Sunday, July 25, 2010

Here and There

So our last couple weeks here in Hong Kong, we have been busy getting applications ready to send out for jobs for next year and Calvin has been getting ready for his tests, he's also had the opportunity to go meet with a few firms here in Hong Kong about possible opportunities. This hasn't left as much time for sight seeing; luckily, we got to see most of the places we wanted to see in our first couple weeks here. As soon as Calvin finishes his tests today, we will have 2 more days to finish doing the rest of the things we want to do before flying back to the USA! Camden and I like to go to the nearby playground in the mornings and we have gone out and done a few things here and there. Here is a collection of pictures from a few of the things we've done.

The above picture is of the church building in Kwai Fong. On Calvin's first Sunday here in Hong Kong as a missionary, the bishop asked him to give his testimony in Chinese.

We also visited the Tsuen Wan promenade and had fun on these "massaging" rocks (I don't think that's what they're officially called, but as I understand, that is their purpose, to massage the bottom of your feet).

Calvin lived in this building in Luk Yeung San Tsuen (you'd never guess how to pronounce it).

Here's Camden at our favorite park. He was more interested in the leaves and dirt than the playground on this occasion.

One morning, Camden and I walked down to Hollywood Road to look at the antique stores. My conclusion-if you price it high enough, it must be a real antique! We also saw the Man Mo Temple, the oldest Buddhist temple on the island. Between holding Camden and trying not to die from the amount of smoke coming from all the incense burners, no pictures were taken. You can CLICK HERE to see a virtual tour from the Hong Kong tourism board.

One morning, we went with my friends Arie and Na Young to the space museum. This is all of the museum that we saw. It didn't open until 1 pm. We went to the art museum instead.

Here is Camden sitting with a group of Chinese kids at the art museum. He saw them all sitting there listening to a lady talking and he wanted to join the group.

My favorite exhibits in the art museum were of the ancient ceramics and pottery and also the exhibit made up entirely of gold (jewelry, hair pins, belt buckles, etc.) Here's a video of Camden playing with some huge, foam cubes with Chinese characters on them at the art museum.

And lastly, here are a couple pictures of Camden doing another one of his favorite things, showering. He loves playing in there with the removable shower head.

We will have a few more posts about Hong Kong, and then it's back to the USA for us!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Star Ferry

My mom asked for some pictures of the Star Ferry, so here they are! Yesterday, we went to Mong Kok to get Calvin fitted for some suits (3 nice suits for about $250 USD!). There are a few ways you can get there from the island, where we are. You can take a bus or the MTR from Central, or you can take a ferry across the harbor, then take a bus. We decided on the ferry so I could get some good pictures, with the added bonus that the ferry is just fun (and another added bonus, it is cheap!).

Here is the pier where you pay your $2 to sit on the bottom deck, or $2.50 to sit on the top (that's in HKD! approximately $1 USD = $7.6 HKD).

Each ferry has it's own name, like the Northern Star, Twinkling Star, etc.

Camden liked watching the sailors and paid attention so he could do the job someday :) They wear these sailor uniforms that have stars on the front. The seats on the ferry are also decorated with stars.

The views from the star ferry are amazing! You can see the museums, art, science, and space, in the background on the left.

Here is a video when we were on our way home of the great view of Central across the harbor. The lights on the buildings were just coming on!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sai Kung

On Saturday, we left around 9:30 in the pouring rain and took the minibus down to Central. We then got on another bus that took us to Shun Lei Tsuen where we had dim sum. It was good (mostly)! Then we got on another minibus that took us to Sai Kung. In Sai Kung, Calvin haggled with one of the ladies offering boats, and got us our own little boat out to one of the islands. It was a little more expensive than some of the other boats, but we got to go out on our own instead of waiting for a boat to fill up and they came and got us when we were ready to go back.

We ate our ice cream cones on the way out, it was a hot day!

When we got out there, we walked out to this island on the land bridge that was exposed because it was low tide.

We also spotted this really funny typo/mis-translation on one of the signs giving information about the rocks in the area. It was showing the process of the salt water, weather, and erosion, making these rocks look like a popular bread here called a "pineapple bun." Look closely for the mistake.
This is a real pineapple bun. The name comes from the topping which looks like a pineapple, not because it has any pineapple flavor.
We had a really fun time exploring the tide pools along the land bridge out to the little island. We saw sea urchins, sea cucumbers, crabs, fish, and clams.

It was a beautiful day! The breeze on the ocean felt so good.

Calvin and I decided we wouldn't mind owning one of the many yachts drifting through the harbour.

We also found some coral!

We climbed some really cool rocks right there on the ocean!

Next time I want to go snorkeling here!

I was really relieved when our boat came back to get us :) Calvin assured me he had done this before and that they really do come back and get you.

They just pull their little "junk" boat right up to the pier for you to hop on!

