Well well, time flies. It's almost time for me to return to the UK so this will probably be my last post before then.
If the urban surroundings of the "concrete forest" (as Hong Kong people refer to the high rise building surroundings) or tourist attractions don't tempt you, you could always visit the rural areas where the shops are a little less modern looking and you'll find some of the owners often putting out their edible goods to dry in the sun like on this chair.
Communication might be a problem though since a lot of the people can't even speak broken English which is perhaps one of the reasons why you don't see tourists around and neither are there bilingual menus.
Going further in, there's plenty of greenery and less skyscrapers. There's a place further in Tai Po where you can rent a bike to ride all the way back into the city which takes an hour or so.
You may even catch the odd dragonfly around too and see plenty of fruit such as bananas hanging from trees. Just don't pick them or you may have the villagers onto you. Even snapping pictures can raise their suspicions ^^;
If you don't mind risk being bitten by mosquitoes, at night (and even during the day) you can hear the loud sound of cicadas ringing through the air, crabs and frogs crossing the road (really!) and lizards scurrying up the walls. Something you'll see a lot from Anime shows. The wildlife's just great here.
Personally I've never been bitten by the mosquitoes here. I heard they only go for people with certain types of blood...
Now what you don't see a mention of is the smell from the sewers (maybe not for Japan) which are much worse than in the city because of all the open drains and practically every dog you pass by barks at you like you just stole their food.
There weren't always street lights around here which meant in the past, you had to tread carefully while depending on the dim lighting from houses. Torches meant attracting all the insects towards you.
For me, I decided to visit my cousin again and we went out for something to eat before finding some place to shoot photos. While we were eating at a market place, there was suddenly an increase in commotion and found out there was a rat on the loose. The ladies were half laughing and trying to stay far from it scurrying across the floor. We on the other hand just sat and watched the local staff try to catch it. Eventually one of the men managed to kick it to death before they found a nest and another one popped out.
It's not an uncommon sight at market places so I wasn't alarmed at all and I've never had a problem with the food so I never thought about the hygiene either.
Finishing up we went to catch the bus and while waiting, we decided we'll be taking pictures of some old buildings and maybe temples. According to my cousin, many of the old buildings such as these will soon be taken down because of the cost of maintaining them and the hand-made signs you see will be gone with them.
As you can see, everyone (including those in the city) usually hang their washings out their windows to dry because of the lack of space.
On the bus travelling alongside the bicycle lane I mentioned earlier as we headed back further into the city again.
We were back into the urban areas, Hammer Hill Park near Diamond Hill. I've yet to take a stroll around the parks since arriving in HK.
Lots of nice decorations and sheltered seating areas.
A bit difficult for me to read the calligraphy writing...
Somehow, if you asked if I like my local park or this one, I would say this because of how cleanly kept it is. I do like the water fall and nature trail my local park has however.
Opposite the park is the Chi Lin Nunnery which is another great oriental place to visit.
I don't think it's well-known enough for tourists to visit yet because there were literally just one or two around.
This is the Lotus Pond Garden.
They must all be at Wong Tai Sin which is a much busier temple and there's so much incense burning your eyes will probably begin to water very quickly.
Better shot of the Tian Wang Temple.
The usual rules of don't tread on the grass, don't pick flowers etc. except with a bit of Buddhism writing style added in.
Exiting through the main entrance.
A bit about the monastery here in English.
And as I mentioned before, every MTR station has its own plaza nearby and Diamond Hill's one is Hollywood Plaza where a lot of HK's stars took part in events and had their names engraved.
Although all of the place looks new...
The place is still very scenic.
I'm not sure if that's real gold but you're not allowed to enter.
Some Zen in The Rockery.
Quite a few Bonsai trees imported from Japan here.
Very peaceful and quiet but there's still quite a bit of construction work going on.
Some areas you can only enter if you're a customer. Vegetarian diners in here.
Another off limits areas but with plenty of carp.
A lot of places seem to have replaced their single bins with these recycling bins. Yet to see them back in the UK.
Next we stopped at the old flats in Ngau Tau Kok which is also going to be taken down for redevelopment soon. You should see the size of the schools... It's no wonder students have to compete so badly to get into their next year.
As you can see, besides the modern shops like 7 Eleven outside the area...
They have their own market places at the bottom which date much further back.
Off to take the train back. My next post will probably be once I'm back in the UK. 14 days packed into 7 posts isn't too bad eh?
Decided to take one last walk around before changing bus back.
Well, until I'm back in the UK now!