Archive for the 'Hong Kong' Category

Worldwide Pop-up Restaurant Day August 17

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

An international idea celebrated in 50 countries, Restaurant Day is a food carnival created by food-loving people setting up one-day restaurants. The idea of the day is to have fun, share new food experiences and meet others in our community. People offer their family cuisine, favorite recipes, desserts or whatever in their backyard or a park.  Prices are very inexpensive.RestaurantDay

Check the maps to see if there is one in your city.

Date: Sunday, August 17

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Hong Kong: Cycling to see Castles

Monday, June 16th, 2014

For those who are truly adventurous,there’s a tour Cycling the Castle Houses of Southern China. It’s always a tough decision to leave Hong Kong for a few days, but this two-wheel foray into the Guangdong Province offers one of the best ways of swapping the city lights for more rural delights.

The unique castle-like dwellings (diaolou) of Kaiping have UNESCO World Heritage status and display a flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western architecture. Émigré Kaipings returning to their home country from overseas in the 1920s and 30s built these fortified towers in this distinctive style to protect against Hong Kong Tourism

This unique three-day cycling tour starts (and finishes) in Hong Kong, where participants board the ferry to Jiangmen and then take a coach to Kaiping, the location for saddling-up and setting off to spend the next few days travelling along rural country roads, village paths and forested tracks. The heritage sites of Kaiping and Chikan, as well as the diaolou clusters in Liyuan Garden, Zili Village and Majianglong, are all included on this fascinating itinerary. Arriving back in Hong Kong will provide an exciting contrast to a lovely rural trip.

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Walk in the footsteps of a courageous Canadian in a WW II battle on a Hong Kong hill

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Walking Tours of Hong Kong

Hong Kong Tourism provides a number of free walking tours in and around Hong Kong, covering cultural topics and nature. The cultural tours range from riding aboard the last authentic Chinese sailing junk to Tai Chi Classes, Chinese Tea Appreciation and Chinese Medicine, among others. The nature tours include, for example, the Ngong Ping Fun Walk on Lantau, Tai O heritage fishing village and the Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail Walk. This last is a historic tour through a World War II battlefield – who knew?

The Wong Nai Chung Gap Trail Walk begins on Tai Tam Reservoir Rd, just off Wong Nai Chung Gap Road on Hong Kong Island. It involves some strenuous walking and some steep hills and many steps, but the views from above are worth it. Along the way, walkers will pass the remnants of some military installations and a plaque commemorating the bravery of a Canadian named John Osborn.

CSM John R. Osborn.
photo: Veterans Affairs Canada

Company Sergeant-Major John R. Osborn

It is a barely known footnote of history, but Canadian troops were actively involved in battling the Japanese invaders on Mount Butler

in Southeastern Hong Kong. Hong Kong was a British colony at the time, and it was defended by the Winnipeg Grenadiers and a Quebec regiment called Les Royal Rifles. They arrived by boat in November 1941 and, within a month, were involved in what would be one of the fiercest battles of the war. Nearly 300 troops died in that battle and 283 are buried in the Sai Wan War Cemetery.

The first Canadian honoured in the Second World War with the Victoria Cross was Sgt.-Maj. John Robert Osborn of the Winnipeg Grenadiers.

This citation by Veterans Affairs Canada explains why he received it:

photo: Stan Posner

“At Hong Kong on the morning of the 19th of December 1941, a company of the Winnipeg Grenadiers to which Company Sergeant-Major Osborn belonged, became divided during an attack on Mount Butler, a hill rising steeply above sea level. A part of the company led by Company Sergeant-Major Osborn captured the hill at the point of the bayonet and held it for three hours when, owing to the superior numbers of the enemy and to fire from an unprotected flank, the position became untenable. Company Sergeant-Major Osborn and a small group covered the withdrawal, and when their turn came to fall back Osborn, single-handed, engaged the enemy while the remainder successfully joined the company. Company Sergeant-Major Osborn had to run the gauntlet of heavy rifle and machine-gun fire. With no consideration for his own safety he assisted and directed stragglers to the new company position, exposing himself to heavy enemy fire to cover their retirement. Wherever danger threatened he was there to encourage his men.

During the afternoon the company was cut off from the battalion and completely surrounded by the enemy, who were able to approach to within grenade throwing distance of the slight depression which the company was holding. Several enemy grenades were thrown which Company Sergeant-Major Osborn picked up and threw back. The enemy threw a grenade which landed in a position where it was impossible to pick it up and return it in time. Shouting a warning to his comrades this gallant Warrant Officer threw himself on the grenade which exploded, killing him instantly. His self-sacrifice undoubtedly saved the lives of many others.

Company Sergeant-Major Osborn was an inspiring example to all throughout the defence which he assisted so magnificently in maintaining against an overwhelming enemy force for over eight and a half hours, and in his death he displayed the highest quality of heroism and self-sacrifice.”

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