Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

This week, we’d like to see an image that looks dreamy to you. A photo of a place you often visit in dreams. A snapshot of your dreamy boy- or girlfriend. A scene that looks a bit out-of-this world. Take us on a flight of fancy!-The Daily Post

On Tuesday night, one of my girl friends asked me to go with her to go see the Lantern Festival in Botanical Gardens.  This year the entire event is called Garden of Lights.  I had gone two years ago and rumor has it that this year is captivatingly beautiful.  We both headed over after work and got there a little before it was completely dark.

I will have a full post on this after I sort through more of the pictures but I did go to this event looking for dreamy pictures for this challenge 🙂

Botanical Gardens

Walkway going into the main Chinese Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Walkways in the Chinese Garden

Botanical Gardens

Botancial Gardens

Lanterns on the water

Botanical Gardens

A full view of the main feature

Botanical Gardens

One of the walkways

Dreamy is something that is obscure and mysterious, maybe a little dark and lots of contrast.  Something unreal and out of the ordinary.  This captures how I felt in the Gardens.  It was a beautiful, mysterious but so mystifying experience. It was definitely nicer than the last time 🙂

What does dreamy mean to you?

Hong Kong: Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

A few days ago, when I was talking about Hong Kong transport and how my family lived at the far ends of subway and train lines, I wasn’t joking.  It takes me more than an hour to get to my grandmother’s place on my dad’s side. They live in this faraway close to countryside area called Lam Tei in the New Territories.

On the first Saturday I was back, we coincidentally had a huge family reunion with relatives that visited from China.  It made for a dim sum meal looking like this one.

Red Seasons Restaurant

Family reunion @ Red Seasons Restaurant

That was just the extreme at dinner, meaning there was a few dishes excluded from this view.  I didn’t mean to exclude it, except its a bit tough when I end up spending time with my little nephews and they are young and obviously attention grabbers.  Red Seasons restaurant however is a chain in Hong Kong and I’ve seen them in various areas in Hong Kong. It has decent food.

It was a beautiful (and extremely hot) day, so we decided to go to visit Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery which is literally situated behind the restaurant with the whole group.  Other than my aunt, no one had actually been to visit before.

Whats interesting about Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery is that it was renewed completely a few years back.  Timeline is uncertain here but it has a traditional section which was the old building and the new building is pretty modernized.  We took the traditional side to enter.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Traditional side of the temple

I’m going to say that Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery (very much like other monasteries) have done a good job with the surroundings.  This one is smaller but it still has a very nice atmosphere.  It has a mini waterfall with ponds full of koi.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Pond full of koi

It has a little rock structure where you can walk around in

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Rock structures

Its walkways are lined with desert roses.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Desert roses

The older part of the temple is adorned with gold posts and looks really intricate.  Although it definitely does show its age since it looks a bit worn out here and there, it does hold a certain beauty as well.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Older side of the temple

Walking over to the newer side, we find that its literally a white building.  You have take an elevator to go up to the top.  Up there, it is a walk around the Buddha to be blessed.  Even if you don’t believe in that, you can pretty much look at the awesome scenery.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

The view on top on one side.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Looking over the older temple

Other than the view, the first attraction is the few golden Buddhas located inside the hall.  I had to take the picture outside because it bothers some people to take a picture inside where people are praying so this really zoomed in..

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

As you walk around, in the back they have a little wheel to turn. Its supposed to bring some sort of blessing, I think. There’s my nephew attempting to turn the wheel.

Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

I’m not really that knowledgeable to a huge extent of Buddhism. I get the general idea and I like to view it as a philosophy to a better mindset to have a more positive way of life.  If you read both Taoist and Buddhism literature, it has a really calming effect. I’m still learning about it bit by bit.

That’s it for temples/monasteries and religion 😉 We’ll be getting back to food very soon!

Hong Kong: Man Mo Temple

Going to Hong Kong by myself would require a lot of planning.  Except this time, I didn’t really think much of it.  Maybe it was because work was so busy up to the last minute or that I just knew I had some family stuff to help out with and wasn’t sure how much time I had.  However, when daily plans are made and something spontaneously happens that you’ve wanted to do and didn’t really expect it to does actually happen, its a pretty awesome feeling.

My mom and I was taking a nice walk through Central in search of a store and we get to these stairs that I’ve always wanted to go to.

Thats the first spontaneous event. Unfortunately, I don’t really have a good picture for it.  Thats what happens when I’m too lazy to carry my DSLR around even though I did carry it all the way from Canada.  I know, silly, right?

Central Hong Kong

Up the slope

Moving right along, after we go up those steps/slope, we reached this street that we turn onto that eventually dives into the section nicknamed as Antique Street because it has store after store of antique stores with a lot of treasures to look at and take home if you’re willing to pay the price.  From furniture to paintings and ceramics, it all is hidden right here.  Its a pretty nice treat to see all this.

However, I’m not really going to focus on that.  I just bought a house so I don’t have the money for antiques and can you imagine shipping mega heavy ancient furniture back? That would be pretty pricey, and well, lets just say I’m  more of a modern/contemporary style person.

Still, I’m really into looking at temples.  Back in 2009, when I vacationed with my friend to Hong Kong, he built an itinerary consisting of a lot of temples.  We had to take a few off eventually due to time constraints.  This one that I saw is called Man  Mo Temple.  This temple worships the God of Literature and God of War.  Its essentially a must if you are a student because its asking for blessings for better position in your future. In ancient times, it was more related to achieving an administrative role but still, I think it works.  My mom told me to ask for a blessing for a better job.  Haha! Never hurts to try, right? 😉

This temple situated in an interesting area because if you did the path I went, you’d have felt like you travelled through time because I got out of the subway and I surfaced in modern downtown Hong Kong with tall skyscrapers all around and then walking up that slope, it was amazing see the ancient stuff popping up in store windows and then this temple is just another different world.

Temples are normally distinct in their own ways.  Whether its the God thats in there or the set up but there’s one thing thats always there: incense. I’m babbling now, but here it is. Its a temple so no pictures of the God itself especially but in general, I try to dial down on the photo crazy phase because some people find it disrespectful.

Man Mo Temple

The entrance of Man Mo Temple

Going right inside, you step into a middle section with rows of lanterns.  Under them is tagged with a little piece of paper and on it are people who visit the temple and their wishes.  I’m guessing a lot of them will be related to success in some form, perhaps.  Just taking a guess 😉

Man Mo Temple

Lanterns & Wishes

Above is a scene I’ve been wanting to see forever and thats this one:

Man Mo Temple

Spirals of incense hanging above

Isn’t that impressive? I always thoughts this is one of the most beautiful setting for a picture (other than nature).  Inside of those, are also little wishes on the red papers. I believe what happens is that when the incense finishes burning, your blessing is complete.

Leaving Man Mo Temple, my mom and I ventured back home slowly as we skimmed through the buildings in Central and finally deciding to head to Causeway Bay to find a store that I wanted to check out, which apparently had closed. Still, on our way, we found this little area in front of a building.  Don’t ask me the exact location because I don’t remember.


Bulls in Central

Is this possibly the Hong Kong version of New York’s bull? Haha! I thought it was pretty cool plus it does make sense in the working environment.

That was one of the few days on my trip that I ventured into the Hong Kong Island and the busy working world. You will see that I spent most of my time in the Kowloon and New Territories area 🙂

Have you ever visited temples? Do you like to learn about other cultures and history?