Journey to Hong Kong http://annatam.com A Hong Kong Blog Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:23:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Occupy Lion Rock http://annatam.com/occupy-lion-rock/ http://annatam.com/occupy-lion-rock/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:04:35 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5352 [...]]]> Photo by Apple Daily

Photo by Apple Daily

The spirit of Lion Rock, a famous hill in Hong Kong, has been equivalent to the spirit of Hong Kong. So when a group of climbers managed to hang a big, very big, banner from the top of the hill, which reads “I want real universal suffrage”, it is extremely inspiring for the pro-democracy protesters and those supporting the umbrella movement. It rocks the city.

The climbers have given immense positive energy to Hong Kong when the city is in desperate need of it. Hats off to them. They are truly creative and courageous, and have used their skills to do a very meaningful thing for Hong Kong. It is such a clever way to fight for the democracy of Hong Kong. And it is no small feat to climb down the steep edge to hang the giant banner, which measures six metres wide and 28 metres long – Lion Rock is no stranger to climbing accidents. What is more, they may face charge from the government for putting up a banner in a country park area.

Their action has touched the hearts of many. Must watch! It makes you cry.

 

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HK police acts like mainland police http://annatam.com/hk-police-acts-like-mainland-police/ http://annatam.com/hk-police-acts-like-mainland-police/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 05:28:12 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5341 [...]]]> A few Hong Kong police officers arrested a protester, brought him to a dark corner, and then beat him up in turn for four minutes last night.

In today’s Hong Kong, the triads are used to attack peaceful protesters and obstruct press freedom (blocking the Apple Daily from publication), and the police acts like and colludes with triads. Hong Kong police has become as notorious as the police in mainland China in its brutality in dealing with the masses.

The protester who was beat up is actually a social worker, who is even a representative in the social welfare sector to elect the Chief Executive of Hong Kong.

How badly was he injured? Here’s the photo showing.
photo

This video shows another protester was suppressed by police brutally:

This video shows police spraying a protester with pepper at very short distance:

http://www.scmp.com/video?movideo_m=997293

Shame on those, especially those with privilege, siding with the CY Leung government and Beijing government to make HK sink deeper into the abyss!

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Newspaper is blocked from reaching city http://annatam.com/newspaper-is-blocked-from-reaching-to-city/ http://annatam.com/newspaper-is-blocked-from-reaching-to-city/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 16:32:00 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5334 [...]]]> What do you think these protesters are doing? Whatever you think, it is reasonable to assume that they are not proud of what they are doing right? Otherwise they would not have covered their faces or turned away from camera, especially if they are protesters.

Photo: Apple Daily

Photo: Apple Daily

Yes, they have every reason to be ashamed of what they do, because they knew they were bribed (from HK$200 to HK$600) to block the entrance to the building of Apple Daily, the newspaper that is openly hostile to Chinese and HK government and supports pro-democracy movement. (Apple Daily is probably the only newspaper that has not kowtowed to Beijing, and its owner is the only businessman in town openly in support of democrats.). Some 100 to 200 people turned up at the complex of Apple Daily, and blocked its main entrance, leading to the newspaper not being able to reach the city until 10am on 13 Oct. At the time of writing, the newspaper’s complex entrance is still blocked.

One of those participating in the blockage admitted that he answered the call from an association that has links to an area in Guangdong province. And another woman interviewed is from Shenzhen, China.

This is how bad things are in Hong Kong: pro-Beijing forces are resorting to violence and shameful ways to create conflict among people, and destroy the rule of law and the values entrenched in the society. This time they try to curtail the press freedom by stopping Apple Daily from reaching Hongkongers. I don’t want to call them evil but they are indeed evil.

Partly because of evil tactics like this, there is the umbrella movement unfurling, going strong as ever, despite varied threats from pro-Beijing forces and attacks by triads. More suppression, more resistance. That is the rule.

 

 

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How the triads and police were together on 3 Oct http://annatam.com/how-the-triads-and-police-were-together-on-3-oct/ http://annatam.com/how-the-triads-and-police-were-together-on-3-oct/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 13:14:41 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5315 [...]]]> The CY Leung regime called the triads in to attack peaceful protesters in Mongkok on 3 Oct, and police colluded with them, shirking their responsibility of protecting the safety of protesters.

