Week 3! Did a lot more touristy things this time around: went to the antique market and visited a few parks during lunch on work days, then on the weekend I visited the Choi Hung estate, went through the large food market there and went to the Chi Lin Nunnery. I also got a chance to have a fairly long video chat with the folks back home!
First the parks. We had a couple coworkers show us a few parks to have lunch at around the Sheung Wan area on a nice day. Something I really appreciate with the Hong Kong environment is the frequent mix of oriental architecture surrounded by looming corporate buildings. There’s just something so unique and incredible about the juxtaposition between them and how it occurs.
The antique market was pretty amazing, apparently Jackie Chan frequents around there a lot (we didn’t see him unfortunately, I plan to visit his section on the Hollywood avenue here though!). Its essentially a short street full of nick nacks and as the name implies: antiques. There was a lot of cool little symbolic objects I had my eye on, and so many Foo Dogs as well! Unfortunately a lot of it was very expensive, but I’m sure if I frequent enough there’ll be a few gems to find. I did have take a liking to a couple of the metal tea pots there. Speaking of tea, I think I’ve been developing a milk tea addiction here. A lot of people back home seem to really not like how milk tea sounds when I bring it up (especially my mum). But anyway, I’m sure there’ll be many more trips to the antique market while I’m here!
The Choi Hung estate was really cool, but I probably should’ve put a bit more effort into researching it beforehand instead of just looking up where it was in Hong Kong. It took me a little while to find the infamous multi coloured building / basketball court so commonly seen on Instagram and Pinterest. So for a while I was just wandering around the estate, taking in the sights (I didn’t mind too much though because it’s a super nice area!). Eventually I though to check on top of the carpark building (conveniently out of view from the ground). Even when I thought to check there it seemed a bit wrong because of the security patrolling the area (in hindsight they’re probably there to make sure none of the cars get broken into). The famous colouring was actually a lot less saturated than people online will lead you to believe, it’s not quite the same colouring it was back in 1965. It’s also constantly busy which honestly wasn’t surprising at all considering it’s a tourist attraction and how large basketball is across Asia as well. Still the area with it’s unique styling and tropical foliage was well worth seeing and I really enjoyed it!
After the Choi Hung estate I walked through the food market nearby and then continued onwards to the nearby Chi Lin Nunnery. The food market was very intense and overwhelming. People were constantly busting about with a lot of raw meats and baskets of fruit. One thing I will say about here is that food hygiene can really be put on the back burner a lot of the time. So many raw foods lying about covered in bugs.
I was absolutely blown away by the Chi Lin Nunnery. It was a very hot day as well so it was fairly busy as well, but even still everyone was very respectful and quiet which made the experience so much better. Everything about it was so serene and calming. The longer I’ve been in Hong Kong the more I’ve been blown away by the architecture and exotic foliage, it’s a big change compared to New Zealand. And the Nunnery was a focal point of all of that, especially with the towering buildings always off in the distance no matter where you looked.The Nunnery itself was extremely quiet with a lot of intricate statues and architecture everywhere. Of course you weren’t allowed to take photos of any prayer statues, but honestly even with all the statues the gardens were the highlight of the day for me. They were a lot larger and more lush than I expected, of course I’d seen the golden centrepiece beforehand but I didn’t realise how much was just around that area. Like a waterwheel and restaurant behind a waterfall? I could’ve spent most of my day there.
Finishing off with this post the weekly complaint: People love to honk their car horn for a really elongated time here. Especially at 3am. I don’t get a huge amount of sleep some nights, like right now.