Tai O

Tai O Fishing Village

Tai O is an old fishing village in the “New Territories” of Hong Kong. It is actually a small island connected to the west of Lantau Island by two small bridges. In addition to fishing, it used to produce salt from the sea water. With declining revenue from fishing, the main source of income now is tourism. It helps to be near the feet of the Big Buddha statue. (especially when his head is in the clouds to the right)

Tai O fishing village

Tai O fishing village

 

The small boats are the way to the big boat, work place.

The small boats are the way to the big boat, work place.

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Gateway to the sea

Gateway to the sea.

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fishing and the sea are the way of life

fishing and the sea are the way of life.

 

At least two boats are required for a Dragon Boat Race.

At least two boats are required for a Dragon Boat Race.

Here is one of the locals checking out a boat. Obviously an avid fisherman.

A decision to sit on the boat

A decision to sit on the boat

 

At the end of the dock, one more step.

At the end of the dock, one more step.

 

Success, how's that.

Success, how’s that.

Behind the waterfront property is a street of vendors and an interesting temple; actually two temples. The door on the left leads to the Kwan Tai Temple to honour the god of war and righteousness. The door on the right leads to the smaller Tin Hau Temple where prayers are made for a healthy and safe life.

A tale of two Temples

A tale of two Temples

The left was originally built during the Ming Dynasty 1488-1505. Prayers here are for the protection from evil. The right temple is more recent, built about 1722, in the time of the Qing Dynasty. The bamboo roof has to be replaced frequently, about every 20 years.

restored roof

restored roof

 

Tin Hau roof restored

Kwan Tai roof restored

Below is a satellite view of the village. Can you see the one bridge on the left? The other is off of the top center.

Satellite view of the village

Satellite view of the village

Please join me on a 3 minute boat ride to see the waterfront properties. I have a video saved on youTube for you. Click on this link: https://youtu.be/w_jjJaW2es4

Where do you want to go today?

 

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Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay Hong Kong

A beautiful beach on the south central shore of Hong Kong Island that is accessible by public transportation from the city.

Repulse Bay Beach

Repulse Bay Beach

It is a long curved sand beach with a promenade that makes for a lovely morning or evening stroll to watch the sun rise or set.

Repulse Bay beach with beautiful sand

Repulse Bay beach with beautiful sand

The apartments here are the most expensive on the island.

apartments near by are very expensive

apartments near by are very expensive

Is anyone interested in a sailboat race?

A regatta in front of Middle Island

A regatta in front of Middle Island

 

sailing regata

sailing regata

At the Eastern end of the beach is a large Taoist shrine to Kwum Yam and Tin Hau.

Open air Taoist Shrine to Kwun Yam and Tin Han

Entrance to the open air Taoist Shrine to Kwun Yam and Tin Han

 

Kwum Yam statue in mozaic tile

Kwum Yam statue in mosaic tile

These two giant statues are covered in Mosaic tiles.

Tin Hau

Tin Hau Goddess of the Sea

Tin Hau is the Goddess of the sea and is the protector of the sailors, fishermen, and people who live along the coast.

longevity bridge and Moon Man

Longevity bridge and Moon Man

Legend says that every time you cross the Longevity Bridge, you will add 3 days to your life.  The Old Man from the Moon – the God of Love & Matrimony is the one in white on the left. I don’t know why he is wrapped up in red plastic ribbon. It was the 2016 New Year celebration of the year of the monkey.

Xiwangmu the bird woman

Xiwangmu the bird woman

I’m guessing these horses are only replicas of the 1405 Ming Dynasty treasures.

Ming Dynasty 1405

Ming Dynasty 1405

Where do you want to go today?

 

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Aberdeen Hong Kong

Aberdeen’s Jumbo Floating Restaurant

In the south west part of Hong Kong Island are the Aberdeen Typhoon Shelters and the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant. It is also home of the Aberdeen Harbour Club.

Aberdeen's only Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Aberdeen’s only Jumbo Floating Restaurant

Here is a satellite image, courtesy of Google, of the restaurant in the bottom left and the marina and dock to the right. This area is known as the Aberdeen Promenade.Jumbo Restaurant Aberdeen Hong Kong

There are actually two restaurants. On the bottom is the Jumbo and above is the Tai Pak which serves western food.

