Showing posts from 2014

Why I left Hong Kong?

6 months in Hong Kong have gone by in a blink of an eye. It wasn't too long ago when I went back home to Boston to try to settle down, but ended up leaving again 6 weeks after. (Home after 14 months). I decided to go to Hong Kong for a couple of reasons: A) I'm a citizen there so I don't have to worry about visa issues. B) Since HK is  my motherland, I wanted to get to know the place better.

I had full intentions of working full time once I arrived in Hong Kong, but I decided not to after a couple of weeks later. Not because I couldn't find a job. It was just because I didn't feel like stepping into the real world yet. And probably because I didn't want to work 10 hours a day knowing how normal it is in Asia working long hours. Plus 14 months of backpacking just wasn't enough yet.

I ended up renting a tiny closet space room just under $400usd a month for two months in the city before moving to Tuen Mun, the suburbs of Hong Kong I guess you could call it. I…

Last sunrise in Hong Kong

Megan and I went for a walk in the city from 1am until dawn. Both of us thought it would be pretty cool to see Hong Kong, one of the busiest city in the world, at night when everyone else are sleeping. It did turn out to be pretty damn cool walking the city when no one is around.
I lied. There was a crap load of people around in Mongkok area because of Occupy Central. Megan and I met up just in the corner here at 1am and we were pretty damn surprised. We knew Occupy Central was happening, but didn't know it went to the Kowloon side as well. 
Police everywhere. No violence. Pretty peaceful. 
Nathan Road. 
People standing on top of the MTR subway exits taking photos. 
Everyone sat right in the middle of the intersection. Blocking all traffic down the streets. It has been about 5 days since I took this photo. Pretty sure that the bus is still sitting there. 
This is the bus you see in the above picture 5 days later. Photo taken by a friend. 

All of these vehicles are all stranded. 

Hong Kong: Ma Wan Abandoned Fishing Village (VIDEO)

Visited an abandoned village over the weekend on Ma Wan Island, now home to the Noah's Ark. The town was surprisingly big. It almost looks like a movie studio or could be one. 
I believed the town has been abandoned since 2007/2008. The reason for the evacuation was property development. Grundy writes, “As of 1995, fish farming was the main economic activity on Ma Wan, and Hong Kongers flocked to its seafood restaurants. Shrimp-drying and shrimp paste-making farms now lie abandoned. The town had a population of several thousand prior to the 80s and around 800 in 2000.
“The new development was completed in 2006 and villagers from the old town were rehoused in the northern part of the island. As part of the compensation package, they were invited to choose either a traditional 3-story village house of 2,100 sq. ft. or 3 separate units each of 700 sq. ft. in one single block. Most jumped at the offer, though not all residents were happy with the deal and some protests against the ma…

Nepal: 10 day Annapurna Circuit (Video)

After China, my break from Hong Kong continued in Nepal. I had no idea what to expect from Nepal. All I really know from is the crazy high mountains they have. I didn't know what to expect from Kathmandu either. After spending 4 days there, it is probably the most insane city I've been to. I guess it is a lighter version of India. I didn't enjoy it at all the first time I was there.

Pokhara was the total opposite. It was touristy, but a lot quieter and also more expensive. The lakeside area anyway. The bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara only costed about $8usd. Beautiful scenery, but it's a long 6 to 7 hour bus ride around the mountain side. After Kathmandu, I spent another 3 days in Pokhara before heading out for the Annapurna Circuit trek.

I don't know what I was thinking planning to do a 17 to 21 day trek around the full circuit. The first three or four days were spent getting wet and trekking in wet clothes and walking through crazy waterfalls. After the 5th d…

A Break From Hong Kong (Video)

It's been 4 1/2 months since I lived in Hong Kong.  It has been really fun living there, the food is great, public transportation is the world's best, and getting out to do outdoor activities is always so convenient. However, I feel I need a break from it all. The people and air pollution started to annoy me quite a bit. I can never go anywhere without an overpopulated crowd. The air feels stuffy, especially during the summer season.

So last week, I decided to leave HK for a couple of months to give myself a break from this hectic city. It was time to get back on the road. First stop was a climbing trip in Getu, China with some friends from our climbing gym.

In order to get there, V and I had to take a 2 hour train ride from HK to Guangzhou first. Then switch to another train that will take us from Guangzhou to Guiyang which takes 24 hours. We could have flown which would only take 2 hours, but to save money the train was our best option. It only costed us $60usd compared to $…

Hong Kong 2014 16th Anime Comic (Video)

I went to comic con today thinking it wouldn't be so crowded since it's a Monday. Boy, was I wrong?! I waited in line for about an hour just to get to the ticket counter. Good thing it was only $4.50usd. Totally worth it for that price. It was definitely a bit different than the states. I had the privilege watching fake Japanese performers dancing in cosplay lip syncing to Japanese anime songs, while quite a few male audience were dancing in the crowd with their glow sticks. It was quite entertaining. Video below.

