Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flash and Graffiti/Street Art (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

When hunting through my photo archive for suitable shots for this week's entry for both Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunt, I found a number of nice snaps taken with a flash and a few shots of street art that I could have used if I opted to take part in just one of the two photographic memes rather than both combined.  Happily though, I also did find images that do work for both Photo Hunts -- if one takes "street art" to mean more than just graffiti (which, frankly, I do -- and so does Wikipedia! ;b)

More specifically, this blog entry's photographs were taken in Macau's famous Largo de Senado (AKA Senado Square) and the surrounding picturesquely paved street area.  The top two pictures were taken on a visit in October 2010 -- when decorations for the Mid Autumn Festival were in place in the area while the bottom photo of a beautifully lit-at-night St. Dominic's Church was taken on another visit to the former Portuguese enclave in the Pearl River Delta.

Funny but true: every time I've visited Macau, I've found myself gravitating to this area.  But while its aesthetic quality is undeniable, more often than not, it's because I am craving a gelato from Lemoncello Gelato, a small but cool local gelatoria located a few doors away from the Lou Kau Mansion. For while I can be quite the culture vulture, I have to admit that my visits to -- and itinerary when in -- Macau tend to be primarily dictated by foodie concerns!! ;b  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Motorway (film review)

 Motorway's poster emphasizes 
its lead actor and the car action

Motorway (Hong Kong-Mainland China, 2012)
- Soi Cheang, director
- Starring Anthony Wong Chau San, Shawn Yue, Guo Xiaodong, Gordon Lam Ka Tung, Josie Ho, Barbie Hsu, Michelle Ye, etc.

Is Soi Cheang auteur material or just a journeyman filmmaker?  Not so long ago, I'd have been inclined to say that there was a recognizably gritty "Soi Cheang" element and strain ran through such films as Diamond Hill (2000), Home Sweet Home (2005) and Dog Bite Dog (2006).  

However, not much of that Soi Cheang style is all that obviously apparent in the director's latest movie that, as was the case with Accident (2009), is a Milkyway Image work (head) produced by Johnnie To.  Indeed, I'd actually venture to suggest that Motorway may well be one of the most generic feeling Milkyway Image movies I've viewed to date.

It doesn't help that this crime actioner's story (that comes courtesy of Joey O'Bryan) really doesn't come across as anything special -- and, indeed, can seem like it would be more at home in "by the numbers"  Hollywood than Hong Kong, or at least the often super risk-taking, quirkier and wilder Hong Kong cinema of yore.  Simply described, the movie's about a hot-headed rookie cop with a partner who's on the verge of retirement, and an ace get-away car driver who both policemen have personal as well as professional reasons to want to bring to justice.  Put this way: Many film viewers should, from reading the previous line alone, be able to predict the fates of all three of the cinematic effort's main characters.

On the other hand, it's not every day that a movie can boast having Shawn Yue playing the rookie cop and Anthony Wong taking on the role of his veteran policeman partner -- and the sheer "watch-ability" of this pair of actors really does help save Motorway from being boringly average.  Coming off a winning performance opposite Miriam Yeung in Love in the Buff, the younger man -- who I have to admit to having a bit of a soft spot for ever since Just One Look (2002) -- shows that he also can hold his own next to Anthony Wong, now firmly established as one of contemporary Hong Kong cinema's biggest as well as more charismatic star actors.

Actually, I'd say that the film generally benefits from having a cast so good that one often finds oneself wishing that many of the actors -- and, in particular, the three actresses who feature most in the work -- had more screen time than they do.  In addition, Chin Kar Lok's action direction and his stunt team are deserving of praise -- since even someone like myself who is not a car fan was feeling the adrenaline pumping during more than one of Motorway's many car chase scenes!

All in all, my take is that there's an admirably professional look, feel and quality to this Milkyway production.  And while I did find myself wishing that there were more exciting twists and interesting touches to Motorway's tale to give the movie more of a "spark", I'm also grateful that -- unlike certain of their colleagues (like those behind such as *cough, cough* Murderer) -- its filmmakers did resist the seemingly all too common urge to come out with some surprise mega "development" midway through or close to the final straight that would turn it into one massive car wreck of a movie!
My rating for this film: 7 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Peng Chau sights (Photo-essay)

One day last summer, I spent a de-stressing Sunday afternoon on Peng Chau.  While I covered quite a bit of ground and went up and down the island's two highest points, I have to admit to having some hesitation describing what I did as actual "hiking" -- since Peng Chau's highest point, Finger Hill, stands at just 95 meters above sea level, and the entire island has a total area of (slightly) less than 1 square kilometer.