Jumbo Restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour , Kong Kong

Jumbo Restaurant in Aberdeen Harbour , Kong Kong

Ferry Dock to restaurants

Ferry Dock to restaurants

The boat ride to the restaurant is free. What boat would you choose? Maybe if you had an apartment in the harbour you would have your own boat tied up at the club.IMG_1624 (1024x674)

An alternative to a white picket fence around your home

An alternative to a white picket fence around your home

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What type of boat would you choose?

What type of boat would you choose?

 

 

This is your ride out to the restaurant

This is your ride out to the restaurant

 

 

check the prop and rudder for plastic bags

check the prop and rudder for plastic bags

 

Our guide recommended a tour around the restaurant to see the back before deciding to eat there.  Imagine the view from the apartment if you were overlooking the restaurant on the water. Maybe the mountain view would be better.

ideal location, mountains, apartments, harbour club, famous restaurant

ideal location, mountains, apartments, harbour club, famous restaurant

I did not take any pictures of the back but you can find an excellent one on Wikipedia.

This wikipedia link has a picture of the back of the  restaurant.

View the back of the restaurant.

Wikipedia has more interesting facts about these restaurants.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumbo_Kingdom

Where do you want to go today?

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Victoria Peak

Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island

The highest point on Hong Kong Island offers a panoramic view of the city below. On a clear day you can see the short distance across Victoria Harbour to Kowloon on the mainland.satview

 

The photo below is three pictures “stitched” together, side by side, to form one. It is a view from the bottom left of the map above to the upper right corner. All of the buildings are on the near shore between the peak and the shore of the harbour. If you zoom into the center, the far shore is barely visible as it disappears into the fog.

Panoramic view from The Peak

Panoramic view from The Peak

It is a good thing our tour was delayed a couple of hours. I wonder how thick the fog was two hours earlier?

Doug and Nancy at Victoria Peak Hong Kong

Doug and Nancy at Victoria Peak Hong Kong

the lookout points

the lookout points

There are several outlook points as well as all along the walkway.

At the peak is a Galleria shopping mall and square .

The Peak Galeriea

The Peak Galeria

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

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The Peak map

Where do you want to go today?

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Kowloon

Park Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong

We landed in Hong Kong before the sun rose, and arrived at the hotel around 8:45.

Park Hotel

Park Hotel

The adventure began back in Toronto about 1:30 AM when we were waiting to board our plane. People were lining up to go down the ramp to the plane but the announcement that we heard was not for boarding but to inform us that the flight would be “delayed for operation reasons”. We later learned that one of the crew had called in “sick” at the last minute and the airline was not able to find a replacement for them.  We were told to pick up a voucher and leave details of where we could be contacted when the rescheduled time was known. We had to pick up our bags and take a taxi home. The airline agreed to pay for the taxi to our home and back to the airport.

When we arrived home about 5:AM sleeping was the first thing on our agenda. After about 6 hours of sleep we decided we had to go out for breakfast since we had carefully arranged to leave the fridge empty while we were away.  The notice arrived saying the flight would depart at 21:00.

As we were riding back to the airport in the taxi about 17:00 another message arrived. Your flight  “will depart at 1:20. Thank you for using notiFLY.”  When we checked in at the counter for our boarding passes and presented the taxi receipts, were were reimbursed in cash and given vouchers for $35 each to use toward a meal while we waited for the new departure time.

Meanwhile, we contacted our travel agent who had arranged a hotel, airport transfers, and tours in Hong Kong for us. She was able to notify the tour company, and they were able to delay one of the tours by a couple of hours.

Cameron Road from Chatham Road

Cameron Road from Chatham Road

We were in our room by 9:00 and had time to get ready for our 10:25 pickup at the hotel. even had time to take a picture from the hotel window.

view from Park Hotel

view from Park Hotel

Here is a map of the tours we had booked. The first was a half day tour of Hong Kong Island. The second was a one day tour of Lantau island. Watch for more posts on the different stops on those tours.

Hong Kong 2016

Hong Kong 2016

Before leaving Kowloon for Singapore, I took a couple more pictures from the street at the corner of the hotel. Too bad we were a day late in arriving. We were not able to explore the city around the hotel. It was in the middle of the 2016 New Year celebration (year of the monkey) and the traffic was lighter because many return to their homes in the country to be with family.

Chatham Road

Chatham Road

view from Cameron Road to Chatham Road

view from Cameron Road to Chatham Road

View from Park Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

View from Park Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Charlie Brown and friends have a place in Hong Kong. (and where is waldo?)

