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Hong Kong 13Go to
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Once More with Family


Helen has a Grandfather, Aunts and Uncles and a few other relatives in Hong Kong.  We try to visit once a year.  Being roughly 8 time zones from Vancouver, you can't visit for a short period so we are always looking for new things to do in Hong Kong to keep the vacations fresh.  We have favorites - many activities we repeat every year or second year.

Wholesale Fruit Market

Jet lag mornings used to be about preventing the kids from waking everyone up.  It's a little more civilized now - the kids can wake up and play on their own, but there is only so long you can do that before they get bored and hungry.  Continuing a long standing tradition, we went to the fruit market at some early time of the day to see what is going on.  Helen likes to buy a durian and a flat of strawberries.  The prices at the wholesale market are generally half of what you see in the street markets and a third of what you see at the CitySuper grocery store chain.

Buying At Fruit MarketNara Walking In Fruit Market With GrapesSunrise At The Market
 
Market Cat
We always wander the market looking for something new. 

Baskets Of Loquat

This year, we tried something new to beat the Jetlag - we went over to central to try out a 24 breakfast diner.  There were surprises - the neighborhood has lots of pubs and the reason 24 hour places exist are to service the pub patrons who want to eat after a late night of drinking.  Seeing pub patrons at 6am may solicit a lot of questions from younger kids.

Claira On Monkey BarsNara One Hand On Track Ride

Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve

Nara Has Butterfly In Hand
Speaking of traditions, this is my third time back to the Fung Yuen Butterfly reserve.  When the kids were young, we went to a butterfly park (really greenhouse) in Victoria and the kids hated it.  They had really didn't like the loud parrots and the kids didn't like things landing on them.  A few years later (without the parrots) the kids really like the Butterfly Reserve - especially when Nara figured out that you can sometimes get the butterflies to land on you!


The first time I visited Fung Yuen was two years ago with a guide.  Last year we visited Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, but the kids got too hot we cut the day short.

I am always impressed with the diversity of the butterfly reserve.  You get butterflies that are trying to blend in, some that are trying to stand out - some big, some small, some fast, some calm.  The kids enjoyed having a mission - finding perched butterflies - and the open trails they could wander.  The kids really didn't like the mosquitoes - Claira got bit more than a dozen times.

Chocolate PansyGlassy TigerPunchinello
 
Dark-edged Snow FlatSouthern Sullied SailerCommon Jester
 
Lemon PansyPlain Tiger On VervainTailed Jay On MilkweedWhite Dragontail On Bidens Alba

Today I was really impressed by the Tailed Jay - a dark and green butterfly that is absolutely frenetic - it never stopped moving.  It's unbelievable that an insect can have such a high energy level.  Even though this is my third trip to the butterfly reserve in roughly the same week of the year, this is the first time I've seen 5 of these 10 species of butterfly.

Speckled Black Cicada
We have had some luck previous years with reptiles.   This year we didn't see any, but we did see Cicada!  I've heard these insects before, but it was the first time that I actually saw them on trees.  They have their own kind of striking beauty.


Biking Po Kong Village Road Park

Po Kong Village Road Park is a great day for us.  It's a single bus ride from Mong Kok where we stay.  We bike for two hours and then go to a close by conveyor belt sushi place.  The kids have a great morning and they get some exercise!  While the rental shop claims to be open at 10am, we had to call to get some to open it.

Nara And Claira Pause BikingOur
first visit to Po Kong Village Road Park was in 2017 when Claira was just 4.  She was already a good biker, but her training wheels meant she couldn't go on the big track.  Last year, when we visited the park, Claira was big enough to do the whole loop, but it's a lot of work for a five year old so she only went around twice.  This year Claira was in great shape for the track - she completed five laps!


Claira Chasing Nara
Last year there was at least one whole school class on the track when we were there.  This year we almost had it to ourselves.  Claira wanted to be ahead of me sometimes it was hard to see Nara as she likes to race ahead.


My favorite part of this bike location is the big buildings overlooking the bike track.  It's not hard to get the buildings setup to dwarf the riders and give you a good sense of the urban environment where this track is.

