Vancouver to Tokyo to Chitose

ANA flight NH115

Having just finished my Hong Kong photos, I am already onto my next trip. My wife and I had been planning something big in celebration of her finishing grad school. So here we are back in Asia. This time, we have decided to do something different. We are learning Japanese in Sapporo, Japan. That’s where we could get beer, ramen, and desserts.

Continue reading

Hong Kong’s Stanley

If there ever was a nice tourist trap, I think Stanley in Hong Kong would count. This tiny little area on the hilly south side of Hong Kong Island is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The famed Stanley Market attracts travellers looking for the quintessential Hong Kong souvenir. The waterfront attracts locals looking to enjoy some southern exposure on a sunny January afternoon. Expats love to travel here for a feel of something back home they might miss. This is Stanley.

stanley market on google maps

 

Over a half dozen trips to Hong Kong and I hadn’t been back to Stanley since 1988 when I was just wee pre-teen lad. My only memory of Stanley was getting this cheap little fuzzy caterpillar toy that would move around almost magically via strings attached to my hands. It was a long windy bus ride on the upper deck. Riding along all the tight turns along the rocky edge of Hong Kong Island is an experience on its own.

Continue reading

Mayor’s Council Updated Regional Transportation Vision

Here’s the highlights of the Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council vision of regional transportation. This updated vision was prompted by Premier Christy Clark’s insistence on sending transit funding issues to a referendum in the Fall 2014.

mayorscouncil_vision_map

 

Continue reading

Hong Kong’s Yuen Long

Chinese calligraphy in Ching Shu Hin house in Yuen Long

Yuen Long is a large district in the northwest section of the territory. It was one of the largest town centres in the New Territories outside of the urban core of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I had been meaning to visit this part of Hong Kong on many occasions. I actually got there this time with my sister, parents, and mother-in-law in tow.

First off, you should know about the special day pass for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun areas of Hong Kong. This pass is not very well advertised on the MTR website. There are only two stations from which you can buy such passes – Nam Cheong and Mei Foo. The pass allows for unlimited travel on the West Rail, the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun LRT, and MTR-run buses in the area.

Tuen Mun – Nam Cheong Day Pass

This was also the first time I ever rode the West Rail. This line was the last of all the Hong Kong rail lines for me to travel upon. I could finally check it off my list.

Continue reading

Hong Kong Museum of History

In continuing with the free museum days on Wednesdays in Hong Kong, my sister and I made our way to the Hong Kong Museum of History in Kowloon on Chatham Road. In terms of rail transport, the museum is within easy walking distance of the Hung Hom Railway Station. However, most tourists may actually find themselves walking due east from the busier Nathan Road.

This is the second time I’ve been to this museum. There aren’t many temporary exhibits here. The one temporary exhibit I wanted to see was an extra cost on top of the usual admission.  So much of what I saw was the same as before. However, it is still worth walking through this very extensive museum.

Diorama models of Qing Dynasty Hong Kong

Continue reading

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Wednesdays in Hong Kong are free admission days to the public museums and art galleries. My sister and I are big into museums. So our last Wednesday in Hong Kong was a perfect opportunity to hit up a couple of museums. The first on the list was the Hong Kong Cultural Museum in Sha Tin.

Buildings along the Shing Mun River in Sha Tin

Along the shores of the Shing Mun River, you can find the HK Cultural Museum about a 10 minute walk away from Sha Tin MTR station. We had to walk through the mall to reach the river and then walk along the river to the museum.

Continue reading

Mass Transit Systems that Changed Their Cities

Henry:

Gordon shares about Vancouver’s SkyTrain making the i09′s list of Mass Transit Systems that changed their cities. The descriptions aren’t very in depth, but it’s neat to have Vancouver make the grade.

Originally posted on Price Tags:

Of eight, including the Seoul Subway, the Hong Kong MTR, Washington State Ferries,  the Venetian Vaporetti, Melbourne’s Trams, Medellin’s Gondolas and the (Lost) Los Angeles Cable Cars, we’re No. 6.

From io9:

The Vancouver SkyTrain was built to reduce the amount of surface traffic in Vancouver, BC. The fully-automated elevated rapid transit line serves several areas around Vancouver, and has a very high level of punctuality. Ridership is ever increasing, and the growing reliance on SkyTrain has lead to concerns that the system may not be able to meet demands.

The SkyTrain is also an excellent example of how efficient mass transit can transform cities, as population densities and wealth have increased around SkyTrain stations.

SkyTrain

View original

choi hung to sai kung minibus route

Sai Kung – a local Hong Kong getaway

In my trip to Hong Kong in January, I wanted to make sure I hit up a few places that I had never been to. The urban cores of Hong Kong offer up an electric and fast-paced experience, but sometimes I just want something a little slower and less commercial. Sai Kung was one of these places that offered something less common place for Hong Kong.

choi hung to sai kung minibus route

To get to Sai Kung from the rest of Hong Kong, you have to get yourself to Choi Hung MTR station. It’s on the green Kwun Tong Line in Kowloon. From there, you have to find the #1A or #92 minibus. The minibus ride itself is its own adventure. These buses are like minivans outfitted with 16 seats. Once all 16 seats are filled with paying bums, the bus doesn’t take any more passengers. Remember not to take the seat with the wheel-well. You’ll have to sit scrunched up for the whole 40 minute ride if you do. Oh, and hold on tight when the minibus turns.

Continue reading

March 29th was a rainy afternoon which I had free. I took the bus to the end of Robson by Denman. I walked back the rest of the way and recorded some these of clips to share. It was just cloudy originally, but then the rain started to come down by the end of this video. I ended up ducking into a Starbucks and waited for the rain to let up after. Today’s West End Robson Street has always been home to neighbourhood shops. However, it is increasingly becoming a magnet for relatively affordable ethnic food. With all the English language colleges downtown, there is an increasing international student population in the Downtown core. Most of these Internationals are Koreans and Japanese. Thus, you will notice a huge representation of Korean and Japanese restaurants dotted along this stretch of Robson. No complaints here. I love all the food that this student population has induced here along Robson. Favourites in this part of town include Jang Mo Jib, Shantouka Hokkaido Ramen, Hapa Izakaya, Sura Korean, and Beijing Restaurant (it’s actually a Korean restaurant bearing a Chinese name). There’s also Kintaro Ramen, Zakkushi, and Kingyo which are all on Denman, but are very close to Robson Street. Rebuild the parking lot and put up foodie paradise!