John Harvey Photo

Hong Kong 8Go to
            Slide Show

This time with two kids


This is our eighth trip to Hong Kong.  Helen has family in Hong Kong so we mostly go back to visit and eat out.  My total time in Hong Kong is now in the three months range so my sense of novelty (which is worth taking a picture of) has changed quite a bit since my first trip. 

Flying to Hong Kong

Claira Looking Out The Airplane WindowNara Doing Stickers On The Plane
For a number of reasons, we didn't book our flights until quite close to the dates.  We decided to go with Air Canada instead of Cathay.  How do they compare you ask?  The staff on Cathay are younger and more energetic but the seats don't lean back.  Air Canada will sell anything for a dollar so good luck getting a bassinet seat.  I was surprised to see a flight crew member of Air Canada sleeping in a passenger seat, but strange things happen.

When flying 13 hours with two young kids, you really need a plan.  Helen did a great plan ensuring we had in flight entertainment (everything from sticker books to ear muffs).  When it was sleeping hours the kids did sleep, but they didn't sleep well.  Previous trips we have been thrown up on so this trip we packed extra clothes for us in our carry on.  Thankfully we didn't need them as Nara could communicate well enough that the barf went in bags.


The Wholesale Fruit Market

If you are arriving from the North American side of the planet, you will find you wake up at about 2 in the morning local time and getting back you bed is hard.  With two children, getting back to bed is impossible.  With the Wholesale fruit market just down the street, there is something to do with that weird time - go see some fruit!

Waiting For Truck To Load
All over Hong Kong you will find small outdoor vendors selling fruit and vegetables.  As I understand it, some of these stalls are actually quite lucrative but they sell relatively small quantities (a case or two of oranges a day).  The wholesale market sells to this street vendors.  Huge chain stores (like Welcome and ParknShop) aren't purchasing here. 
Pulling A Palette Jack

The market appears to have several dozen vendors, some carying a wide variety of products, some caring just a few.  Often the same product (Durian from Thailand) is sold at multiple vendors.  I suspect this market is quite like the markets that economics textbooks use as models.

Alley Full Of BoxesAsleep On The JobEmpty Shop



 Japanese Style Gift Watermellons Grown In The Us Packaged For China
There are always surprises in what is for sale.  Japanese style gift melons (with Japanese branding), grown in the USA, sold in Hong Kong surprised me.  I can't see how a gift melon is used in a restaurant so I'm assuming people are buying them for personal use.  Who knows.

Cooler Of Green PlumsCooler Of Kumquat

Red Cases Of Mangosteen
I really like the Asian tropical fruit available fresh in Hong Kong.  Fresh durian is real treat for us so we are always on the look out for what is for sale in the fruit markets.  For some reason, middle eastern fruits seem out of place to me (pomegranates, figs, lemons) but they do sell and even some of the smaller street markets do have them (especially lemons).

Six PomegranateThai Durian
 
Mysteries aside, the kids had a good time.  The shop keepers were curious why we had our kids out, but once Helen explained the Jet Lag situation, they were very nice.  Nara wound up with a nice mango from one of the vendors.

Nara Laughing Next To PomelosClaira Dwarfed By Watermellon

Flower Show

Always looking for something new to do, we found a flower show at Victoria Park.  Admission was cheap but the last day of the show was the first day we arrived.  The show turned out to be a sales job for various local landscaping companies and florists much like the "HomeShow" in Vancouver, but it was still worth the time to visit to see the huge displays.  I believe that getting sun helps your brain adapt to local time.

Nara And Claira At Flower ShowNara Claira And Aunt Jenie Giant Flower Topiary
Giant Mushroom Flower SculpturesNara With Flowers In The Background

Family, Family, Family

We are in Hong Kong to visit Helen's mothers family.  More accurately, we there to provide support to our children so they can visit their great grandparents - if we don't bring the kids, they don't really want to see us.  We are okay with that - it's like stumbling onto an unpaid bill that is well overdue - you just have to adapt to the changing circumstances.