Biking Up HillBottom Of The CourseClaira Rounding Corner
 
  Claira At Conveyer Belt Sushi
After the ride we went over to Genki Sushi to grab a favorite lunch.  This isn't a super fancy setup - if you want something on the menu, you wave down a server (no computer) and they bring it by when it's made (no custom delivery track).  That said, our favorites were on the belt so we had no trouble finding lunch.


Flower Show at Victoria Park

Nara At Flower Show
We have visited the Flower Show last year and we visited six years ago.  The flower show gives you a good sense of Hong Kong - it's often really warm outside and there are often large crowds.  Some of the displays are put on by the various parts of the city but others are put on by the large attractions like Ocean Park.  If you look a little further, you will find displays by clubs and dedicated people in Hong Kong. 

 
Unfortunately, the kids didn't last long in the heat.  I only have one spare camera so the kids took turns coming out from the shaded tents and seeing the displays.

Flower WallClaira Face Covered In CameraClaira Taking Photos Of Floral Display

Each year they have a theme flower which you see in many of the displays.  This year the featured flower was Hibiscus which happens to be a favorite because it is so showy in tropical locations.

Hibiscus Flower From UnderneathHibiscus Muted Colours
My rule with identifying species - I don't label animals found in zoos, I don't label plants planted in parks or gardens.  These were beautiful flowers though!

Hibiscus Stamen And Stigma

After the show, we walked over to Time Square to visit the CitySuper.  They have a small food court which included high end ice cream treats.  The kids were thrilled to get a treat and then watch video on my phone.

Nara With Fancy Ice CreamClaira And Jennie With Fancy Ice Cream
 

Long Valley

Long Valley Fields
Long Valley is one of those places I have heard of, but never actually visited - until this trip!  I got up early and took the KCR out to near the border with China.  From there I took a taxi and wound up in a small village surrounded by farmers fields. 


Siberian Stonechat On Tall Grass
Long Valley is neither long (it's a triangle where two rivers merge) nor a valley (mostly flat farmers fields), but it does deliver the birds.
Black-collared Starling
 
Mai Po marshes is the easy birding destination - there are large blinds setup to watch large ponds.  You sit in the blinds and wait for the tide to come in to bring the ocean birds to you.  In Long Valley there are no blinds and some of the birds really don't like people around.   There are lots of freshwater ponds where birds are feeding.  If you are lucky, you spot the bird before the bird spots you.

  Black-winged StiltCommon Snipe Reflected

In the grasses and fields you will other birds looking for a meal.    Some of the habitat you see here you also see at Mai Po, but I haven't tried finding birds in the open areas of Mai Po.

Plain PriniaWhite-breasted WaterhenYellow-bellied Prinia

Scaly-breasted Munia
I managed to spot some drama.  A flock of about a dozen Scaly-breasted Munia were going plant to plant eating seeds.  These are quite social birds and they moved as a flock from plant to plant.  A Chinese pond heron which I have previously seen stalk fish ran into the field and grabbed a bird where the wing met it's body.  The long beak of the heron kept the struggling bird far from the soft parts of the face.  The Heron walked the small bird over to small puddle and drowned it.  After the bird was wet and lifeless, it got swallowed.

Chinese Pond Heron Grabbed MuniaDrowned Bird Positioned For Swallowing
 
The rest of the Munia just kept on going plant to plant eating seeds. 

Close Group Of Photographers
As I was walking out (apparently birding is best within a few hours of sunrise) I ran into a small group of dedicated birders.  I think they had spotted a Prinia in the tall grasses and were waiting for it to come back to the top to get a nice view.  I'm sure it easier birding with friends that know the local birds, but I also appreciate the solitary search on your own for new things.

Kam Shan Country Park

Last trip to Hong Kong we visited Kam Shan Country Park.  We didn't go earlier because I was concerned that young kids and wild monkeys may not be a winning combination.  Given the success last year, we decided to try again this year.  Kam Shan is quite close to Mong Kok by bus - hop on and 20 minutes later you are out in a forest walking with semi wild animals!

Hong Kong Monkey
New for this trip - the monkeys were rare but the boars were out!  Apparently wild boars are becoming more common in Hong Kong and they are venturing more in the city.  These two were calm, but they are large enough that I wouldn't want to see them angry.

