Hong Kong Day 2
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2002
Hong Kong
All Photos © 2001 Ting and Randy Vogel

 Ting and the Teapot Mosaic at Cheung Sha Wan MTR Station
 Ting at the Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb Museum
 View Inside the Tomb
 Tomb Detail #1
 Tomb Detail #2
 Ting and the Stone Lion
 Randy Inside the Gate of the Lei Cheng Uk Garden
 Weird Rock in the Garden
 Ting in the Moon Gate
 Apartments Rising Beyond the Garden
 Turtle Fountain and Dragon Pavilion
 Terrapin (Top View)
 Terrapin (Front)
 Turtle Mecca
 Gate Detail
 Giant Snail with Chapstick
 A Relaxing Lunchtime Read
 Back View of the Entrance Gate
 Forest of TV Antennas
 Toilet Paper Stall
 Dragon Fruit
 Factory #2
 PowerPuff MTR Sign #1
 PowerPuff MTR Sign #2
 PowerPuff MTR Sign #3
 Skyscraper Under Construction, Downtown Kowloon
 What's That About Oysters?
 Raw Dishes, Mmmmn...
 Teddy and Ting
 Bound for the Teddy Bear Picnic?
 Bear Jamboree Movie
 Reach for the Sky, Wah-man Ko, undated sculpture
 Hong Kong Museum of Art
 Searching for Position, Siu-hong Liu, undated sculpture
 Dangerous to climb?
 Gemini Urinal
 Chinese Jade & Gold Exhibit Entrance
 Lobby Sculpture
 Randy's Shiny Ceiling Self-Portrait
 Construction Scene
 Lunchtime View
 Ting at Lunch
 Randy Goofs Off
 Club Sandwich
 Caesar Salad with Pan-Fried Chicken
 Downtown Hong Kong
 Hong Kong Bayfront Panorama
 View Across the Patio; Wai-ming Cheung's 1991 work, 'Embracing Tradition' in the foreground
 Yau-kuen Lau's 1991 sculpture 'Conceal'
 All Together Now!
 Workman Pulling Hoses
 Entrance to the Calligraphy Exhibit
 Ting piloting at the Entrance to Chinese Civilization Exhibit
 Barred Bay View
 Elements Exhibit
 Porcelain Buddha
 Night Scene
 Hair Peace Sign
 Crab Shop
 Joyful Vegetarian
 Delon & Ting
 the Centre - Red to Yellow
 the Centre - Green to Blue
 the Centre - Yellow to Purple
 the Centre - Red
 the Centre - Violet
 the Centre - Blue
 the Centre - Green
 the Centre - Movie
 Nightscape From the Milano Rooftop
 View of Hong Kong from the Funicular
 Another Nightscape from the Funicular
 Ripley's Trolley
 Entering the Mothership
 Panoramic View of Hong Kong & Kowloon from Victoria Peak
 Center of the View
 Zoomed View of the Hong Kong Museum of Art in Kowloon
 Randy and Ting at the Lookout
 the Peak Tower
 Another View of the Tower
 Ting Does the Splits
 Pulling Down Carnival Decorations
 Gods in the Streets
 Ting & Goddess
 Carnival Gate

Today, Mom and Pop had more errands to run. Since we were psyched to check out some museums or do some hiking (depending on the weather), we decided to split up from them for the day. We hopped on the MTR and got off at Cheung Sha Wan Station. Our destination this morning was Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb. The tomb was discovered in August of 1955 and dates from Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25 to AD220). It was located smack dab in the middle of Kowloon. The complex consisted of the actual tomb and a museum which chronicled the history of the tomb as well as the Chinese culture, including a section which documented the Chinese propensity to celebrate all occasions with food. "In fact, to the Chinese, food consumption was not simply a response to hunger but has long developed into a sophisticated aspect of their culture." Don't we know it! And it is a credit to the Chinese diet that we are not all 400+ pounds!

The tomb itself was tiny and sealed off so you could only view the interior through the glassed-off entrance. From that perspective, we could barely see some of the carvings on the walls. The rest of the tomb was bare except for a modern ventilation system designed to keep the temperature and humidity inside the tomb at an optimal level.

