Parrots in the treetops

19 04 2017


A flock of ringed parakeets roosting noisily in Kowloon Park, in the eaves of the big white arch at its Northern entrance, at the end of a Summer evening. Little did I know they were so easy to find in Hong Kong, after my wild err…goose chase in Tokyo last year!


Back to the Flower Market

18 04 2017


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Over the long weekend we somehow made five or six trips back to Prince Edward to the Flower Market, a buzzing couple of blocks near East Mongkok railway station where stores sell succulents and orchids, street vendors hawk bonsai trees and large, well-appointed shops line the main roads with all manner of pots and palm trees. The footpaths here are always crowded with plants and browsers. As we explored more and got to know the area better though, we discovered some more surprises.

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The first was the huge disparity in prices. Similar plants could be on sale for as little as ten or twenty Hong Kong dollars and five times that in other places, or even more compared to stores on Hong Kong island! It is one place where it definitely pays to shop around.

In a little alleyway running through the flower and plant stalls we found a shop selling African chameleons, clambering around the aquarium tanks with wildly swivelling eyes, and then Hay Fever, a glamorous downstairs-plant-shop upstairs-cafe, seemingly modelled after something you would imagine in Aoyama or Jiyugaoka. On the main road was a restored 1920s apartment block, its high-ceilinged lower level spaces now converted into a zen-inspired vegetarian eatery. And tucked away in a corner,  overlooking the action through plate glass windows in another old apartment block was the “House of Moments” teahouse, this time reminiscent of Taipei, where we ate tofu-cheesecake.

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18 04 2017

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11 04 2017


Steamy nights, misty mornings

11 04 2017

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The humidity is back.


10 04 2017


I spent a fun afternoon on the water-logged streets of Kowloon Tong celebrating the Songkran Thai New Year, complete with a confetti-festooned Buddha paraded through the streets, fraught dodging of water “snipers” and stops in the park to look at the ruins of the old Walled City and watch Thai dancers. Plus: lunch in the brutalist Cooked Food Centre, and one of favourite eccentric local stores, Hong Kong Treasure, with its tin toys, busts, 1980s designerware and art deco jewellery in a gloomy, Gothic building opposite the Walled City park.

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Strange jazz

10 04 2017


A picnic in a jazz bar with takeaway Thai food and Shaanxi-grown red wine, at Salon Ten with friends midweek. Afterwards some of the group went on to J. Borowski, the offshoot of Bangkok hipster cocktail bar, festooned with bugs.