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BELOW : A sample of part of the range available in a bakery, just one street away from the hotel where I stayed. On the prices you are able to read they may appear a bit expensive, however, remember to divide by 5 to convert to an approximate AUD$ price.

BELOW : Times Square is considered the first of its kind, the first "vertical mall" in Hong Kong. Due to the high land price in Hong Kong, and the higher yield on retail property, Times Square departs from the common western model of the flat shopping mall. The space allocated to retail is configured over 9 stories. An entry to the Causeway Bay MTR station is also via the ground floor.

BELOW : This photo was taken in a direction 180 degree from the photo above of Times Square.

BELOW : One street further over is Percival Street. This is the street where trams begin the Happy Valley loop.  

BELOW : Still in Percival Street, you can see a lot of air conditioning units hanging from the older buildings.

BELOW : Foo Ming Street tram stop (Stop 105) in Percival Street. As you can see the destination for this tram is Shau Kei Wan, which is the most easterly stop on the tram network. The destinations of trams roll through in a cycle, alternately showing both English and Chinese displays.  

BELOW : Still at the same tram stop, taken from the opposite side of the road, and facing in the opposite direction on Percival Street, showing a more modern tram. On all trams, passengers board via the rear door only, and exit via the front door only. You must have the correct fare to pay the driver, or like me, you can use your Octopus Card to ‘Tap and Go’.  

BELOW : I am now walking along Percival Street, on my way to the Noon Day Gun ceremony.

You may notice a couple of familiar brand names for common Western food chains. It seems we have won our way into the hearts (and stomachs) of the locals !

BELOW : Although I thought I had worked out how to get to the Noon Day Gun, I encountered an obstacle near the finish line of my walk. With a couple of last minute directions from this man, I was able to navigate my way through the last few hundred metres. I was having trouble finding the entry to the underground walkway, to cross the road, but he soon sorted me out.

BELOW : Now safely on the other side of the road, I am looking back to The Excelsior hotel. As you can see there is no ‘above ground’ access across the roadway. The concrete barrier ensures that pedestrians use the underground access route, if the constant flow of traffic is not enough to deter them!

BELOW : These cannons are no longer used. The Noon Day Gun ceremony dates back many years to when Tea Clippers were used to transport product. The Jardines company had their own shore battery, and a tradition was established of firing a noon day gun as a time signal for Hong Kong.The gun continues to be fired 7 days a week, precisely at 12.00 mid-day.

BELOW : This is the gun which is fired each day at the ceremony. The gun is a Hotchkiss Mark 1,

3 lb, quick firing gun. 8 bells ring, to signal the end of the forenoon watch, and just 1 shot is fired.

To see my YouTube clip of the Noon Day Gun ceremony, CLICK HERE.

HONG KONG 2019 - DAY 1

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HONG KONG Day 2 - 3

BELOW : Chinese New Year is recognized with its auspicious zodiacs –– mythical or perhaps real creatures! This CNY, Times Square is highlighting the artistry and creativity with which the artists depict these zodiacs. The "Lunar Fantasy with Ancient Auspicious Animals" multicultural crossover event features the work of several different artists from all around the world.

BELOW : Looking out onto a part of Causeway Bay, Typhoon Shelter Harbourfront, on Victoria Harbour, viewed from the Noon Day gun site.

BELOW : After the gun ceremony I walked over to Causeway Bay MTR station and caught a train 3 stops to Central. From Central station I took Exit A to the ferry piers. Along the overhead walkway, on the way to the pier I spied the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. It was opened in 2014, it is 60 metres high, has 42 gondolas. Each gondola is air conditioned and has a communication system.    

BELOW : Looking to my left while on the overhead walkway I saw one of the Big Bus tours passing on the road below. This is a hop-on, hop off, service which can be a good way to get to the major tourist attractions, although I did not avail myself of the service while in Hong Kong.

BELOW : Just prior to arriving at the ferry pier, near the end of the walkway, I spotted a familiar logo. Their trading terms were clearly attached to the door. As in many places, Cash is still king !

Other options include Octopus Card (yay, I win again) & We Chat Pay (a mobile phone app) You might note, that like many smaller businesses in town, Credit Cards were not an option.

BELOW : I have arrived at Central Pier 7 (the Star Ferry terminal) which has ferries doing the short trip over to Tsim Sha Tsui, a shopping district of Kowloon, on mainland Hong Kong. (Those who know me well, will undoubtedly already know that the greatest attraction for me, can be seen in four letters in the purple section of this pricing board. Passengers over 65 FREE, (using Elder Octopus Card !) The vessel below (‘Silver Star’) which I travelled on, was built in 1965.  