At the same time, I was on the go for much of my visit to that small as well as quiet corner of Hong Kong -- and took a number of photos featuring natural landscapes as well as more built-up ones.  So here's presenting the following photo-essay that I'll go ahead from that day's excursion, some parts of which I'm going to go ahead and say involved a gentle hike (but a hike all the same!)... ;b

After getting off the Peng Chau ferry, I made for the hill 
up in the north of the island that may be just 40 meters 
high but still is topped by a trigonometrical station! :b

The kind of rock formation one'd expect to have a name
in Hong Kong but actually does not!

This coastal path has a name though -- with 
the Peng Yu Path also being part of the 

Morning glory flowers are a common sight in the Big Lychee
but I haven't usually seen them on a beach -- as was
the case when I visited Peng Chau

As this photo shows, the day of my visit was
on the gray and drizzly side -- but this state of affairs
didn't stop me from clicking away on my camera!

 Street scene in the main built-up section of Peng Chau
that includes the sight (on the left) of a stone tablet

 Steps leading up to the top of Peng Chau's highest hill
 (atop which there of course was to be found 
another trigonometrical station -- woo hoo!)

Muggy day view of a vista that I figure could be picturesque 
on a clearer, sunny day -- which means I'll  just
have to go back there again on a day with better weather! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Camouflaged creature sighted and photographed!

Hard to spot but it's there: A grasshopper that's 
barely visible against a sandy-pebbly background

Can you see the toad in this picture?

 A more close-up view might help -- but what I reckon really 
makes a difference is when its eyes are opened more widely!

On my way back from a post-hike dinner this evening, I received a text message from a friend who told me of her hiking group having been attacked and stung by some unknown insects earlier in the day.  I really felt for her -- especially since just two weeks ago, she had told me of the group she had been hiking with that day having been stung by bees while out in a different section of the Hong Kong countryside.

Touch wood but the only time to date that I've been stung by a bee was years ago when I was living in Philadelphia.  And the creatures I encountered while out hiking earlier this Sunday in Sai Kung East Country Park were, for the most part, either trying to get far away from me (and out of my camera's range) or hoping that their camouflaged natures would mean that I would not see and bother them!  

To be sure, spotting some of these camouflaged creatures is one thing and snapping photos of them that are to my satisfaction is another thing entirely. And I have to say that one small green bug in particular left me feeling pretty frustrated this afternoon because it happened to have chosen to settle on a small leaf that kept on being blown by the wind and consequently never stayed still enough for me to get the photo(s) of the bug that I wanted.  (So much was the leaf blowing that I noticed the insect clinging on to the leaf's twig with its antennae as well as holding on to the leaf itself with at least a couple of its legs!)

Rather than dwell too much on that though, I'll console myself by pointing out that I did manage to take a number of non-blurry photos of other critters I spotted on today's hike -- including those at the top of this blog entry.  Looking at the third photo, I'm reminded of a lovely Enid Blyton story I read as a child about a rough-skinned toad thought ugly until one's focused on its eyes and realized how beautiful they are.  I wish I could remember that tale's title (not least so I could cite it as one of those really cool stories by an oft criticized author) -- but in any event, I want to say after all these years, "Enid, you're really right!" :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hot and Cooking (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

For those who wondered why I missed Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts last week: This time last week, I was back in Penang -- whose capital, George Town, was inscribed onto UNESCO's World Heritage List back in 2008.  As many Penangites (including myself) have long thought and maintained however, this Malaysian state's greatest cultural heritage may well be its great food -- specifically that which is served up by hawkers in open air locales or open front kopi tiam (which literally translates from Hokkien to English as coffee shop(s)).  

Increasingly, the word seems to be out in the international foodie community -- with the likes of Anthony Bourdain proclaiming that "Penang is the kind of place that ruined me for an ordinary life" (Elaborating further on the Penang episode of No Reservations, he talked about how "It's the condiments here, the chilis. Once you have that, there's no going back.") and The Guardian (via John Brunton) stating that "Penang has the best street food in Asia".

