Yuen Long Festival again with Dragons and Lions

So back in April there was a festival in Yuen Long (Hong Kong) which celebrated one of the Lady Buddhas. Her picture is below! She is associated with the moon and controls the wind and oceans.

 

These are the Chinese lions that always come along during the festivals. I think they bring good luck – but they are definitely something worth seeing if you ever have the opportunity.

 

This lion was on a bamboo

The guy on the ground is the man that supposedly is able to tame the lions. But I dont think that he was very successful this time in keeping the lions under control…

A few of the businesses put out a piece of lettuce for the lion to take as an offering to bring good luck to their business.

These are kind of like altars that are always accompanied by the lions. At the end of the festival is a competition of the different altars – finding the most ornate one!

Everyone has seen these dragons and the ones we saw were huge! It was probably able to span over a block!

This event brings people in foreigners to Yuen Long too. Its not just for locals!

A post about Vietnam will be posted soon!

Advertisements

Its my birthday so Im gonna rid-id-ide out

It was my birthday a few days ago and it was really fun! I celebrated it twice, once with my mom’s side of the family and once with my dad’s side of the family. I had a little pizza pow-wow and a karaoke session!

Sushi platter!

Pizza from pizza box!

Birthday cake from Saint Honore (one of the major bakery chains in Hong Kong).

My cousin Kam’s little girl got a dye barbie’s hair doll kit and I took it upon myself to not act my age (which is 23 now) and play with barbie.

We went to karaoke at CEO in Kowloon Bay. It was an all you can eat buffet. The way you pay is similar to bottle service at a club. t You have to spend at least a certain amount of money and each person that comes in has a fee and food and drinks has a fee.

You make make your own little hotpot

We werent supposed to get eat the pig face. It was only a demo but it didnt matter!

Every 15 minutes there are always specialty items that are served and there are only 15 available. Baked Lobster was one of them and there were fried oysters and baked oysters. I believe that it was mainly all seafood that was special.

They made small waffle cone cups for you!

Here is almost everyone in my generation except my brother and my other two cousins.

For your birthday you get free cake and juice and free admission. You have to join their K’Fun membership club though – and now I am officially a member!

Cheers!

Bai Shan – give it up for my grandma’s (on my dad’s side) mom and dad

This past weekend was Easter in the Western World but it was also a time for Chinese people to Bai Shan. Bai Shan is where families go to their pay their respects to the deceased and burn them necessary things for the after life. This event usually takes place early in the morning – we went at 7 am.

This was the view from where we went to Bai Shan. We cheated and did it a day before because we didnt want to get caught with the large amounts of people Bai-ing Shan as well.

This is my grandma’s dad!

and my grandma’s mom!

After seeing all these pictures, I can see why asian horror films are so scary. Even

At home we usually burn incenses and even at temples we burn incenses but days like this we set out food too. I would have helped out but I am not 100% certain about how and where to set everything up.

As with many cultures we believe that whatever we burn makes it way to another realm. The got a sneak peek of the contents when we were burning it. There were paper shoes, clothes and lots of paper money.

Here is the typical layout. Theres always some alcohol, fruit, snacks, meat and bread.

Theres also a piece of pork and fish laying on top of the chicken!

This is offering here on the corner, however, is not for our ancestors but for the the Ground Icon. The Ground Icon’s job is watch over the land and make sure peace falls over the land. He gets offerings but no chicken or big baggies.

At home we use lighters to burn our incenses. We dont mess around when we are out here. We mean business.

This is the joss pan where everyone burns their offerings.

Bai Shan happens twice a year during Spring (April on the old calendar) and Autumn (September on the old calendar).

#3 out of the New 7 Wonders of the World – check.

This is the third New Wonder of the World that I am fortunate enough to visit. I first went to the Colosseum in Rome, Italy with a group of high school friends. The second Wonder was at Chichen Itz in Yucatan, Mexico with my friends: Paul, Tracy and Edward. Next stop, Great Wall of China.

Initially, our travel plans were only to see the Taj Mahal and then begin the drive to Jaipur but they were luckily spoiled by the Brazilian President (below is the Mercedes Benz she was riding in). She wanted to visit the monument and thus entrance to the Taj Mahal was halted for 3 hours. I say luckily because we took the 3 hours to visit the Argra Fort.

The Argra Fort is deemed a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO. I actually found that the Argra Fort much more interesting than Taj Mahal because the Taj Mahal is built as a mausoleum and thus its history did not peak my interest. First off, the Argra Fort was built as living quarters.


This is was Akbar’s prison! Akbar was Mr. Taj Mahal’s grandfather and in Akbar’s later years he body degenerated and so Mr. Taj Mahal decided to put him on home arrest.