The triad gangs set to work on 3 Oct:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152276095032531

A woman recalled what she saw on 3 Oct. She was upset that many were injured and police did nothing. “Whether you are pro or against occupy-central, I don’t care. Using violence is simply not right.” She said. “The people were injured, and just ignored.”

If you have not read a previous post about another witness account of what happened , please click here.

A student asked help from police, who made no response:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10154735670590157

Police hit the one taking this video with baton:
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152479379252872

A group of women was arranged to go to a police station and given blue ribbons inside the police station. Blue ribbon is the symbol of anti – occupy central movement.

If people want to understand why there is umbrella revolution in Hong Kong, look no further than this. In Hong Kong, even the police has lost its neutrality and credibility, being a political tool only, at the disposal of the government/Beijing. What is equally ugly is that CY Leung and Beijing called in the triads to silence the massive protests in Hong Kong, which however is nothing new in communist China’s history. Those familiar with the history would tell you that this tactic of asking the triads for help is often deployed by the communist regime to stir internal fight so that people fight against people, with the ultimate goal of smearing and elimination of the dissidents.

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The song of Umbrella Movement http://annatam.com/the-song-of-umbrella-movement/ http://annatam.com/the-song-of-umbrella-movement/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 21:25:39 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5313 A group of Hong Kong artists sings this song (in Chinese) to pay tribute to the city’s umbrella movement. A very touching song, which was first sung in last night’s rally against violence, referring to the attack by thugs on peaceful protesters last Friday in Mongkok.

How the song was sung in the rally:

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How HK police colluded with triads http://annatam.com/how-hk-police-colluded-with-triads/ http://annatam.com/how-hk-police-colluded-with-triads/#comments Sat, 04 Oct 2014 08:38:56 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5311 [...]]]> Triad gangs wearing masks to hide their faces attack peaceful protesters in Mongkok yesterday, with police standing idle refusing to interfere.

A friend’s relative passed by when the attacks happened and gave this witness account:

I was in Mongkok this evening and saw with my own eyes some young students were surrounded, intimidated and attacked by a group of men who really looked like triads. Some policemen saw what happened but did nothing. In fact I may go as far as to say the police was pleased to see
the students being challenged by these group of men.
It’s like watching a local triad film.
I think it’s too dangerous for these young people now and they should go home.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have said that about the police, but that was what I witnessed tonight.

A police chief explained that it took the police one hour to arrive at the scene because the protesters blocked the roads and so police had to take MTR from Admiralty to Mongkok. The fact is it takes15 mins travelling from Admiralty to Mongkok, or a better question is: why must the police be deployed from Admiralty to Mongkok?

In fact, evidence is plentiful that the triads were called across the border from China to hit the protesters. With police standing by and doing nothing, confrontation is bound to happen and the tactics of CY Leung and Beijng is clear. Just wait out and watch the people fighting against each other, like what has happened in the history of Communist China. Internal fight and fight and fight. And those at the top and orchestrating the fights just watch with a smirk.

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Inspiring sights at protest site http://annatam.com/inspiring-sights-at-protest-site/ http://annatam.com/inspiring-sights-at-protest-site/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 16:54:31 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5296 [...]]]> Yesterday, I was back to the protest site at Government Headquarters, the epicenter of the pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, now called umbrella revolution, or occupy central movement. Where the police once stood and used pepper spray and tear gas to stop people from entering the protest site, the protesters now stand or sit. The area is still the most inspiring of all the areas occupied by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters.photo 4 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 2 (1) photo 1 (1)

A group of students paint their wishes for democracy and their dream on umbrella.

Another group of students turned the partition for a construction site, just opposite the Central Government Offices, into a democracy wall, inviting people to write their wishes on paper and put up on the wall. The initiative was organized by high school students. A girl in uniform called on the passers-by to join using a loud speaker.photo 3 (3) photo 2 (2) photo 1 (2)

At the turnabout, is an art piece of umbrella.photo (5)

The civic square at the Government Headquarters, originally open to the public, has been surrounded by a high fence, with police guarding behind the fence. It is a testament to the fear of the CY Leung government and to how much aloof it is from its people.  On the other hand, the banners and the yellow ribbons tied to the fence just show how much people hate all this. They want their civic square, and their right to choose their leader. photo 1 (3)

Open the gate, the banner says.