Claira And Grandmother And Great GrandfatherNara And Her Great GrandfatherClaira With Great Grandmother

Claira Hanging Onto Great Grandfather
Nara has been to Hong Kong three times but this is Claira's first trip.  Everyone likes to see a baby and Claira proved adaptable to the changing people and environment.  She pretty quickly figured out how to interact with people and comfortable places to hang out.

Claira And Her Great GrandfatherClaira And Her Great Grandmother
 
 

  Nara With Alan Nara On AReal Potty
This is Nara's third trip, but I don't think she really remembers the earlier trips.  We have looked at pictures from those trips, but at first she thought those were photos of Claira.  Just the way things work out, this Nara happened to start potty training a few weeks before our trip.  Amazingly, the Great Grandparents still had the potty that Helen trained on and Nara was quite happy to use it.  We tried to get similar foods (Yogurt, fruits even humus) to what Nara had in Vancouver to try and ease the transition.  Nara didn't like soy milk, but she really liked the roast pork.  She wouldn't try durian and we had a tough time getting her to eat vegetables, but she was keen to have the Hong Kong style breakfasts (sausage and macaroni in soup).  She was a trooper.
 


Claira On The Mahjong Table Claira Talking Mahjong Strategy
Of course with visitors, there were enough people to play mahjong.  Mahjong is one of the Great Grandparents favorite pastimes so it was pretty common to see the table out and tiles washing.   Of course it is hard to play mahjong and babysit at the same time Claira got more attention between rounds.

Claira Helping Alan Play

Ocean Park

Jennie With Two Kids At Ocean Park
There is still lots in Hong Kong I have never visited.  Ocean Park is something like a cross between a Zoo, an Aquarium and an Amusement Park.  It's on the far side of Hong Kong Island (we took a minibus to Aberdeen and then a taxi to the gate) and it is quite large.  Because we had wet weather we wound up going on the Friday before a long weekend (Easter).  The thinking was that the locals would be out of town for the long weekend so it would be quiet.  It was a nice theory, but we didn't take into account the busloads of tourists from Mainland China.

 Claira Theresa And School Of Fish
We started with the aquarium.  It was a dark which is always challenging for photos. 

Claira And The Jellyfish
 
 
  
Nara Looking Into Panda Enclosure Panda Looking At Us
Next up was the Panda Enclosure.  When you first see the panda you think it's a man in a panda suit.  Their eyes seem very human.  I was also impressed with the massive number of number of people that can be moved past the animals.

Claira With Panda Behind Her


Claira Sleeping In Gondola
Ocean Park is split over two sites - the road accessible starting area and the gondola peak area.  We took the gondola up to the peak. I was impressed to see two gondola systems running in parallel, but I'm sure this is the obvious solution when you have to continuously scale up.

Double GondolaHelen And Nara In Gondola


Nara In Tunnel With Sunburst Behind Nara With Seal In Tank
At the top of the mountain are several more aquarium type exhibits.  Nara was really struck by the seals exhibit.  These seals (Spotted Seals - Phoca largha) seem very similar to the seals around Vancouver (Harbour Seal - Phoca vitulina) but we don't get to see them under water. 

Nara With Seal Gliding Past

There were lots of other exhibits - Walrus, Penguines, Artic Foxes and more, but to our young kids, it eventually became overload. 

I think we should have got money from the park as we turned into a mini-attraction.  One more than one occasion people took photos of me carrying Claira. 

Street Details in Hong Kong


Nara Eating Peanut Butter Toast In Hong Kong Cafe
Hong Kong has so many amazing details, it is really hard to not just be overwhelmed by the differences.  We normally stay in Mong Kok (a busy neighborhood on the mainland side of the Hong Kong) and there is a ton of local details.  Every time I go to Hong Kong, I see things I wish I had taken photos of.  This is me trying to pick them up.



Ducks To Be BastedNara In Front Of An AlleyNara In Alley

 
On Nara's first trip (she was 6 months old), I took out my widest angle lens, fixed the focus distance and took photos from the shoulder with Nara strapped into the carrier.  Framing is at best approximate -  you shoot, chimp and try better on the next shot.  It was a fun photo shoot.  I thought I would try the same thing, but my new camera didn't fit my old wide angle lens so the photos turned out to be more difficult to frame.

