Like a delicious Pret A Manger club sandwich that we have become attached to as our comfort food here, our weeks here in Hong Kong are filled with colourful, delicious and unexpected adventures. We are making daily observations about the city, the way it treats the wealthy and the poor, and the type of people who live here, while trying to savour every new suburb and cultural experience…planned and unplanned.
The weekly wrap will be a collection of things we did, food we ate and observations we made throughout the week.
Hung Shing Festival
We thought that the Chinese New Year celebrations had well surpassed us, however little did we know that on the 12th day of the second lunar month the celebrations start all over again! We stumbled across the Hung Shing Festival in Ap Lei Chau after reading a brief mention of it online…we definitely did not expect the street parade we walked into! Full of colourful costumes, free goodie bags (which contained the ingredients to make congee, not lollies to our disappointment) and loud drums, this was a delightfully unexpected surprise. We eagerly watched as the different lion dancers took the blessings from the shops along the main road, the dancers moved gracefully past us in their exaggerated costumes and the children dressed up like chickens wait impatiently while the parade frequently halted in the hot sun.
One thing that caught us off guard was the lion dancers who spat on us mid performance, apparently meant to leave us lucky, although we just felt like it left us sticky. Overall a great experience, one which a lot of people we have spoken to here didn’t know was on!
We LOVE free things. Luckily for us with Hong Kong Arts Festival on at the moment there’s lots of fun free things to do. Chorus, a kinetic sound sculptures installation by UK sound artist Ray Lee, was hypnotic and beautiful against the Kowloon skyscrapers. Walking around the area the giant metal tripods were erected, you felt a different musical pitch reverberating off the walls. Best part is, being Hong Kong we were able to take a convenience store beer with us and wander through the park, enjoying the warm evening and the feel-good atmosphere of people watching the installation, or the group of young girls doing a dance competition while their mums sat close by catching up on the weekly gossip.
Hong Kong Flower Festival
The equivalent to Floriade in Australia, Hong Kong’s Flower Festival boasts international displays and beautiful flowers. We went in with pretty high expectations given the amount of advertising and set-up time of the festival. It costs $14 HKD to enter, and pass-outs are available which means if you want to grab a bite to eat outside of the grounds and go back to see the flowers lit up at night you can. Don’t however be fooled by the elaborate sounding “light show”, which turned out to be the lights basically staying the same, but now with a soundtrack in the background. Overall, it was a pleasant experience, more-so at night-time due to fewer people, but not something I would put as a must-see if you’re here at this time of year!
Until next week, that’s a wrap!