Open the gate, the banner says.

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A day near the epicenter of democracy protest (part 2) http://annatam.com/a-day-near-the-epicenter-of-democracy-protest-part-2/ http://annatam.com/a-day-near-the-epicenter-of-democracy-protest-part-2/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:21:43 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5280 [...]]]> Slogans showing the determination of the student protesters were plastered everywhere in the protest site surrounding the Government Headquarters.

I resist so I exist

The slogan says “I resist therefore I exist”

"Democracy" inscribed on the ground

“Democracy” inscribed on the ground

An old man carries these slogans

An old man carries these slogans

Some were tired and slept on the ground.photo (21)

The items donated by the Hong Kong people to support the democracy movement were plentiful.

"Power to the people" it says.

“Power to the people” it says.

Items donated by Hongkongers pile up

Items donated by Hongkongers pile up

They were mainly water, masks, biscuit, bread, banana, raincoat, and kitchen wrapping paper (for protection against pepper spray).   There are a number of stalls set up to provide such items across the whole protest site.

From time to time, the students walked around distributing wet towels (for protection against pepper spray and tear gas), water, raincoat, food and even umbrella to all those present at the protest site.

The police did not allow people to enter the protest site from noon yesterday, and blocked the way to Tamar Park from Admiralty Station, the main and only way to the protest site. As more and more people wanted to come to the protest site and they were blocked the access, they had to stand at the opposite side, across the Harcourt Road. People were many many, eager to join people at the other side. Only that the heavily armed riot police stood in between.

Then, the people at the opposite side became so many and so frustrated with the police not allowing them access, they started to venture out into Harcourt Road and all of a sudden, I was told they were everywhere in Harcourt Road. I tried to find a high point to look and when I did, that was an amazing sight – the whole section of the road teeming with people, some waiving at us. photo (18)

Harcourt Road teeming with protesters after police denying them access to the protest site

Harcourt Road teeming with protesters after police denying them access to the protest site

It was an emotional and triumphant moment – for people at the protest site, this was a sign that we all stood together. Yet, the police, occupying a narrow space in between and heavily armed, refused to let people from the two sides join. At the end, they fired tear gas, one after one, one after one, to disperse protesters turning up in a growing number.

But every time the protesters dispersed, they came back again to the spot. Again, police had to fire tear gas. And the crowd dispersed, but then gathered again quickly. That is how determined the Hong Kong people were.

CY Leung government has sent riot police to quash the protesters, including using pepper spray and tear gas, holding guns and flashing signs saying that they will fire if the crowd charges. The signal is clear: you protesters are rioters. If not, why were riot police deployed and was tear gas used? The protesters have been peaceful, with many of them students. Just look at this photo. Why riot police?

Students sit quietly in raincoat in front of the police wearing helmets

Students sit quietly in raincoat or with umbrella in front of the police wearing helmets

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A day near the epicenter of democracy protest http://annatam.com/a-day-near-the-epicenter-of-democracy-protest/ http://annatam.com/a-day-near-the-epicenter-of-democracy-protest/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 04:33:44 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5262 [...]]]> When I woke up yesterday to the news that Occupy Central movement had started, I was surprised but I knew I would go and join the students and all others at the government headquarters area in Admiralty. I arrived there at about 11am, and the area was calm and peaceful, with the young people, the high school and university students, organizing every thing, such as distributing water, masks, raincoats and goggles, and making announcements.

The Central Government Offices railing is tied with yellow ribbons, the symbol of Hong Kong's democracy movement

The Central Government Offices railing is tied with yellow ribbons, the symbol of Hong Kong’s democracy movement

One of the resources centres with all stuff donated by Hong Kong people

One of the resources centres with all stuff donated by Hong Kong people

Barriers were set up at various points where police and protesters were separated by umbrellas and barricades.

A student stands at one of the barricade points.

A student stands at one of the barricade points.

Students stood up on the barricade, at the front.

Students stood up on the barricade, at the front.

