29 November 2009

Kuching "Cat City" Malaysia

Right now I am in Kuching, which translates to "Cat City." It is the far western city in Sarawak, which is the western province of Malaysian Borneo and the biggest state in the country. Tomorrow night I'll start the slow process of getting back to Kota Kinabalu in time for some hiking around the mountain areas of Sabah and then, sadly, heading back to Hong Kong (not so sad actually, I love it there and am somewhat excited to get back to the city and bike on a proper recumbent instead of the things they have here)

Here are a couple of pictures I took today in Kuching. There are tons more, but they will have to wait for another day to get posted :)

26 November 2009


Been in Malaysia for a while now and finally got the computer convert a few RAW files to JPGs so I could post on here!

So, what to say? Kota Kinabalu is a cool place with some of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen.

The formatting of this will be fixed when I get back to HK in a week and a half or so. Internet here is a little bit on the slow side, so have not been able to add any of the images to my regular website. Also, expect some really fantastic news before the new year!!! (Its enough to say that I have not been this stoked in a very long time...)

17 November 2009

Mong Kok Wet Market

Strings of dried fish hanging in stairways in the corner of the main wet market in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. No space is every wasted in places like this, and the stairwars are an ideal place to hand strings of freshly caught fish.

16 November 2009

Bike Shop and Borneo

Cyclist pumping air into his bike's tires in Science Park, Hong Kong.

In about 22 hours I should be 7 kilometers above the surface of the earth, racing south towards Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia at 800km/hr. Taking a few weeks to explore Malaysian Borneo and hopefully create some really beautiful and unique images too. Won't be getting back to HK until December, so updates on this photo blog may not be very numerous.

10 November 2009

Through the Viewfinder (TtV)

A little more creative dabbling on a project I started a couple of years ago while attending school in the state of Wyoming, USA. Its commonly referred to as TtV, or "Through the Viewfinder" photography and is rather enjoyable. Basically, take any tlr (twin lens reflex) camera and use your digital camera to take a picture of the viewfinder. Most people use something cheap like a Yashika or Kodak made of almost all plastic and with horrible optics and picture quality, but I prefer to use my trusty old Mamiya C330 tlr (I still use it with film occasionally and the negatives, scans and prints are beyond beautiful) The ground glass viewfinder on the Mamiya is gigantic and incredibly bright, which is always a pleasure to see.

The image in the viewfinder is actually in color, but since I always load b&w film into it I found this to be a little more appropriate.

08 November 2009

Hong Kong Cycling and Fishing

Along the waterfront of Tolo Harbor there is a nice cycling path. It runs all around the harbor and eventually across the reservoir with branches in every direction inland. Basically, from Ma On Shan to Tai Po its possible to stay right next to the water on this path.

A view of Tolo Harbor in Hong Kong's New Territories. The white cluster of buildings on the left side is aptly nicknamed the Beehive because of a striking resemblance from some angles. Its a very refreshing break from the typical architecture of HK. All along the waterfront from Ma On Shan to Tai Po there are people fishing like this guy.

04 November 2009

Tai O Fishing Village

Buying fruit and vegetables at one of the many stands along the walkways through the village.

Typical scene in the early evening at Tai O.

In case anyone was wondering, this is indeed a dried headless shark skin! One of the wonderful things about Chinese food is that absolutely nothing is wasted, and, with an open mind to try new things, a lot of the food is actually really tasty. On the contrary though there are some things that are extremely far from being tasty too.

Along the waterfront at Tai O fishing village.

Along the waterfront at Tai O fishing village.

Tai O (traditional Chinese: 大澳) is a fishing town, partly located on an island of the same name, on the western side of Lantau Island in Hong Kong.

On the main part of Lantau, a river splits to the north and west and at this fork lies the island referred to as Tai O. Two pedestrian bridges cross the river on its northern and western forks. The village is located mostly on the banks of the river. The western and northern parts of the island facing the South China Sea are uninhabited.

Nearby archaeological sites date back to the Stone Age, but permanent, and verifiable, human settlement here is only three centuries old. Stories that would be impossible to substantiate have Tai O as the base of many smuggling and piracy operations, the inlets of the river providing excellent protection from the weather and a hiding place. In early 16th century, Tai O was once occupied shortly by Portuguese during Battle of Tãmão. At nearby Fan Lau, a fort was built in 1729 to protect shipping on the Pearl River. Smuggling of guns, tobacco, drugs and people remains a documented illegal activity both into and out of mainland China.

When the British came to Hong Kong, Tai O was known as a Tanka village. During and after the Chinese Civil War, Tai O became a primary entrypoint for illegal immigration for those escaping from the People's Republic of China. Some of these immigrants, mostly Han Chinese, stayed in Tai O, and Tai O attracted people from other Hong Kong ethnic groups, including Hoklo (Hokkien) and Hakka.

Tai O has a history of salt production. In 1940, it was recorded that the Tai Po salt marshes were covering 70 acres and that the production has amounted to 25,000 piculs (1,512 metric tons) in 1938.

Currently the fishing lifestyle is dying out. While many residents continue to fish, it barely provides a subsistence income. There is a public school on the island and most young people move away when they come of age. In 2000 a large fire broke out destroying many residences. The village is now mostly squatters huts and dilapidated stilt houses.

Source: Wikipedia

03 November 2009

Goldfish Market

Another of the many cool markets to be found in Mong Kok is the so-called Goldfish Market. There is a two block section along Tung Choi Street to the east of Prince Edward Station (MTR - Tsuen Wan Line) and features dozens, if not hundreds, of shops dedicated solely to aquarium fish and fish products. There are hundreds of types of fish for sale. More sizes and shapes than any normal person has ever seen can be found in the shops along the street and some of them make Charles Darwin look like a fool because they are alive and well! Its worth checking out and a bunch of the shops have some really incredible aquariums set up for both freshwater and saltwater fish with live plants and coral and everything!

Ladies' Market

Hong Kong's infamous Ladies Market is located in the heart Mong Kok in the section of Tung Choi Street between Argyle Street and Dundas Street. It is also referred to as Women's Street (Temple Street is the so-called "Man's Street").

To be honest, most of the stuff for sale at the Ladies Market is overpriced and of poor quality. It is where the hoards of tourists go to shop and experience the logic-defying crowds of Mong Kok, especially during the hours after sunset. Shirts, Skirts, Pants, Blouses and all kinds of other clothing can be found here as well as more watches than most people have seen in their lifetime. Be prepared to haggle quite a bit to get a price thats actually representative of whatever is being bought. For guilos like myself the starting price can be expected to be 2-3 times more than the actual price.

Sai Yeung Choi Street

Sai Yeung Choi Street in Mong Kok, Hong Kong is one of the coolest places in the world if you feel like being an electronics or photo nerd for even a moment. On this street it is possible to find the newest and greatest camera equipment, laptop computers, cell phones and almost anything else imaginable in that product type. If the camera shops and supercenters in New York City are sold out of a camera that just got released (or hasn't been officially released yet) there is guaranteed to be at least one somewhere on this street. Its located in Mong Kok, Hong Kong and is fairly peaceful during the daytime, but once people start getting off work for the day the street becomes extremely crowded and every spot is buzzing with activity and noise.

02 November 2009

Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau is one of the cooler islands in Hong Kong. It is really tiny though, enough so that two hours is ample time to walk the circumference of it without breaking a sweat! (Unless it is summertime, in which case being outside will make you sweat like a pig no matter what) There are no personal motor vehicles on the island, which is cool. Everyone gets around via walking or bicycle and the only to get to and from the island is on a ferry. Its a very green community in all sorts of senses and a pleasure to visit.