Pair Of Wild Boar

We went for a walk down the road into the park and found a trail.  I'm not a big fan of walking a trail with kids without having researched it first so we didn't put on km, but we did manage to find some cool caterpillars!

Kids Walking Up TrailFive Caterpillars Sharing LeafCaterpillars Eating Leaf

Hong Kong Disneyland

Happy On CarouselNara And Claira With Moana
The kids now know that Disneyland is in Hong Kong.  They ask about - can we go to Disneyland today - almost every day.  We want to maximize the experience which means going mid week and going on a day where they aren't terribly jet lagged so they can stay up late.  Disneyland is still quite a ways (at least an hour by train) from where we stay so even if we left the park at 8:30, it will be almost 10pm before we get home.


Nara At Mad Hatter Tea PartyClaira And Jennie In Tea Cup
I get motion sickness quite easily so I don't go on all the rides.  The kids have been enough that they now have favourites.  The kids like the Mad Hatter tea cup ride - I get sick just watching it.


We have gone on the Jungle Cruise every time we have gone, but amazingly, Claira still gets scared at the animals jumping out.  We have done the Flying Jumbo ride before and unlike Japan, you are allowed to take photos here.

Jungle CruiseClaira On Jumbo Ride

  Canada In Small World
The kids like the Winnie the Pooh ride (we got fast passes - the only ride we used them on) and they enjoy the "It's a Small World" ride.

Kids On Winnie The Pooh Ride

New this year for us - we found characters with a reasonable line where we could do a character visit!

Visit With TiggerVisit With Tigger And Eeyore
The park provided a handler/photographer to keep the lines reasonable and moving, but I was surprised that our visit was more than 30 seconds.  They were quite patient with poses and the photographer offered to take a photo with my camera.

Family With Tigger And Eeyore
 
 
 
 
Nara Riding CarouselBubble Wand Magic

In my mind, the real magic happens at night.  The lights of the park make for soft portraits and a magical location.



New for us this year, we stayed for the night parade.  The costumes were amazing - fibre optics and arrays of lights.

Fibre Optic DancersToy Story Cowboys
 
  Dancing SwanFibre Optic DancerFibre Optic Fairy

Tinkerbell Over FlowerUnder The Sea CoralBeauty And The Beast Dancers


 The Castle is undergoing renovations so there is no fireworks show.   The kids enjoyed the parade, but they were so tired by the time they got home.


Po Toi Island

Arriving At Po Toi
Hong Kong has lots of outlying islands.  A few are prisons and drug treatment centers and generally off limits to visitors.  One (Lamma Island) is huge and has an airport and a few big bridges.  There are a few more that are classic day trips - On my first trip to Hong Kong I went to Lamma Island and on my third trip, I went to Cheung Chau Island. and on my ninth trip we stopped on Kau Sai Chau


Coming Off Ferry On Po Toi Island
There are plenty more islands with people living on them around Hong Kong and some of them have infrequent ferry service.  Po Toi (sometimes called the "Antarctica of Hong Kong" because it's the furthest south) was new to me so we figured out the ferry schedule and made our way!


Claira At TempleFreshly Painted Dragon On Incense Burner


Po Toi has a few hiking routes.  Basically, there is a big mountain in the middle - you take one of a few routes up to the top, hike along the ridge for a bit and then come down on the eastern side of the Island with a huge view of the stairs.  Helen picked the route and we started up.

Wandering GliderClouded MagpieHiking Up Po Toi

Stairs Down The Back

We had lunch at the top in a very windy shelter and then headed down the stairs side.  You really don't get a sense of how much you have climbed until you see it laid out in front of you in stairs.  The effort that has gone into making these stairs and railings has probably exceeded 10 years of the islands GDP. 

Hong Kong Life

Noodles Left Outside

A good friend of mine Sean once commented about Hong Kong (I'm paraphrasing - maybe badly) - a huge amount of wasted effort goes into preventing people from ripping you off.  Because there is little trust, transactions are more structured, complex and opportunities are wasted.  Living in Mong Kok, one of the things that always surprised me was the morning deliveries.  Food delivery companies will drop off food outside a business before the business opens.