Shek O: Dragon's Back Trail & Big Wave Bay Beach (Video)

Lauren, Nathan, and I met up the following day to go for a hike (8.5K). It was an absolute perfect day. Sunshine, ocean, and butterflies. No complaints about that. Just watched the video below!

After the hike, we went back to Central. Nathan had to go back home because he wasn't feeling well. Lauren and I went to Central to meet up with her host that night. Her name is Ophelia and she is a store owner that sells organic, natural soap, shampoo, lotion... Etc. The soaps that she sells are made out of herbs that she planted in her home garden. I thought that was pretty cool. This is her website:

She took us out to dinner to one of the older style looking restaurants in Hong Kong. It has been around for thirty some years. It's called Lin Heung Tea House. The food was delicious. gave it a pretty good review:

Climbing At Central Crag

About a week ago, Lauren from Cali sent me a message on couchsurfing asking if I will be available to go climbing when she is in Hong Kong. Lauren is a PHD student at the moment, got her degree at MIT, and here for an engineering conference in Hong Kong.

I decided to take Lauren and Sarah to a climbing spot I have never been before. It is close to the city and suppose to have an excellent view of the city from what I have heard. We ended up only climbing two easy routes because they had to get back for dinner by 6pm. 
I brought my gopro up hoping to get some good footage, but I forgot to charge the battery the night before. I had only enough battery power to take this photo. It worked out. =)

Best time to go to the Infinity pool? (Video)

About a month ago, I went to the "Natural" infinity pool for the first time. It is a man made dam that was built in 1958. It used to be a drinking water reservoir for the locals, but the town/village no longer uses it. The spot is getting quite popular among travelers and locals to go relax on a hot summer day.

This past Monday, I took Vanessa and Hong there since they have never been. Personally, I don't like crowds too much so if I can avoid it, I will. The best time to get there is mid to late afternoon. By the time you get there, everyone else are getting ready to leave. You will probably end up the only few people there.

This time, we didn't get there until around 4:30. Perfect! As we were hiking up, we passed by at least 10 other people that are leaving. I overheard a girl saying to one of her friends "Why are these people coming up so late?" By the time we arrived, there were only 4 other people there besides us. It's peaceful and quiet. Best of…

Sorry to say, but I really like the GoPro

When I was traveling last year, I carried my precious Nikon D90 DLSR camera with an awesome 16mm-85mm wide lens. I took thousands of amazing pictures with it. However, I've come to realize that  I also really enjoy traveling light. Even though it took pictures that a normal point and shoot camera could not, I no longer want to carry the weight with me. There were times that the DSLR took up so much space in my backpack and added a few extra pounds on it. It doesn't sound much, but it is a lot of weight for a person traveling long term. I ended up selling it on Craigslist once I got back to Boston. I've been happily using my Nikon waterproof point and shoot since.

A few months have gone by, a man will get bored and sooner or later will look for a new toy. For the past couple of months, I've been trying to find a good deal on an action cam. Hong Kong is not the best place to buy them since these products have to be imported from the states. The GoPro sells for an additi…

Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum

Stanley Prison is one of the six maximum security facilities in Hong Kong. It was opened in 1937 and is  currently the oldest institution still in service. Hong Kong officially abolished capital punishment in 1990. Before that Stanley Prison had been a place of execution. One hundred twenty-two criminals were executed there between 1946 and 1966. 
I have wanted to come here since I've been in Hong Kong. The museum is a bit far from the city, but easy to get to. We took the MTR to Central station, then took bus number 6x all the way to the last stop. The bus ride itself was about 45 minutes. Best of all, admission to the museum is free. 

Pirate suspects captured in China. The court and the police of HK transferred the pirates to the territory on the opposite shore ruled by the Chinese government. The reps of the Qing Dynasty at Kowloon City had the pirates beheaded in public. During the same period, murderers, pirates, and other offenders were hanged to death in public. I'm gues…

Outdoor Infinity Pool in Hong Kong

I forgot how I found out about this pool in Hong Kong. When I saw pictures of it on the internet, I told myself I have to visit this place soon. It's definitely not a secret anymore. I think it gets quite crowded on weekends and public holidays, but that's everywhere in Hong Kong. So Russ and I picked a random Wednesday to go.

I didn't bother waking up early for this. I woke up at 11am, took my time to get ready and ate a late breakfast. Met up with Russ at 1 PM at Tung Chung MTR station. Then we took a 45 minute bus ride to Tai O. Bought some pretty nasty South Korean beers called Blue Girl, ate another lunch in the fishing village before heading up to the pool. It was a short 45 minute hike. The last 10 minutes of the hike was pretty steep. 
We didn't arrive at the pool until 3:30ish. There were a few people there, but they were all getting ready to leave. We stayed until almost sunset. I know. How romantic. The place is amazzzziinnggg. I can't describe it with …