopping 250 tons. Construction of the Big Buddha started in 1990 and finished in 1993 and I think of it as a huge tourist attraction more than a religious attraction, but that's just me. Lantau Island is also the location of Hong Kong's International Airport and Hong Kong Disneyland.

To reach Tian Tan Buddha, you have to climb up 268 steps. Not fun in Hong Kong's humid weather.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 2:17 PM

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July 5, 2007

The Dolphin Show at Ocean Park

POST #    2541


People don't usually go to Ocean Park in Hong Kong for their dolphin show (they usually go for pandas, but more on that later). I can't really blame them, because while watching dolphins jump in the water is always fun, it gets old. Not for all the people in the crowd though - I don't think they've ever seen a dolphin show before. Or seen a dolphin for that matter. The show was packed, with a butt in every seat.

Also amusing, they had a band beforehand that played some country jazz-like music and sang in English. I suppose music is universal though.

Posted by tien mao in Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 8:33 AM

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July 4, 2007

A Guinness in Stanley

POST #    2539

Let's start the photos of Hong Kong off right! With a beer!

While in Hong Kong, we went to Stanley the childhood town of Calvin's mom. We wandered around a bit and grabbed a pint at the Smugglers Inn, a bar that's "that's very popular with both tourists and expats." It even had its own drunk white dude in the middle of the day! One thing that seems rather popular with bartenders in Asia is the shamrock on the Guinness. We saw them a lot in Tokyo as well.

Posted by tien mao in Food/Drink, Hong Kong, Photos, Travel at 9:26 AM

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