So, what happens when you call in sick at the last minute? Do they cancel the flight until the next day? Do they pay for taxi rides for 300 passengers and buy them dinner? You will have to keep working for the company for a long time to repay all of that.

Where do you want to go today?

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Singapore River Cruise

Singapore River cruise

When the Sapphire Princess visited Singapore for a day in the middle of the cruise, we booked a river cruise of the city. This is what the boat looked like.

Singapore river boat

Singapore river boat.

The tour began at  Clarke Quay. There were other things there to capture the tourist adventuring dollars.

The river cruise began in Clarke Quay

The river cruise began in Clarke Quay

Maybe some food before the water ride.

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If you are planning to try the reverse bungee ride, you might want to do it first before you eat.  The reverse bungee ride straps you into a seat at ground level then stretched the cords up into the air. When the trigger is released you are shot up into the air. The plan is to stay strapped into the seat and connected to the bungee cords.

Reverse bungee ride

Reverse bungee ride

 

You take a friend along to hold your hand.

You can take a friend or two along to hold your hand.

The country encourages all religions and favours none. In a few blocks along one street there are Hindu temples, Buddhist monasteries, Christian churches,  Islamic mosques and other places of worship.IMG_2249 (1024x661)

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To watch the highlights of the river cruise, click on the link below. You will see the historic Fulton Hotel and the Lion Fountain in the bay.

Here is a link to my youtube clips of parts of the river cruise.  https://youtu.be/Ye_7hlDjl50

Where do you want to go today?

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Garden by the Bay

Forest in the Clouds

Singapore has a magnificent conservation park called Gardens by the Bay. There are two pods, built like green houses, but about 6 stories high.

Garden by the Bay

Garden by the Bay

It is a twenty minute walk from the hotel. The conservation domes are air conditioned and humidity controlled. That makes them an ideal spot to spend the early afternoon.

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The entrance is at the water falls. I recommend taking the elevator up to the top and viewing from the walkways at the top first.

Take the elevator to the upper walkway.

Take the elevator to the upper walkway.

Look up. Look way up.

Look up. Look way up.

A wonderful view of the city and bay as well.

A wonderful view of the city and bay as well.

Inside the Mountain are stalagmites and stalagtites from near by caves.

Inside the Mountain are stalagmites and stalactites from near by caves.

 

As we wandered down through the inside of the mountain, we saw other exhibits like these:

Stalagmites

Stalagmites

Around the garden are many exquisite carvings.

beware of the Dragons in the forest.

beware of the Dragons in the forest.

There may be lions in the forest too.

There may be lions in the forest too.

Its a jungle in there.

Its a jungle in there.

See the new life released by the sculpture from the old root.

See the new life released by the sculpture from the old root.

If you have an eagle eye, you might see the LEGO plants amongst the ferns.

Can you see the LEGO plants amongst the ferns?

Can you see the LEGO plants amongst the ferns?

 

The LEGO color and shapes fit right in.

The LEGO color and shapes fit right in.

To see the waterfall and more plants and flowers, watch the video on you tube.  https://youtu.be/FWlcyhiQ2tk

 

Where do you want to go today?

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Singapore 2016

Singapore, the Lion City

The Republic of Singapore is an Island City State at the southern tip of Asia with a population of over 5 million people. It is a commercial, financial, and transportation hub for Asia, and is a leader in many lists of merit. See Wikipedia for more details.

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The financial district is built on reclaimed land using sand from Malasia.

The city is also called the Garden City. Watch for a post on the “Garden by the Bay”

Also called the Garden City

Also called the Garden City

I visited in February when the celebration of the Chinese New Year was taking place. About 74% of the population are of Chinese ancestry.

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IMG_2248 (1024x576) (2)The Sands Hotel and Casino is owned by the same owner as the casino in Las Vegas by the same name. Visitors do not have to pay to enter the casino, but all residents have to pay an entrance fee. This is said to be the best place to order an official Singapore Sling.

Sands Hotel and casino

Sands Hotel and casino

cruise ship within sight of the hotel.

cruise ship within sight of the hotel.

Singapore is popular port for South Asian cruises. We were delayed in boarding the ship because there were more ships in port than the city could handle at one time. The immigration officers were probably working overtime to accommodate all of the tourists. Princess Cruises compensated us for the delay and change of boarding venues by giving us $150 US on board credit. Also, we were given a voucher for admission to one of the conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay. Since we were within walking distance of the park, it was a great way to enjoy the morning.

