Moved

1 February, 2007 at 18:47 (Uncategorized)

occidentally has moved

Just in case you didn’t catch on, Tris can’t access wordpress.com from inside the mainland. Catch all the fun at occidentallyoriental.com

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Xiamen

3 August, 2006 at 15:23 (Uncategorized)

I’m heading to ShenZhen tomorrow and from there onto Xiamen in Fujian province. I just booked my accomodation in Xiamen today, so I should stop blogging and go to the travel agency to buy my bus ticket.

This may be the last post I make until I’m in Xiamen. If so, over and out. Send private emails if you want any more details about anything or want me to tell you more about a particular aspect of Hong Kong or whatever. I don’t trust this internet thing so sometimes I try to keep it general on here.

Until then.

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Typhoon warning

3 August, 2006 at 15:18 (Hong Kong)

We are currently at level 3 typhoon warning because there is a storm moving in towards Guangdong.
http://www.hko.gov.hk/contente.htm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5241016.stm

Level 3 isn’t that bad really, just strongish winds and raining on-and-off. But, it has interfered with plans to go to an island called Cheung Chau.  I was really looking forward to going there because the only way to get there is by Ferry (so it’s not too developed) and it has a pirates cave!  Next time…

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Macau

3 August, 2006 at 15:10 (Hong Kong)

I had originally planned to leave on the 2nd, but because I wanted to see some places and do a few other things (plus relax a bit), I extended my stay until the 4th.

One of the places I wanted to see was Macau, a former Portugeuse colony about 1 hour away from Hong Kong by ferry. So, on Tuesday myself and four other remaining students from summer school ventured there to see the sights.

After an inauspicious start to our day (myself and the other two guys forgot our passports :P, but hey, I did remember my digital and film camera, a change of clothes, shoes & socks for the casinos and my lonely planet book), we had a good time in Macau.

The main attractions in Macau are probably the casinos (there are about 15 to 20) and also the fusion of culture, architecture and food that arose from portuguese colonisation. I’ve updated the album with some pics from Macau so check it out, some of them you wouldn’t know if you were in Europe or Asia.

Anyway, we visited a few places in Macau, first we went to the Flora gardens. The gardens are the largest public park in Macau are on the top of the highest peak. Also on the peak is the Guia fort and a lighthouse, there are some pics of these too. Really nice views from up here and the architecture is great.

After this, we headed to the ruins of the Church of St Paul, it is basically just the facade of a Church which was burnt to the ground by some careless chef in 1835. The area around the Church is where I took the photos which look like they are in Europe. It was fairly touristy, but we managed to find a local type place to eat some lunch here. The food was pretty decent, it seemed a bit like fusion food leaning more towards Asian style than Portuguese.

From here we went to the Macau Museum which wasn’t too bad, but it was pretty small.

Then, we tried to get into some protestant cemetary which looked really cool, but we were there after opening hours so the gates were shut. Some local guy told us that it was ok just to jump over a low wall and look around the cemetary, but the caretaker didn’t agree and we were promptly asked to jump back over. It’s pity we didn’t get to check it out, it looked really nice, it was quite small and shady, and the tombstones would have been very interesting to read.

Having been kicked out of the cemetery, we decided that we should buy our ferry tickets back to Hong Kong. Since it was a weekday, the last ferry was at 20:30, so by this time it was about 18:00, and we still wanted to check out at least one of the casinos.

As the two other guys only had flip flops on, they weren’t allowed inside any of the casinos. But, the guys and one of the girls didn’t want to gamble anyway, so they took off to the only shopping mall in Macau while myself and the other girl headed into Sands casino. We were hoping to check out two casinos, one old and one new, but by the time we had walked around sands for a bit (losing on roullette but coming out ahead on the pokies! hooray!), we ran out of time and had to head to the ferry terminal.

Macau was a great place, I think you need to stay at least overnight to see enough of the sights though, since a day isn’t really enough.

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Right, right?

29 July, 2006 at 14:09 (Hong Kong, Uncategorized)

Street norm in HK is for Pedestrians to pass each other on the right.  This is of course the opposite of Melbourne where we pass on the left.  It’s wierd becuse the cars drive on the left the same as in Aus.

Oh, also, people on escalators stand on the right side, leaving the left side free for people in a hurry.

To make things confusing, whenever there are officially stated lanes (such as stairs or something).  They always make you pass on the left.  There is no consistency.

This is a bit of a random observation, but one I have made nonetheless.

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Huzzah for ‘multicultural’ Australia

29 July, 2006 at 14:02 (Uncategorized)

Meeting people from all over the world, it make you appreciate Australia’s diversity all the more.  Compared to the Europeans or Americans, we seem to know much more about different cultures and cuisines etc.  Actually, on this topic, alot of people here are surprised when I tell them a large majority of the non anglo-saxon Australians are bi-lingual.  One person was saying that this is not the case in the US, where you are expected to just speak english (except for the latinos i guess). 

Returning to cuisine, everyone in Australia (well, most people I know :P) knows their way around a Chinese, Italian or Indian menu.  Apart from this, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Lebanese, Turkish, a huge variety of foods, it’s available in Melbourne and is usually fairly authentic.

In HK, despite being multicultural to a degree, it still feels like all the foreign cuisine has been heavily localised. 

Anyway, the point of this post I guess is that in todays “globalised” world, I think Australia is a pretty good place to grow up (well, Melbourne at least, I can’t speak for the other cities).

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Pollution in HK

29 July, 2006 at 13:50 (Hong Kong, Uncategorized)

I’ve mentioned a few times to people the pollution in HK.  I don’t know the statistics or anything, but it definitely feels and smells more polluted than Melbourne. 

That is to be expected I guess, given the high population density and thus number of cars and buses.  However, it is claimed by HK that the pollution is actually caused by the mainland.  From all the factories in Guangdong and elsewhere.  A lecturer told us that when the wind blows from the south, the skies are blue, when it blows from the north, the skies are yellow.

Anyway, regardless of this, I still think they need to do something about the emissions from cars and buses here.  Most of the buses run on diesel and the taxis run on LPG.  A push to move all the diesel to biodiesel is not being supported by whoever needs to do so, rather, they are opting for more use of LPG.

They are trying to solve the mainland pollution emissions through cooperation and discussion, so hopefully this will be improved sometime.  As for the local emissions, who knows.

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Cultural tours

27 July, 2006 at 20:33 (Uncategorized)

We’ve been on a couple of cultural tours during our time in Hong Kong.  The two that I havn’t written about yet (the other one being the new territories tour) are the Guangdong tour and the Lantau island tour.

I will write something about these at some point, right now i’m all typed out.  But this post will serve as a reminder for me to expound on these tours and will hopefully whet your appetite for more tales of interest!  Or something like that…

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