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Prayer Flags

 

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The Yatri

83-year-old Lal Krishna Advani start his latest 7,600-km around India yatra to visit a total of 46 places across the country in 38 days – nation-wide trip against corruption!
The yatra started from Bihar’s Sitabdiara, the birthplace of Jayaprakash Narayan, on October 11.
He plan to cover 23 states and four Union territories before the mission ends in Delhi on November 20.

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Lamma Island

In the southwest of Hong Kong island, Lamma is, in perfect contrast to Hong Kong and Kowloon- peaceful and tranquil, with relatively natural scenery. Buildings higher than three storeys are prohibited and there are no roads and hence, no automobiles- community’s only transport means is by foot or bicycle.

Lamma provides an alternative to the hectic life in the city. Property and rents are cheap compared with those of central Hong Kong… Popular with younger people and said a haven for artists, cartoonists and musicians.

We took the ferry from Ferry Pier in Central on Hong Kong Island. It was a 20 minutes ride on fast ferry.
A short trek through the village – lunch at beach followed by time in sea. It was fun and a great break away from routine…

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Stanley

One who has left the city and tunnelled through Aberdeen, then onto Stanley and to the Southside of Hong Kong Island, knows that they have reached a tourist paradise; shopping, Boats, more shopping and for the energetics, water sports and hiking!

I marvel that only a hundred years ago, people travelled to Deep Water Bay for a round of golf by boat or on a horseback – dedication indeed!

Repulse Bay – delightful sandy beach with strong connection with past colonial styles. Stanley Market is a popular shopping area packed with kiosks selling curious, clothing and handicrafts… Delighted by the traditional villages; intrigued by the homes painted in rainbow colours; amazed by the multiplicity of pot plants in obscure places; amused to see scarecrows; and ofcourse, refreshed in Stanley!

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a photo

a photo from the Hong Kong International Airport Aviation Discovery Centre.

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Right on Track

Safe, punctual and cheap compared with subways systems elsewhere in the world, the Mass Transit Railway is probably the asset Hong Kong can be consistently proud of. Ceanliness is definitely eye catching .. in contrast to the grubby streets above! Urban planners have theorised that if people are given something good -such as MTR -then it is cared for!

The first viable scheme for an underground railway was proposed in early 1960s. The proposal called for deep trenches trenches to be be dug along the Hong Kong island waterfront and upto two sides of Kowloon peninsula, into which pre-cast concrete would be sunk. These tubes would go under main road arteries wherever possible, thereby eliminating the need for tunnelling. A survey was undertaken, the government took fright at the expense and nothing came of the plan. Not surprisingly, vested interests in road-transport sector claimed the city could not afford the scheme, that an essentially conservative population would not dare use it, that fares would be prohibitive for most people and many other excuses… Further proposals for MTR were underway when the worldwide oil crisis and sudden collapse of Hang Seng Index in 1973 sparked a serious rethink. All projects were required to be re-tendered on the instructions of then financial secretary.

Large areas in eastern Kowloon and around Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung were cleared of squatters to make way for the railway lines. On Hong Kong island, much of the tunnelling had to pass through what was reclaimed land, some of which was water-logged and difficult to excavate.

In time, the MTR Corporation has become one of the Hong Kong’s most substantiallandlords and makes most profit from commercial rents rather thanpassenger fares. Early predictions that the MTR would cause bus and minibus numbers to dwindle have proved erroneous; almost 30 years after the MTR opened, Hong Kong’s roads remains as traffic-choked as ever but then you have a efficient alternative..

When do I get such an efficient alternative in Mumbai!

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Tsing Ma Bridge

You’d love the view of the incredible Tsing Ma Bridge when you cross it. The bridge was named after two of the islands in Hong Kong, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan. The award winning structure is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest road-and-rail suspension bridge with a main span of 1,377 meters and totoal length of 2.2 kilometers. It is the link between the Hong Kong International Airport and the city.

The Tsing Ma Bridge has two levels and carries both road and rail traffic, which also makes it the largest suspension bridge of this type. The upper level carries a dual three-lane carriageway. There are two tracks of railway for the MTR and Airport Express trains and a two-lane emergency roadway in the lower enclosed level for maintenance and the diversion of traffic as a safe alternate route when visibility is low or winds are strong.

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HK Disneyland

The magic begins the moment you step foot inside the themed land! If you are prepared mentally and immerse yourself in the storybook world of Fantasyland, embark on daring exploits of Adventureland, explore fascinating futurescapes in Tommorrowland and travel back in time to small town America at the turn of 20th century with a visit to Main Street, U.S.A. you’d have a great day.

Broadway-style shows, dazzling fireworks displays, thrilling rides and exciting parades- all set against a host of Disney attractions -through it all, you can’t escape a Hong Kong touch!

All Disney characters come to life in ‘Disney On Parade’ with fabulous floats, musicians, dancers.. and series of spectacular shows of all that is famous.

Branded and marketed well!

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Life @ Hong Kong

Of all the places I have been around the world – its been pleasure staying here at Hong Kong. Some of the tids and bits which I could capture and which caught my attention and impresed me…
It’s freer here is my impression about the city. People can do what they want to do as long as it is legal. Hong Kong has been a dynamic city and faced disasters Sars to Chicken flue and managed to get through all of them. The spirit is amazing! They say it’s a city that has real buzz. It brings the best of Asia – and many of the best qualities of the rest of the world. Day’s work done, dawdling for some time, watching the pedestrians, following the crowd, admiring the the stylish women I have noticed that people have great energy, efficiency, professional attitude and can-do spirit. They have a lot of respect for what they do -overall have a great attitude.
Average home measures 500 square feet ~ these are Tiny but comfortable living places.
There is this peculiar smell as I walk down to office from the MTR station. Distinct and instantly recognizable, it is a flurry of char siu and fresh fish, cigarette smoke and fishball steam and dim sum.. it is typical smell in crowded districts Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and MongKok.
Octopus card I’d say is one of the coolest gadgets in Hong Kong. Its tentacles are suctioned from public transport to vending machines to McDonald’s to 7-Eleven to car parks to Cafe de Coral. My appartment club house access also works through this!
Star Ferry, hovercrafts, jet foils – travelling boat is not only for fun, it is daily routine for many people to take ferry to work.
You never move alone here. Especially to experience it you need to be with the moving crowd on Sundays in Times Square or MongKok and Friday nights at Lan Kwai Fong or at the Peak on weekend or rush hours at MTR!
Intersting sights: Shirtless elderly men walking down the street in summers and Shouting middle aged women
There are numerous 7-Eleven in Hong Kong. Imagine nonchalantly amble down to the local store at 4 am in pajamas and slippers for some assorted dim sum! Staying open late is common, most people work so the shopping happen after 5pm – so does the shops stay open at least few hours after that – logical!
It may be hotter outside but you take one of the preferred air conditioned walkways route – No sweat! Travel at MTR through tunnels or underground -you enjoy full Mobile phone reception.
Occasionally there are these landslides, flooding and Typhoon Signals hosted. Torrential rains soothes and the droplets cools – I experienced the phenomenon!
There are 17 public holidays a year- Would you believe that. I am waiting for the next!