Some sit quietly in front of the police

Some sit quietly in front of the police

There was announcement from time to time which point needed more people to guard and protect and urging people to gather there. There was also announcement from time to time that the police would force their way in and clear up the site. Later we were alerted that the police were putting up gas masks and asked us to get prepared. But somehow, all the warnings did not materialize and I also believed that the police would not be so crazy that they would use tear gas. So when the police fired tear gas at about 6pm, it caught me off guard, when I had no protective gear at hand – not a mask, not a pair of goggles. I left them with my friend, who at the time was not around. The tear gas sent people rushing away, and the smoke started flowing my way.

The tear gas sent people rushing away near civic square

The tear gas sent people rushing away near civic square

At first I thought I could cope. But soon, my eyes burned, my throat burned, and my tongue burned. It was painful, very painful. Students came to me with water. One after one. Some students gave me salt water to wash eyes. We were then asked to move to Tamar Park. Among those moving to the Tamar Park, were small kids whose eyes suffered from tear gas too. It was getting dark when we settled in Tamar Park.

We retreated to Tamar Park

We retreated to Tamar Park

I was so tired that I had to lie down and take a rest. In front of me, is the beautiful Victoria Harbor, but at the back, I heard the firing of tear gas one after one, one after one. It was bizarre, and ultra-realistic.

The whole day I did not cry. But I woke up this morning, feeling so sad for this city, though at the same time feeling so proud of all the people who have stood up and fought for the dignity of being a citizen.

I was with a westerner friend yesterday. At dusk, when we were forced to retreat to Tamar Park, a young kid, probably 15 years old, came to my friend, saying, please tell the world what happens here. He thought my friend is a journalist.

The Hong Kong people have been very peaceful in their fight. This is really what I and many others saw. They put up their hands to show they did not want to use violence all the time.

The protesters wanted to use the elevator to enter Tamar Park but were denied access. Protesters all held up their hands to show they were peaceful.

The protesters wanted to use the elevator to enter Tamar Park but were denied access. Protesters all held up their hands to show they were peaceful.

It is not the people, it is the police who use excessive violence and should be condemned.photo 2

The police held up a warning banner to stop people from joining those already at the Government Headquarters protest site

The police held up a warning banner to stop people from joining those already at the Government Headquarters protest site

I am truly moved by the solidarity Hong Kong people showed yesterday. They have shown to the world that we don’t want what is dished out by Beijing (no universal suffrage in 2017 as promised by the mini constitution of Hong Kong, but a voting system that is designed to be controlled and screened by Beijing and still want us to call it “universal suffrage”!), and we will fight.

The sea of protesters in Admiralty when it was getting dark

The sea of protesters in Admiralty when it was getting dark

The sea of protesters in Admiralty from afternoon to night

The sea of protesters in Admiralty at night

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Occupy Central starts http://annatam.com/occupy-central-starts/ http://annatam.com/occupy-central-starts/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:44:33 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5254 [...]]]> HK’s Occupy Central movement starts!

Here is the press release of the movement:

September 28 01.00, Occupy Central with Love and Peace (OCLP) formally launched “Occupy Central” and issued the two following demands on political reform: “Withdraw the NPCSC decision, restart the political reform process”.

The two nights of occupation of Civic Square in Admiralty have completely embodied the awakening of Hong Kong people’s desire to decide their own lives. The courage of the students and members of the public in their spontaneous decision to stay has touched many Hong Kong people. Yet, the government has remained unmoved. As the wheel of time has reached this point, we have decided to rise up and act.

The Occupy movement will carry on from the current occupation, using the occupation of the Central Government Office as a starting point. Personnel and materials to support Occupy Central will enter the site. We call on all supporters of OCLP to come to the Central Government Office and to join this act of civil disobedience.

OCLP has two demands:
1.The immediate withdrawal of the NPCSC’s decision on the framework for Hong Kong’s political reform
2.The swift resumption of the political reform consultation. The Leung Chun-ying administration has failed in its duties in the political reform process. We demand that Leung re-submit a new political reform report to the central government which fully reflects Hong Kong people’s aspirations for democracy. If Leung refuses to respond, the action will escalate.

OCLP has undergone a year and a half of deliberations and dialogue with different sectors and has gathered public opinion through deliberation sessions and the civil referendum.

We reiterate we will stand firm in our belief in peace and non-violence. We urge Hong Kong people to respond to the call of history, to stand up and have the courage to be real Hong Kong citizens.

