We visited a number of temples during our visit to Hong Kong earlier this year. This one is one of our favourites. It is the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in Shatin. It isn’t actually hidden – you can get there quite easily on the MTR subway and a short walk up the hill to the temple. But it is certainly a world away from the busy shopping streets of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.
Captain Cook landed at Kurnell in Botany Bay, New South Wales on 29 April 1770. The monument above marks the place where he landed.
Of course, the significance of this event depends on who you are. For Australians with roots in Europe and the rest of the world, it was the start of the development of Australia as we know it today. But for the Aboriginal people it was the start of an invasion. Monuments at the site reflect both sides of the story. The Meeting Place below is “a symbol of hope for reconciliation”.
We rather like the street art of yarn bombing. So we have been pleased to notice examples of this gentle and non-destructive art in many places during the past few months.
The yarn bombed bike rack at the top is just one of many along Saint Georges Terrace in Perth. The yarn bombed tree above is in the main street of Bridgetown in the southwest of Western Australia. And we spotted the small piece of yarn bombing below in Hong Kong, where they aren’t too keen on street art.
Another place in Hong Kong which is off the main tourist beat, but very interesting, is the old explosives magazine in the Admiralty district. This complex of mid-19th century buildings was formerly used to make and store explosives.
The building above is the explosives lab, where they made gunpowder. The rails were used to transport the explosives around the site. The building below was used to store explosives and is now the Asia Society Gallery.
We went along to see the Noonday Gun in Hong Kong a few months back. It’s not exactly hidden and must be one of the most photographed guns in the world. But getting to the gun is a puzzle if you are across the busy road in front of the Excelsior Hotel.
There is no crosswalk – instead you have to walk down an alley beside the World Trade Centre, in through a door that leads to the carpark, along a tunnel with water pipes (below), and finally come out at the waterside beside the gun. It is still fired at midday and makes an impressively loud bang.
Today is Anzac Day, when Australians and New Zealanders remember those who served and died in wars. We saw the impressive war memorial above last time we were in Cairns in Queensland.
But don’t set your watch by the clock on the memorial. Those hands are painted on, serving as a permanent reminder that the ill-fated Anzac landing at Gallipoli commenced at 4:28am on 25 April 1915.
We were especially impressed by these horses at the Brookton Old Time Motor Show last month. They are part of the Kelmscott/Pinjarra 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop. If you want to see them, they will be participating in tomorrow’s Anzac Day parade in Fremantle, Western Australia.