Posts Tagged 'Bird Garden'

Birds, Cam3ls & Fleas

This week has been another corker in HK. We had a usual sort of week at work. I’ve started March workshops on Greek Myths and Switzerland, which the kids love. Also had a more boring vocabulary/grammar workshop to prepare the kids for their upcoming exams but nothing too difficult. We’re still having big preparations for our highlight event of the year – Spring Ball. We have spent around $3000 on food and drink for it (almost £300) on Friday, and went for a massive Dim Sum with Joanne (our mentor). Still trying to learn some of the dishes but I’m still at the stage of ‘That white thing with prawn in it’ or ‘That one that’s like sausage roll but with BBQ pork in it’.

 

On Friday night we headed to Sandy and Erin’s place for some drinks before Red Bar to meet a few others and LKF afterwards. Can’t remember everywhere we went to that night but the African Bar had a good vibe to it, even if the drinks were expensive. Getting in at nearly 5am showed it was a sick night though. Met a cool guy Fabian, Angela’s friend from Boracay. Obviously my alcohol-fuelled self thinks he speaks fluent German, but Fabian was a good sport with it.

 

On Saturday we took a very chilled day. Adrian and I ended up on one of our camera walks to wherever we ended up. We headed to the Bird Market in Mong Kok, had a drink from Pacific Coffee Company and found a new market on Fa Yuen Street that we hadn’t been to yet. The weather was gorgeous recently, hitting 27 degrees on Sunday. The shorts and flip flops are back out, jeans back in the suitcase for now. On Saturday night we headed to Jack’s Cam3l Bar at his flat. A great house party despite stopping feeling ridiculously hungover only a few hours previously.

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On Sunday then we had the Chatteris Flea Market in Kowloon Park in Tsim Sha Tsui. Tony, Ka-Mun and I were pretty lucky to have the promotion job, walking around, giving out balloons and flyers to families and kids. Highlight definitely was Tony being swarmed by kids outside a playground, them all wanting balloons.

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A proper nice day, Jack W and Adrian playing tunes on the guitar, all my mates were there: pretty damn sweet. To top it off, Adrian and I headed to Cocky Bar on the 18th Floor of The One in TST to meet Maddie and Ellie for a few beers. Bloody fantastic views up there, and we caught it at the right time to see the sunset and the island begin lighting up. Reminded us so much of how lucky we are to be here, how fantastic this place is and how it’s gonna be a long time before we leave indefinitely. Mostly, it hit home how much Hong Kong is definitely our home now.

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The Markets of Hong Kong

Markets are a major part of Hong Kong’s business. Shops selling similar items all locate in the same area – convenient for a customer’s ability to shop around and search for the best deal. This also means because of the higher level of competition between businesses or market stalls, the staff are overly friendly, enthusiastic for you to try things, keen at making deals and a tad more easily persuaded if you haggle the right way.

Ladies’ Market – The most famous market, filled with tourists. The vendors all have calculators to type amounts in, seen as people from an array of different countries are always there. Contrary to its name, it sells an array of items – tourist ‘I ❤ HK’ t-shirts, magnets and souvenirs, football shirts, bags and suitcases, and definitely-authentic designer clothes, bags, wallets and belts. Because genuine Dolce and Gabbana boxer shorts or a Gucci bag are always a couple of quid… The market stall owners work hard putting the stalls up and pulling them down every day – we’re talking long metal scaffolding here, and it doesn’t look like an easy job. Logic says leave the stalls up through the night, but I think there are some legal issues with this common sense, or plainly the owners would rather keep there property under lock and key during the night. I get to walk down the street quite a lot as it’s parallel to the long Nathan Road, on Tung Choi Street. Anyone thinking of going, go for the atmosphere and maybe try your bartering and haggling skills, but there are cheaper options elsewhere, and they can spot a tourist a mile off! Here’s some pictures of the market stalls, including one from above, during night.

Sham Shui Po Market – We came across this gold mine by accident. One evening we had a few friends round, ran out of beers and so the flatmates and I went on a beer-run, trying to find a supermarket closer to our place than the one we knew. We walked right into the middle of Sham Shui Po market – so vast and widely spread out. There are toy shops, costume shops, electric shops galore, with street markets similar to Ladies’ Market on the road, and most evenings, a jumble sale/Car Boot/Yard sale sort of structure. Adrian got his acoustic guitar there for $100 that very night (less than £10) and it can be a real gold mine if you run into the thing you are looking for. I found my favourite stall here – the one shown below where Football shirts and shorts are $45 for both, and they have so many different teams represented. Still searching for an Oldham Athletic or Northern Premier League Premier Division’s finest Ashton United shirt to crop up though. Managed to find Birmingham City one. I’ve bought so many so far, will be swimming in football shirts when I go back to the UK. Thanks to Rich for the photos below of the market.

Goldfish Market – Unlike Ladies’ Market, this one does exactly what it says on the tin and sells Goldfish. And more. We’ve seen turtles, terrapins, lizards, chameleons, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, snakes, crabs and crustaceans sold here, as well as fish tanks, fish tank filters, plants, stones, lights, ornaments, turtle food, dog leads, cages and the list goes on. This is where we bought out Terrapins, Donatello, Ian Brown, Shelley and Squirtle for $10 each (less than a British pound…), who are shown below. The place has a brilliant atmosphere and is a must-see for any visitors to Hong Kong. It’s like Pets-at-Home, but outside, cheap, tacky and just brilliant. Although it does say something about a society where a pet turtle is the same price as a Mars Bar.

 

Stanley Market – located in the town of Stanley on the South of Hong Kong Island, this quickly became another favourite market of mine. It sold a large variety of items, albeit with the usual tourist-friendly products, something which I definitely partook in. Really good vibe from this place, and its quality in atmosphere paired well with the cheapness of the products. The photos below show some of the artwork on sale, as well as the tourists’ favourite ‘Western names in Cantonese’ postcards. Another must-see for any visitor to HK.

Flower Market – Another original name, this market, located on the originally-named Flower Market Road has many florists and mini-Garden Centres.  The street evidently has a particular scent, which is definitely not the drains, and not one for people with hey fever. It is located just near Boundary Street, so north-east of Kowloon’s urban heart. Not much more really to say about this one, apart from that aside from the obvious, it also offers Bonsai, bamboo, garden plants and weirdly a whole shop specialising in rocks.

Bird Garden (Yuen Po Street) –  A little further from the Flower Market is Yuen Po Street which has the famous Bird Garden. The Garden came from the moving of the Bird markets on Bird Street (yep, another original name) due to a development project. The Garden cost HK$29 million to build and is basically a place for bird collectors to come, chat about their birds, buy supplies, even buy new birds, or simply chill out with other bird collectors and let their bird out of its cage for a bit. It seems the HK equivalent to men walking their dogs or something. They literally walk around with cages, hang the cages up and sit. Very unique social circle really. I went there today to check out the local birds (pun highly intended….)