—————————————

And this is what is needed for the people gathering at government headquarters. Please bring to them:

10630609_10152467278702872_5374351510505964936_o

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Riot police used to crush student protesters http://annatam.com/riot-police-used-to-crush-student-protesters/ http://annatam.com/riot-police-used-to-crush-student-protesters/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:09:14 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5250 [...]]]> (updated at 9:13am, 28 Sept)

A revolution is brewing in Hong Kong, as the Beijing-backed CY Leung government is using riot police and pepper spray to crush the student democracy movement. The excessive violence used by the police against the students (many of them secondary students) can only drive more people to turn up for fighting for democracy and freedom in the city. Thousands of people are now converging at the Government Headquarters to protest against the CY Leung government and police’s excessive violence against students.

The charismatic high-school student leader Joashua Wong was arrested and handcuffed away yesterday, and has been denied bail after being charged with three counts of offences (as of updat time 9am 28 Sept) . His place (a small room he shared with his younger brother) was searched by police for two hours, and his computer and hard discs, etc. were taken away. According to the witnesses, the police searched everywhere and everything in his room, including his underwear. The police has been treating Wong, a 17-year-old, like a dangerous criminal! His parents issued a statement saying this is political persecution, especially for a 17-year old kid who has been an activist for pursuing a better HK.

What Leung’s government is doing can only make people explode with anger and the Occupy Central movement will happen, attracting more people to join. In fact, the Occupy Admiralty movement has happened. Hong Kong is entering a civil disobedience era where people will have to fight the uncivilized and authoritarian rule of the CY Leung and Beijing government without resorting to violence.

China President Xi said yesterday that Taiwan should be reunited with China using the one country two systems formula. What a big joke while HK is showing to the world that one country two systems fails miserably. I hope the Taiwanese know at least that one country two systems will never work and Beijing can never be trusted.

Btw, when CY Leung was bidding to be the chief executive of Hong Kong with another candidate not too long ago, he was cited as saying that the riot police would have to be used for suppression. He denied at that time. Now we all know how true it is. The riot police is now in town.

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White terror is finally in HK http://annatam.com/white-terror-is-finally-in-hk/ http://annatam.com/white-terror-is-finally-in-hk/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 16:48:26 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5240 [...]]]> The climate is so chilling in Hong Kong. Five organizers of the July 1 rally were arrested. The police has become the political tool of CY Leung’s government to suppress any political dissent and engage in political persecution. This is glaring contempt of the rule of law and taking away the freedom of assembly from people. One country two systems is dead. Hong Kong is dead.

Good luck to those still thinking that all the “fuss” about July 1 rally and “occupy central” has nothing to do with them.

Occupy central seems to be the only choice people with conscience are left with. They have no other choice, faced with the chilling and oppressive environment CY Leung and his government controlled by Beijing is creating. People will rise up, I am sure. “官迫民反”-The masses will be forced to revolt under oppression by the officials, as a chinese saying goes.

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June 4 vigil in HK, after 25 years http://annatam.com/june-4-vigil-in-hk-after-25-years/ http://annatam.com/june-4-vigil-in-hk-after-25-years/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 15:35:43 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5229 photo 3photo 1photo 2vigil

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A call to action – march this Sunday for press freedom http://annatam.com/a-call-to-action-march-this-sunday-for-press-freedom/ http://annatam.com/a-call-to-action-march-this-sunday-for-press-freedom/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 08:31:38 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5216 [...]]]> I, like many others in Hong Kong, have been extremely concerned about the gradual disappearance of press freedom in the city. This Sunday the 23rd of February, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) will stage a protest against the increasingly blatant attacks on press and speech freedom in HK. Let’s come together to answer the HKJA’s call and march to the Government Headquarters from Charter Garden, Central at 2:30pm.0220_banner

Please see below HKJA’s statement:

Attacks against press freedom and the freedom of expression in Hong Kong have been increasing daily. In the face of such threats, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) and other organisations from the news media will hold a protest on Sunday to support the freedom of expression and resist attempts to silence the media. The protest will end with a rally outside the Chief Executive’s Office, where we will demand the Chief Executive acts to maintain Hong Kong’s space for free speech, free from attack.

The protest will start at 2.30 p.m. at Chater Garden and marchers will proceed east towards Admiralty, passing through Tamar Street and Harcourt Road before arriving at the Chief Executive’s Office in Tim Wa Avenue.