We walked over to the Lei Cheng Uk Estate Han Garden next door after checking out the tomb. The garden was large and decorated with classic circular entrances typical of a dynasty courtyard. It now serves as a public park where folks could sit peacefully to enjoy a noonday meal or gather to play checkers. Turtles wallowed in a pond at one end of the garden. A bridge crossed over the pond to a pavilion where a checker game was in progress. The back entrance to the garden was fronted by a large painting of ancient court life, which was reminiscent of cave drawings in its simplicity.

We walked through a small street market to get to the MTR. Ting picked up a shimmery purple rain coat for less than US$5. Since it looked as if the rain was going to stick around, we took the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui Station for the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The highlight of that visit was the Gold and Jade Exhibit. We spent about an hour ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful items on display. In Chinese, "jade" is a loosely-defined term that includes most any hard, polished green-colored rock as well as the semi-precious stone we define as "jade". We stopped for lunch at the Museum Cafe. The outdoor sitting area had a spectacular view of the bay and the Hong Kong Island coastline.

After lunch, we walked through the Xubaizhai Gallery of Chinese Painting & Calligraphy, Origin of Chinese Civilization Gallery, Contemporary Hong Kong Art Gallery, and the Chinese Antiquities Gallery in the museum before we decided to call it quits. Museums are extremely tiring because of the amount of walking involved and the concentration required to read the fine print on the exhibits and to absorb the information.

We made it back to the hotel around six pm and had a couple of hours to chill out before dinner. We had plans to meet Delon around eight pm. Delon was a student in Ting's Taekwondo White-Belt class last summer. He was a visiting student from Hong Kong, proficient in Kung Fu, and was one of Ting's best students. He jumped four levels from white-belt to green-belt when he took his promotional test. Now he is back in Hong Kong. Delon was working late at a client site near Central MTR Station, so we decided to meet at the station. Central, as the name suggests, is a central transfer point between several MTR lines, situated in the heart of metropolitan Hong Kong. We waited at the "D" entrance for Delon, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the pedestrian traffic coming through. Hong Kong's population is so dense that it makes New York City look like a suburb. Even with MTR trains coming every two minutes, the trains barely kept up with the people coming through during rush hours.

Delon had asked us what we wanted for dinner. The resounding vote was "No Chinese!" Delon took us to the SoHo (South of Hollywood Road) area of Hong Kong which houses a plethora of bars, restaurants, and cafes. To get there, we rode up the 2620-foot outdoor covered escalator (made up of a string of short consecutive escalators) that connects Hong Kong's Central Business District to the wealthy Mid-Levels.

We got off mid-way up. Tugged away at the top of a five or six-story building, Pizza Milan afforded us a spectacular nighttime view of the Hong Kong skyscrapers. From the rooftop restaurant, we had a front-row view of the shifting light spectrum of The Centre skyscraper. A description of The Centre can be found at http://www.skyscrapers.com/english/worldmap/building/0.9/121022/index.html: "The Centre has a Cozyvivid low-voltage neon system consisting of 8,784 red, green and blue neon tubes that create a slowly changing light show during the night." The food was decent, but not great; at least it was a break from the endless dishes of Chinese cuisine we were committed to for the next few weeks!

After dinner we took a taxi to the tram station at the bottom of Victoria Peak, where we rode a tram up to the top. From the top, we had a breath-taking panoramic view of Hong Kong and Kowloon across the bay. As luck would have it, the batteries in the camera decided to die at that moment and our backup set of batteries turned up dead as well. Ah, a Polaroid moment hindered! But Delon was not one to give it up. We went into an adjacent building where he somehow convinced the guards to give us a set of batteries from their own supply. The guards would not even take money for the batteries as they did not know what to charge us. We already knew what a charmer Delon was but, up close and personal, his charming prowess was truly impressive!

After we took our share of pictures, we took the tram back down the mountain into SoHo, where we stopped at Le Jardin Club & Bar for a few drinks. The bar was tugged away behind another restaurant. If Delon was not leading, we would have never come across it. The bar was nearly empty of patrons except for a few folks hanging out with the bartender and a very-drunken couple, sitting at the table next to us, one of whom was asleep on the bench with sunglasses sitting askew on her face.

By the time we were done, it was well past midnight and the MTR was no longer running. But we were not worried as we were with Delon. Delon knew the way to the mini-buses, which took us at racing speeds across the bay to Kowloon. We made it back in less than 15 minutes! Around one am, Pop called to check that we got back okay. Once a parent, always a parent!