Posts tagged: Hong Kong Summer Spectacular

Hong Kong on my Mind!

By , August 29, 2010 12:01 pm


Lasting impressions of the Fragrant Harbour

On the evidence of the four activity packed and fun filled days in Hong Kong, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), there is much to see and discover of Hong Kong. Four days certainly isn’t by any means enough and what it has left me with is a desire to return to the Fragrant Harbour for more journeys of discovery. The four days has certainly left me with much to savour: flavours of old and new that seem to complement rather than contradict in not just the cuisine, but in much of the culture and traditions, as well as in many of the day-to-day goings-on. That the trip has left me a lasting impression of Hong Kong there is no doubt. Along with this, there are many new perspectives that I have gained on places that I have previously visited, as well as the perspectives on a Hong Kong that has a memory of its past very much in how life goes on in the present, of which I have some very lasting impressions of:

Dragon Boats, Bath Tubs, Drums and Screaming Adolescents.

Food, Glorious Food!

Wonderful Sights,

Hong Kong Very Much as it is.


Dragon Boats, Bath Tubs, Drums and Screaming Adolescents!

When Pete just couldn’t keep himself dry sharing a bath tub with a model!

Mixing up bath tubs and dragon boats doesn’t always work out, as Pete and Geck Geck were to find out.

Adolescents screaming in UC Centenary Square to the beat of the drums!

The beat of traditional drums open the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, as Canto-Pop and K-Pop Artistes greet screaming adolescents.

Alexander seemed like the most popular guy in Hong Kong, much to Pete’s disappointment!

The one mighty scream for Alexander.

Adolescents screaming in UC Centenary Square to the beat of the drums!

The beat of traditional drums open the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, as Canto-Pop and K-Pop Artistes greet screaming adolescents.

More on the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival.

An overview of Day 3 and the Dragon Boat Races.


Food, Glorious Food!

Paddling Away to a Delightful Robatayaki Treat at busy suzie.

A wonderful treat to a fantastic dining experience and Robatayaki cuisine in the ambience of a circular restaurant in 1881 Heritage.

Shanghainese, Yang Zhou and Szechuan cuisine at the Hong Kong Old Restaurant.

A restaurant that built a reputation on the old money of Hong Kong which serves delightful Shanghainese, Yang Zhou and Szechuan dishes.

The Delectable Treats on offer in a Private Kitchen.

The delectable world of Margaret Xu, a former advertising agency owner who has decided to treat Hong Kong to her wonderful skills in behind the stove in her three table private kitchen in which she offers vegetables straight from her organic farm.

A French-Italian Restaurant Run for Charitable Causes.

Gingko House, a restaurant in Central in which you could be transported by the strains of La Vie en Rose playing in the background to the streets of Paris. The restaurant was started by social workers providing employment to the elderly as well as channelling its proceeds towards charitable causes.


Wonderful Sights.

The Wonderland that is the Mira.

The gorgeous world that you enter through the doors of the Mira Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Market at Nelson Street.

Wanderings around Nelson Street in Mongkok.

A visual treat of Colour, Light and Texture.

The celebration of colour, light and texture on the streets of Hong Kong.

Sights of Victoria Harbour on Board a Replica of the Bounty.

Why there would have certainly been a mutiny on this Bounty.

In between Imagination & Reality.

A really interesting sculpture exhibition “In between Imagination & Reality” that was going on at the Atrium in Times Square featuring sculptures from two of Korea’s renowned contemporary sculptors, Yong Ho Ji and Hwan Kwon Yi which runs up to 22 August 2010. What caught my eyes were the sculptures of Yi, whose sculptures are made in distorted proportions that play on one’s mind in a way that it serves to confuse and confound what the mind makes out of what the eye sees.

The Amazing “Scarefolding” of Hong Kong.

An old practice still evry much in use in Hong Kong that is perhaps reminiscent of that in Singapore when I was growing up. It is something that one sees everywhere, being particularly hard to miss on the busy streets … bamboo scaffolding. This very old method of erecting scaffolding is used in much of the construction activity going on around Hong Kong, as well as in maintenance work on the exteriors of buildings and on the signboards that stick out from the buildings.

Hong Kong Very Much as it is.

All That Glitters!

Hong Kong at its most glitzy, where labels having made their mark in the western capitals have found not just a home, but have become an inseparable part of the heart and soul of what Hong Kong is.

The Young and Trendy Hong Kong.

