Visions of Hong Kong

It’s cold and rainy here in Portland today so I’m daydreaming of somewhere warm, like Hong Kong. The first day of spring feels very winter like.

Hong Kong is a great place to take photographs because there are so many visually interesting things to look at. My husband, Todd Mecklem, took these shots during our recent visit. Enjoy your virtual visit!

Sea glass. © Todd Mecklem

Sea glass. ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong harbor.  ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong harbor. © Todd Mecklem

Detail of rope on ferry.  © Todd Mecklem

Detail of rope on ferry. ©Todd Mecklem

Dried shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Dried shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Woman drying shrimp.  © Todd Mecklem

Woman drying shrimp. ©Todd Mecklem

Fish being cooked night market.  © Todd Mecklem

Fish being cooked in the night market. ©Todd Mecklem

Large grains of sand.  © Todd Mecklem

Large grains of sand. ©Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong skyline.  © Todd Mecklem

Hong Kong skyline. © Todd Mecklem

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Cheung Chau, Hong Kong

On a recent visit to Hong Kong, my husband and I went to a small fishing village on a little island close by. It was much quieter than the cacophony of Hong Kong and Kowloon, and was a nice respite from the noise and bright lights. We wandered around the island, looked at the boats, and watched the locals. We walked across the island and came across a little beach. The sand was large-grained and felt really good on our tired feet. The best part was the warm water, not something I ever experience at the beach here in the Pacific Northwest. We stopped for lunch and I finished with a green tea latte. I’ve heard it referred to as matcha in Japan but I don’t know what it’s called in Cantonese.

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Happy Lunar New Year!

Today is the beginging of the Lunar New Year in many Asian countries and territories, including China, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam. In 1873, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar, though the lunar New Year is still celebrated in Okinawa. It’s the Year of the Dragon, which is supposed to be a very auspicious one. I’ve assembled some of my favorite photographs from our Asia trips to celebrate.

May you have a wonderful year!

Buddha in Hong Kong temple ©2007 Sue Mecklem
Buddha

More Buddhas ©2007 Sue Mecklem
Buddhas in a temple

Wind Instrument Musician ©2007 Sue Mecklem
Buddha playing a wind instrument

Golden Rat in Hong Kong ©2007 Sue Mecklem
Golden rat in Hong Kong

Detail, Guksadang shamanist shrine, Seoul, Korea ©2008 Todd Mecklem
Detail, Guksadang shamanist shrine, Seoul, Korea

Detail of painted door, Bongwansa shamanist temple, Seoul ©2008 Todd Mecklem
Detail of painted door, Bongwansa shamanist temple, Seoul

Bananas & fish for sale, canal-side village near Zhongshan, China ©2007 Todd Mecklem
Bananas & fish for sale, canal-side village near Zhongshan, China

Ribbons in “wishing tree” near Zhongshan, China ©2007 Todd Mecklem
Ribbons in "wishing tree" near Zhongshan, China

Incense coils in Hong Kung Temple, Macau ©2007 Todd Mecklem
Incence coils in Hong Kung Temple, Macau

For more information, this Wikipedia article is pretty robust.

Christmas Around the World

We usually travel in late November to maximize our vacation days. It’s often cold, but flights are less expensive than in the summer. A great thing about traveling then is that we get to see Christmas lights and markets in different countries, even those that aren’t really Christian countries. My favorite Christmas tradition is the German markets with mulled wine (gluhwein) that you can buy in a cup and take with you as you walk around the market, the mall, or the street. Here are some glimpses of how some cities are decorated for the holidays.

Christmas lights in Seoul, Korea. It was REALLY cold.
Christmas lights in Seoul

Also in Seoul. Todd took this photo – we didn’t actually try one.
Casisis Love Doughnut, Caffè Pascucci, Seoul

Santa’s helper in a market in Istanbul. Todd took this photo.
Santa's Helper, Istanbul, Turkey, Nov. 2008

Bon Nadal! Literally, Catalana for “happy birth” but it translates to “merry Christmas.” This is in Barcelona.
Santa Claus

Christmas night market (“Weihnachtsmärkte”) in Berlin.
Weihnachtsmärkte, Berlin 2008

The best part!
Drinking gluhwein in Berlin

Christmas lights in Hong Kong.
Christmas lights in Hong Kong.