Well-known broadcasters and writers who have been censored will speak at the rally outside the Chief Executive’s Office. Representatives of disadvantaged groups whose plight have been highlighted through the news media will talk about the impact a free press and free speech has on society and people’s livelihood. And members of the younger generation, who learn about the world through the media, will share their thoughts and feelings about their future in a society where facts may be distorted.

“A journalist’s duty is to report, not to protest but our consciences compel us to raise the alarm: those in power are attacking the media and their ultimate aim is to create a population kept in ignorance and blind loyalty,” said Hong Kong Journalists Association Chairperson Sham Yee-lan.

Journalism Educators for Press Freedom, Ming Pao Staff Concern Group, RTHK Programme Staff Union, Next Media Trade Union and the Independent Commentators Association Preparatory Committee share the HKJA’s fears. Together, we urge all Hong Kong people who cherish Hong Kong’s freedom of the press and freedom of expression to stand up and join in Sunday’s “Free Speech, Free Hong Kong” protest; to jointly speak out for Hong Kong’s core values of press freedom and free speech.

For enquiries, please contact HKJA at 2591 0692.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
19 February 2014

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Enchanting Reservoir and Country Walk http://annatam.com/enchanting-reservoir-and-country-walk/ http://annatam.com/enchanting-reservoir-and-country-walk/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 10:03:31 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5193 [...]]]> photo 2Lau Shui Heung Reservoir (流水響水塘) has long lost its irrigation function for agricultural lands nearby as Hong Kong’s farming lands have become a rarity. But the biodiversity there plus the picturesque scenery has made the reservoir area a lovely place for leisure walking.

There is not a path along the reservoir, but a country trail starts from and ends at the reservoir which is about 2-hour walk. photo 1The walk is pretty easy with very mild climbs and has alternative dirt, stone and concrete trail. The middle part of the trail is concrete, after you reach an intersection and a pavilion. Follow the sign pointing to Tai Po Road, and go down the slope a bit, before turning right, when you see this sign,  into a nice dirt path leading to the reservoir. photo 1 (1)This last part of the trail in the reservoir area is very green and captivating.photo 2 (2)

photo 3

photo (2)How to get to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir

The easiest way is take a taxi, with a fare of about HK$60, from Fanling train station. Alternatively, you can take minibus No. 52B, from Fanling train station, the services of which are far from frequent. Get off at the junction of Lau Shui Heung Road and Hok Tau Road, and walk along the Lau Shui Heung Road towards the reservoir. Or simply tell the minibus driver to drop you off for going to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir.

To return to Fanling train station, since it would be hard to hail a taxi, just walk back to the junction, and along the Hok Tau Road towards Hok Tau. You will pass by a BBQ site (Hok Tau BBQ Area) on the way.

HoK Tau Road

HoK Tau Road

When you see this road sign pointing in the direction of Hok Tau Wai, follow it and the bus stop for  No. 52B will be in sight.  photo 3 (1)But be prepared to wait at least half an hour for the minibus as the services are not frequent.

Just next to the road sign (Hok Tau Wai), is a store selling noodles and desserts with outside seating. Its bean curd dessert and sweet potato dessert are excellent. Give it a try before heading back to the city.

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Hong Kong being silenced http://annatam.com/hong-kong-being-silenced/ http://annatam.com/hong-kong-being-silenced/#comments Thu, 09 Jan 2014 10:17:39 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5183 [...]]]> Updated on 12 Feb 2014:

Famous and outspoken radio host Li Wei-ling was fired without any warning or explanation from her employer at Commercial Radio Hong Kong on 11 Feb 2014. She said she believed completely that Chief Executive CY Leung was behind this. 

Updated on 20 Jan 2014:

The latest is that the founder of am730, a free newspaper critical of government and authorities, Shih Wing-ching, disclosed that the mainland capital companies have been withdrawing advertisements from its newspaper. “Beijing will try to shrink the press freedom of Hong Kong all around, as they have lost [out] in the city’s public opinion since the handover,” Shih told Commercial Radio (reported by SCMP on 15 Jan).

The editorial team at am730 issued a statement subsequently, expressing their concern over press freedom being suppressed. 

