The Hong Kong trip was a wonderful experience for myself and in particular for David and Jana. 1st day arrived, settled down in a centrally located guest house (reasonably safe) in Kowloon directly opposite to the public park (i.e. Kowloon Park) and all the facilities. We went out in the evening around 5 pm in search of food and were very delighted to have a delicious meal at an very average local cafe/dinner! I think, David immediately fell in love with the Beef and rice noodles and Jana loves the local strong cup of tea – Hong Kong Style; and best of all, the three of us only cost under £15!
We did not live here !
Later, we went around to explore the place and most shops closes around 9 pm, some markets at 11 pm and the night temperature was around 25C with little breeze – very pleasant. To David and Jana, I guessed the feeling was a bit like a kid in a candy store!! There are so many things to try, so many different things to see – the brain may take a while to take it all in.
Next morning, training began at 9 am, after a cup of tea and pineapple buttered bun at the local cafe at 8 am, and finished around 10:30 am. Then a little snack, then off to swimming (the facility is right inside the park) for an hour and around noon, have our lunch. About 1 pm, we went to do more sight-seeing and the students started to get to grip with the under ground system and the local area. We love the ‘octopus card’ – this is similar to an oyster card but far better: you can use this to pay all kind of transports in HK, pay your bills, shops, restaurants, sport facilities, etc.. If you travel to HK, you must get one!
During the sight seeing, we had tea and pineapple bun again: in HK, it was far easier to have used the Tube and bus to get to the destination and usually mean walk up and down the stairs a lot or tried to find your bus stops (too many of them)! Although we ate a lot throughout the day, but we also walked and exercise a great deal: resulted in us loosing a bit of weight. This was the best way of slimming down – no restriction!
Virtually, every day was different(in terms of visiting places) though the training remain intensive at times especially on Tuesday (i.e. morning training, swimming, late afternoon class and late evening class too) and yet there were still places that we have not been yet. Maybe, next year!
Jana began the realised the inside gate and outside gate Pak Sau with Sifu Alan Cheung (yes, Cheung is a very common surname in the Chinese culture).
Both Sifus Cheung (John + Alan) have a little play about in Chi Sau drill
Above, we couldn’t let this back ground get away, really does capture the identity of Hong Kong!
In due course, both David and Jana will provide me with their testimonials of the trip and I think, you all will be interested in hearing what they have to say about the trip!
Here is Jana’s HK experience –
I’ve always wanted to visit Asia, but it never seem to be the right opportunity. When I heard in May that Sifu John is organising a training trip to Hong Kong I was very keen to join.
Main difficulties for me was to manage my days off till November.
The whole trip was very organised and we got detailed timetable with planned training and activities 2 months in advanced. It just raised my anticipation :). I was particularly happy about this as I knew there will be lots of stuff to do.
After 11 hours of flying we arrived around lunchtime to sunny and warm city. There were no issues through the boarders and the travel was very seamless.
Straight from the Airport we took a taxi to the city. It took no more than 30 minutes. We stayed in very touristic and cosmopolitan area. The guest house was in ChunKing Mansion, this place has some history, it’s very unique in it’s own way.
Our accommodation was very close to the Kowloon Park where we trained and went for swim as well. The park is fairly big and it has some beautiful hidden place (which we discovered later). You could see many elderly people doing tai chi. I was amazed!
By the way, the swimming pool was very clean, big and surprisingly not too crowded, and you could pay for it with your Octopus card (something like HK$20 = £2 approximately!).
Overall the prices in HK are cheaper than in here in Cambridge. Especially transport is very cheap and you can get by underground anywhere, super convenient.
We did lots of Tai Chi and Tai Chi Kung Fu Fan, which I like the most and continue training till now.
We started day with nice breakfast. There were plenty of small places (kind of cafes) to have something to eat. Sifu John took us to only good ones which weren’t too expensive and very good food. Having someone who knows the cuisine and culture was very valuable. Especially when we went out of touristic area, where the food was even cheaper and better.
Sifu John took us to meet his family and we had BBQ outside in a garden. This was a nice occasion as the lack of space in HK makes outdoor activities like this very rare. We got to meet locals and visited old kung fu school. It felt special and the atmosphere was spiritual. (picture from the place goes here:)
You could see lots of markets in Hong Kong and basically you can buy anything. You can buy souvenirs in more touristic places like Temple street. I enjoyed more the one need the Sifu Alan’s class in Sham Shui Po district. You could find fresh fish, meat, vegetable, fruit….you get to understand why the food here is so good even in cheap areas – everything is fresh. And contrary to fresh stuff you can find very old antique Chinese gems. It might feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning but you get use to it and later you can practise bartering skills too.
People were very hospitable and friendly. I felt very comfortable with people there and I would love to go back again. I was fascinating to see the mix of modern capitalistic city with a touch of Chinesse tradition and mentality.
As Sifu John put it in the first email telling about the trip: “it’s a life time experience”….so true.