Granville Road and Granville Circuit – where some delightful treats await the young and trendy shopper.

Echoes of the Sheung Wan of the 1960s: Wing Lee Street and the ladder streets.

The walk along the staircases and terraces of Sheung Wan around the area where Wing Lee Street, a terrace that was made famous by Alex Law’s award winning movie 歲月神偷, or “Time, the thief” is (The movie is named “Echoes of the Rainbow” in English, a reference to the double rainbow that features in a scene in the movie). The walk took us back to a time to the Sheung Wan of the 1960s.

The Stairway … uh, wait a minute, Escalator to Heaven.

The Mid-Levels area that the escalators to the heavenly views of Victoria Harbour the location halfway up Victoria Peak provides to its exclusive and upmarket residents. This provides another stairway to a surer path to Heaven – the stairway that leads to the Jamia Masjid.

The Star Ferry.

The Star Ferry, where life comes to a standstill for nine minutes in Hong Kong.

The Tram.

The must ride on trams on Hong Kong Island.


We’ve Arrived!

By , July 23, 2010 7:09 am

We’ve arrived! *Roaring to go! You should see everyone’s faces before this shoot. So worn out and tired from the early flight. A quick snap before heading to the hotel.

If The Mira was a person, she’d be a woman who long for taste and stylish living and would instantly recognize a well-made designer chair. Stand close to her and you’ll sense her charming sensation of freshness. The fragrance smells sophisticated and summery. It could be distinctly Ferragamo.

When we arrived at the entrance of the Mira Hotel, we were greeted with the plain, black mirrored glass door. Simply put, the unassuming exterior design looks just like an entrance of a shopping center. Step in and you’ll be amazed with its sexy fin-like structure in monochrome palette, beautiful chandelier and stylish furnishings.

Wait. Inhale. The scent delivers a light yet burst of ripe lemons and citrus floras. This is definitely something very memorable about the Mira. LOVE IT!

The refreshing scent and all sexed up furnishings! *snap snap snap!

Stand a chance to win a trip to Hong Kong! Log on to My Hong Kong Travel Blog where you can vote for your favourite blogger! Voting ends 31st August 2010.

Good-to-know facts about Hong Kong

By , July 20, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks to omy.sg and Hong Kong Tourism Board, Shinnpark.com has won the e-Commerce Blog this year. 3 more days to go and we’ll be off to Hong Kong! Here is a mini list of what I have trawled over the net for a good-to-know bite-size list.

#1 Victoria Peak Imagine yourself standing from the tallest point and you’ll see the most magnificent harbors on Earth! The one thing that is on top of my list would have to be The Victoria Peak. Even my friends, who have been staying there for years, raves about it.

If you think you have a slight acrophobia like I do, and in need of almost real to life virtual walk, take a peek here.

#2 Its in the name — ‘Fragrant Harbor 香港 A vivid aroma. Buttery egg tarts, freshly made dumplings and pipping hot fish congee. Hong Kong derives its name from a Cantonese word meaning “fragrant harbor.” Do you know that their national flower rendering in the National flag is a Bauhinia blakeana flower discovered in Hong Kong?

#3 Get your fortune read! You’ll see many fortune tellers with differing skills, from reading tea leaves (yes, the one for drinking!) to Tarot Cards. According to my girlfriend who is residing there, fortune telling is very popular and is chargeable at around HK50-150, my girlfriend swears that her reading was 80% accurate! and that is through palm reading style.

#4 Cha Chan Teng 茶餐廳. For some odd reason, I love to hang out in these ageless charm of the 1960s decor cafe. Maybe it has to do with my childhood, hanging around my grandmother’s vintage ware and rolling chinese tea leaves into my plastic cup for play. Soak into that old-fashioned and romantic ambient! Thick toast, half boiled eggs and tea — all served in a vintage ware will totally make my day! *screams

#5 A Symphony of Lights at the Avenue of Stars. Well known by the Guinness World Record as the world’s “Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show”, this is defintely Hong Kong’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It celebrates icons of Hong Kong cinema from the past century, and the seaside promenade offers fantastic views, especially at night.

#6 Wi-Fi. This could possibly be a good place for my tired legs and also an e-update on my trip — Starbucks offers free internet access for those who like to connect with friends over a cuppa.

#7 A cheap sightseeing tram ride. Hop on to one of these cheap tram rides and see how Hong Kong is the epitome of east-meets-west culture! Through the slow-paced journey, you’ll be able to see the neighborhood area gradually changing from old eclectic buildings to all mighty skyscrapers.

