Beijing Olympics / Bethany / Hong Kong

Across the harbour…

Is Tsim Sha Tsui (pronounced jim siee joy). It’s a tourist area really, with a quite good shopping mall.

To get there from where we’re staying on Hong Kong Island, we had to take the Star Ferry. 

It is insanely cheap. Try 50 cents Australian each way. I don’t know anywhere in Australia (or anywhere else for that matter) you can take a ride on a transit ferry for that price. Do you? They also run every few minutes, so you’re never waiting long. The process kind of runs like a well oiled engine… as one ferry arrives, another one departs, while yet another is already chugging across the harbour, ready to repeat the loop. Mitchell loved the ferry. Every time I tried to get him to look up so I could take a photo, I got a grumpy look because all he wanted to do was watch the harbour and boats as we chugged along. Such a boy!

We decided to take a walk along the waterfront of Tsim Sha Tsui, and discovered the “Avenue of Stars”.. it places Stars (in a similar vein to those in Hollywood) as a tribute to people from Hong Kong’s film industry. It includes such greats as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, John Woo, and even this guy:

It was quite interesting.. Bethany kept hopping from Star to Star.. and when we came across a booth with pictures and figurines of Jackie Chan from his various action roles, she flipped out. You see, to Bethany, Jackie Chan is two things.. one.. he is ‘the captain’ in Mulan (he voices Captain Shang in the cantonese soundtrack of the Disney movie), and two.. he is the monkey in ‘Kungfu Panda’… the fact she recognises him comes from those Olympics Visa adds… I’m sure you’ve seen them… most involving Yau Ming as well… but she thinks he is great. And I’m sure a large number of people would agree with her there.

After prying her away from the booth, we decided to check out the Olympic Piazza, which was our real reason for hopping across the harbour in a hot and sticky day. It is set up with big screens for people to watch the Olympics, lots of lanterns of the mascots, as well as little bits and pieces for the kids. 

As we entered the Piazza, Bethany noticed mascot #4 on her list wandering around having photos taken…

This orange fellow is YingYing. He’s based on an antelope – the protected Tibetan Antelope, his design is influenced by the western chinese cultures (including from my understanding Tibet), and he represents the Yellow Ring on the Olympic symbol. He is supposed to be fast and agile.. and yes… he’s a boy. 

So that’s 4 mascots down… one to go… what do you think our chances are?

There are more photos of the Piazza on flickr (look to your right on this page).

The Olympics are going well for Hong Kong. China is winning, people are happy… there is a very buoyant atmosphere here, not unlike the one from the Sydney Olympics. It’s a good thing. Australia are doing ok… although I expected more medals by now (and I am sure most Australians did too)… and New Zealand… well… I guess there are a few more days left. Why isn’t Rugby played by enough nations for it to be an Olympic sport!!!


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