Saturday, July 3, 2010

Open (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

As I contemplated what to do for this week's Photo Hunt, I found myself almost not quite knowing what to do or where to start... for, as I'm sure you all will agree, the possibilities as to what photos one can put up for an open-themed entry are pretty... well... open! After some thought (and hunting through my photo archive), however, I've decided to limit myself to just the two photos above.

The first is one of thousands of open air shots I've taken since moving to Hong Kong -- and gives a sense of how openly the authorities invite people to go and enjoy the great outdoors here: what with their not only having established 24 country parks (and these do not include a designated "special (nature) area" at Tai Po Kau and the marine parks and reserves) and a bunch of hiking trails through them but, also, put up barbecue pits and areas, and general picnic tables and benches in often very scenic areas (like, in the pictured case, at Tai Hang Tun (inside Clear Water Bay Country Park) which offers up a view of a few outlying islands and the open sea).

The second is an interior shot of the Tin Hau Temple at Stanley that was founded in 1767 by a famous local pirate called Cheung Po Tsai. Unfortunately for shutter bugs, it also happens to be one of a number of Taoist temples in Hong Kong administered by the frustratingly photographer-unfriendly Chinese Temples Committee (which forbids photography inside the temples it administers). So I was reduced to just taking photos of its exteriors -- and interior only through its open main doors. (On a less negative note, what I also like about this shot is that it shows how there's a courtyard inside the temple whose sense of open-ness is enhanced by its central area being roofless.)

Together, they offer up views of the natural and cultural sides of Hong Kong. And I also like that they appear to balance each other out in terms of colors; what with one being mainly calming blues and greens, and the other containing copious splashes of energetic reds! :b


And Miles To Go... said...

both of those photos are very inviting. I could imagine myself sitting at that picnic table. Very OPEN invitation!

Luna Miranda said...

you're right, the possibilities for today's theme seems endless.:p i also limit myself to just one photo.

it's amazing there are many parks in HK despite the expensive cost of space/land there. great photos.

Colin Campbell said...

Lovely. I really like your commentary. I am too lazy.

Carver said...

These are both wonderful shots for the theme. I always enjoy your posts and learning about Hong Kong and wherever else you take us. Happy weekend.

Sue St Clair said...

Beautiful shots! Many historic sites and museums here also discourage or simply do not allow photography.

Great choices for the theme! Happy weekend :)

Here in Toronto it will be a better one. last weekend was the G20 meeting here and there was some violence in our downtown core :(

Heart of Rachel said...

Lovely photos! I like relaxing in open places with a great view.

Thanks for sharing those interesting things about the temple.

jmb said...

I am always amazed at the open spaces you highlight here YTSL. Such a different side of HK.

Happy weekend to you .

Maya said...

You did a good job of combining the natural and cultural sides of Hong Kong. It is great that the authorities of Hong Kong encourage the people to go out and enjoy the great outdoors.

Life Ramblings said...

I love nature walk offering great views. The air must be refreshing and it's perfect for a walk in the morning.

as far as i know, the Olympic Stadium is still being used twice a year for Marathon.

jams o donnell said...

Excellent photos as ever! Your entries are one of the highlights of a hunt. I always come away knowing a little more about Hong Kong. THank you!

Anonymous said...

We went in a similar direction this week!

Have a great weekend.

Sreisaat said...

As always, great post, YTSL!
I wish we have a lot of open and green spaces around PP. It's just getting crowded and polluted everywhere.

Happy weeekend :D

Sreisaat Adventures

ancient one said...

Both beautiful shots... I thought of many open shots .. had the perfect one for open road... but decided to go for something more fun... thanks for coming by... it is no longer in use :)

Katya said...

Wow, what beautiful places! Not exactly what comes to mind when I think of Hong Kong, so you have opened my mind!!!! Thank you!

My entry is here:

Annie said...

Lovely temple and how cool that it was founded by a pirate.

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, two very beautiful photos and a wonderful take on this week's theme. I also enjoyed learning about the government's encouragements for people to enjoy the outdoors. And the Open-ness of the Temple's courtyard looks very inviting.

Thanks so much for sharing and have a great weekend.

A. said...

The two pictures are, as you say, a great representation of Hong Kong. I could gaze at the top view indefinitely, but how I'd love to see the temple! I've come across the "no photography" rule a little more often recently. I could survive if only they'd sell postcards of what I'm missing.

YTSL said...

Hi "And Miles To Go..." --

Add to your vision a lovely sea breeze wafting in to cool one... hard to resist, eh? ;b

Hi Luna Miranda --

Er... I didn't limit myself to just one photo... ;(

Hi Colin --

Thanks for reading my commentary -- and enjoying it! :)

Hi Carver --

And I appreciate your regularly visiting each week. :)

Hi Sue --

For me, the whole "no photography in temples" thing is literally foreign as it doesn't happen in Malaysia -- or neighboring Macau! At first, had wondered if it was a cultural thang... but it seems it's a control thang on the part of the Chinese Temples Committee. :S

Hi "Heart of Rachel" --

Thanks, me too and you're welcome! ;b

Hi jmb --

Such a different side of Hong Kong it may be -- but it's not that far away from the usually perceived side! ;b

Hi Maya --

With such wonderful outdoors, it really would be a pity if not many people were to take advantage of their existence and enjoy and appreciate them.

Hi Life Ramblings --

To be honest, I hardly go for walks in the morning. Like to wake up late -- so it's walks in the afternoon for me!

Hi jams --

Thank YOU for appreciating. I'm so glad that you like and get something out of my entries! :)

Hi JDeQ --

Yes, it seems we did! :)

Hi Sreisaat --

Oh dear re PP... sounds like you need to get out every once in a while to rejuvenate yourself then!

Hi Ancient One --

Glad to learn that that outhouse is no longer in use! :D

Hi Katya --

Am glad I *open*ed your mind... heheh! :b

Hi Annie --

A piece of trivia re Cheung Po Tsai: Chow Yun Fat played him in "Pirates of the Caribbean 3"! ;b

Hi Trekcapri --

More info re the encouragement to venture into the country parks: have heard from Hong Konger friends that the encouragement started getting especially passionate in 2003 - the year of SARS - as something for people to do and keep fit while keeping busy.

Hi A. --

I don't think they sell postcards of the inside of the temple... and even the page for it on the Chinese Temples Committee website is photo-less:-

Gattina said...

All these interesting informations leave me with an open mouth !

Marta said...

I like the contrast between the two pictures. The first one is especially appealing to me with the distant mountains. I love open vistas.

JO said...

great pictures! thanks for sharing.

Mine's up -- My son, out in the open sea, swimming with the dolphins.

YTSL said...

Hi Gattina --

Teehee... hope your mouth wasn't open *too* long! ;b

Hi Marta --

Er... those aren't mountains in the distance but islands... though I suppose technically, you're right since if you count them from where they are beneath the sea, those would indeed be mountains! ;b

Hi Jo --

You're welcome -- and thanks for visiting and commenting. :)

magiceye said...

superb take on the theme!

YTSL said...

Hi magiceye --

Glad you think so and thanks for visiting once again. :)