No trip to Hong Kong is complete without trying their street food. No doubt, there’s a lot of good food in Hong Kong, be it dim sum from the tea houses or roast goose and char siew at the Cantonese restaurants but for many of us, what characterises the cuisine of a place is its street food. It is eating what the locals eat that makes travelling to these places a truly remarkable experience. And Hong Kong is not short of good street food. Everywhere I went, it is always easy to pick up some local delights. I came back again during my recent trip to reprise the roadside dining experience at an old long-time Dai Pai Dong 大排檔, something truly Hong Kong!
The Tai Hang 大坑 neighbourhood of Hong Kong Island has experienced a renaissance of sorts - it has always been a close knit quiet residential area with charming older residential buildings and narrow streets but in the past two years a large number of small restaurants, bars and coffee shops have moved in. Bing Kee (located along Ormsby Street) is a traditional Chinese tea "Dai Pai Dong" which boasts retro cool and long lines during the weekend. It is a must for anyone seeking a good old-fashioned Hong Kong brew.
Invitation To The Launch Of 'Rewind/Remind' - A Film Festival By The Singapore Memory Project On 23 May 2015
The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) which aims to document moments related to Singapore, launched its first film festival last evening. Since 2011, the SMP has been leading the movement to document memories, past and present, of Singapore through various mediums such as photography, books and films.
The SMP has officially unveiled memories of the Singaporean way of life through 'Rewind/Remind', its very first film festival. The Rewind/Remind film festival has been created to preserve and showcase memories of the Singaporean way of life as part of the country’s 50th year of independence celebrations. The Rewind/Remind was headlined by renowned local director Royston Tan’s “Old Friends,” filled with stories of those who pioneered the rich, authentic flavours of traditional Singaporean cuisine. Another three heartwarming short stories which were supported by the irememberSG Fund titled "Centrepoint Kids", "Kway Chap" and "The Violin", were also screened for the first time at the 'Rewind/Remind' film festival.
Each film celebrates a different aspect of Singapore in unique and nostalgic ways. I am very glad to experience renewed love and pride for our nation after savoring these poignant stories last night!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site In Kyoto, Japan: Kinkaku-Ji (a.k.a The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion) 日本京都世界文化遗产之一, 金碧辉煌的金阁寺
Seeing a crowd of people flocking to a site in Japan is quite common, especially at famous sightseeing locations. As you travel the country you become used to this phenomenon, and come to expect it to occur when you’re at a famous place. Visiting Kinkaku-ji will feel very much the same, but what is to come at the end of the crowd is unlike any other sight in Japan.
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion in all its majesty is something you must see with your own eyes to believe. Even seeing it in person feels almost unreal, as if you are just viewing a famous painting for the first time. But it is so much more than just art, it is a piece of history that now simply rests in this peaceful pond in Kyoto.
Kinkaku-Ji, also known as The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is one of Japan’s most visited historic sites. This ancient Japan temple has remained an important Zen Buddhist temple for the past 600 years. However, due to an accident by a monk in the mid 1950s, the temple was burned to the ground. It has since been rebuilt with efforts to be an identical replica of the original. The temple remains a beautiful site to visit, in a very peaceful setting surrounded by forest and a large pond teaming with coy and other fish. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is definitely worth a visit if in search of an incredible temple when travelling through Kyoto. In addition in 1994, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with 16 other locations in Kyoto.
京都有上千个大大小小的寺庙城池，其中有17处被列入 “世界文化遗产”。但对观光旅遊而言，这17处还是有高下之分。如果清水寺是所向批靡的 ‘屠龙刀’，那唯一敢缨其锋的 ‘倚天剑’，绝对就是 ‘金阁寺’ 了。事实上，对我而言，金阁寺的名气可能还更大些。我是一年前才知道，京都的金阁寺原本并不是佛寺，是足利义满将军在 1937 年所建造的别庄北山殿。足利义满在位时，正是室町幕府的全盛时期，他特别将这里修建得富丽堂皇。义满将军死后，其子遵照他的遗言，将北山殿由宅邸用途改为禅寺，并以义满的法号命名为 “鹿苑寺”。因为它的金阁太过知名，后来反而是 “金阁寺” 这个名称比较被多数人所认识。
不管之前看过多少金阁寺的图片，第一眼看到本尊时还是会被那金光闪闪，华丽逼人的气势所镇摄。被 ‘镜湖池’ 所包围呵护的金阁，显得如此孤芳自赏，遗世独立。这个水池也隔绝了周围那一圈满满的观光客，任何人都可以很轻松地拍出满意的特写照。
A happy start to the weekend! My short photo essay on my visit to Raffles Lighthouse 莱佛士灯塔 located on 'Pulau Satumu' island along Singapore Strait, has been published in tonight's Lianhe Wanbao 联合晚报 papers dated 22 May 2015! Special thanks to the press house, you've made my day! :)
Wan Chai's Blue House With Architectural, Community And Socio-historical Value In Hong Kong 香港现存最古旧的唐楼, 湾仔蓝屋
In a city that changes as fast as the weather, it can be easy to overlook Hong Kong's past.