While I was still in Hong Kong, a friend e-mailed to make a suggestion for dinner that Saturday night.  (We Penangites are like that.  So food obsessed are we that our customary greeting is "Have you eaten yet?"; this phrase used decades -- centuries even -- before "What's cooking?" was used as greeting over in the U.S.!)   Specifically, she suggested that we have lok lok (AKA "dip dip" -- because eating lok lok involves the diners dip, dipping and thereby cooking the sticks of food they want to eat into a pot of boiling hot water) at the hawker center that springs to life in the evenings in the vicinity of Pulau Tikus Market.

So last Saturday night saw my friend and I seated at one of those special lok lok tables (whose center houses a boiling hot pot of water) sampling the fare prepared by stall proprietor Ah Seong.  (And no, we didn't eat everything on the table -- it was just there for us to choose from!  Also, I have to admit to not daring to try the spicier hot sauces on the table and, instead, sticking to a combination of peanut-y satay and sweet hoisin sauces.)  

I also couldn't resist some of the other fare being cooked up at other stalls in the hawker center -- and what with it being really hot at the table (as a result of our close proximity to the hot boiling water increasing the area temperature on an already hot equatorial climate evening!), my friend and I also ended up needing to have a couple of non-alcoholic drinks each. 

If truth be told, this kind of dining arrangement seems like it would be far more suitable for cooler weather and colder climates.  But I guess it fits in with the line of thinking that perspiring helps cool one down!  In any case, if the food is tasty and the company cool (or hot? ;b), then people don't seem to mind -- and do enjoy -- the lok lok experience on offer in many parts of Penang.  Indeed, so popular is this dining option that tables often have to be shared with complete strangers -- and rather than minding, hey, it may just add to the overall communal dining out experience! :)

Addendum: Eck!  I just realized that this week's theme for Gattina's Photo Hunt is fashion, and cooking was last week's!  Too late now to change though... so consider me finally putting up an entry for last week's theme chosen by Gattina along with this week's theme chosen by Sandi!  ;(

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A hike along the Shek Pik Country Trail (photo-essay)

Along with the nearby Nei Lak Shan Country Trail (along which I had my favorite hike of 2010), the Shek Pik Country Trail was announced as having permanently closed to the public in June 2008 as a result of having been damaged by landslides caused by heavy rain that came along with a passing typhoon.  Upon learning of this, I was upset -- not least because I had been eyeing that particular Lantau Island trail as one that I might want to go on.  

Happily, a couple of years on, the authorities elected to re-open the steep 5.5 kilometer trail that, after being on it, I suspect may have been used in days of yore by pilgrims making their way up to the Po Lin Monastery up on the Ngong Ping plateau.  So, one late spring afternoon, my then regular hiking companion and I decided to descend from Ngong Ping to the banks of the Shek Pik Reservoir along the trail -- i.e., the hard way, by my reckoning, since I often find it far more difficult to go down a steep trail rather than hike up it!  (For the record, one reason why I only have enough suitable photos for just one photo-essay is because I was obliged to spend quite a large part of the hike carefully watching my step rather than being able to comfortably look all around me for interesting sights, including scenic vistas and cool bugs!)

 The kind of exotic looking flower one is likely to see
while out hiking in the Big Lychee

 A few minutes walk away from the Big Buddha is the
Ngong Ping trail head for the Shek Pik Country Trail

View of the monumental carvings of the Wisdom Path which looks
ancient but actually were only completed in 2002!

Cloudy day view of the Shek Pik Reservoir area
that would be our hike's end

Along a part of the trail that looks close
(in more ways than one)to a dry river bed!

 An alternative view of the country trail and the 
reservoir that gave its name to the former

Looking at the trail carved into the hillside, one has
to give kudos to those who created it -- far more
than those who go ahead and go along it!

Shek Pik Reservoir at long last -- and to get a sense of how far 
we had come, realize that we had started our hike from near 
the Big Buddha that looks so very small in this particular photo! :b

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Anthony Bourdain missed in Penang

Some of the options to ladle onto one's plate of rice
at my favorite Malay rice stall in Penang

There are so many delicious choices to be had that even
regular customers need to pause to ponder a while
what they want to have for lunch when they visit! ;b

My choice on my most recent visit -- including
a drink of ice rose syrup water with a lime for added flavor! 

