Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Explore Hong Kong for Free! Nan Lian Garden, Snoopy's World, Antique Street, Ginseng & Bird's Nest Street, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Looking to experience the culture and beauty of Hong Kong for free?
Join me as I explore some of the island's hidden gems.

1. Nan Lain Garden, Diamond Hill
Access: MTR Diamond Hill, Exit C2 (Plaza Hollywood)
Direction signs are posted from the station exit. 

This is a Tang-style landscaped Chinese garden based on the famous Jaingshouju Garden in Shanxi Province. It is truly beautiful, serene and peaceful. Visitors can also dine at Chi Lin Vegetarian Restaurant located behind the waterfall while enjoying the panoramic views of the gardens through the cascading falls. 

The Pavilion of Absolute Perfection and Zi Wu Bridge

2. Snoopy's World
New Town Plaza, 18 Sha Tin Centre Street, Sha Tin

Kids can roam free and get active in the Snoopy playground or travel and explore Snoopy world in a slow boat ride. Yes, it's all for free!

3. Antique Street (Cat Street)
Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan 
Access: MTR Central Station, Exit D2. 
Turn right onto Theatre Lane and walk along Queen's Road Central towards The Center
Then take the Central Mid - Levels Escalator to Hollywood Road
Near Antique Street is Man Mo Temple (Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan).
It is one of the oldest and most well-known temples in Hong Kong.

 Chinese bowls in striking colours.

Calligraphy brushes, smoking pipes, vintage Bruce Lee and Mao Zedong memorabilia.

Colourful embroidered bound feet shoes

Antique Chinese glasses and door knockers

4. Western Market
323 Des Voeux Road Central, Sheung Wan
Access: Sheung Wan Station Exit B or C

 You can find shops selling arts and crafts in this beautiful Edwardian building called Western Market, 
the oldest surviving market building in the territory.

5. Ginseng and Bird's Nest Street
 Access: Wing Lok Street
Sheung Wan Station Exit A2

Packed ginseng but you can also purchase them by weight. (left)

Dried abalone, dried scallops and dried sea cucumber. (right)
They are expensive and highly prized ingredients in Chinese cuisine.

Dried scallops (left) and bird's nests packed into moulds to yield a round shape.
If you are keen to try some bird's nest, visit Burnest Cafe in Causeway Bay. 
(separate blog coming up soon)

Dried seahorses and antelope horns (ling yang jiao) 
 are being sold in this traditional Chinese herb shop.
When I had fever as a child, my mum would grind the antelope horn
in a clay bowl with a bit of water until the liquid turns opaque and lets me drink it.
 These drinks are thought to have "cooling properties" that can cure fever.
Believe me, it tastes really bad and only made me feel significantly worse.

5. Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (click on link to read separate review)
 221 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin, New Territories

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