But on a winding street in Wan Chai, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, a house painted brilliant blue stands out.
The "Blue House," a Chinese tong lau from the 1920s, is at the heart of a cluster of historic buildings that paint a picture of old Hong Kong. The Blue House exemplifies Hong Kong's old tong lau architecture. The word tong lau translates to "tenement house".
"Blue House", situated at 72 Stone Nullah Lane in Wanchai, is a pre-war building with more than seventy years of history that shows architectural characteristics of both Chinese and Western styles. Many of the internal structures like purlin, staircase, railing are still preserved in their authentic wooden fabric. There are still residents living inside and some of them have to share the kitchen. Since there is no flushing toilet facility inside the building, it still needs the service of "Tao Ye Heung" (somebody helps to remove the excrement from the building every night)!
如果，你和我是一样喜欢探索老味道风华的旅人，那么，来到香港，这个景点你不能错过 － 湾仔蓝屋。
Picturing Chinatown Project Website Preview and Soft-Launch Party At Good Morning Nanyang Cafe On 14 May 2015
On last Thursday evening 14 May 2015, the Singapore Heritage Society ("SHS") had organised a wrap party at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe located at 75 Pagoda Street for the entire Picturing Chinatown project participants to celebrate all of their hard work that has gone into pulling off this project (funded by Singapore Memory Project).
I am happy to announce that the online exhibition and website (http://picturingchinatown.com) has been just soft-launched, a sneak preview on our interesting stories on Chinatown. I am so honoured to be part of this finite work with a clear goal that the whole team has liked to bring to life.
Who doesn’t agree that ending a project brings a good feeling? A wrap party usually mark the end of a lot of hard work. Actually, I don’t think we celebrate enough at the launch point yet. We should call more attention to the success we achieved and the support we got from many involved in a project. The project team has put enormous effort into developing research materials to support the participants in the process of developing and managing their thoughts and reflection projects with a nostalgia scope. It has been a meaningful and fulfilling journey for all of us since our first bi-weekly workshop commenced in January! These are things we’re truly pleased to announce.
If you have been a faithful follower of my photography blog, by now you should know that i travel to Hong Kong for documentary assignment every year, sometimes twice a year. It is a city that has all the drama of a storm. You can stand anywhere in the city and fill your view with concrete. Where there is space, it is usually because something has been torn down, and the sky has a moment's respite before a building once again climbs out of the earth to fill it. It is easy to get swept up in the storm of this city and find yourself disoriented but amazed. It is a city that thrives of the energy of people's dreams an ambitious, but often leave you fighting for your survival. There's no other city in the world quite like it. And that is a thing of beauty.
It is the life on the streets of Hong Kong that makes the city much more interesting to visit and the lives that people live in Hong Kong that i always find much more inspirational.
I'll be very busy after i return from Hong Kong as i will be working on the Japan and Hong Kong travelogues together. I will try my best to finish all within the next few months, hopefully even before my next trip after Hong Kong!
My Second Radio (Pre-Recorded) Interview With MediaCorp Radio Station Capital 95.8 FM On 1 May 2015 今日到新传媒电台95.8 FM录音专访
Over the past couple of months, I have been privileged to have the opportunity to participate in a number of radio and TV interviews, as well as present a number of topics on subjects of old memories/heritage of Singapore to the local audience. I was thrilled when the producer and the news scout of a local radio station that had interviewed me previously asked me to go back and share on my experiences on the activities that i have been involved in, particularly for Singapore Memory Project.
I was then told that the interview on five different stories would be pre-recorded with snippets of them being used for radio over a period of week, as well as to broadcast repeatedly a few times throughout every day. This put my mind at ease knowing that I wouldn’t have to speak live on the radio. Two and half hours went by in a flash and I realised I had kind of enjoyed the whole experience. Today sure was one fun little media filled day.
前个星期，我接到一位负者新忆工程的公关的电话，问是否可接受一个节目采访，内容是关于 ”父亲的土金” 的故事。我身为一名热心新忆工程志工者，能够在空中和听众们分享我所收集的旧新加坡故事，我想都没想就接了，只是之后常想着这事，一颗心就这么悬着。。。
呼，当一切录音结束以后，我感觉完全像做了一场梦，还好广播员的功力十足，说的让书都活了起来，而且在我接不下去的时候可以马上补上，让我第一次的受访虽然感觉像被 ”秒杀“ 般瞬间结束 （纯粹是因为自己的口才太弱才有的感觉），可是却让我又拥有一个很特别的人生经验。
I hereby would like to express my sincere gratitude to the following people for giving me this media opportunity 我在此谦恭地向以下表示万分感谢：
1) MediaCorp Radio Capital 95.8 FM 新传媒电台城市频道 Capital 95.8FM，一个为听众提供华语新闻及资讯的电台，除了播报新闻、提供财经及生活资讯节目外，也播放80至90年代的怀旧歌曲。
2) National Library Board's The Singapore Memory Project ("SMP") Team 国家图书馆管理局的新忆工程所有工作人员。
3) Waggener Edstrom (Public Relations and Marketing Company for SMP team).