30 08 2015

Gym time!

30 08 2015


With my new workout song.

Variety: the spice of life

30 08 2015

It was an interestingly random weekend this week: Friday night I sipped a glass of strange but not unpleasant salty white wine in a Wanchai back alley at one of the new bars catering to Hong Kong’s burgeoning French population. It was opposite a little oyster cafe with street tables, and patrons drifted back and forth from one to the other, cigarettes and wine glasses in hand while waitresses shuttled little plates of bread and ham from the cafe kitchen to the bar. Fun.

Then we had a great massage at a seedy-looking massage parlor, which Louis had been tipped off about. Apparently it was a favoured haunt of those in the know, despite its seedy facade of blinking, green neon sign and bamboo wallpaper. But the massage was indeed first-rate, catalpulting the venue (whose name shall remain my secret) to first place in my massage favourites list. Afterwards we headed home to catch the end of “Hannah Montana: the movie” and slump into bed.

Saturday I embarked on a little adventure to find the Thai temple of Tai Po in the dripping rain – and succeeded! – and then made my way home through the densely-packed sidestreets of Mongkok and Yau Ma Tei.

That night, I was planning on heading out to Behind, a new gay party supposedly catering to a slightly more alternative crowd, but my companion backed out at the last minute so I ended up in the Starbucks of Lan Kwai Fong, reading an interesting new novel, “Wonder” instead. Outside hordes of dweeby Chinese tourists wandered up and down the main drag (is this was LKF is like? I’m so rarely there on a weekend night these days) taking pictures and generally killing the vibe.  I poked my head into the party briefly – it had a decent-sized crowd but there wasn’t anything particularly alternative about the music playing. Maybe worth another try next time though.

Sunday it rained all day. I saw a cute move, “While We are Young”, finished my book and went to the gym.

Le1f – Koi

30 08 2015

29 08 2015

I’ve seen Paris, I’ve seen France, I can see your…

29 08 2015

The Thai Temple of Tai Po

29 08 2015

This weekend I went on a super-satisfying adventure. One evening, while idly googling, I had found a hand-drawn map on the internet, detailing the way to a Thai “forest temple” on a hillside in Tai Wo which I had never seen or heard about anywhere else. For some time I had been wanting to test out this “The Beach” style scenario, with my my cyber-secret map to the mysterious shrine, so undeterred by the rain I set out to relatively distant district, close to the border at Lo Wu.

I set out from Tai Wo station across a river, through a New Territories village and up a lushly forested slope where a fast-flowing mountain stream ran amid thickets of banana trees. A gargantuan freeway spanned the valley above. Thunder rumbled and birds and butterflies flitted through the undergrowth. A light rain was falling, but occasionally I would come across a sign in Chinese bearing a Thai flag, reassuring me that I was headed in the right direction.

Then, sooner than expected, I was there.


Greeted by barking (but it turns out, harmless) dogs, I came to a group of women around a table heaving with fruit, tofu, vegetables and spicy sauces. One of them, who spoke English, insisted I sit down and eat. She explained that the feast was held every Saturday and Sunday, free of charge, for visitors to the temple (breakfast around 7.30am and lunchtime at 11am, as the monks are forbidden from eating after noon.) I chatted to her for a while and wandered through the modest complex with its various Buddhas and burning Vassa candles before being led to an orange-robed monk who blessed me and offered my life advise – I should exercise in the mornings and not worry so much, apparently.

And with that, my heart singing and plans for returning already buzzing in my head, I set off again down the green, dripping valley, thankful for having stumbled on to such a beautiful secret.

Many thanks to Dr Anchalee Gibbons, whoever you are, for the wonderful map!


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