A couple of weeks ago, thanks to the wonders of Youtube, I watched the No Reservations in Penang episode that had aired in the US on June 4th.  Fortunately, because I knew I'd be back in Penang soon, I wasn't too jealous of No Reservations' main man, Anthony Bourdain, getting to eat all sorts of delicious dishes in that part of the world.  

In the very first season of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain and his crew had visited Malaysia -- but, inexplicably to me (and many other of the region's foodies), had not included Penang in his itinerary then.  So it seemed long overdue for him to feature Penang -- but when I have to say that the wait was worth it.  Put another way: I really do reckon that he generally did good by it -- and has made many a Penangite happy and proud in the process.

At the same time, I have a couple of quibbles re the representation of Penang and its food scene.  One of these is that Penang (like with Hong Kong) is both an island and a larger territory (that includes other islands and a "mainland" -- with Penang's being part of Peninsular Malaysia).  The second is that I'm surprised that, aside from the opening shots focusing on nasi lemak, such short shrift was given to Malay foods in No Reservations' Penang episode. 

With regards to the latter: Anthony Bourdain clearly enjoyed the bowl of assam laksa that he had at the Air Itam market and it's true enough that particular stall would be many people's choice for best Chinese assam laksa place. However, this Penangite actually prefers Malay assam laksa -- with its soupier (rather than thicker) broth, softer (less "springy") noodles and less generally tart taste (due to it not having pineapples in its mix unlike the Chinese version) -- and specifically, those cooked up at the Laksa Tanjung Bungah stall over at Shamrock Beach.

And while I also would recommend nasi kandar as a "must try" for foodies visiting Penang, I really do like my Malay rice options as well as Indian Muslim ones.  Consequently, while I did make a point to revisit Hameediyah for my nasi kandar "fix" (rather than Anthony Bourdain's choice of Line Clear), I also was very happy to have managed to fit in lunch at the Malay "economy" rice stall in Tanjung Tokong that's located in the shadow of the fishermen's flats.

For those who are wondering, the toppings I chose for my rice consisted of (from left to right in the third photo from the top of this entry): crunchy winged bean, red onion and chilli salad, rich-tasting curried beef kidney (don't knock it until you've tried it!), meaty-tasting curried fish roe (ditto!), a sweet and spicy curried pineapple chunk, and a tangy mango, onion and red chilli salad.  All this -- and my rose syrup drink -- for less than 6 Malaysian dollars (i.e., less than US$2 or HK$15).  So yes, a real bargain -- one more thing about Penang food that Anthony Bourdain forgot to mention... but I'll forgive him for that as I get the feeling he was enjoying his Penang food too much to notice how much (or, rather, little) it all cost! ;b

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Picasso exhibition experience

Banner for the bumper Picasso exhibition 
currently on at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum

is the official title of this exhibition that runs through to July 2012

A couple of weekends ago, I went and checked out the exhibition of 56 Picasso paintings and sculptural works (and also 41 documentary photographs and 1 video about the late Spanish artist) that is currently on at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.  A couple of weeks before my visit, I went to the URBTIX counter at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre to book a ticket for one of the show's viewing sessions.  (Due to the exhibition's anticipated popularity, admission was restricted to a certain number at each given time slot.) 

Perhaps because I spoke to her in English (instead of Cantonese), the woman manning the counter must have assumed that I was a tourist.  I surmised this because as she handed me my ticket, she asked somewhat anxiously, "You do know that the exhibition is being held in Shatin, right?"! 

An alternative interpretation might be that she wanted to make sure that I knew that the Picasso exhibition was being held at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum rather than -- as might conceivably be more expected -- the Hong Kong Museum of Art (which, incidentally, is located just a few minutes' walk away from that URBTIX counter).  But, then, this is just one of the curiosities about this exhibition that's part of the 2012 Le French May programme but still is running in June and will only end in late July!

