Saturday, September 28, 2013

Playing Tourist in My Own Back Yard

What I am about to type will result in  screams of “WHAT” or “HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?”  from my Hong Kong friends…

Until today, just about 32 months after I landed in Hong Kong, Corey and I had never…ever…been to the Fish Market, Flower Market or Bird Market in Kowloon.



Let me go back.

Today we had nothing on the agenda and Corey asked me what I wanted to do.  I actually went to the Hong Kong Tourism website to get some ideas. It’s a GREAT website

These hugely colorful, local, historical and picturesque places are  a mere four train stops away from our home.  I don’t’ know why…but I’ve never been inclined to go see them. 

Maybe it’s b/c I don’t own a fish (don’t want to).  Maybe it’s because I don’t own a bird (don’t’ want to) or maybe it’s b/c I don’t’ have a nice vase (how do you like THAT reasoning?)

This little field trip gave me the opportunity to take my new “big girl” camera for a walk.

We decided to walk down Nathan Road and stop for coffee, lunch (hot and sour soup and dumplings at a 12 table hole in the wall that is AWESOME – thank you Jane Buck!)  then walk to the markets  It’s not far…but with HOURDES of people out and about…it took us awhile!

While Corey stopped for a water (getting puffy after lunch…MSG? Sodium? ), I stayed outside and watched three local men play a board game.  No table and chairs?  No Problem! No “real” board? No Problem!  A box, a stool and a stairway and a hand drawn  board is all one needs!


First stop is the Gold Fish Market.  It’s REAL name is Tung Choi Street , but who needs a real name when the map has it marked as Gold Fish Market? I will bet if I asked a local, they would know “fish” before Tung Choi Street.  EVERY type of supply or fish that you would want or need is here. 

It was interesting to me that some shops were PACKED and others empty.  We liked this first shop.  It had a fun tank with shrimp and other pretty creatures.


See the lizard like guy hanging on the rock?  Corey didn’t either!  I was happy to NOT see any clownfish or other real exotics out in plain sight.

There are ferns, and tanks and plastic bags of fish ready to be taken home

IMG_0564  This guy had a particularly cute face I thought!


I found these…albino turtles(??) very fun to look at!

IMG_0574IMG_0575(getting some air)    IMG_0576

The area is also very cramped with housing :

IMG_0567IMG_0568IMG_0570 Living in these areas you use every space you can to dry clothes! I think at night the area would be beautiful (think Blade Runner and neon lights)

As we moved on, we came to the Flower Market.  Hong Kong does many things well, and one of them is MAPS. 

Before you really even get to “the street” there is this store…where in true Western tradition is READY for Christmas

IMG_0577 All sorts of ornaments, etc., EXCEPT…if you go to Sham Shui Po in early December…you get the same things…even cheaper! We kept going…

The flower market is called…wait for it….Flower Street (someone was using their head).  It is shop after shop after shop of flowers, plants, orchids, trees.  There were many couples sitting inside the stores planning their weddings (I knew this b/c HE looked pained as SHE was pouring over the catalogues) 

IMG_0580 Gerbera Daisy's are Kari’s favorites…it’s what we saw first! 

Once again, if you want it…you can be pretty sure they have it.  Some shops do NOT want you to take pics…and some say “please feel free ) I can only tell this by the signs on the walls, I have NOT become fluent in the last 15 minutes.


I know ONE friend who would love this place (Bo Ward!)

Corey sat and munched on his freshly roasted peanuts as I wandered.  He missed this guy:


People in Hong Kong sleep whenever and wherever they can…and shoppers just continue with their day!

Right at the end of Flower Street is the Bird Park.  This is where you can pick up all of your bird needs.

While most of us DON’T get the birds, I do know many friends who have decorated with the beautiful cages that can be found here! 

As we entered we passed older gentlemen sitting together chatting, their bird cages hanging close by.  Yes, that’s right, they take their little birds for a walk and then have a chat.  From what I have seen, if retired, this is done on a daily basis.

I realize as I type this I did NOT get pics of cages OR the visiting men (though I am VERY careful and respectful of taking pictures of locals…I try to be stealth like)

IMG_0601  Pretty bird!

IMG_0605 Happy Talk !

IMG_0607  IMG_0609  

                            IMG_0610 Hello….

Our walk came to an end and we headed back home to put our flowers (yes, I bought flowers) into a vase.  I a NOT a flower arranger… but they are pretty…and I WILL be back before the next 32 months is up!

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