For the most current photo exploits of my time in Hong Kong and East Asia, look no further than my Instagram feed here (or follow me @scriptmonkeyking).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

BBQing With No BBQ Grill or Pit? No Problem.

While we were staying at Abeo (this is terrific serviced apartment. They are a part of a chain that has various ones in different area in Hong Kong. Click Abeo for their information) in Abderdeen, we had a hankering for BBQ. Since we didn't ship over our BBQ grill, what were we to do? Go buy one? That wouldn't make sense with the lack of space and having no place to do it in Hong Kong. So I MacGuyvered my BBQ.

That's right. MacGuyvered a BBQ. No worries, no paperclips were harmed in the making of the BBQ.

I picked up a deep aluminum pan, coal, a metal mesh and was on my way. Poked holes into the side of the pan to help get some airflow, lit the coal, tossed the metal mesh on top, and voila, we were BBQing.

As always, click the photos for commentaries.

Some of you might be wondering what a service apartment is. It's like a hotel with a kitchen and other faculties that help make it more like home, while having all the services of a hotel. Things like free access to washing machines and dryers, etc.

In case you were wondering which type of room we stayed at Abeo, it was the one bedroom. There is only one apartment that a balcony that faces the ocean, and the fish market. Nothing smelled fishy, but the balcony had one small problem. Everyone who lived on this side have their shower windows on this side. So, when people showered with their windows opened...yeah, eww, I know. There is a canopy that you can use, but it's best not to be out there during showering times. Abeo is cheaper than most, since the other apartments face the cemetery. It may bother some of you and it may not. This is, the cemetery here isn't on flat ground. Think a mountain side of graves. It's a sight for sure. My wife has some relatives buried there so I've been there and it's daunting just to think how it all came about.

With that said, Abeo's staff were amazing. They are polite and attentive to our every need. When I was taking the kids to school on a rainy day, someone came out with umbrellas to help keep us dry as we waited for the bus. We didn't ask them or thought we could ask them for that kind of help. They gave my oldest a birthday gift when they found out it was her birthday was. So the place and people are great.

As for the area, that might not be for everyone. Tin Wan is in Aberdeen, which is near nothing touristy accept Ocean Park and the Jumbo Kingdom (the floating restaurant). It's an older place with many car garages nearby with little to offer for food choices. It's not along the MTR line, but the good thing is that there are many buses that you can hop on right across the street. As well, if you are willing to do a 10 minute walk, you can get good eats at Aberdeen Centre.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bagging Comic Books Efficiently

Space is commodity here in Hong Kong, so people here have learned to master the use of it. They like to keep things all packed up neat and tidy like, so when I found this packaging for my books I was pretty happy.

They have these bags from every comic, Manga, magazine and book size imaginable. Pretty cool, no?

As for the banana container--I think you can make up your own jokes without much effort, right?

Interesting thing about people in Hong Kong is that many like to collect (or horde) books, figure and other knickknacks. If you've been to Chinatown in the city you're living, you probably have seen plastic display boxes from every figure size you can imagine. I bought over a few things from home, which I'm going to see if I can find plastic display containers for. Not to mention that I should open the Gaiking I bought a while ago.

I know. I'm such a geek.

Talking about being a geek, I went to see if one of the four comic book shops here that sold North American comics was still around. It wasn't. I talked to someone who has a shop near where it used to be and was told that most folded up. Sad to hear, but will get an update when I do more research for my Hong Kong LCS (local comic shop).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Chinese New Year Fireworks From the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

It was a chilly night, but it was fun to watch fireworks with the kids. We walked on the closed off road in Wan Chai over a bridge to get there. What we didn't know at the time was that this was a new road built to help elevate rush hour traffic in Central. It was opened a day later.

Much like any city, they are addressing their traffic infrastructure best they can. Still, their public transportation system is amazingly efficient. Something to keep in mind, is the bus terminal in Central where you can practically get to anywhere in Hong Kong from. I'll elaborate more about this in a later post.

Chinese New Year isn't just a celebration of the new year. The celebration goes on for the traditional fifteen days. The first day is when you visit family. The second is for married daughters to visit their birth parents. It's also when you would pray to your ancestors. The third day is when everyone becomes a shut-in. It's believe that it's the day for spirits to roam the earth. Forth day is the same as the third. People usually go to pay respect at cemeteries. The fifth day is the God of Wealth's birthday. Most people don't go out in case he swings by for a visit. The sixth day is when you go the temples, visit family and friends. The seventh day is considered as everyone's birthday. The eight day we celebrate the Jade Emperor of heaven's birthday. The ninth day continues celebrating the Jade Emperor of heaven's birthday. The tenth to twelfth days more visiting and celebrating. The thirteen day is when we go vegan and pay homage to the God of War's (Guan Yu) birthday. You'll recognize him from any Hong Kong flick about cops or triads, as both groups pray to him for bravery and courage. The fourteenth day is when you prepare for the lantern festival. The fifteenth day is the lantern festival where we celebrate the first full moon after the Spring Festival. Now I'm no expert by any means about this. I'm learning about this as I blog about it, so if there is additional details that I come across I'll update, naturally.

Now for photos and videos of the fireworks.

Here are some videos.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Last weekend we took a trip to the Hong Kong Geopark. There are different areas, but High Island was the most accessible while traveling with my kids. You read about it by clicking the links above, so I won't repeat what you'll find there here. It's famous for their hexagonal rock columns.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chinese New Year Lion Dancing

I was having lunch with my wife when we heard walked out on the rainy plaza to see this lion dance group set up. We didn't expect too much, as it was at a small shopping area. Though Aberdeen Centre is one of the key places in Hong Kong Island, it's not one of the major spots big entertainment. We were presently surprised of course. Besides leaping and climbing poles while lion dancing, they did in the rain. Nutty. I'm glad my Blackberry had enough battery for the videos I caught.

To watch the videos, do click into the photos.

Hong Kong Tidbit: Okay, this really isn't just for Hong Kong, but as you may know, I'm still figuring out what's the best structure for this blog. So with that said...Before any lion can dance it must have their eyes painted. This is done on site, right before the dancing ceremony begins. It gives them life as it were.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I'm still sorting through all the photos and videos from the last month and bit. Uploading is taking a bit of time as well. So instead of making you wait, I'll be posting things that are set up and ready to go.

Thanks for your continued patience.

Now to answer some questions.

Where's the kids?
For those who've asked about the lack of family photos. I do take photos of them, but decided not to post them here. We save them for family, so I hope that answers that.

Don't you have larger photos?
I put my collections into slide shows to make the blog load faster, as well as making it easier for you to view the photos. If you want larger sizes, all you have to do is click on them as you see them. This is how you can view the videos I've uploaded as well.

Are you that Howard Wong?
Yes, I'm the same comic book writer from So no, I'm stealing anyone's avatar or photo as it were. So this also answers the other question of where I am these days--Hong Kong; if you haven't guessed by now.

So the next post will start tomorrow. As for the weekly food and sign segments, I'm going to put those on the back burner so I can concentrate on getting more elaborate posts up.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where in the World Have I Been?

Well after moving to a new place (this is the third for those keeping count), we finally got the internet up and running. So there will be posts coming. Still deciding if I should do a whole whack of them all at once. I do have a lot of photos to upload in the meanwhile, so stay tuned!