A knowledgeable source told me that the Hong Kong Heritage Museum is playing host to this exhibition of works from the Musee National Picasso (which currently is closed to the public until the summer of next year on account of renovation work being carried out on it) because it's the Hong Kong museum with the largest exhibition halls.  And while it's true enough that Picasso art works have little association with Hong Kong heritage (and vice versa), the same could be said of the work of Pixar and this time last year, this same New Territories museological institution -- and precisely the same galleries within it -- did play host to a super popular Pixar: 25 Years of Animation exhibition.

As it so happens, it rained the day that I went to view the Pixar show -- so the crowds were smaller in number than usual for that exhibition.  Unfortunately, I had no such luck on the afternoon that I went to check out the Picasso exhibition -- and in fact, the huge, jostling crowd in the first two galleries I went into threatened to spoil my museum going experience that day.  (Put this way: it was hard to get complete, unobscured glimpses of any of the works installed in those galleries -- and things were not helped at all by the presence of a guide and the numerically large group of people standing around straining to listen to her pearls of wisdom.)

Fortunately, despite my contemplating doing so out of sheer frustration, I didn't end my visit after going through the connected Thematic Galleries 3 and 4.  For after I exited into the corridor from Thematic Gallery 4 and walked a few meters to the entrance of Thematic Gallery 5 (which is separated from the other two galleries by the Chao Shao-An Gallery that's home to a different exhibition), I discovered that many visitors to the Picasso exhibition didn't seem to have realized that that show continued into one more gallery!

In this case, many people's loss was most certainly a few people's gain.  For those few of us who continued into Thematic Gallery 5 found ourselves with ample space to not only get wonderfully unobstructed views of the paintings and photographs on the gallery's walls but also able to walk a full 360 degrees around the sculptural works on display in that large room!

And for the record, I don't think it coincidental at all that my favorite painting (Claude Drawing, Francoise and Paloma) and sculpture (one of a bronze cat simply entitled Chat (i.e., the French word for cat)) of the show are on display in Gallery 5 (rather than 3 or 4).  For let's face it: however good a piece of art, one does need good conditions to be able to (better) appreciate it -- and those good conditions do include there being ample space between a viewer and other people in the room as well as sufficient space between a viewer and the works of art he or she views!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From Jardine's Lookout to Mount Butler (Photo-essay)

While getting ready to "work" on this blog entry, I got to realizing that this will be my fourth consecutive hiking-themed/related blog post in a row.  Should anyone wonder, yes, I really do do other things in Hong Kong besides go hiking.  However, it's also true enough that I take far more photos while out hiking than when doing anything else in the Big Lychee.  

Hopefully though, when viewing the photo-essays taken while hiking one beautiful spring afternoon from Wong Nai Chung Gap to Jardine's Lookout and then from that 433 meters high Hong Kong Island peak on to 417 meters high Mount Butler (which Wikipedia alternatively states is 436 meters high) before descending down to busy near sea level King's Road, you'll understand why this is the case!  And if this and others of my hiking photo-essays make you want to go out into the Hong Kong countryside, all the better! :b

See?  I'm far from the only person who gets the urge
to take photos from atop Jardine's Lookout! ;b

Not to rub it in -- but this photo really does not do
the splendid view that stretched for miles real justice

...and while some consider this quarry just to the east
of Jardine's Lookout to be an eyesore, I find it
an interesting and eye-catching sight

Of course, one also has to make sure to not get
too distracted by the unfolding views -- because it
really wouldn't do to slip and fall on this trail!

Evidence that these views don't come for free
-- in that one does need to use up some energy
to go along this trail! ;)

and the surrounding landscape from atop Mount Butler

 A butterfly spotted on Mount Butler that looks like
it flew straight out of fairyland!

Suffice to say that I spotted a number of butterflies on
Mount Butler that afternoon -- and that at least one pair 
of them were busy... getting very intimate indeed! ;b

Sunday, June 10, 2012

High point(s) of today's hike in Tai Lam Country Park

Ever looked at a hill and wished you could climb 
all the way up to its peak?

On a previous hike, a friend and I came so close to the top 
of the hill to the right in the previous photo, only to find that 
the trail that we were on didn't go all the way up it

Today though, my hiking companion and I accidentally
came across a trail that led all the way up 
474 meter high Shek Lung Kung

Even on an afternoon where storm clouds threatened,
the panoramic 360 degree views from the top
of Shek Lung Kung were very impressive indeed :)

A friend who has lived in Hong Kong for six years now started going hiking with me last September.  This afternoon, we went on our 25th hike together.  Several hikes ago, as I was telling him the proposed route for a particular excursion, he -- who I met through a mutual passion for Hong Kong cinema -- told me, "I get it, we're doing director's cuts of previous hikes you went on!"  