Claira With The Green VegetablesClaira With AMixed Vegetable StandClaira On The Market Street
Nara Pointing Out Dragon FruitClaira At The Traditional BakeryClaira At The Butcher
 
Most of the markets and street level stores have lighting to put their products in the best light.  This lighting helps because your child is also lit up.  My first series were shot at night - these ones were shot during the day.  The outcome is mostly the same.

Eating Stinky Tofu Over Claira Claira And Great Grandmother At Market
Claira is a bit of an attention hog when we go out.  You don't see that many babies when you are out walking (at home with the nannies I assume) and halfy kids are even more rare so a lot of shop people do like to chat when you show up. 


Lemongrasss And Other Veggies Looking Into A Basket Of Pears
Hong Kong Markets are full of amazing details to see.  Even if you have your hands full of kids, you see things you want to take photos of.  I especially like the older carts and stalls and people with novel ways of presenting things.  There are always details to see.

Oranges For Sale On Mobile Cart

Streaky Traffic On Argyle Street
Sunsets can be amazing in Vancouver, but they are shorter and more difficult to photograph in Hong Kong.  First, the city streets are often in shadow and dominated by the local lighting.  Second, because of the atmospheric pollution, the sunset is often quit dim before the sun even hits the horizon.  One day we happened to luck out with a rain storm (cleaned the air) in the afternoon which finished before sunset.  Sunset was actually quite beautiful. 

Neon Wet Streets And Sunset Skies

The Markets

Nara At The Bird Market
We are staying quite close to a number of classic Hong Kong sights - the bird market, the flower market and pet store street.  Of course I have visited many times in the past, but it's still worth going by to see what is going on and there are photographic opportunities.

Man Socializing His BirdNara With Crikets For Sale

Nara At The Flower Market
Nara and I visited the flower market but we didn't really dwell to see flowers.  Later Helen and I brought both daughters to see the pet store street but it was very busy so parenting and taking photos was a challenge.  As the kids get older, I'm sure we'll go back and visit again.

Nara Found NemoPet Store Street

When you travel, I believe you should do the things you enjoy when you are at home.  Nara quite enjoys the playground in Vancouver so she was quite happy to see playgrounds in Hong Kong.  There are actually quite a few playgrounds around Mong Kok so Nara had choices of where to play.  I quite liked how the playground was completely dwarfed by the residential buildings around it.

Nara On SprongyNara On Climbing Frame In Shadow Of Tall BuildingsNara Playing On PlaygroundNara Climbed Up Simulated Rock Wall

New place for me - Helen's Grandparents live quite close to Kwong Wah hospital.  We discovered there is a museum in a courtyard in the hospital so Nara and decided to go investigate.

Nara Setting Up TripodTung Wah MuseumHanging Lamp

The museum inside has some interesting artifacts from when the hospital opened a long time ago.

Welcome Home Nara
All good things come to an end.  Mercifully, the flight home is about two hours shorter than the flight to Hong Kong.  We also booked an overnight flight which meant the kids did sleep for some number of hours.  It was great to be home but the quietness of Vancouver  reminds you that you will want to go back.

 


