If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen a lot of these photos. If not, well, you’ll recognize the square format and the filters.

We’ve been back from Angkor Wat for a month now.  My new job is still taking up a lot of my time, and it’s been raining pretty much nonstop, so our adventures have been a bit more modest.

I think

I think this photo might even be from before the Easter trip.  Doesn’t it look like this might have been a sunny day?

A couple of weeks ago we visited one of the towns on the south side of Hong Kong Island, Aberdeen.  Aberdeen is in a little bay, but there’s another small island immediately across from it, Ap Lei Chau, which forms a very narrow harbor.  More importantly, it creates a natural typhoon shelter, blocking storms coming in from the sea.  Aberdeen used to have Hong Kong’s biggest and oldest shipyard (the Hong Kong and Whampoa Dockyard), and still has an active, if small scale, fishing industry.

Aberdeen harbor

Aberdeen harbor.  That’s a lot of fishing boats!

There’s not really that much to see or do in Aberdeen, plus it started to rain, so we went on to Stanley, another town on the south side (which I’ve mentioned before here, and is currently in the blog’s masthead).

I know this photo is cropped strangely.  It's because the subject of the image is meant to be the cloud that has fallen on top of the island in the distance there.

I know this photo is cropped strangely. It’s because the subject of the image is meant to be the cloud that has fallen on top of the island in the distance there.

On another weekend, we took a trip to an island we hadn’t seen before, Cheung Chau.  We went specifically because every year on Buddha’s birthday, the island hosts a festival featuring giant towers of steamed buns.

Buns and dumplings are called bao.

Buns and dumplings are called bao.  This is a mini bao tower at one of the many bao shops.  We tried the sesame.

Full size bun towers.

Full size bun towers.

There’s a competition to climb the bun towers, but we were there a day too early to see that part.  Plus, the towers are just one of several entertainments offered for local deities’ pleasure.

I think it's an acquired taste.

I think it’s an acquired taste.

There is also Cantonese opera in a temporary stage in front of the main temple.  We watched for a bit, even though we couldn’t understand anything.  The music is entirely unlike Western music, and to our ears it sounded screechy.  Someone standing near me told me that the performances were quite good, so, I’m clearly just not accustomed to the sound.

Across from the makeshift opera stage were these guys.

Dudes.

I think it’s hard to tell how big these are from the photo.  Each figure here is about 15 feet tall.

I have to admit to you–I’m not sure what these figures are for.  They were made of papier mache, and I think they get to go on parade on the main festival day.  I wonder if they also get burned up at the end, just because it seems a lot of things pace of paper are destined for incineration and therefore passage to the next world.

Juan and I also went inside the temple.  We couldn’t take photos of the interior, but here are some cool motifs from the exterior.

Tiger mosaic.

Tiger mosaic.

Roof lion.

Roof lion.

A few days after the Bun Festival, we visited another small Hong Kong landmark, the Mong Kok Bird Garden.  It is a market entirely for birds and their accoutrements, and one of few charming holdovers from Hong Kong’s old days (although “holdover” is a bit misleading–the original market here was bigger, and more organic/disorganized.  This Bird Market is in a lovely new architectural space designed especially for this purpose).

Birds.

Birds.

More birds.

I was trying to get a good shot of his color, but he was jumping around so much, this is the best I could do.

There were a few modern, metal cages, too, but they weren't nearly as photogenic.  Also, I spared you images of the bags of live maggots for sale as feed.  I'm shuddering at the memory.

There were a few modern, metal cages, too, but they weren’t nearly as photogenic. Also, I spared you images of the bags of live maggots for sale as feed. I’m shuddering at the memory.

It has taken me 4 days to write this post, in little five- and ten-minute pockets of time.  Apologies if it’s disjointed.  I’ll be posting another random collection of recent photos again soon!

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