The trust here is extraordinary.  Clearly, someone could walk away with the fresh food and have it themselves.  The restaurant would then be short whatever ingredient walked away and whatever profit that item would have brought.  Worse still - someone could poison the food (the same way people tampered with Halloween candy or over the counter medication in North America.  One bad tampering and the restaurant will be out of business forever.  Considering the high cost of retail rent - I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.  So when I see food sitting on the ground outside a yet to open to restaurant, I kind of celibrate the trust a little.

 Food Outside Sprinkler AccessClams Left OutsideWhole Chicken Left Outside

Four GenerationsGreat Grandfather With Two KidsGreat Grandkids


Koy In Tank

Picking BeadsFancy Desserts

Mong Kok at Night

Mong Kok Mini Bus
Mong Kok is a vibrant neighborhood full of activity at night.  After we put the kids to bed, sometimes we can go out for a walk for a desert to just take in the sights.  It was a lightly raining night so I was hoping the ground would reflect some of the neon.



Hong Kong is an amazing place for Time Lapse. The city has so much traffic and colour, the options are almost limitless.

I have to admit, I have a soft spot for produce markets in Hong Kong.  I try to resist because I already have so many pictures, but some days I just can't help myself.

Breaking Down PalletBaskets Of Red PeppersFruits Sold In Fours

Happy FishballsChange Basket At Fishmonger

 
Thirteen trips to Hong Kong and always something new to do! 
 