When we got back over to Sai Kung, we took a bus ride out to another area nearby to see a place Calvin had served on his mission. We then met up with some friends we had met at church for pizza in Sai Kung. It was the best pizza! Here in Hong Kong, they have a different idea about what goes on a pizza, but this was a place owned by an Italian-American guy from New York, so it was really good.
On a side note, we saw this Hong-Kong sized fire truck pulling up to an apartment building-it was small!
We had a great day! On the way home, we stopped and bought a hot-plate burner, a pot, and some bowls and spoons so we can cook some more meals here in our room. We already have a refrigerator and a thing that boils water, but nothing else to really help us cook. We also stopped at a grocery store to get some food. It will be nice!
P.S. Leave us some comments and let us know who is reading the blog! I hope this lets you share in our adventure. We love and miss all our family and friends!

Stanley Market and Aberdeen

On Friday afternoon, we headed to the back side of the island to see Stanley and Aberdeen. We passed Repulse Bay, which was absolutely beautiful. I think it is my favorite part of Hong Kong so far. Stanley was such a nice, quiet place; it was great. We walked through the shops, which was a lot of fun, just looking at all the things they had. There were a lot of handbags, clothes, knick-knacks, etc. We got 6 ties for Calvin for $100 HKD, which is just less than $13 USD, pretty awesome! We also stopped and got ice cream cones, or "i ee done" (done sounds like cone) in Camden's words, at McDonalds, where a family from Taiwan took pictures with Camden because I guess they just thought he was so darn cute! Camden now recognizes McDonalds and asks for an "i ee done" any time we pass one.

We also walked along the ocean front promenade in Stanley. It was so quiet and really beautiful!

We then took a bus to Aberdeen, historically a fishing village, that has recently grown to include many apartment buildings. The harbour was full of fishing boats because in June and July there is a fishing moratorium (in case you don't know what that means, as I did not, it is a time where they don't fish, to build up the fish population again).
Along the walkway around the harbour, there were many chinese women offering boat rides for a tour of the harbour, a ride to the famous floating restaurants, etc. We decided not to go, as Camden had fallen asleep on the bus ride over. We just walked along the walkway and read these little plaques telling about the history of the area and identifying the different types of fishing boats and methods. It was really interesting!

I really enjoyed learning more about the area and seeing a different side of Hong Kong. It is amazing the difference from the busy life of Central to the slower pace of areas like Stanley and Aberdeen, only a 30 minute bus ride away!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monkey Mountain, Nan Lian Garden, Chi Lin Nunnery & Kwun Tong

On Wednesday, Calvin had the afternoon off, so we went off on another adventure and headed first to monkey mountain. We saw this statue just off the road and knew we were in the right place, so we hopped off the bus just in time. I took a picture just in case this was the only monkey we saw.

We started walking down the trail and I saw these beautiful butterflies! There were so many on these flowering bushes.

As I was standing there, trying to catch some good shots of the butterflies, monkeys started coming out from under the bush right where we were standing and walking out onto the road right there by us! Camden was finishing a bun we had purchased on our way there and these monkeys were eyeing it! Calvin hurried and put it in his mouth to keep the monkeys away.

You can see on the left there, those are the bushes I was taking pictures of and there are the monkeys right where they were coming out.

We kept walking down the trail to this reservoir. We got some good pictures that we thought Calvin's dad would like. He works with water, reservoirs, dams, and other water related things.

On the one side, the water wasn't very far down, but on the other side, the dam was huge! The water must have been pretty deep!

This looked just like a giant ruler.

We then walked back up the trail toward the monkeys and stopped for a picture in this monkey trap. Calvin checked really well before we walked inside to make sure we wouldn't be trapped! He has a picture of when he was on his mission of the missionaries in a trap like this.

The little baby monkeys were so cute!

After monkey mountain, we got back on a bus and then onto the MTR and got off at Diamond Hill. We walked over to the Nan Lian Gardens, which are part of the Buddhist Chi Lin Nunnery.

Look for the frogs in the right hand corner.

Bonzai trees!

Everything was so beautiful!

After visiting the gardens and nunnery, we rode a bus over to an area where Calvin served on his mission. We visited Brother Ng who Calvin worked with. He has had quite an interesting life! It was neat to meet someone Calvin had told me about.
This is where Calvin lived for almost 6 months! Those windows in the middle with the bars are the windows to the apartment he lived in. It is very close to the church building.

We then walked down to one of Calvin's favorite street markets and got the most amazing treat ever! It is called gaak jai behng (or I think it sounds like got zhi bang). It is this warm waffle with peanut butter, butter, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk spread inside and folded in half. It is absolutely amazing!!

We stopped and got some dinner, then headed back home! We rode a bus then took the star ferry across the harbor, then got on our mini bus #3 that took us back up the hill to our dorms! It was a fun day!