New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong, Fireworks and Temples

Not done a blog post in a while – the 2 weeks since we got back from the Philippines have been pretty quick but also nothing really interesting has happened. Apart from New Years Eve.

The day we got back from the airport, we had literally an afternoon to recover before we were off celebrating the New Year. At 8pm we met the group at the Harbour piers and got on our Junk Boat (massive shout to Ian once again for organising it). Cannot think of a better place to bring in the new year really – Hong Kong’s fireworks rival Sydney and London’s for expense and beauty and we would be yards away from them in the middle of the harbour (made better when I heard the crowds in Tsim Sha Tsui on the Kowloon peninsula were HUGE and couldn’t see most of them). Drinking dangerously high levels of gin and 12% Bear Beer, and in the company of great people we saw in the new year with a massive countdown…

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Don’t remember much after that…

Anyhow, getting back to work was not welcomed after more than a week in a beach paradise. Our students had exams so we were pretty under-utilised but Chatteris had prepared training for us after a few days in work, so we went to the office for a few days. I saw it as a much needed mid-term injection of TEFL training and ideas-sharing, which was made better with a ten-pin bowling trip on the Thursday.

Inbetween this, Nat and I went to the cinema twice to finally see The Hobbit and also Les Mis, which were very good films. It’s weird how British Hong Kong can be – film and popcorn for a couple of hours, I could have been in Ashton rather than Mong Kok, so it’s times like these when it’s great to get a feel of home again. We also booked our tickets to go to Taiwan for Chinese New Year, which should be great.

On Sunday we also headed to the Che Kung Temple near Sha Tin. It was fascinating to see all the worshippers doing their thang with incense sticks, the drums and chanting. And the design inside the temple was amazing, with this big bronze statue of a general in the middle:

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We also headed to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum after that, but got to say it was pretty naff. It struck me as a way for Chinese-nationalist Hong Kongers to be like ‘Remember how Chinese you are, so let’s stick a load of Chinese art, robes and Buddha statues that are loosely related to Hong Kong in a big building’. Overall, not really exciting but for $10 entry (80p) it wasn’t too bad. Kept us kids off the street anyhow.

We had Friday off work for claiming compensation leave, so me and Adrian had a great day testing out his new camera around TST and the island. We met the girls for Martinis and steak sandwiches in a place called Morton’s Steakhouse in TST, which was sweet because our hours don’t usually let us go there for the drink offers. Steph Carter’s mum was in town so we met her, headed to Erin and Sandy’s place for more drinks and then Aqua Bar in Yau Ma Tei before an early night on account of our big weekend trip. To the Vegas of the East, Macau.

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