Claira With Great Grandmother
Person: Claira
Lemongrasss And Other Veggies
Tags: Hong Kong, market, produce
Tung Wah Museum
Altitude: 211m (692 feet)
Location: Go To...
Hanging Lamp
Neon Wet Streets And Sunset Skies
Tags: Hong Kong, neon, rain, sunset
Nara Claira And Aunt Jenie
Person: Nara, Claira, Claira
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With AMixed Vegetable Stand
Person: Claira
Double Gondola
Nara At The Bird Market
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, Hong Kong, market
Jennie With Two Kids At Ocean Park
Person: Claira, Jennie, Nara
Empty Shop
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Nara Setting Up Tripod
Person: Nara
Tags: Hong Kong, photographer
Claira And Her Great Grandmother
Person: Claira, Great Grandmother Yuen
Claira At The Traditional Bakery
Person: Claira
Ducks To Be Basted
Tags: alley, Hong Kong
Panda Looking At Us
Pet Store Street
Tags: Hong Kong, market
Pulling A Palette Jack
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Cooler Of Green Plums
Tags: fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Nara Eating Peanut Butter Toast In Hong Kong Cafe
Person: Nara
Claira Helping Alan Play
Claira Theresa And School Of Fish
Tags: aquarium
Giant Flower Topiary
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cooler Of Kumquat
Tags: fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Claira And Great Grandmother At Market
Person: Claira, Great Grandmother Yuen
Claira Looking Out The Airplane Window
Person: Claira
Alley Full Of Boxes
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Claira On The Market Street
Person: Claira
Claira And The Jellyfish
Person: Claira
Tags: aquarium, Hong Kong, jellyfish
Giant Mushroom Flower Sculptures
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Streaky Traffic On Argyle Street
Altitude: 82m (269 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong, light streaks, long exposure
Nara Looking Into Panda Enclosure
Nara On Sprongy
Tags: playground
Nara And Her Great Grandfather
Person: Nara
Claira And Her Great Grandfather
Person: Claira, Great Grandfather Cheung
Nara With Flowers In The Background
Person: Nara
Altitude: 47m (154 feet)
Location: Go To...
Asleep On The Job
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Oranges For Sale On Mobile Cart
Tags: fruit, Hong Kong, street photography
Helen And Nara In Gondola
Altitude: 178m (583 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara With Alan
Claira With The Green Vegetables
Person: Claira
Looking Into A Basket Of Pears
Tags: fruit, Hong Kong, street photography
Japanese Style Gift Watermellons Grown In The Us Packaged For China
Tags: fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Claira Sleeping In Gondola
Man Socializing His Bird
Altitude: 65m (213 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, Hong Kong, market
Welcome Home Nara
Person: Lloyd, Nara
Claira And Grandmother And Great Grandfather
Person: Claira
Nara Playing On Playground
Person: Nara
Tags: playground
Nara In Tunnel With Sunburst Behind
Person: Nara
Nara Doing Stickers On The Plane
Person: Nara
Red Cases Of Mangosteen
Tags: fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Nara Laughing Next To Pomelos
Person: Nara
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Claira On The Mahjong Table
Person: Claira, Great Grandmother Yuen
Nara With Seal In Tank
Six Pomegranate
Tags: fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Nara On Climbing Frame In Shadow Of Tall Buildings
Altitude: 39m (127 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: playground
Thai Durian
Tags: durian, fruit, fruit market, Hong Kong
Eating Stinky Tofu Over Claira
Claira Hanging Onto Great Grandfather
Person: Claira, Great Grandfather Cheung
Nara With Seal Gliding Past
Claira Talking Mahjong Strategy
Person: Claira
Nara Found Nemo
Tags: fish, Hong Kong, market
Claira At The Butcher
Waiting For Truck To Load
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong, street photography
Nara With Crikets For Sale
Person: Nara
Altitude: 86m (282 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Pointing Out Dragon Fruit
Nara At The Flower Market
Person: Nara
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: flower, Hong Kong, market
Nara On AReal Potty
Person: Nara
Nara In Alley
Person: Nara
Tags: alley, Hong Kong, street photography
Claira Dwarfed By Watermellon
Person: Claira
Tags: fruit market, Hong Kong
Nara And Claira At Flower Show
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 28m (91 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Climbed Up Simulated Rock Wall
Person: Nara
Altitude: 83m (272 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: playground
Claira With Panda Behind Her
Person: Claira
Nara In Front Of An Alley
Person: Nara
Tags: alley, Hong Kong
Tags: Hong Kong(28), fruit market(13), fruit(8), market(6), street photography(4), playground(4)
People: Claira(20), Nara(18), Great Grandmother Yuen(3), Great Grandfather Cheung(2), Jennie(1), Lloyd(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > Hong Kong 8

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 21:26:53 Edit
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