The artwork on the walls are actually semi-precious stones, not paint!

Our tour guide!

View of the Taj Mahal from Argra Fort!

Entrance into the Taj Mahal requires people to take off their shoes or wear protective material over their shoes.



Jantar Mantar is an astrological observatory and it has the world’s largest sun-dial!

City Palace in Jaipur.

This is a giant bowl for cooking for the army in the City Palace in Jaipur.

The Marahaja of the Amber Palace built a garden that resembled that of a persian rug.

On our car ride from Argra to Jaipur, there was a roadblock. A member of one of the villages right before we drove into Rajasthan was hit by a government bus. The kid was driving a motorcycle delivering empty soda bottles somewhere and was hit. In retaliation to the injustice, the villagers decided to block road with large rocks, sticks and everything else they could find. Our driver told me that the government will give the family 100,000 Rupees as compensation for the death.

Honking is encouraged in India to promote awareness of cars coming up behind you. So in a busy intersection car horns will be going off non-stop.

On the road from Argra to Jaipur we saw a bus full of people on the roof!

There were ample amounts of wild animals. There were camels too but I failed to snap any pictures.

At the end of the trip I saw a fortune teller. I am not one to really believe fortune tellers but my aunt said that 20 years ago she saw an Indian fortune teller and the fortune teller was accurate in predicting her future. When she saw this one, he was very accurate in his prediction about her past. He says that I will have good luck with employment after May 17th. Lets hope he is right!

Our guide took us to see how Indian carpets and textiles were made.

There are a number of presses that they use. They use all natural paint. This means that  when the paint is washed it changes color.

For some of the carpets they use a blow torch to burn out the cotton that they used to tie the rug together. To my surprise the other materials in the carpet doesnt burn (wool and silk).

Then the rug is washed and cleaned!

Food food food! There is even spicy food at breakfast in India (well, maybe thats only the hotel breakfast’s)

Chicken Tikki Masala!

Fast food curry at the airport was still really delicious

I wouldnt call this a dessert but more of a deconstructed mint. Below features white rock sugar and mint leaves. You are supposed to put a bit of the mint and sugar in your hand and  eat it. It is quite tasty!

The doorbell to our hotel room in Argra

Yuen Long – where it used to be ghetto

Hong Kong is split into a few regions – New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. Neither my dad’s or mom’s side of the family initially lived in Kowloon. Development in Yuen Long has been intense because certain areas look just like Kowloon and Hong Kong but a bit more dirty.

Both sides of my family trace back to some village in China – a long long time ago. I havent made a trip to those villages in a long time but hopefully I will visit there again. The last time I went was approximately 5 years ago and the trip consisted of showering with a bucket of warm water, mom’s held their newborns out on the street to take a shit, roads were unpaved and people did their laundry in rivers. It was definitely a great experience.

Anyway, my mom’s family, before moving into Kowloon, lived in a place called Yuen Long. When I was born my parents already moved us to Ngau Tau Kok (Cow’s Horn). I dont really know if Yuen Long was ever that ghetto so this post’s title might be completely false. More research is required.

Yuen Long still has the antenna’s on top of their roofs.

I came out to Yuen Long mainly to go to a temple though and two relatives.

These are incenses that have to burn in a spiral and people write a wish on a piece of paper and put it in the center. The wish isnt supposed to get burnt but who knows.


Ocean Park Hong Kong! (aka Knotts Berry Farm in Hong Kong)

Welcome to Ocean Park! Ocean Park is similar to Knotts Berry Farm in Los Angeles but with a social responsibility to wildlife. The mascot is a Sea Lion dressed as a sailor.

There were huge sea creatures statues in the front of the entrance!

We believe that the hot air balloon is actually a ride but it was very windy the day we went, so I dont think it was very safe.

There was an Old Hong Kong area that opened a few months ago and you can buy dim sum and all types of chinese food!

There were red rickshaws just like the olden times.

Giant Egg Tarts that you could win through carnival games. There was also large bags of rice that you could win too.

The view from the top!

Most of the rides there were not that exciting but it was cool

There was a wild rapids ride

There were real live sea lions!

There is a supreme scream but it was called abyss. There was a ferris wheel and a ride called The Dragon but it was closed 😦

The swing ride!

Workers taking out a tree.

This ride was called the Eagle and it spun around and around while going up and down!

There was a sea lion and dolphin show!

With a band playing music (I think they were mexican)!

BAMF. If only I had such muscle control.

Action shot.

View from the gondola!

At the end of the night there was a water show called, Symbio. It was a story of two dragons (one water and one fire) and they were fighting with each other. and eventually they became one, hence “Symbio”. There was fire and water and all the works.