There are ferries departing about every 10 minutes, and the journey takes a bit under 10 minutes. You may notice this pricing board is for Upper Deck prices, the Lower Deck prices for Adults are HK$2.20 Mon-Fri, and HK$3.10 Sat,Sun and Public Holidays.

BELOW : Inside the front upper deck area of the ferry ‘Silver Star’.

BELOW : Still on the upper deck area, more towards the middle of the ferry. People are exiting, as we have now arrived at the terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui.

BELOW : One of the vessels from the Star Ferry fleet, does daily 1 hour harbour cruises on Victoria Harbour. We passed the ‘Shining Star’ (built 1964) doing one of the tours, during our crossing to Tsim Sha Tsui.

BELOW : One of the larger terminals at Tsim Sha Tsui, and the ‘Meridian Star’ (built 1958) in the foreground.

BELOW : A couple more of the vessels we passed on our way to Tsim Sha Tsui.

BELOW : The building in the centre of this photo is (on the day I took this photo, 22/02/19) the tallest building in Hong Kong. It is located in West Kowloon, named the ‘International Commerce Centre’ abbreviated to ICC. A 118 story building, 484 metres tall, commercial skyscraper completed in 2010 (adjacent to the Kowloon MTR station).

BELOW : Hong Kong Cultural Centre (behind the Piazza where the peacock display was located) houses a Concert Hall, Grand Theatre, Studio Theatre, Exhibition Gallery, Foyer Exhibition Areas, Rehearsal Rooms, Practice Rooms and Function Rooms and a Piazza. Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, The Hong Kong Ballet, are some of the venue partners.

BELOW : Mikimoto, the famous Japanese Pearl suppliers have a shop front located in 1881 Heritage (Old Marine Police Headquarters Compound, built in 1884) on Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. The compound was declared a monument in 1994, it is one of the four oldest surviving government buildings in Hong Kong. The site redevelopment was completed in 2009.

BELOW : The clock tower, on the foreshore promenade at Tsim Sha Tsui ferry pier, and in front of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. It was originally part of the railway station, but the station was moved in 1975. The tower remains as a landmark feature, it is 44 metres high.

BELOW : I have now returned by ferry and train to Causeway Bay station. After about a 15 minute walk from the station I arrive at Hong Kong Football Club (Est. 1886). The playing pitches are located in the centre of the Happy Valley Racecourse. I have come to join my cousin’s husband, to watch the younger of their two sons, at his Friday afternoon training session.

BELOW : The brown building above the orange and blue seating area is the football club main building. It is actually located outside of the race course, I believe part of the race track is between that building and the white rail in front of the building. The playing pitches are located below the level of the race track surface. Unfortunately, the perspective of my photo distorts the distance between the rail and the building.

BELOW : This photo was taken from my cousin’s apartment building directly across from the Happy Valley Racecourse. The cream and grey structure (beyond the playing pitches) is part of the main public grandstand area and member’s stands, of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, at Happy Valley.

BELOW : Scanning a little further to the left from the same apartment, the patch of green mid photo, is another small section of the racetrack surface.

BELOW : And a bit more of the track in view, with plenty of buildings reminding you, that you are in Hong Kong !

BELOW : At the end of the street where my cousin’s apartment is located, you will find St. Margaret Mary's Catholic Church, opened in about 1925. Their website informed me that Sunday Masses are held at varying times around the site, in either Cantonese, English, Japanese or Spanish.  

 The following Press Release was issued by The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in January 2019 :  

“The Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will present a Lunar New Year thematic lantern display entitled "Glittering Peacocks in Full Bloom" at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre (HKCC) Piazza from today (January 25), featuring colourful peacocks, a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture, to celebrate the advent of the Lunar New Year. Admission is free.

The exhibition will showcase various eye-catching peacock lanterns. A giant peacock lantern over 5 metres tall and 15m long will be the centrepiece, with its long glittering tail forming an archway between the two pools. In addition, more than 10 lanterns of peacocks, elegant vases and colourful peonies will also be on display, wishing the public abundance and success in the New Year.

      The "Glittering Peacocks in Full Bloom" lantern display will run until February 24 and the lanterns will be lit up from 6pm to 11pm daily.”

Unfortunately, I was only able to capture day time photos of the display, I am sure they had even more impact for those fortunate enough to view them at night. It was located at Tsim Sha Tsui, in front of the Cultural Centre.


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