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Hong Kong Flower and Bird Market

Just North of Tsim Sha Tsui, the vast area of Kowloon opens up for a traditional Chinese side of Hong Kong, wher you can travel in time through their ancient culture, not in Museums but in the Markets.

It seems that the emperors favoured songbirds as pets and that flowers had always meant a lot in China (e.g. roses for lovers, pomegranate flower for newly graduates, orchids for new mothers and narcissus for someone searching for carreer advancement). We find combinations of both in the traditional bird & flower paintings from the Tang dinasty but so far, there is no National blossom, as the Chinese themselves cannot decide between the peony (emblem for wealth and honor) and the plum blossoms (symbol of the 5 blessings).

When in Hong Kong, make sure to fit a stroll around the Yuen Po Street Bird & Flower Market (very close to MTR station Prince Edward) 7AM-8PM (better after 10AM) for a taste on the hardcore Chinese beauty - and even some insects, which are kept alive as bird déli.

The most interesting of it? Birds drinking from porcelaine drinkers, sitting in bamboo cages and being walked as dogs, cage covered in cloth to avoid birdie panic.

Yes. There are chupa-chups in Hong Kong (and in Tokyo too, if you were wondering).

The Bird Garden os even more interesting, I would say. Just like the average neighborhood park, but instead of dogs, people go walk their birds. There are hangers in some areas, so that people can live their birds there, beside each other to compare which one has the cutest way of singing.

The stalls offer a range of accessories, such as hand painter drinkers, bamboo made cages, alive insects for bird snack and hand waving for the open mouthed foreigners (yeah, like us). There is nothing like this in Japan, I suppose. Life is a never ending surprise and that's what makes the trip worth, isn't it?


1 comment

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