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
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.
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.
Being a North American, the traditional food and produce market is a mostly foreign concept. Most of us in North America drive once a week to the supermarket for our food. In Vancouver, I guess we’re lucky enough to have places like the Granville Island Public Market and various farmers markets that introduce supermarket shoppers to the traditional market.
Hong Kong is full of old street markets. Although most of them are no longer truly on the street. Most of them have been moved into large multi-story buildings. The name street market still adorns most of the entrances, but it’s a “vertical street of sorts”
Hong Kong Island is one very hilly place. Most visitors and tourists would only venture up the hillside to visit The Peak. Even then, most people would likely take The Peak Tram (which in itself is a tourist attraction). If you have an extended period of time, then it may be worthwhile to explore off the beaten path into non-touristy Hong Kong.
On this January Sunday, I was meeting up with an old high school classmate. I don’t think I had seen him since my university days in Vancouver. So it was a great chance to meet up with him and his wife. We had set a time to meet at the Starbucks at Park Road and Bonham Road. Okay. I’ve heard these street names, but I had no idea where it was. Thank goodness for Nokia Maps and their downloadable city maps.
On my map, I found the intersection and ran a straight line down from there to the tram line along Des Voeux Road. It happened to follow along a street called Eastern Street. This street would be the subject of my pre-meeting exploration.
Riding the tram along Des Voeux Road
Here’s a very little known “museum” in Hong Kong. So little known that the place is eerily quiet for a Hong Kong facility. This is the City Gallery. The gallery isn’t expensive. In fact, it’s free. The gallery isn’t in the middle of nowhere. It’s right down in Central Hong Kong near the old City Hall. So why is it so quiet? I have no idea.
The first time I heard about the City Gallery was when one of my friends in Hong Kong visited the place. He tagged me in his Facebook photos and said that it would be the kind of place I would love to visit. How can I say no to a place that is meant to showcase a city, its infrastructure, and its urban development? That’s right up my alley.
I had walked over from the Legislative Council building in Admiralty. The City Gallery was directly in between Admiralty and Central stations. So it wouldn’t really have mattered which way I came. It was at least a 10 minute walk towards the waterfront from either station.
One of the great things of the Hong Kong transportation system is the ubiquitous double decker bus. They are as much a symbol of Hong Kong as they are a symbol of London. The ride is comfortable on the upper deck of these tall vehicles and offer a different view of the dynamic urban landscape that is Hong Kong.
In the tight urban spaces of Kowloon, the double decker literally offers a towering view of the people below. I feel almost like a voyeur peering into people’s lives without them realizing. I could create different stories of the people rushing along the busy streets.
Here I see a man carrying his daughter. He’s navigating the busy Kowloon sidewalk in hopes of getting his child to preschool on time.
What do you do when you’ve just witnessed your cousin bring the bride home for a traditional tea ceremony and you have a few hours to kill before the wedding banquet? I don’t know about you, but my sister and I went for a long walk down to the Hong Kong waterfront, namely the Central Ferry Piers.
(L) Macau Ferry Terminal, (C Back) FCC Tower, (R) Central Ferry Piers
It looks like I was a part of a study and didn’t even realize it. Back in January, I had arrived at Broadway & Commercial as a part of my daily commute and was greeted with the bright yellow tape on the sidewalk leading up to the 99 B-Line stop. Signs were posted saying that it was part of queuing study for the B-Line. The B-Line has over 50,000 riders every day. It claims to be North America’s busiest bus route. I can believe that given the long lines that form every morning for the bus. The long lines persist even though the buses are as frequent as 2-5 minutes during rush hour.
As usual, I am way behind on my photos. We had a great stretch of sunny weather in January. After all this late February Pineapple Express weather we’ve had lately, it’s nice to think that Vancouver is not all rain and brollies in the winter.
One January Friday as the sun was setting on the city and time was setting on the Waldorf, I did a walking loop from Venables Street to 1st Avenue along Commercial Drive. It’s a part of town that I don’t frequent much, but it has a lot of life along the sidewalks and some neat storefronts into which to peer.
a rare Vancouver public washroom facility in Grandview Park
It was so cold as the sun set, I made my last stop at Turk’s Coffee Bar. Apparently they’ve been “non-conforming since 1992.” I’m not sure what that means for a coffee shop in the middle of a highly caffeinated city, but oh well. I grabbed a hot chocolate (now that’s non-conforming to the coffee trend) to warm up my fingers.
As I am posting this January photo walk to my blog, spring is starting here in March. The sun is shining in Vancouver. Flowers are peeking out of the ground and buds are showing on some of the trees. The telltale sign of spring for me, though, is that my allergies are starting to surface. Excuse me as I blow my nose again.