Like a Normal Human

Mobile Phone, Photography

Life is all about finding something for yourself to enjoy. You could fill up your holiday schedule with a list of things you passionate about, whether it’s your new or old hobbies, playing sports, visiting new places, revisiting old places you haven’t been for a very long time, learning new things, meeting up with friends or even better do the things previously mentioned with your lover… I truly believe the key is to keep yourself productive and active. Productive, meaning have your time spent as planned. Active, is my recent discovery that it keeps you sharp and confident.

I’d advise try to go out as much as possible. It applies to people with a shared home when you’ve little or no control over it, especially in a cramped apartment to most people in Hong Kong. Our city is more than just windows, walls and ceilings. Now when I think of it, I can’t recall my last morning respiratory allergy!

During this long Easter weekend, my schedule was reasonably occupied. All these activities began early and lasted a whole day. It was the most productive holiday weekend I’ve ever had since a kid.

I winded down my day with a iced mocha, in the pedestrian and dogs friendly Sai Kung neighborhood. Their vehicle/franchise-free market streets are filled with local boutiques, restaurants and cafes. The waterfront nearby is where people can actually do things like a normal human. Some played with their/others pets, some played with kites, some couples did selfies, some kids had fun just to run around. All these combination reminds us this is the one and only Sai Kung.

Mixed and Match Converse
Unapproachable flowers
Doll Face
Coldest Day
Heart-shaped Leaf
Birdman

Père et Fils

Photography

Forrest
The last hike at Lion Rock was not entirely bad and i needed almost no recovery after a good night sleep. I’ve overestimated the difficulty from it.

Some trails in Hong Kong require a bit of manageable transportation and/if I planned well enough. Basically, a subway ride and another minibus ride to get to the starting point. As I was traveling out of the district, I totally forgot about checking out the exact address of the station and without taking into of the wait (given I was running behind already). After a few ‘filled up’ minibuses, I learned my lesson.

It’s the unavoidable learning process from trail and error.

Waving in the air

I arrived at the starting point of this trail eventually. Unlike my previous hikes, I was constantly looking at the sun; hurrying to catch up with the time lost. This trail finally felt more like what I’d imagined, not quite paved, quite forrest-like, plenty of sandy terrain and occasionally up and down slopes, no wonder for the alternative routes allowed for mountain biking. All these things reminded me of an outdoor activity.

Lighting up the trail

I was lucky enough to see other hikers on the trail. It’s often said, best to be accompanied when go on hiking. So I see these hikers as my imaginary partners. I’ll definitely go to the tougher hikes with my dad after all these elementary 3-4 hour hikes.

What makes me fascinated about this trail was the sharp mountain – called High Junk Peak (釣魚翁). It’s the highest in the area, and one of the three in Hong Kong. I was curious, so curious to see it in person, with no intention whatsoever in getting up top. That was until I saw a narrow path leading to the skirt of this High Junk Peak. ‘I was at the Lion Rock just a week ago, how can it be any harder’ I wondered. As it turns out, this was a hell of a climb for beginners. This time around, I got down with business by putting my SLR back in my bag. I really needed to hang onto rocks and bushes to safely go up. Half way through, I already needed a few minutes to break. I seriously would just go back down if there weren’t this pair of hikers next to me, a father and his son (kid). I saw how his dad was backing him up, allowing him rest when needed.

Training Day

They passed by me at the earlier part of the trail. If a kid can do it all, I should be too. I sucked it up knowing the peak was not too far ahead. Forget about how to get down, arriving at the top made me realize I’m capable. There, I was captivated by the magnificent scene in front of me – the infinite South China Sea.

I’d shown admiration to this kid and began a conversing with his father – Alex. He’s originally from France. No wonder the boy was so good. He’s been hiking along for 6 years now. I told him this was my first visit to this country park and my second visit to the district. I later told him there’re people out there that are worse than me, they chose to instead get to the airport and fly out of the city, to Japan, Thailand without even seeing the beautiful side of their home.

From the Peak

Alex enjoys the trails at the Sai Kung Country Park. Ma On Shan was the toughest so far in Hong Kong. I’d imagine he must have hiked somewhere else in the world. And yes, some of his toughest were Vignemale in France and Monte Period in Spain. Besides some exchange in hike stories. He spoke to me about a few things of the district such as how isolated as some of the village houses might seem, it takes just about 5 mins drive to the nearest MTR.

We offered our sincere goodbyes. The title of this post is dedicated to them in French – Father and Son. I made it out of this windy trail before dark. And I had sore legs for the following three days.

Lost and Found

I was in Sai Kung – Part I

Photography

Pier

Sai Kung is the far east part of the New Territories in Hong Kong. The beaches there are simply breathtaking. Water is so clear that you could see the coral reef beneath. It’s famed for the back garden of Hong Kong.

Last week our family joined a local tour. When I first heard, WTH, local tour? Why would we need a local tour? The tour was organized as a weekend gathering of my mom’s Taoism community group.  I had not ever been to Sai Kung, at least to travel…as far as I remembered.

We were so worried that day would rain. There were occasion showers throughout the week. The night before I hesitated on taking my X100 out (sitting at home collecting dust). At the end, I brought my GRD with me. I was so used to the 28mm now. Switching to 35mm, will make me uncomfortable again. Turned out, the other morning was sunny and so warm.

That day I wasn’t aiming to shoot any candid street photos. I knew the schedule wouldn’t allow me to spend extra time on an attraction. So this series is more of an encounter of my trip. And most were scenery which aren’t that bad even without the PL filter or anything.

The Fisherman
The Fisherman

I snapped a hand full of cellphone photos at the country park. Many of them are great. I got them uploaded to Instagram. I’ll share some here later on. I haven’t walk into the nature since I middle school. I always had an excuse not to go trail walking with my dad. He’s a regular trail walker.

The tour began at 8am. We were enjoying the views of the outer island and the dense forest vegetation at the country park. The next stop was the Tin Hau Temple. It’s where all the fishermen used to worship the god of sea and wind. The temple itself is not too special. I was more into the clear water and beautiful sunshine of the day.

The Fisherwoman selling dried seafood
The Fisherwoman selling dried seafood

After visiting the Tin Hau Temple, we stopped by the Sai Kung Town for lunch. Sai Kung town has a huge boat parking area. And what I like about this community, is the low story buildings. I could finally see the sky without looking straight up. The market street reminds me of many photos of Japan and Taiwan (i wish to visit those countries..) It was only a pee break shortly after the lunch, I sneaked out and snapped a few of the market in 5 mins.

Boat parking area
Boat parking area

Dog with a cap
Dog with a cap

Sai Kung Market
Sai Kung Market

I have come up with a few color presets. The photos here you see is under my preset for a sunny day. I’m still working on a preset for cloudy/shaded photos. My night preset that I’m working on is exaggerating the contrast and details so much that it’s revealing all the ugly pixel noise. My solution is to go black and white. More experimentation to go…

Sai Kung Market
Sai Kung Market

Sai Kung Market
Sai Kung Market

Sai Kung Market
Sai Kung Market

Girl selling toy shavels and more
Girl selling toy shavels and more

Sisters in the umbrella
Sisters in the umbrella

I’ll will continue on tomorrow’s part II. Hope your day is as bright as here!