Thursday, 2 December 2010

Photoblog Hong Kong: Cheung Chau

Another happy family adventure! Coming by ferry into Cheung Chau.

I think it is the cutest looking island in Hong Kong. It has a waist so small, you can stride from one side to the other in five minutes. We do that, obviously. Even if one family member is a bit sulky. Not telling you which one. She is the grumpity mockersbong who points out all the miserable bits of your delightful stroll on the lovely island.

Like Lamma Island, Cheung Chau has no roads, but paths which are filled with bikes, people, and the odd emergency village vehicle. It's very holiday feel and the little streets are very endearing.

Unlike Lamma, the main town is big, with more than one street to wander. On Lamma, you get the shopping path stretching from the Public Toilet to the woman who sells the inflatable shark and that's your lot. Round here there is an overwhelming amount of shopping to be done. There's even a Wellcome, Park n Shop, Circle K and McDonald's! Get that!

Happily, and now I'm ignoring the offyput scowlerflosh, the town feels quite traditional, fishy, and local labour. In fact, there are so many images that divert and delight me, I become quite transfixed with snapping away and looking in every direction except the one my feet travel. Even after the head collision with the sign post I found myself still wishing I had a decent camera instead of a beat up old phone camera with a dodgy battery. It was all that good, whatever the glumble lippypout mumbles.

When the old ladies start staring at me, ganging up on me, and trying to sell me dead fish, I am not one bit deterred. I merely photograph the hat and rice shops, one of the many local shrines, and an interesting door.

But of course I have an educational mission here. It's not all photography fun and games. I'm after the Watersports Centre, in the hope that I can land my sulky globsnotter on a flat chunk of plastic and maybe push her off into the South China Sea with a map of the Philippines. (Only joking, Ofsted! You can call this parental-end-of-tether moment, PE.)

It's all usefully signposted. And I approve of the 3,500 year old rock carving getting a sign post like that. Remember ladies, the seven hours I dragged you round Northumberland? Five minutes in Cheung Chau and we see a sign.

By the bye, here it is.

But I am distracted. Rock art is not the focus for today. There's a lovely walk by the beach. Except that the beach is very Chinese. Municipal, functional, filled with reprimands and prohibitions, No Gaiety Permitted, that sort of thing. I swear they have miserable bastards come round to slop grey paint over any colour like bright orange or primrose yellow. Then I remember all over again why we need social classes. I like a faded pile of ancient upper mixed with an uninhibited heap of shocking pink. I want that. Especially at sea sides.

Anyway, we follow the family trail over the hillside. The crumply grumply doesn't want to go. I ignore her, and say the walk is called something like the mini great wall.

Don't ask me why. Your guess is as good as mine if you use the information boards.

Nice views of cute Cheung Chau, though.

Even here there are distractions. Like a big board the family can hide behind, waiting for the huffly snobblegrog to come grumbling and complaining up the hill. Now her lovely family can cheer her up by jumping out at her and going BOO!

Well that didn't work, obviously. Never mind. To amuse us instead, the Chinese have placed granite rocks in interesting formations along the shoreline...

... and built a pavilion where the workmen can wash their trousers.

When that fun runs out, and the groffleweed starts broaking and froaking and drumbling again, we can always amuse ourselves with the public signage.

I liked this one. Fire beating is such an ordinary event on Cheung Chau. See a fire, beat it out with a wooden stick and some strips of what look like rubber at the end, then remember to return your beater. Note those instructions. Do not, if you see a fire, Clutch your head. Scream. Run about shouting Fire! That is not very community minded. It is certainly not correct Chinese behaviour.

Now, once we're back to the beach, mustn't forget the Watersports Centre.

I am told this is not for people who die on the one day crash course. Although Wikipedia says the idea for a Suicide Theme Park didn't get anywhere.

Why anyone would want to end their life here on Cheung Chau, I don't know. I mean, it has long sandy beaches and is a pretty town with proper elderly folk in hats.

If I were pushed to the edge of despair and contemplating suicide, which I deny completely by the time the mishery soddle has gnawed and grumbled in my consciousness for five unrelenting hours, I would choose a purple velvet ballgown, an assortment of head lifting medications and a bottle of whiskey. Then I'd alert the neighbours so they could come round and have a laugh while I was lowered out the attic window from the third floor.

No, I wouldn't choose cute little Cheung Chau at all. Highly recommended for photography.

We'll probably let you know about the crash course on watersports.


sharon said...

Hope the grumble wortle person didn't spoil your lovely walk too much. You'll be glad to know that I enjoyed it mightily ;-)

Presumably you have beaten the quasi bird flu, or whatever it was, into submission?

Fran said...

Oh thank you, you entertain me regularly and bring back memories of my 2 who at over 30 still have trouble snarling at each other nicely!!!!

Kelly said...

Thanks so much for the pictures of Cheung Chau! Can't wait to show them to Bruce. It was our home in 82-83. Can't believe how long ago that is now!