While I couldn't help but laugh at his comment (and particular choice of terminology), I have to say that he does have a point!  For it is indeed true enough that I have gone on some hikes with him that essentially followed trails that I previously had been on before (with other people), only I often add something extra or make a change or two to the route this additional time around to make the hike more interesting.

As an example, this Sunday, I took my friend along the Lin Fa Shan to Yuen Tsuen Ancient Trail hiking route (which, its name notwithstanding, actually begins at Tsuen Kam Au a few kilometers northeast of Lin Fa Shan) that I had been on a couple of times previously (as the photo-essays here, here, here and here show).  But rather than go along the exact same route in this now familiar area of Tai Lam Country Park, this afternoon, we first sought out the fire lookout post that Ulaca had written about and checked out the panoramic views to be had from a few meters higher up that particular hill before back-tracking a bit and heading southwards to Lin Fa Shan, then ended up going up to the top of Shek Lung Kung rather than round the side of the hill like on my previous hikes in the area.

I have to say that I feel a particular sense of satisfaction at having finally hiked up to the top of Shek Lung Kung. And yes, there are 58 Hong Kong mountains and hills higher than it.  Still, it's one more Hong Kong hill with a trigonometrical station that I've now been up to -- woo hoo! -- and as an added bonus, this hill also is one that has a navigation beacon or light and signal station atop it!  

And, actually, while climbing up to the top of Shek Lung Kung was cool, I derive more of a sense of achievement from successfully getting down it as in doing so involved my overcoming the fear I often get -- when seeing step-less steep slopes -- that I'll slip and fall off the hill!  This all doesn't mean that I want to attempt to climb up and descend from Sharp Peak any time soon, mind.  Still, today's experience did help me to take one more step on the road to becoming more confident about going down steep slopes after the low of that which to my mind remains "the hike from hell" -- and for this, I want to say "Thank you for your help and patience" to my hiking companion this afternoon once again!  :) 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Clean and graveyards (This week's Photo Hunt themes)

There's no doubt about it: when out hiking in Hong Kong, sooner or later, you will come across a grave or more, and pass by or pass through a graveyard.  Often, you will find these graves and graveyards to be located on hillsides, many of which face a body of water (usually the sea but I've also seen graves facing out to reservoirs, dams and other bodies of freshwater).  And usually, even if they are old, they look to be pretty well maintained and clean.

In my first year in Hong Kong, I used to occasionally go hiking with a Chinese woman who would get upset whenever our mutual (German) friend and I would take pictures of particularly impressive individual graves we spotted or almost invariably well-maintained and clean graveyards we were passing by or through.  The impression I got was that she thought that we were being disrespectful and disturbing the dead by photographing their resting place.    

In my defence, I don't think that I am likely to go click crazy whenever I spot a grave or graveyard -- be they clean or not -- the way that I do when I spot such as an interesting critter or more, or come across splendid vistas.  But as evidenced by this week's entry for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunt, it's undeniably the case that I am indeed guilty of going ahead and taking photos of graves and graveyards on my hiking excursions. 

One reason stems from my continued fascination with how -- despite there being a preponderant of Hong Kongers whose preference is to steer clear of final resting places of people, particularly those they are not related to -- quite a few hiking trails really are laid out so close to graves and graveyards.  Another is that, in all honesty, it really does seem like many a grave or graveyard is laid out in a choice spot for viewing the surrounding scenery.

Traditionally, the Overseas Chinese in places like Malaysia sought to have final resting places on high land overlooking the sea.  (Even more ideally, these final resting places would look towards China, with the thought being that they would be able to look across the sea all the way back to their ancestral land.)  Although Hong Kong is (now) part of China, it seems that there's some elements of that thinking behind choices of ideal final resting place.  In any event, the result is -- as I think the third photo in this entry particularly shows -- many a grave and graveyard being located in places where the living enjoy great views (along with the apparently still seeing dead occupants of those final resting places)!