Reading “Ming Pao” is my family tradition. Until now, my father still buys and reads “Ming Pao” every day, which is widely seen as an influential Chinese newspaper with independence. So when the news broke on 7 January that the newspaper’s chief editor, a Hong Konger promoted to the position two years ago,  will be replaced by a Malaysian, that shocks me and many others. The move is so unusual that it prompts the newspaper staff to sign a petition to ask for explanation of the sudden change and the assurance of editorial independence from the senior management. It also prompted 200 former staff of the newspaper to sign a declaration expressing their concern over the erosion of Hong Kong’s press freedom. Columnists of the newspaper also opted to leave their column blank to protest against the unpopular change of the chief editor.

Without a doubt, Beijing is clamping down on Hong Kong’s press, heavily and successfully. Those caring about Hong Kong have reasons for concern.

Hong Kong media organizations fell one after another in recent years, bowing to Beijing influence. So sad. Beijing Government forgets one thing though. More it wants to control, more things get out of control.

Prior to Ming Pao and am730 incidents, a serious of events have been unfurling, showing how press in Hong Kong is being gradually controlled and self censoring.  This, cannot be turned a blind eye to. When Hong Kong completely loses its press freedom, it is certified dead.

Here is just a sampling of how Hong Kong is losing its press freedom:

SCMP appointed former China Daily correspondent as chief editor in 2011

Hong Kong veteran English-language newspaper South China Morning Post was acquired by  Kerry Group in 1993, whose boss is a Malaysian tycoon with friendly ties to Beijing authority. Since then the century-old newspaper has stirred up a raft of controversies surrounding self censorship.  The appointment of Mr Wang Xiang Wei in 2011 as Chief Editor signifies its total demise, who is a former “China Daily” reporter and a Political Consultative Conference member (only those with friendly relationships with mainland authorities can be appointed such).  A weekly magazine (陽光時務) in June 2012 has produced an exclusive feature, with former SCMP Beijing-based reporter Paul Mooney giving a personal account of why he was kicked out of the SCMP by Wang and the tarnished reputation of Wang as a censor. Read the report here.

Commercial Radio Host Replaced in November 2013

A host of Commercial Radio renowned for daring criticisms of Hong Kong and Beijing authories, was removed from the radio station’s prominent morning show. She was asked to host an evening program instead.

Hong Kong Economic Times’ Self-censorship in December 2013  

A musician who is a columnist for Hong Kong Economic Times complained that the name of Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung was struck out from his column article. The article is about an Ikea toy becoming the symbol of rage of Hong Kongers towards the government led by CY Leung. His article originally mentioned twice CY Leung, and twice, the name was struck out by the newspaper.

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Heritage site turned into youth hostel http://annatam.com/meihohouse-hostel/ http://annatam.com/meihohouse-hostel/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 15:53:21 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5172 [...]]]> Mei Ho House was built in 1954 as a resettlement block to accommodate those living in squats in Shek Kip Mei who lost their home to a fire on Christmas day in 1953. Together with other blocks, it was the first public housing estate – Shek Kip Mei Estate – in Hong Kong and marked the beginning of the city’s public housing policies.

Since no other public housing estates with a “H” shape and dating back to such a long time ago exist, Mei Ho House has been designated as a Historic Building and preserved, and lately converted to be a youth hostel with 129 rooms and dormitories. The hostel commenced operation starting from October this year. For a single room with breakfast included, the price is about HK$300. A double room with breakfast included is about HK$700. Given the high rent in Hong Kong, the prices look reasonable to me, and the rooms seem so much more spacious than the normal hostel rooms you can find in Hong Kong.

Inside the youth hostel is a museum showing the history of Hong Kong’s public housing from 1950’s to 1980’s. Those having visited the museum told me that the exhibits are reminiscent of their childhood and the daily items their homes once had.photo 1 photo 3 The old Hong Kong can also be experienced in the hostel’s cafe with decor reflecting the old time.cf7434fef207fe283c95be624f5db1b5

Check out  Mei Ho House Youth Hostel website for more details. 

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First Book http://annatam.com/first-book/ http://annatam.com/first-book/#comments Sat, 30 Nov 2013 10:23:05 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5155 [...]]]> 安娜_尋找Tashi Deleg_3DI am pleased to share the news that I have joined the ranks of first-time authors. My first book “Looking for Tashi Deleg – The Taste of Travel” (尋找Tashi Deleg – 旅行的味道),written in Chinese, is now available in bookstores across Hong Kong.