Chocolate Pansy
Species: Junonia iphita (Chocolate Pansy)
Altitude: 39m (127 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Lemon Pansy
Species: Junonia lemonias (lemon pansy)
Altitude: 30m (98 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Claira Face Covered In Camera
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong, photographer
Hiking Up Po Toi
Altitude: 133m (436 feet)
Location: Go To...
Toy Story Cowboys
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira And Jennie In Tea Cup
Person: David, Jennie
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong, riding, theme park
Close Group Of Photographers
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Bubble Wand Magic
Person: Claira
Tags: bubble, Hong Kong, night, theme park
Four Generations
Caterpillars Eating Leaf
Species: Delias pasithoe (redbase Jezebel)
Altitude: 158m (518 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong
Fruits Sold In Fours
Altitude: 142m (465 feet)
Location: Go To...
Dancing Swan
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: dancing, Hong Kong, lights, night, parade, performance, theme park
Market Cat
Visit With Tigger And Eeyore
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: character meet, Hong Kong, theme park
Punchinello
Species: Zemeros flegyas (Punchinello)
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Nara With Fancy Ice Cream
Person: Nara
Tags: Hong Kong, ice cream
Under The Sea Coral
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Breaking Down Pallet
Altitude: 121m (396 feet)
Location: Go To...
Happy On Carousel
Person: Claira, Jennie, Nara
Tags: carousel, Hong Kong, theme park
White Dragontail On Bidens Alba
Species: Lamproptera curius (White Dragontail)
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Nara Walking In Fruit Market With Grapes
Great Grandfather With Two Kids
Flower Wall
Person: Claira, Helen, Jennie, Nara
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara At Flower Show
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Pair Of Wild Boar
Fibre Optic Dancer
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Fancy Desserts
Fibre Optic Dancers
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Speckled Black Cicada
Species: Gaeana maculata (Speckled Black Cicada)
Altitude: 21m (68 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Change Basket At Fishmonger
Altitude: 142m (465 feet)
Location: Go To...
Hibiscus Muted Colours
Fibre Optic Fairy
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Mong Kok Mini Bus
Altitude: 146m (479 feet)
Location: Go To...
Great Grandkids
Noodles Left Outside
Family With Tigger And Eeyore
Person: Claira, Helen, Jennie, John, Nara
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: character meet, Hong Kong, theme park
Nara At Mad Hatter Tea Party
Person: Helen, Nara
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong, riding, theme park
Black-collared Starling
Species: Gracupica nigricollis (Black-collared starling)
Dark-edged Snow Flat
Species: Tagiades menaka (Dark-edged Snow Flat)
Altitude: 18m (59 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Chinese Pond Heron Grabbed Munia
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Sunrise At The Market
Claira On Jumbo Ride
Tags: Hong Kong, riding, theme park
Koy In Tank
Tags: Hong Kong, Koy
Tailed Jay On Milkweed
Species: Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Freshly Painted Dragon On Incense Burner
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira At Temple
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Rounding Corner
Altitude: 70m (229 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, Hong Kong, Po Kong Village Road Park
Baskets Of Loquat
Yellow-bellied Prinia
Species: Prinia flaviventris (Yellow-bellied Prinia)
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Plain Tiger On Vervain
Species: Danaus chrysippus (plain tiger)
Altitude: 28m (91 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Coming Off Ferry On Po Toi Island
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: ferry, Hong Kong
Jungle Cruise
Person: Claira, Helen, Jennie, Nara
Tags: Hong Kong, riding, theme park
Nara One Hand On Track Ride
Claira And Jennie With Fancy Ice Cream
Person: Claira, Jennie
Tags: ice cream
Siberian Stonechat On Tall Grass
Species: Saxicola maurus (Siberian Stonechat)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Stairs Down The Back
Altitude: 175m (574 feet)
Location: Go To...
Glassy Tiger
Species: Parantica aglea (glassy tiger)
Altitude: 19m (62 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Food Outside Sprinkler Access
Scaly-breasted Munia
Species: Lonchura punctulata (Nutmeg Mannikin, Scaly-breasted Munia)
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Baskets Of Red Peppers
Altitude: 142m (465 feet)
Location: Go To...
Visit With Tigger
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: character meet, Hong Kong, theme park
Nara Has Butterfly In Hand
Altitude: 38m (124 feet)
Location: Go To...
Clams Left Outside
Biking Up Hill
Altitude: 67m (219 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, Hong Kong, Po Kong Village Road Park
Arriving At Po Toi
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Whole Chicken Left Outside
Claira At Conveyer Belt Sushi
Person: Claira
Tags: Hong Kong, sushi
Canada In Small World
Long Valley Fields
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids On Winnie The Pooh Ride
Hong Kong Monkey
Hibiscus Stamen And Stigma
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Five Caterpillars Sharing Leaf
Species: Delias pasithoe (redbase Jezebel)
Altitude: 158m (518 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong
White-breasted Waterhen
Species: Amaurornis phoenicurus (White-breasted Waterhen)
Location: Go To...
Plain Prinia
Species: Prinia inornata (Plain Prinia)
Black-winged Stilt
Species: Himantopus himantopus (Black-winged Stilt)
Location: Go To...
Common Snipe Reflected
Species: Gallinago gallinago (Common Snipe)
Location: Go To...
Southern Sullied Sailer
Species: Neptis clinia (Southern Sullied Sailer)
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Wandering Glider
Species: Pantala flavescens (Wandering Glider)
Altitude: 92m (301 feet)
Location: Go To...
Common Jester
Species: Symbrenthia lilaea (common jester)
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve, Hong Kong
Bottom Of The Course
Altitude: 63m (206 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, Hong Kong, Po Kong Village Road Park
Nara Riding Carousel
Person: Nara
Tags: carousel, Hong Kong, theme park
Tinkerbell Over Flower
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Buying At Fruit Market
Tags: fruit, Hong Kong, market
Claira Chasing Nara
Altitude: 81m (265 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, Hong Kong, Po Kong Village Road Park
Nara And Claira With Moana
Person: Claira, Nara
Tags: character meet, costume, Hong Kong, theme park
Hibiscus Flower From Underneath
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Beauty And The Beast Dancers
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: costume, dancing, Hong Kong, night, parade, performance, theme park
Claira On Monkey Bars
Picking Beads
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Taking Photos Of Floral Display
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Clouded Magpie
Species: Abraxas sylvata (Clouded Magpie)
Altitude: 92m (301 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong
Nara And Claira Pause Biking
Altitude: 79m (259 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking, Hong Kong, Po Kong Village Road Park
Drowned Bird Positioned For Swallowing
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Happy Fishballs
Altitude: 79m (259 feet)
Location: Go To...
Kids Walking Up Trail
Altitude: 180m (590 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Hong Kong(40), theme park(13), Fung Yuen Butterfly Reserve(11), Po Kong Village Road Park(5), biking(5), night(5)
People: Nara(10), Claira(10), Jennie(6), Helen(4), David(1), John(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > Hong Kong 13

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