Howard Lam’s fake aggression or the endless descent of democracy activists into oblivion

After a big mediatic scandal fulled by Western mainstream media (prompt to repeat any allegations without any ounce of critical sense), it seems the police finally confounded the Hong Kong Democrat representative Howard Lam.

Self-inflicted injuries

In fact, it would appear that Howard Lam self-inflicted those injuries and invented the whole story for unclear motives. The repercussion was enormous both for the Democrat party which had supported Lam, as well as activists such as Joshua Wong.

As a consequence, the pro-democracy movement took a serious slap to their own arguments on Beijing’s ruthlessness, just two days before the main leaders (among which Joshua Wong) were jailed for invading civic square in 2014.

Discredited once more

Three years after the “occupy movement”, both the democracy movement and its leaders foundered in their typical combination of hastiness and indecision.

Somehow, the Lam fiasco foreshadowed the final curtain call on the “Occupy” activists which took place today.

With today’s jail sentence, Joshua Wong and his pals are assured to be kept away from any election for at least five years. So much for plans to influence the future of the city. But if the Hongkongese even had any distant hope of seeing the young students become leaders, these hopes were dashed after several of the young LegCo members kicked themselves out by making a circus out of their swearing in (the “Oathgate“).

So, today, Wong and his pals can complain all they want of being shut out of politics by Beijing, for starters, they never proved that they were capable of leading anything else than anarchists in an utopic “occupation”. Politics is the art of the possible and there is a reason why old cynics succeed better at it than young idealists.

Urban exploration: the hidden temples of Aberdeen

Last week-end, I went out on a bit of an urban exploration in Aberdeen. Aberdeen, on the far side of Hong Kong island is a bit of an unknown entity, mostly reputed for being the location of Ocean Park, but is also rich with hidden temples.

Aberdeen the city of shrines?

However, taking a stroll in the city allows several interesting discoveries with hidden worship places hidden all over within a very small space. I walked only 3 kms to find all these pictures.

Initially, I alighted at Aberdeen harbour, where you can see traditional sampans serving tourists as well as more traditional fishing boats moored in the harbour with the chimneys of the power generation center of Lamma island in background.

You can see Lamma island immediately behind.

Old Chinese temple

As I walked further, I could see already other signs that Aberdeen is a bit different from the other parts of Hong Kong. Namely, a Chinese temple near a wet market.

An old man places incense in front of the old Chinese temple in Aberdeen.

I pushed on a bit further, and I came across another temple, this one right on a busy street of the city.

temple on the side of a street in Aberdeen

The temple in the trees

The most interesting of all, was probably the “temple in the trees”. I call it so because even if it is not fully on a tree, part of it is backed to an old banyan tree. When you see it first, it looks like this:

The stairs are misleading… that’s only one part of the temple.

And when you follow the stairs, you end up seeing a first cabin, almost resting against the tree:

This is the first part of the temple when you climb the stairs.

When you come to the top of the stairs, you have a wonderful sight on a little temple high perched over the city, which almost looks like a jungle hideout.

This temple is probably one of the most unique that you can find in HK.

 

So, with these findings, you can go on and visit the hidden temples of Aberdeen.

Chiang Mai Sunday market

One of the main attractions for tourists in Chiang Mai is certainly its  Sunday night market. Sprawling across Rachadamnoen road, this market offers both, the occasion of seeing some real Thai craft, as well as a very lively and beautiful atmosphere. So, if you are in Chiang Mai, don’t miss visiting that market!

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Second helicopter rescue on Kowloon Peak

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For the second time in as many weeks, hikers had to call a helicopter to be rescued on Kowloon Peak on Saturday 5 August. This time, it seems they took a more dangerous path from the road known as “Jat’s Incline”. The previous rescue attempt was already reported on this blog.

The rescue helicopter had to get very near to the mountain to recover the hikers as can be seen from these pictures. This took place towards 6 pm, so it is likely the hikers either lost their way or miscalculated time, as it was getting dark very soon.

Once again, hiking demands preparation and taking care not to get yourself into a pickle. If you want to take challenging routes, make sure you have with you a more experienced climber.