Tuesday, April 24, 2012

2012 HK Trip - Knowing Hong Kong through MTR Stations Part 2

Location: S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Note: This is an article continuing from Knowing Hong Kong through MTR Stations Part 1.

Kowloon (九龍)

Traditional Chinese: 九龍
Simplified Chinese: 九龙
Cantonese Jyutping: gau2 lung4
Pin Yin: Jǐu Lǒng
Pronounced as: gau loong

Being a transliteration of "Nine Dragons", the origin of the name is an interesting one. A legend (may be historically true as well) recounted that the Song Emperor Bing (宋帝昺) was in the area with his court and he counted eight mountains. 

The Chinese believed that each mountain was in reality a dragon in disguise and the Emperor would like to name the place as such ("Eight Dragons" that is). A witty courtier immediately corrected him that there were nine dragons instead. Where was the ninth one then? The Emperor of course! Talk about bootlicking (source from Asia Travel)...

Prince Edward
Traditional Chinese:
Cantonese Jyutping:
 taai3 zi2
Pin Yin: 
Tài Zǐ 
Pronounced as: taai zhee

The origin of this station's name is quite interesting - the transliteration of 太子 is actually "Crown Prince", so how did Prince Edward comes into play? The station is named according to the major roads Prince Edward East and Prince Edward West in the area. The latter are in turn named after Edward VIII of United Kingdom, who was Crown Prince when he visited (from Wikipedia).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

2012 HK Trip - Good Start Restaurant 囍点

Location: Mong Kok, S.A.R. Hong Kong

My first night in Hong Kong was filled with adventure - all of my focus was on getting my bearings and finding my way to the hostel. Despite my understanding of Cantonese and Mandarin, aligning myself in a foreign place was still an adventure, especially with the hustle of night time Mong Kok.

By the time I settled down, it was already 10p.m. This was usually a bad news, since I was used to stalls closing down before 10p.m. Without any particular shop in mind, I just wandered down the streets and with some hesitance entered this shop which looked decent from the outside.

Welcome to Good Start Restaurant! Its name 囍点 actually transliterate into "Happiness Point".

Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 HK Trip - Knowing Hong Kong through MTR Stations Part 1

Location: S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

In my humble opinion, there are no better way to know Hong Kong than these 2 methods - watching Hong Kong drama and travelling by MTR. Yes, it's MTR (Mass Transit Railway), not MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), although it stands for the same transportation method.

It was during my study of Hong Kong's locations that I started to understand the layout of this foreign land. In general, the region is divided into 3 geographical districts, with each of them listed below. I have the opportunity to plan my trip to coincide with at least one of the district and leave with a shot of the MTR stations there.

Hong Kong's MTR map and route. Click on the image for a larger view (image obtained from Hong Kong Planner).

The region of Hong Kong is categorized into 18 districts, with them grouped under 3 different territories. The largest territory will be the New Territories, with Kowloon and Hong Kong Island holding environments which are familiar to us through TV dramas and movies (image obtained from Wikipedia).

Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 HK Trip - The Flight to Hong Kong

Location: Penang isle; S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

Even after experiencing my fair share of flights, I am still unnerved during takeoffs and landings, and especially so when I could feel the vibrations of the plane right through my bones during turbulence encounters.

Still, I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the clear blue sky or starry nights during the uneventful leg of my journey. Capturing the moment of exhilaration I experienced whenever a picturesque cloudy vista floated past had proven daunting for my meager Sony TX-5, especially with the reflective panes showing myself clearly within the shot.

I had somehow, through luck, captured some of the best shots during my flight from Penang isle to Hong Kong and with a little retouch, obtained a few memorable images of my awe when I stared out the window ports.

A slightly cloudy sky bade us farewell in Penang isle.  As hot as the weather is, I missed it terribly when I was subjected to the much cooler Hong Kong weather.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

2012 HK Trip - The Week in Hong Kong

Location: S.A.R. Hong Kong, China

When I laid out my plans for this trip, I didn't know that I will land in a politically defining moment for that foreign piece of land. Hong Kong was set to vote for its new Chief Executive and I was there on the first day to witness through news report the selection of Leung Chun-Ying as the new Chief.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong

The coveted position is both important and unusual to the people of Hong Kong. When Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese rule, the position of governor was replaced by Chief Executive as the head of the government. Although an election is performed to obtain a new Chief Executive, what differs the system from the usual democratic election is that the candidate is elected by an electoral college (currently stands at 1,200 strong) consisting of private citizens and bodies instead of by the population of Hong Kong. In other words, as was reported in some medium, this is a "small-circle election".

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