Sunday, October 10, 2010

Some more things to do in Hong Kong when it rains

Rainy, gray day in Hong Kong

When asked who I think my blog's audience is, my answer is that I appear to have two core audiences. The first -- and longest term "followers" -- are people who first became acquainted with my online presence via either Brian's Hong Kong Cinema: View from the Brooklyn Bridge or the Mobius Home Video Forum's Asian Cinema Discussion Board. The second group are those who only began visiting this blog after I moved to Hong Kong and appear to be most interested in my Hong Kong hiking photo-essays and other posts that stem from my exploring diverse sections of the Big Lychee.

To judge by such as my blog's Site Meter stats though, this blog also attracts a fair number of one-time visitors who are led here by Google and other search engines. And while it's true enough that quite a few of these individuals were looking for information about Hong Kong cinema, I've also come to discover in recent months that one of the most popular posts on this blog is that which offers up suggestions as to what are some things to do in Hong Kong when it rains.

As it so happens, today was one of those days in Hong Kong which was rainy or threatening to rain for much of it. And I can honestly say that my mother (who's currently at the tail end of one of her visits over here) and I did do one of the things mentioned in that post (i.e., spend time shopping... :S).

However, we also spent a good part of today doing two other things that I do think are worth spending some time on a rainy day in Hong Kong doing: that is, checking out a cultural performance and also leisurely -- and enjoyably -- eating a big meal.

With regards to the former: someone who left the Fragrant Harbour some months back but still can't seem to stop thinking and commenting about matters and life (and, in particular, cultural life) here recently put up an online piece about how he reckons that Hong Kong is a cultural desert. Frankly, I think his views are so wrong -- this not least since he seems to equate culture almost solely with indie music and that to be danced to in clubs -- that his piece is just not worth linking to. And also since in the past week or so, this culture vulture's packed cultural life has included attending a screening at the Hong Kong Film Archive of Keisuke Kinohita's sublime Twenty-Four Eyes, a percussion concert courtesy of Musicarama 2010 and the Four Gig Heads, a Hong Kong Sinfonietta concert which had Christopher Hogwood as guest conductor and -- earlier today -- a very enjoyable co-presentation by Opera Hong Kong and the Theatro dell'Opera di Roma of Puccini's La Boheme.

With regards to the latter: I particularly love how the Big Lychee has a plethora of brunch options -- including big English breakfasts at 24-hour breakfast specialists The Flying Pan as well as a number of English-style (and often run) pubs that also offer up traditional English grub, American alternatives such as bagel and lox and Egg's Benedicts at establishments like Staunton's Wine Bar and Cafe in Soho and the New York-style Main Street Deli in Tsim Sha Tsui and -- my personal favorite when I have company -- dim sum at eateries such as Victoria City Seafood Restaurant and the more quirkily named Sportful Garden Restaurant. (N.B. both the dim sum establishments cited are actually restaurant chains -- my personal favorites are the Victoria City branch in Wan Chai and the Sportful Garden in Causeway Bay.)

On a related note, Hong Kong also has its share of nice bars and pubs where one can pleasantly while away some time during a rainy day -- with one of the nicer ones being The Globe in Central by virtue of its extra long happy hours, excellent selection of draft beers (including -- when I most recently visited -- Morland Brewery's Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA), ambitious food options and the kind of laid-back, unhurried atmosphere during the day that makes it so that one can feel comfortable nursing a pint or two while reading the daily newspaper or some pages of a book.

Alternatively put: Carry out one or more of the activities outlined in this blog (or the earlier referenced one)... and I'm reckoning that you won't mind the rain even if you're on a trip of a lifetime to the Fragrant Harbour! And for those who live here, rainy weekend days also can be days to just have a long lie in and take it easy in one's abode... or, if it's looking too messy, a day to consider take some probably over-due time to clean up one's living space! ;D

*Post-script: I just checked out Gweipo's blog and found that she and her kids had a pretty activity-packed October 10th too! And although her day appears to have been spent outdoors far more than me, I'm happy to reference it as one more example of how much there is to do on a Sunday in Hong Kong, a part of the world I honestly do feel is more lively and fun options-filled than the great bulk of this earth.


Gweipo said...

Most of the people who complain that HK is either a "cultural desert" or a "concrete jungle" have never been to a production here and have never been on one of the hiking routes.
I also met a German lady who told me that HK only had 3 restaurants and 2 supermarkets... Our conversation was spectacularly short, particularly as I found out she had been counting the days down to when she could leave since her arrival date.

Another aside, even if it does rain - barring that it's an amber or black thunderstorm, you can still merrily go about your hiking or wandering about, it's not cold or unpleasant, it's actually really nice when it drizzles like yesterday. As long as you avoid having your eyes poked out by other people's umbrellas.

Horsoon said...

I'm so definitely going to take pictures (like what you did with the amzing shot here) when I'm in HK, especially when it rains!


Diana said...

Recently I was riding the bus down 5th Ave in Manhattan on a rainy day. For the first time ever I felt sorry for the people walking in and out of the posh designer stores. If they had been in Hong Kong they would have been able to wrap their umbrella in plastic and shop, stop and have lunch or a snack without getting wet again for hours and hours on end on end. Plus probably have no trouble getting a taxi back to their hotel afterwards. Not so in NYC, every time they want to go to another store, back outside to get wet again, because there are no malls in Manhattan. Sure there are a couple places that claim to be malls, but seriously, there are no malls. Oh, and I think you have a better chance of winning the lottery than you do of catching a taxi in the rain here.

YTSL said...

Hi Gweipo --

"Most of the people who complain that HK is either a "cultural desert" or a "concrete jungle" have never been to a production here and have never been on one of the hiking routes."

Have this feeling that most of these people haven't been to a production or out hiking in their home territories either but complaining about Hong Kong being either a "cultural desert" or a "concrete jungle" is one of those past-times they "enjoy" doing as expats... :S

As for the German lady you met: she's poles apart from my German friend who lived in Hong Kong for 7 years before being sent back, against her will, to Germany by her company.

As for hiking when it rains: I must admit to generally being a fair weather hiker. But there was once when I was so stressed I needed to hike -- so went out with two other friends in the rain, only to find out upon my returning to my apartment that Typhoon Signal 3 had been hoisted in the meantime! ;O

Hi Horsoon --

Am so glad you like the photo on this entry. Was actually contemplating changing it to something less... well.. gray! :D

Hi Diana --

I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it but... yeah, I guess there aren't (many) malls in Manhattan. Ironically, the one mall there that I had been in was the one in the basement area of the World Trade Center... I used to get out of the subway there on visits to New York where I stayed with a college friend's mother. :S

eliza bennet said...

When I'm in Hong Kong my days are so filled with activities and even when I stay 10 days, there are still things I had to leave out.

I simply don't understand how a person will not have anything to do in Hong Kong (but two of my friends went there and there was rain, no typhoon or anything, just simple rain and they told me that they couldn't do anything because of it. So there are people like that even if I fail to understand them.

YTSL said...

Hi "eliza bennet" --

My experience with some people is that they just don't seem to realize what different things they can do when away from their home town/city/village. I have to say I feel sorry for (as well as exasperated by) them -- especially if they then complain of feeling that there's nothing to do in a place they've paid lots of money to travel to for a holiday.

Unknown said...

HK is one of my dream destination i always want to be there my friends and wanna have long holidays. One of the main reason why i always want to be there because i love their food, culture, people everything, just loved it.

YTSL said...

Hi Christopher --

I'm glad to hear that Hong Kong is one of your dream destinations. Definitely do think that there's plenty of fun things to do here -- especially if you like food, Hong Kong culture, etc.! :)