Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

In this week’s challenge, show us your take on a monument (broadly defined). It could be a fresh angle on a well-known tourist site, or a place nobody knows outside your community. It doesn’t even have to be an official monument…anything can be monumental as long as it’s imbued with a shared sense of importance.- Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

As the days close in on my vacation to Hong Kong and the most crazy time of the year at the office is stressing me out, I can’t help but to wander back to my vacation photos (since I barely have time to leave the office to go take pictures). I flipped through some of my photos and found a few.

First up is the Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower.

Clock Tower Hong Kong

Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower in Hong Kong

Why is this Clock Tower a monument because its one of the few original Hong Kong landmarks that remain.  I’m not a big fan of having landmarks that show the history of Hong Kong especially when they were a colony to be ripped away and revamped.  Its hard to preserve history as it is and going back to Hong Kong is kind of a trip down my own family’s place which I love to learn about.

Next is the Bank of China Tower.

Bank of China Tower

Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

This is a monument to me because I can remember this being how I remembered Hong Kong even when I was a little girl. The towering high building that was oddly shaped and an obvious skyscraper that stands out.

Third monument is actually the first that I thought of when I read about this challenge: Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) on Lantau Island.

Big Buddha

Big Buddha in Lantau Island

I’m not much of a believer in religions.  I follow any particular rituals on my own but I do respect all religions, I guess that makes me agnostic? I believe there is a higher force and that life is ruled by something.  My family is split between Christianity and Buddhism.  As I said, I respect both but Buddhism (aside the rituals) holds a great philosophy of life and I can’t help to feel a little bit safe and sound when I’m looking up at Big Buddha in Lantau as I walk up those neverending flights of stairs to go up.  That makes this a monument.  Plus, its huge and definitely a landmark.

Next and last is the Ruins of St. Paul’s situated in Macau.

Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau

Ruins of St. Paul’s, Macau

This is possibly one of the newest place since I only visited Ruins of St. Paul’s on my 2009  trip to Hong Kong and took a day out to visit Macau. The Ruins of St. Paul’s is the most important landmark in Macau.  Everyone who visits goes and I never quite understood visiting ruins (despite my respect for history) but something about this is monumental.  Its high for one and standing in the back panels and looking out of the face of a broken church is just a pretty odd but incredible feeling.  And just look at how many people are there.  This isn’t even high season when I went.  It was sometime in November.

What places are monuments to you?

This is my response to this past week’s photo challenge: monument. You can find more entries HERE!

Food Review: Hong Kong Desserts

Right after Lamma Island and looking at the nightview in Hong Kong and taking a stroll around busy Tsim Sha Tsui on Saturday night, my mom and I headed back home.  My mom had told me about how just around the corner, her and her best friend had discovered a lot of dessert shops.  Chinese dessert shops do not exist in Montreal.  I have been to one in Toronto before.  I love Chinese desserts and its amazing to eat it outside.  A lot of times it consists of pastes or sweet soups or made with glutinous rice or its with some sort of soy product like tofu.

We ended up going this one.  I saw a whole article on how it had won an award for being the best dessert place in 2011 or 2012.  I don’t remember exactly.  This dessert place didn’t have an english name though.

So for your reference, here is the actual link of the restaurant but its in chinese mostly.  I would deduct that perhaps its called Friends Dessert as the English name.

http://www.friendsdessert.com/aboutus.html

But for better reference, this link should give you the actual site of the restaurant that I went to and then the bottom one is the one that have all the other chains if it does interest you to try it out.

I went to this one: http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr2.htm?shopid=51597

This is where all the chains can be found: http://www.openrice.com/english/restaurant/sr1.htm?chain_id=10000675&region=0

The decor was pretty nice too.  The service was a bit not as good as expected.  This restaurant had a lousy group of waiters who seemed like they didn’t really want to be there in the first place.  But okay, we got service and we managed to get a decent spot and pretty quick service after that.

I ordered a Black Sesame Paste with Rice Balls with Peanut filling. What this is is Black sesame grinded into little bits and add a bit of sugar and you get black sesame paste, thats my general understanding of it at least.  It becomes a pasty liquid sweet soup. I love it! This tasted pretty good.  It wasn’t too sweet and the texture was smooth.

My mom ordered Beancurd with Gingko Sweet Soup with Rice Balls with Black Sesame Filling. Okay, let me say that again.  She ordered Rice Balls with Peanut filling but they mixed up the order and we didn’t bother to change it.  Nonetheless, she said that it tasted good.  So she didn’t complain about it, which is always a plus when she enjoys her food.

Then we shared a Mango Glutinous Rice Rolls. These rolls were okay.  The mango in the roll was sour as hell.  It was crazy sour, maybe its because I ate my sweet soup first.  Still, I love anything with glutinous rice and coconut shreds.

 

This place was quite good.  I’m not exactly sure if they have an award that this chain was the one they evaluated it with. The only downfall of this place was the service.  It was pretty nice to see the open kitchen next to us and the beautiful crystal lights lighting up the cozy restaurant.  The desserts had a lot of variety and some were pretty unique.  I stuck with the traditional though because I can’t get this in restaurants back home and they were delicious. I think its worth a try if you are ever in Hong Kong and walk past one of these.

Hong Kong at Night

Hong Kong at night is possibly one of the most amazing things you have ever seen.  Its colorful and wonderful. You can tell right away that the appearance of Hong Kong is important to them because if not, they wouldn’t have a light show with music and all every night for its tourists at 8pm at the harbourside.  I went to that in 2009 already.  This time, I passed by it when I was strolling down the street and saw the flickering lights.

There really isn’t much to say but here is the night view of Hong Kong on both sides of the harbour.  One side is in Central where we find the Central Pier.   This was also where our ferry from Sok Kwu Wan dropped us.  The other side is in Tsim Sha Tsui where we can see the Star Ferry.

The view of the streets next to the Central Pier

Central with view of Shanghai Bank and HSBC Building and Standard Chartered Bank right next to it.

Hong Kong at night from Star Ferry going towards Tsim Sha Tsui.

The building on the far left is supposedly currently the tallest building in Hong Kong

The view of Hong Kong island from outside of Harbour City/Ocean Terminal on Tsim Sha Tsui

This one is definitely my favorite shot.  All the colours reflecting off the water makes it even prettier.