Posts Tagged 'scenery'

quang nam upriver

I made my escape from the 17 relatives early in the morning on the second day of Tet, jumping on a Honda, headed toward My Son Sanctuary. The site was visually impressive and certainly worth seeing, but it was crawling with people so I didn’t hang around more than a couple hours.

Arrgh! How do I put a linespace here?

I headed toward the Thu Bon river on whatever road I could find going upstream, hugging the river as closely as possible. The pavement quickly turned to dirt as the banks of the river turned to cliffs. The path ended at a small hut where I asked if the road continued. The girl pointed down the cliff. Curious, I left the Honda and scurried down to find an old man in a tiny boat, smoking a cigar and screeching on a three-stringed instrument. He asked if I would like to go out on his boat. Can I bring my Honda? Not if you want the boat to float, he explained. He took me (along with all the kids) upriver, waiting for watering buffalo to climb up the trail before landing. We climbed up under a vine-intertwined brick arch to find Madame Thu Bon’s tomb. More pictures on Facebook.

rooftop sunset

Among the few positive aspects of summertime in Hong Kong are beautiful sunsets on clear evenings. Eric invited us up for dinner on the rooftop last night. Here’s a 360º panoramic view in hi-res Quicktime VR and low-res Flash formats.

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See if you can count the number of times Zoe appears in the picture.

the good life

I returned from a day in China, but missed the Lamma ferry by five minutes. Rather than cooling my heels for an hour, I grabbed a sandwich of the day at Subway (HKD 19) and a half-liter can of Tsingtao Draft (HKD 6) from 7-Eleven, and enjoyed a picnic at the end of Pier 9, taking in the Hong Kong skyline under the full moon on a clear warm springtime evening. Click here to see the full panorama. (If you don’t have QuickTime installed, here is a lower-resolution Flash version). Life is good!

winter monsoon

This morning the weather was warm and humid. Then the winds came up, blowing 40-60 km/hr all day, and the temperature dropped by nearly 10º C. The winter monsoon comes from the north, so we bear the brunt of it in Pak Kok. A pleasant side effect is that the persistent haze has been blown away, leaving a beautiful clear view of the Hong Kong skyline tonight.

new home

We’ve been busy the last week moving into our new flat in Pak Kok, on the Northern tip of Lamma Island. We’re in the middle floor of the brown building with awning on the far right in the photo above. Pak Kok is a real backwater village. Downtown consists of Mrs. Chan’s shop, a few steps away from the ferry pier. The ferry service to the village recently took a turn for the worse, but we’re surrounded by green trees and blue water and have plenty of space for gardens.

 

saigon river cruise

I went out with Mark Godwin on his speedboat this morning down toward Cần Giờ. Spent much of the time in the shipping channel, keeping out of the way of container ships and avoiding being swamped by their wake.

 

We headed back to the Bạch Đằng port along the small smelly canals of District 4.

 

sunset on the saigon

This is the view at sunset from Hans & Linh’s house just on the other side of the Saigon Bridge.

 

national day

Nice to have a holiday this week. Roy, Jimmy, Ross and I headed up to the roof of the Discovery Bay ferry pier to check out the National Day fireworks on Monday night.

 

light bright city

In the month since updating this blog, I’ve been to the Philippines, to China four times, and to Korea twice. I got dropped off Thursday night at the Hotel Diana in Gwangmyeong, a suburb about 15 km southwest of Seoul. The name means Light Bright City, and they do take their neon signs seriously. I immediately wandered to the nearest sashimi joint for a truly sisyphean dinner. The chef put about a dozen dishes in front of me and kept refilling everything after every few bites. The mystery food was a brain-like item in my soup that turned out not be be brains, but rather cod milt. That’s the fish’s sperm sac.

 

hong kong wetlands

wetlands

Trinh and I went out to the Hong Kong Wetland Park this weekend. It’s good to see that they are setting aside some of Hong Kong’s last marshland for conservation purposes. With Shenzhen looming across the bay, it’s only a matter of time before the northern areas of the New Territories are just as built up.

 


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