And thats Ocean Park!!

Volunteering Green Thumbs

I have been hard at work with my family duties. I have volunteered myself to help my cousin Kammy with her flower arrangement business! I learned how to use a tool to take off the thorns of roses!

Look at that all wooden sweeper.

These arrangements are for people who died :(but they still look good! The middle flower looks like a giant cabbage – i think its a symbol for dead people.

its the flower cat

I helped out to make wedding decor!

Remember the flower festival? Here are pictures at night and this is me helping out again!

helping out with my apron!

Symbol of Hong Kong!

This goes out to my australian brothers and sisters

Here are my cousin Kammy’s kids!

Dik-si-lay (Disneyland) Hong Kong

So my friend Katie is now an imagineer at Disneyland. As if working on a design team for Disney isnt cool enough, Disney relocated her to Hong Kong! woot! So this post goes out to her!

Disney has its own MTR line that goes directly to it. Everything in it is disneyed out.

This picture might seem random but Katie is working on the a new land in Disney called Grizzly Gultch. This roller coaster has an extensive backstory to it dealing with a mother bear and her cub. Katie built a 3D model of the train and thats why its getting repped!

Space Mountain was practically the same except the vehicle you ride in was only 2 carts as opposed to the 4/5 that LA Disneyland had. The wait was not long because it was a weekday – but i dont think that there are ever that many people at all. I experienced Mainland Chinese people waiting in line. Its an experience because they push without reason – even when there is no room to move.

This is my friend Raymond! Ray has been an amazing friend and keeping me company in my days of Hong Kong. This is him on Autopia!

Here is the spaceship at Starliner Diner!

We caught a bit of a parade. Im not sure what the name of it is but it had many of the Disney characters.

There are many new developments in Hong Kong Disneyland! something new every year!

This is Toy Story land’s parachute drop. The line was really long so we didnt go on it. The ride looks cool but is anti-climatic.

There is a ride with Slinkey!

There are Mickey Mouse shaped waffles!!

This was at the entrance and at night it lights up with all different types of color.

we all met for dinner the next night!

and then i took Katie to get eggies!!

Famous Eggies in Jordan

Trip to China!

I went to China the other day and this is a quick reacap/timeline of my trip. Below is immigration of Hong Kong.

Here is the border from Hong Kong to China!

We went to dinner at a place that is shaped like a donut – It is shaped in a donut because it served as a fortress for the village against bandits. The dining rooms were no bigger than an apartment room and had their own bathroom. (squatting toilet of course)

We were hungry and decided to preoccupy ourselves by taking jumping pictures

I love you man?

We stayed in my family’s place in the Agile housing community. My Connie Ma designed the place herself… see for yourself!

The kitchen is there but nobody cooks because eating out is so cheap – but also we dont have a wok

This is the study…

Connie ma wanted a thai feel to the patio so she bought two elephant stools and had wooden floor boards.

The place we went to had very small pineapples for sale on many of the street corners. I like to call them pineapple-grenades

They cut it all nice for you though

Random picture of a lady on a bike carrying hella stuff and who rode her bike like she owned the road.

The food we ate was good… and no, we didnt eat the animal below. I dont know what it is but it looked like a small wombat. There was a poster describing the benefits of eating this animal (mainly for women). This animal is cooked in a stew though and apparently has a lot of meat!

Before we went to bed we were watching an Indiana Jones movie with Harrison ford. Had some brewskies and bought some spicy snacks. We had some tofu, duck meat and chicken legs.try to guess whats what.

This is fresh char siu!

Giant char siu baos!

They gave us a heating device so we can keep our food hot

Flower festival!

So my cousin Kam wasnt the first person the organizers for the Hong Kong Flower Show asked to make the flower arrangement display. They asked after the first person messed up and she had to come to the rescue! and So I present to you the dream team.

The flower show is 10 days long at Causeway Bay this year and it started today March 16th. I am going to go over there later and see what its all about but from my understanding is a festival of all flower products for any occasion. This would seem to be a place out of the Wizard of Oz where flowers make up everything.

You see, im not just there for kicks… im actually helping out and doing work. im fetching water… look at how concerned i am (about getting my clothes dirty – lol)

There was an entrance into the windmill and I told Tsz Hing (my cousins’s kid) to go in there so i can take a picture. He wants to a be a lawyer – I hope he does a lot better than me in his public examinations

My cousin Kam's 18 year old kid

Here i am again earning my keep and being a contributor to the flower arrangement committee! this time we are putting flowers in for the door of the windmill.

Good door?

This picture should have been in the front but I thought it was a more comprehensive picture of the entire display (even without the door)

I am going to go to the festival today or in a few days so more pictures will follow!