#8 Sail with Bounty The original Bounty was built in 1784, and carries a legendary story in the British nautical history. She is the only European tall ship that resides in Hong Kong! I’ve never sat in one like that before. Thanks to The Bounty, we’ll be enjoying a nice cruise ride and wonderful BUFFET dinner!

#9 Getting Around in a Taxi Although I love to take the MTR with the Octopus card, sometimes you will need to get to a destination, fast. With the first two kilometers priced at only $2, and a charge of $0.90 for every kilometer thereafter, taxis are one of Hong Kong’s great bargains and can be hailed almost anywhere. Here is a tip — try and write out the destination in Chinese.  The drivers are generally more familiar with this language and also, they are able to get to your destination at the soonest time possible.

#10 Bring home a slice of Hong Kong’s unique culture If you are bored of getting the usual souvenirs for your friends, head over to G.O.D. (the initials are a homonym of the Cantonese phrase “to live better”) instead. I’ve seen them on an interview in Singapore’s Channel News Asia and I tell you, every single item sold in their store echoes a past erain Hong Kong. They have almost everything from lifestyle and living products and much of them have incorporated the 20th-century Hong Kong imagery.

The colourful kaleidoscope that is Hong Kong

By , July 18, 2010 10:28 am

It is always nice to look forward to a trip and even with what has proven to be a hectic week that I haven’t been able to leave behind and what promises to be another hectic week before my trip to Hong Kong, I have allowed myself to look to it excitedly with the anticipation of a curious child. The trip, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), and in the company of bloggers – winners of their respective categories in Singapore Blog Awards, who on their on would make any trip interesting, would be made even more so with the host of activities that the HKTB is planning for us. Hong Kong has been one destination that has always fascinated since the early days of my childhood. Back then, it was the likes of Bruce Lee who seemed to be what Hong Kong was about, and in many ways, Bruce Lee did epitomise what Hong Kong was about: a sprinkling of the west and a lot of what was essentially east. There were of course the wonderful stories of food, bustling streets, and a city that never sleeps, which was certainly enhanced by the only other trip I have made to Hong Kong which left me with a deep impression of the colourful kaleidoscope that is Hong Kong.

Hong Kong gives me the impression of a colourful kaleidoscope with the promise of food, shopping, street life and excitement awaiting the visitor.

Hong Kong gives me the impression of a colourful kaleidoscope with the promise of food, shopping, street life and excitement awaiting the visitor.

This time around, I can look forward to the hospitality of the HKTB on the four day trip that will introduce the “Hong Kong Summer Spectacular”, which runs from 11 June to 31 August this year, and features a series of promotional activities. Of theses activities, one would be the highlight of the trip, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival, which runs from 23 to 25 July. The centrepiece of the carnival would be the SaSa 2010 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, which will feature 191 dragon boat teams from 12 countries and regions, which would be held in Victoria Harbour. While the teams are in action in the water, a carnival atmosphere would be created up on the East Tsim Sha Tsui promenade where spectators can visit the San Miguel Beer Garden, which will tempt visitors with beer, fragrant food and live performances. A Dragon Boat Fun Plaza will also be on hand to offer cultural entertainment. Incidentally, the races will also feature a bathtub race for the media, and four of my fellow bloggers, Darren, Geck Geck, Violet and Aussie Pete (lucky chaps!) have been selected to participate in this event which looks like a whole lot of fun! And it does look like Darren and Aussie Pete are planning to have as well as provide a lot of fun based on the preparations they have mentioned their respective posts.

Map of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival venue.

Map of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival venue.

Artist impression of the San Miguel Beer Garden.

Artist impression of the San Miguel Beer Garden.

The theme for the Hong Kong Summer Spectacular is “Hot Events, Cool Place”, and in line with the theme, the HKTB has lined up a host of other activities, information on which can be found on the Discover Hong Kong website. The HKTB in conjunction with Visa, is also running a promotion during the period: the “Visa go Hong Kong Super Shopper” contest, in which local and visiting shoppers spending over HK$3,000 on their Visa cards would be entitled to enter an online lucky draw.

Besides the activities that the HKTB has lined up for us, we would be having free time to explore some of Hong Kong on our own, and this is something I can look forward to as one of the things I like doing on any trip is to discover a place at leisure. I guess with all that in store for me, I can’t help but allow myself to look forward to the trip with a tinge of excitement.

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