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.

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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

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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.

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Hong Kong’s Dried Food Shops

Apart from all the street markets, there are different types of food shops in Hong Kong. There are plenty of different stores showcasing all sorts of strange edibles.

Dried food shop on Argyle Street in Mong Kok.

If you’ve ever visited your local Chinatown, then you may have come across stores like these. This is a dried food shop. Sometimes it’s a Chinese herb, medicine and dried food store in some places. There are walls filled with glass containers of all sorts of ingredients. It’s almost as if these items were appropriate for a witch’s brew. The more exotic things I’ve seen over the years include seahorse and snake.

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Toronto 2013 – Ai Weiwei at the AGO

When I told one of my high school friends that I was going to Toronto, he highly recommended dropping by the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) to see the Ai Weiwei exhibit. Thankfully, the exhibit had been on for a while and the David Bowie exhibit just started the weekend I was there.  So basically, I wasn’t fighting to buy a ticket.  The David Bowie exhibit had already sold out for the day.

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Cultural Identity Among Chinese – 2

Part 1 of “Cultural Identity among Chinese” introduced the idea that there is more than one Chinese cultural group.  In fact, there are a whole host of sub-cultures within the larger one. Part 1 introduced us to three larger umbrella groups within Chinese culture – Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. What is each group’s identity? When it comes to identity, the three groups are … Continue reading Cultural Identity Among Chinese – 2

Cultural Identity among Chinese

Questioning cultural identity seems to be a strange exercise for people who are clearly “Chinese” to an outsider, but Chinese is very much an umbrella term.  Somebody may think of Chinese as one big, monolithic, homogenous culture.  In reality, it is quite heterogeneous. Recent events and a new academic survey have highlighted differences in identity of Hong Kong Chinese and Mainland Chinese.  There now seems … Continue reading Cultural Identity among Chinese

Musings of a Multilingual 4 | Learning Mandarin

Onto my fourth language – Mandarin. Mandarin is the dominant dialect of Chinese. It is referred to as the common language in Chinese. However, I grew up with Cantonese in my home. So you’d think learning one Chinese dialect when you know another would be easy. Not for me. I didn’t really learn Mandarin until I had finished my university degree and went overseas to … Continue reading Musings of a Multilingual 4 | Learning Mandarin

Re-post: The Chinese Language Series

Back in 2008, I wrote up a short series of posts about the Chinese language.  Because I had recently posted about Chinese Village Kinship, I had a tangential question regarding classification of Cantonese as a language or as a dialect.  I think my previous posts will help to answer that question.  So I’ve linked to all my previous posts below. Chinese Language Written Chinese The … Continue reading Re-post: The Chinese Language Series

Chinese Village Kinship

Village kinship is a strong connection between individuals from the same village.  It is an especially strong concept in some Chinese circles.  If you and I came from the same village and met each other in some far flung city, we would treat each other like brothers. One of the most common questions, especially for an older generation of Chinese, is what county is your … Continue reading Chinese Village Kinship