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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Apr 27, 2012

Final Sunday Part Two: The Morning Trail Hike at the Peak

On our last Sunday in Hong Kong we took one last trip to the Peak.

First we had some good-byes at church, ECC Kowloon.

We didn't plan on it, but it did end up being the kids last day to ride the ferry

This is has to be the best photo I have ever taken from the ferry.

The Peak is some of the most expensive real estate in the world.  It is where the British first settled when they took over and was home to all the governors before Hong Kong was handed back over to China.

We didn't take the tram for a couple of reasons. Sunday afternoon with great weather, usually means an hour or more waiting in line, second reason was this was the day we went to the Police Museum. We needed to take the bus to get there.

Photos from other times we did the hike.

The last time around
The kids have been boycotting normal photos lately.
There are lots of interesting trees and flowers to see as you make a way around.
The hike is a nice way to escape the tourist at the shops, it is an easy walk for families.

Apr 23, 2012

Final Sunday Part One: The Police Museum

Every year a listing is published of all the museums.  It was a goal for me to visit as many as I could.  I didn't quite make it to all of them, like the food museum (by appointment only) but on the list was the Police Museum.

 What can you find at the museum?
 1. General historical information about the police force.
 2.  Gallery featuring the inside world and paraphernalia about the Triads ( Hong Kong mafia).
 3. Replica of a heroin factory.

 Why did I want to go? As useful as learning how heroin is made, my main reason was of course to gawk at  the head of the last tiger shot in Hong Kong.  I am not sure if this is disputed, but this tiger and a photo to prove it, was shot in the 1950's.
The tiger had been hunted after killing someone.
 Not only are there no more tigers in Hong Kong, the species is dwindling fast in the world.  They are valuable commodities on the black market, making them still sought after by poachers.
I was disappointed by no photos being allowed, and almost rebelled, like any good Chinese person does with their cell phones and flash photography at Disney shows.  But I am not Chinese and did not want to be the arrogant, white American who ignores local laws.
I don't know much about taxidermy, and the life of original teeth. While fake eyes, I always assume are a given, are fake teeth? Maybe they were real.  The fur I will take their word at being real. I am a positive person and I felt a thrill at seeing it and felt the hike up the steps was worth it.

 The naming of where we lived in Hong Kong is Tai Po.
 Tai Po means big steps. It is said, that the name came from when people had to take big steps to get home fast and stay clear of the tigers.
 I am glad we didn't have to worry about being mauled on our way to the MTR, but I do find it sad that the tiger is disappearing in the wild.

The uniforms displayed what an Indian, Chinese and British officer would wear in the early days of British rule. Primarily distinguished by their hats. The Indian would wear a turban, and a  Chinese officer were wear the typical conical shaped hat.

Here is me obeying laws and settling for stock photos and outside pics.

We had to take bus No. 15, this is the bus you take to the Peak, when you don't want to ride the tram.

Overall impression:  You have to ascend some steps to get the museum and it is small, but it does give some nice history that isn't covered in other museums. I especially liked the aerial photo on display of the Kowloon Walled City shortly before it was demolished.
Everyone has their "I heart HK" or Starbucks Hong Kong mugs, but I will cherish my Hong Kong police museum cup.   I also got a nice postcard collection with a photograph of the different police officers and the tiger, after it had been captured. 

If you have a weekend in HK, maybe skip it, but if you are going to be here awhile, take the slow way up the Peak sometime and stop by. 

Apr 18, 2012


Yes it is another Disney post, but this time there are new photos due to the opening of Toy Story Land.

I loved the design and thought it must have been fun to come up with different ways to make giant toys. Andy's foot print can also be found as you walk along the pavement.

There are three main rides.
The slinky dog ride, parachute and the RC racer.

The RC ride has a height requirement of 120 CM. Elliot was relieved he wasn't tall enough, however Jane rode it 9 times and declared it was her favorite.
Jane and dad on the back end of the coaster.

Elliot finally rode the parachute and decided that was his favorite.

It was a low number day, we didn't have to wait more than 10 minutes for most rides.

The kids have been saving up allowance and gift money to spend on our final trip to Disney.
They both settled on purchasing stuffed toys for their souvenir.

I was thankful for this one last visit to Disney, before our move back.

last hk disney from outypants on Vimeo.

Apr 12, 2012

Good Eats, well sometimes

Some people say that shopping is a Hong Kong person's favorite past time. I think it is dining out. With the 7 million+ people to feed, the list of restaurants is never ending from cheap eats to break the bank.

Americans don't view red bean as a dessert. Maybe we would be thinner if we ate red beans instead of ice cream? On the- must try before we leave Asia list- for Nathan was the red bean pie at McDonalds.

The other two foods Nathan was keen to try was the infamous "Stinky To fu" and the healthy turtle jelly.

descriptions of the smell of stinky to fu include:
wet smelly socks

One of the most common observations people said about it, it doesn't taste as a bad as it smells.

Nathan's comment after he took a couple of bites- They lied.
 I wasn't that hungry and decided I wouldn't try it, taking him at his word.

Spotted this bucket of chicken while walking in TST. The feet had been cut off.
The US exports about 300,000 metric tons of chicken feet to China each year.
My opinion not that bad in taste, but again it is the texture I am not fond of.

Here is a picture of Nathan when he was traveling to China from the States back in 2008. With his first taste of the delicacy.

Turtle is not that uncommon of a food for westerners.
The Chinese eat and drink a lot of things because they believe in the health benefits.
I once had pork knuckle at dim sum, that was in a savory vinegar sauce. My friend Denise told me it is high in collagen and particularly good to eat after having a baby. I found it too chewy.

Turtle jelly is very popular and can be eaten hot or cold.
The Hoi Tin Tong is a famous brand. The guy makes his own commercials and they are quite amusing, Nathan said if he could meet any celebrity in HK it would be the turtle guy.

here is one commercial.

We had to tell the lady three times we wanted the jelly, she couldn't believe that a foreigner was actually ordering it. The cost was around $6 USD. I found the flavor not bad, but I don't really enjoy gelatin.
I could see eating it if it really is good for your health. Elliot liked it, no surprise there being our "Chinese" kid. Jane doesn't like gelatin either so she didn't like it.

We of course eat a lot of western food with the kids. a Pizza place called Tectonic pizza recently opened on Ashley road near the church. They offer pizza by the slice. They don't match Paisanos, but cost a little bit less.

Mortons steakhouse is from Chicago, but they have a location in HK. On a tip from a friend Nathan and I had a date night out and made a visit. We had a view of the laser light show and the harbor, but it was on one of the foggiest days in the year so it wasn't spectacular.
 Excellent filet Mignon. The customer service was great!
 We decided we could afford to eat out like that every ten years.

Fat Angelos- kids meals, free refills on drinks, bread and salad can help you to overlook the mediocrity of some of the dishes.

Back in 2009 with the Krohn family, in the photo Isaiah, Elliot and Sammy.