Garden by the Bay

Garden by the Bay – built on reclaimed land

Part of the boarding process was done at the hotel.  We waited in the hotel until the port authority and immigration officers were ready for us. On the rooftop of the hotel is a horizon pool and bar. It is very high and a wonderful breeze cooled the open area.

View over the horizon pool on the roof of the South Beach hotel.

View over the horizon pool on the roof of the South Beach hotel.

This was a great place to take pictures of the city.

Does every city need a ferris wheel?

Does every city need a ferris wheel?

Not an armadillo

Not an armadillo

 

After boarding the Sapphire Princess, the evening sun showed the beauty of this modern city.

View of Singapore from the Sapphire Princess

View of Singapore from the Sapphire Princess

 

see more pictures in my youtube video here  ->  https://youtu.be/kw45nBMNK9s

Where do you want to go today?

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Singapore at Night

Singapore is a beautiful city. My first view of it was at night when we arrived at our hotel.

the financial district at night

the financial district at night

Part of our cruise package with Princess Cruises included a one night stay over in Singapore and transfers from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the ship. This trip had many on going adjustments to the schedule, and that can be a good thing. Usually the changes are made for a good reason, and when you do not have to worry about the details of the plans, you only have to be focused on the next time and place to meet. In this case, when the driver picked us up at the airport, he said, “I am going to take you to a different hotel.”
Later we learned that the hotel we had reservations for was inconvenienced by a fire in the elevator shafts in the upper floors. That is how we ended up at the South Beach Hotel. (not South Park). It was described as a “young mans hotel”. The decor is very psychedelic. The elevators are lit by LED lights that are continually changing color. In the lobby, facing one of the entrances, there is a large wall with an LED screen from the floor to the very high ceiling. this wall has a bright display that is continually morphing and changing. See the youtube video link at the end. The restaurant is called “ADHD”.

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the back entrance., opposite Raffles Hotel

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The back of the South Beach Hotel looking over the Raffles Hotel

At one end is the memorial park.

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Memorial monument in the park.

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Historic Raffles Hotel

To one side is a shopping mall.
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On the other side is the famous Raffles Hotel. It is just across the road from the back entrance.
As I walked around the hotel, I took a few more pictures. This one includes the monument and the financial district seen through an arch of the hotel.
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Looking back at the hotel from near the monument.
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Public transportation is very affordable to encourage residents to avoid using their own cars and motorbikes. Traffic was not a problem in the short time we were there.
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Watch for more pictures in the youtube link and see the hypnotic wall.

Where do you want to go today?

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virus, sermon, lunar eclipse

This month’s “#blogboost” challenge begins a few days late for me because I have been looking after some details to make this site more secure for my visitors. I have taken some time to add protection to the files and to make it more difficult for autobots to mess things up.

I hope the changes do not spoil your experience and deter you from leaving comments.

Without preaching too much about the vulnerability of blogs and websites, let me simply say, use protection on your web site. Remember life jackets and condoms only work if you wear them.

So that was the segue from the virus to the sermon.

I recall a discussion with a pastor about why sermons were so long. Could they be shorter? He replied that he tried to touch on four different topics to catch the attention of more people and give them something to remember. Sometimes it would be the previous day’s baseball game. With that in mind I decided to add a couple of unrelated topics to this post to fill in the space and find something of interest for my friends who take the time to read it.

Pictures are always good. And how about a youtube video. Here is the picture:

Lunar Eclipse 2015

Lunar Eclipse 2015

 

The picture is one of eight that I took as the moon was moving into the shadow of the earth. I took them about three minutes apart. I had not spent a lot of time getting prepared for this sequence of pictures. I scrambled to get the tripod, and the zoom lens,  and the screen off of the window. I stopped when the moon was almost completely shadowed and the clouds rolled in. That was between 10:00 and 10:20 PM EST.

10:13 EST

10:13 EST

The technical numbers are: Canon 650D camera , ISO 1600, 300mm telephoto lens, f5.6. The exposure time was different for each of the pictures, less for the brighter moon, and longer for the darker moon. They ranged from 1/8 second, through 1/4 second, to as long as 1/2 second.

That was the easy part. The moon was only a small part of the picture, and was in a different part of the frame for each picture. So I used photoshop and its windows equivalents  to clip out only the part with the moon, position it in about the same place in each frame, and to stitch them together into a video with some background music. Here is the result.

the youtube video:   https://youtu.be/HlX3j8kUyPw

Where do you want to go today?

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