This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Community.
Here we have two communities, one which is vanished and the other thriving. One is in the rural area which is near to the border with mainland China and the other near to the heart of the city on Hong Kong Island.
I have passed this deserted village many a times.
In my previous posts, I showed several images of abandoned homes – actually, they are discrete homes in a village which still has some people living. But this farming village is basically deserted, despite the fact that they have the full provision of public utilities. One major problem is that they don’t have road access and far away from places of employment. Farming in small plots is no longer financially viable, so people left their homes and live in the city.
Hong Kong is well known to be a vertical city where the largest number of people live in apartments which are above 20 stories. It is a community which quickly adopts to changes.
The one below shows a road cutting through the densely populated area on the Hong Kong island. To some readers, this is just incredible.
Historically, the road was probably a coastal road when it was built more than 10 decades ago. Reclamation of land from the sea took place on the right, making room for more taller buildings and the road was widened and realigned to straighten out, but now it is located in between rows and rows of highrises.
I love playing around with photos. The bottom one is a pencil sketch of the same photo which I got by doing some post-processing.
With so many tiny details, it would be quite difficult to actually draw it out with a pencil- thanks to computer technology!
The Word this week from Ailsa is Still.
Still is no motion and more importantly, the image should not suggest any motion.
Here are a few images which were taken in the Winter at West Lake, China which are stills.
All four images have a common element – the placid lake with reflections.
The reflection reinforces that there is no motion – even wind or any motion like ripples or currents in the water.
Apart from the trees, bridge, house and water, there are also no signs of life which were moving.
These are also images of quietude and peace
Autumn has gone but memories of our trip to South Korea still linger.
When we reached the Deoksugung palace in Seoul, there was a changing of the guards. Although it was not as spectacular as the changing of the guards at the Tower of London, nevertheless, it attracted big crowds of spectators.
Deoksugung is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by royalties around the turn of the 20th century.
The buildings are of varying construction, including some of natural crytomeria wood, painted wood, and stucco.
The palace buildings are impressive. We have a good look around the area.
Autumn was in the air; trees were changing their color.
There was a spectrum of colors in the fall foliage; from green, yellow, gold and even red.
Beautiful views were every where. The fall foliage looked particularly colorful when viewed against the palace walls.
While many of the foliage were gold or still green, some have already changed to red.
We have a delightful stroll within the palace; passing by a pond, before finishing off our walk.
Understand that there are five palaces in Seoul. I did not have the opportunity to visit the other four palaces, but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the colors of Autumn at Deoksugung!
This hut is not far from where I live.
When I saw first saw the hut, it was only partially covered with climbers and was inhabited.
Several years gone by, the climbers have covered all over the hut, making it inaccessible to the inhabitants.
The inhabitants have lost the battle and the hut was abandoned.
This year, when the dry season set in, the inhabitants have come back and tried to reclaim the hut. They started cutting off the vines at their roots and removing the climbers as much as possible, leaving part of the roof and the door exposed
This is how it looks now – I am still not sure who will eventually win this tug-of-war!
Our walk has taken us to the northern extremity of the New Territories in Hong Kong, near to the border with Mainland China.
We were surprised to find a herd of cows lying lazily on the beach.
These cows were abandoned by the farmers when the farmers gave up farming and left their homeland.
It is also amazing that they also like beaches, as we humans do. Just across the sea, you can have a glimpse of the part of mainland China near to the border with Hong Kong.
Abandoned cows are not that uncommon in the rural parts of Hong Kong, the more commonly known ones are found on Lantau Island.
The cows are able to survive and even thrive as there is an abundance of edible plants in the area.
These cows seem to be leading a happy and peaceful life . . . . . . I was wondering what can’t we ???
In face of urbanization and competition from supply of farm produce and fishes from mainland China, in the last several decades, some farmers and families in the rural areas of Hong Kong have left their homes.
As a result of people moving out, some village schools in the rural areas have similarly been abandoned and deserted.
In our walks in the northern part of the New Territories in Hong Kong, we have come across not only abandoned homes but also abandoned schools such as the one shown here.
This school must have been abandoned for many years. There are no more doors and glass windows; although the building structure is still intact.
The architecture belongs to another era; the architectural details like the use of arches and earthenware balustrade also remind us this building comes from a different era.
While there, we seemed to have stepped back in time and could visualize what the school was like when it was full of pupils and how teaching was conducted at the time.
There are quite a few houses in the rural areas of the New Territories in Hong Kong which are abandoned.
In the last several decades, some people have abandoned their farm houses in response to the rapid urbanization of the city areas - younger people have gone to the city where they could find jobs more readily.
Others have left to emigrate overseas, leaving their houses unattended.
My first post on abandoned house showed banyan tree roots all over the walls of the house. This one has a lot of vine climbing up the walls. The red timber door and Chinese style tiles remind us of a different era.
Abandoned houses are always intriguing as they pose the question why they were abandoned!
This week’s photo challenge is Grand.
Grand can mean so many things to different people.
To me, only something like this is Grand!
I fully appreciate that this photo of mine is not going to do justice to the Symphony of Light which takes place in Hong Kong every night.
But hard luck, this is the only photo I got on Symphony of Light; it shows only three laser rays from the tops of buildings at the Hong Kong harbor front.
Wikipedia describes it as ” A Symphony of Lights is a synchronised building exterior decorative light and laser multimedia display, featuring 44 buildings on both sides of the Victoria Harbor of Hong Kong accompanied by music. The technology was developed by Australian firm Laservision and cost approximately HK$44 million . It has attracted over 4 million visitors and locals so far, and is held every night for ten minutes.”
The Tourism Board of Hong Kong introduced it as “Named as the ‘World’s Largest Permanent Light and Sound Show’ by Guinness World Records, colored lights, laser beams and searchlights perform in an unforgettable all-round spectacle synchronized to music and narration that celebrates the energy, spirit and diversity of Hong Kong. There are five main themes: Awakening, Energy, Heritage, Partnership, and the finale, Celebration”.
Don’t think it needs more elaboration from me. Please enjoy vicariously; if you want the real thing, then you have to come to our lovely city!
Seoul, no doubt, formed an interesting part of our trip to South Korea.
In our hour’s stay near N Seoul tower, overlooking Seoul, there was quite a change in scenery before and after dark.
I like the scenery after dark; the capital was sparkling with lights when viewed between the Autumn trees in silhouette.
Going back in time by an hour, when there was just sufficient light to see the fall foliage in colors, the view was somewhat different.
The views of fall foliage with the city as background were just enticing. What a difference an hour made!