Published by Cosmos Books (天地圖書), a Hong Kong-based publisher, the book project is sponsored by Hong Kong Arts Development Council under the literature publishing category. A judge for the Council has this to say about the book:

可以說,這是一本個人生命之旅的報告文學,充滿寫實意味,作者不甘於困居在一個城市之中,在有限的經濟條件下,追求不同的生活體驗,以及豐足的精神境界……將生命中的不可能化爲可能。

(Translation) This can be seen as a literary book in reporting style about one’s life journey, with a realistic touch. Unwilling to be constrained to a city, the author strives to live out varied life experiences with limited economic resources for attaining richer spirituality…For the author, travel has made the impossible in life possible.

To link travel to life and explore the meaning of travel from personal experience is something I set out to do with the book. Hope you will enjoy reading it.

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Title:《尋找Tashi Deleg – 旅行的味道》

Author:安娜

Publisher:Cosmos Books

Price: HK$78

Available in the outlets of Cosmos Books (天地圖書) , Joint Publishing (三聯書店)and Commercial Press (商務印書局) in Hong Kong.

You can also contact me (anna@annatam.com) and order the book.

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Taxi tip for Guangzhou http://annatam.com/taxi-tip-for-guangzhou/ http://annatam.com/taxi-tip-for-guangzhou/#comments Tue, 26 Nov 2013 08:32:25 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5151 [...]]]> I was in Guangzhou last weekend and had the opportunity to take taxi with a relative who is a Guangzhou native.  He told me a secret about Guangzhou: “We Guangzhou people only take yellow taxi. They are Guangzhou people’s taxi.” According to him, the yellow taxi company recruits only locals as taxi drivers, not those unable to speak Cantonese from other provinces. True to his words, we went on a yellow taxi whose driver started to reminisce about the past in Cantonese upon hearing that we were heading to Pan Xi Restaurant (畔溪酒家),a restaurant founded in 1947 and known for its garden setting.

The taxi driver said: “The old tea houses had a distinct flavor, which is long gone. Remember these old restaurants used to have netted windows? The owners would put up the nets over the windows so that the customers would not fly the plates out through the windows. For the bills were decided by the number of plates left on the tables. Flying plates was commonplace then.

“In days of yore, the steamed beef cubes were small as they were never re-heated. Nowadays, the steamed beef cubes are big, as they are heated again and again. The good taste is gone.”

I understand from the conversation why the Guangzhou people trust yellow taxi.

There are seven taxi colors in Guangzhou, representing different taxi operators. The taxi fare is the same despite the myriad of colors.

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Po Toi Island: Great Place to Be (Part 2) http://annatam.com/po-toi-island-part-2/ http://annatam.com/po-toi-island-part-2/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:53:00 +0000 http://annatam.com/?p=5130 [...]]]> If you do not wish to go for the rugged trail as described in Part 1, try this easy trail on the Island. After leaving the pier, turn left and not far on your right hand side, is a narrow path between houses with such handwritten words on the wall, indicating a path leading to country trail:photo 5 (6)Follow the path and you will come across a dessert restaurant called Kun Kei Store (坤記士多). Be brave to walk through the open restaurant – the owners may call out at you to sit down for some dessert soups. You will soon be on a paved trail to see ancient rock carvings of some three thousand years and some of the famous rock formations on the Island, as well as a light house.

The way to see rock cravings

The way to see rock cravings

The rock cravings on the Island are declared monuments in Hong Kong, discovered in 1960s. Two groups of cravings, wearing off,  are visible. photo 4 (7)As I had to meet the 4pm ferry time to leave the Island on the day of visit, I had no alternative but headed back to the pier before reaching the light house. As you can tell, the Island is interesting enough for exploration more than one day. I promised myself I would come back.

Before boarding the ferry, there was still a little bit time. So I was using the time to find out what I could buy from a store near the pier,  run by an old couple who sold herbal tea, seaweed, dry fish, etc. It seemed that they sold everything, even a sugarcane for $10, fresh from the field. There is a moving humanity touch about the Island. photo (98)

photo (100)

The couple dried herbs on the ground and sold them as slimming herbal tea.

They dried fish in the open.

They also dried fish in the open.

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