18.02.2018 Joona Närhi Year of the dog Being a tourist Choi hung estate. Choi Hung means rainbow in Chinese and it’s quite obvious to see where the estate got its name from. This basketball court in the middle of rainbow-colored buildings is a popular spot for photography. How to get there? Take the MTR to a station called Choi Hung. Yeah, makes sense. Ngong Ping Village in Lantau Island: Once I had an exam on Saturday morning at school. A very hard one. There was a trip for exchange students at the same time. I had bought a ticket for that trip a long time ago but I couldn’t go. I was lucky to be able to sell the ticket to someone else wanting to go there. I wasn’t going to be discouraged and I acted as my own travel agency this time! When I had finished my exam I took the MTR to Tung Chung (quite far away) and searched for cable cars leading to Ngong Ping Village. That’s the place everyone else went earlier that day. I felt happy that I went there although I was alone. Next day visiting Lantau Island again. This time hiking and conquering Sunset Peak! Do I need to say more? I don’t have words for that view. Made a quick decision to attend a Chinese class. Here’s my Chinese name my teacher gave me. I don’t know how she came up with that but it’s nice. 😀 San Nin Fai Lok! Red is the color of Chinese New Year. Why? Because red is believed to prevent bad luck and ward off evil spirits. That’s why people like to wear red during Lunar New Year. I noted it instantly when I walked in the streets 16th February, the first day of the year in lunar calendar. A very common tradition is to hang red banners with Chinese calligraphy everywhere. They often include phrases wishing for good fortune, wealth and good health. A wish for good health I learned: San Tai Kin Hong (or something like that) Even Pepsi cans have dogs on them. A clean and well-decorated home is a must for the New Year celebrations for locals. Huge flower markets appear days before New Year. The name “flower market” is a bit misleading. Especially in Victoria park most of the place was full of food, toys and decorations related to dogs and companies promoting some products of their own. Families gather together before the end of lunar year and eat well. Eating well – that’s what I’ve done recently. I had my birthday dinner in a hot pot restaurant. The idea is to put raw food you’ve chosen into boiling soup to cook it there yourself. It was a surprise for me that they celebrate from New Year’s Day onwards and not really in New Year’s Eve. On Friday we went to Lam Tsuen village to see a popular attraction, wishing trees. The goal is to throw written wishes with a weight to the tree so that they stay there hanging. I succeeded in it! May those wishes come true. Later that day there was a big New Year parade in Tsim Sha Tsui. In my opinion the coolest things about it were the big dragons!