April 2013

Pint sized royals

princessportrait

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

An amazing wealth of royalty was evident during our visit, with dozens of young princesses like this one in the castle area.

[Canon S110]

Hello Disneyland!

Disneygirls

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Part of work research included a stop at Disneyland, on Lantan island near the airport. Here, a couple of youngsters are well prepared for the day as they run towards the entrance.

We arrived near opening with decent crowds and left after lunch time and there were quite a lot of visitors, and it was Friday.

With a similar layout to the CA Disneyland, it seemed smaller to me now as an adult, than it did as a youngster. My last Disney visit would probably have been for High School graduation, and those of you who know, know that was a while ago! The rest of you will find out when you get to my age!

[Canon S110]

Yellow stripe zone

street peds

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Here you can see the range of ordinary pedestrians, street carts used by delivery folk, busses, red taxis and the general overall orderliness. Oh, and people crossing on the green light in the crosswalk mostly. They also have audible crosswalk indicators, possibly for the blind.

[Canon S110]

Tram front at nite

night tram ride

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Weather was pleasant enough during our March visit that the open windows of the tram and breezes generated were pleasant. The hard seats of the tram were nonetheless comforting after a lot of time on our feet at a trade show and doing research at other sites.

Riding street level on the way to the hotel also allowed us to look for spots to dine or get some bakery items for breakfast.

[Canon S110]

Rockin’ with the tram

HK tram

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Here’s a view of one tram from the front window of another. There are plenty of these running east west at a leisurely pace. Quite a nice tourist and short range platform. You can pay with coins or one of those electronic swipe cards, which you can also use to pay for goods, food, and services in many shops around HK. Opposite to many transit systems, you board at the back and pay when leaving out the front. Vehicles also travel on the left in HK.

Most of the trams we saw were painted with ads, possibly subsidizing the low flat rate price to ride.

[Canon S110]

[Update 15 October 2013: NYT article on the trams: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/world/asia/trams-slow-and-sweaty-draw-riders-despite-modern-subways-prowling-below.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimesworld&_r=0]

Keeping cars and peeps apart

walkways

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Especially in the Central and Wan Chai districts, extensive elevated pedestrian walkways help people get around and protect from the weather, as well as making the streets more usable for vehicles.

[Canon S110]

Calling all signboards!

signboards

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Quite a few streets were forested with these signs extending over the streets on strong metal frames. We saw a maintenance worker climbing on one such neon sign at one point. And as a tropical location, HK is subject to typhoons, so these things have to be strong, or at least easily removable.

[Canon S110]

For the meat fans

meatstall

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Now, for you meat fans, feast your eyes on this! Also on the same street as the veggies and other stuff. Wish we lived near street markets like this!

At one of the stalls, we got some bananas, and had them with baked goods and instant coffee mix in the hotel room for breakfast, saving time and cost.

[Canon S110]

Fine veg market

vegmarket

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Near our hotel we stumbled on this extensive couple of streets of vegetable, food, meat stands and restaurants, quite a nice discovery and so cool to see variety, and neat, clean veg stalls! And abundance!

I just noticed the wealth of purple in the image, on several of the people. Red is another quite common color you see.

There were also a bunch of baked goods shops, so we enjoyed that too! Also visited a sushi-on-conveyor restaurant one dinner.

[Canon S110]

Double noodle delight

noodle double

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

After two overnight flights with almost no sleep in crowded, cramped economy seats, we roamed the terrain trying to get time adjusted and make most of the visit. These bowls of noodle soup really helped. Hot lemon tea at the left, quite a delightful stop.

HK is 2-1/2 hours ahead of India time, so it wasn’t too bad. The two flights, via Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (also a very spiffy airport) took about eight hours plus the 2 hour layover. Roughly the same as crossing the US east-west.

Getting used to the currency difference was also interesting, the rate was about 7.7 HK$ to 1 US$. The various things we did and meals were pretty reasonably priced for an advanced urban city though. Lucky.

[Canon S110]

Sign plastering

signguys

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Walking the neighborhood of our hotel looking for some noodles, these signs caught my eye as these two fellows stopped to check something out.

Wherever there were closed shops, you’d see large amounts of plastered signs and ads. The areas we visited were otherwise well kept for an urban area.

[Canon S110]

Towering HK

towers of HK

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

From rural southern India, we are magically transported now to the Central district of Hong Kong island.

Business and a few minutes of tourism brought us to this bit of modern urban experience. While most of the island is hilly and wooded, the northern section is the famous highly-built portion. It reminded us of Tokyo, London and another island, Manhattan.

The overhead wires are related to the east-west running double decker trams that are quite a neat thing. We rode them a lot instead of the extensive subways, so we could see the scenery. In this image I’m up top looking out the front window. You can see the top of the tram ahead of us in the lower part of the frame. More on trams later.

[Canon S110]

Symbolic lampfire

dais candle

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

We missed much of the ceremony part of this wedding, alas, it was quite early in the morning. On the dais with the couple and guests is an oil lamp, foreground. One of these days we’ll catch the ceremony, with an explainer at our side.

[Canon 7D; aperture]

The breakfast yum

breakfast yum

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

The starting platter, more and different items came along as we finished various of these bits. Some are seasonings, vegetable curries, spicy/salted, some are sweet items, and various breads. All quite yummy and our (right-) hand-eating technique was up to the challenge! The cute bride-n-groom paper cup was kept full of water.

[Canon 7D; Aperture]

Central fixin’s

fixins

© Copyright 2013 David Nuss

Breakfast goodies ready to be applied by a team of young men on banana leafs on long tables for guests. Cleanup was taken care of by older ladies.

[Canon 7D; Aperture]