Sunday, 27 November 2011

龍友 Lung Yau

龍友= lung yau: (literally) dragon friend

The term lung yau is often used to refer to very specific type of HK photographer. He (invariably) is the kind of guy who likes to take pictures of girls. You sometimes see them at beaches and other scenic spots, but not necessarily.

Before you say, hey, these are just guys getting a bit shutter-happy with their girlfriends, read the Four Commandments of the lung yaus, and look again. 

1. Thou shalt have a big camera, a huge flash (optional) and a whopping lens. Size does matter.
2. Thou shalt only photograph models that are younger than thee. By a (considerable) number of years.
3. Thou shalt only photograph models that are more attractive than than thee. By several degrees.
4. Thou shalt not hesitate to get up close and personal with thy models. Go forth now and capture.

Lung yaus take the commandments very seriously indeed, especially no.4, as you can see here:


Very close:

Focusing-distance-defyingly close:

Click here to see another category of camera-toting HK person.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Make a Detour

Detour 2011 opened this weekend. This HK art and design festival is interesting not only for its art installations and local designers' fair, but for the fact that it is held in an iconic building which you wouldn't normally get to visit. Last year, it was held in the central police station compound and Victoria prison on Hollywood Road, Central. This year, it's a few minutes walk from there in the direction of Sheung Wan, in the former police married quarters.

In terms of both art and heritage, the show is photo-opp galore, so predictably, full of people with cameras. Readers of this blog will know that umbrellas are a favourite theme of mine, so here are two umbrella-related offerings from this and last year's Detour events.



This year, it runs until 11 Dec. I recommend you make a detour and visit!

All content © Emilie Pavey

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


比藍更藍 = bei lam gang lam: bluer than blue

Thanks be to Hoya - not photoshop!
How about a bit of bright red? Or some faded greens?

Time Out Hong Kong is out today, with a set of glitteringly abstract neon pictures from me on the 'Hidden Hong Kong' page, as well as some other bits and pieces:

All content © Emilie Pavey

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Gentlemen's games

Chinese chess (象棋, jeung kei) is ubiquitous in most parks and sitting-out areas. It looks like draughts because it is played with flat, round counters, but it's chess all right, if not more: it has knights, rooks and pawns, but also cannons, elephants and a river. 

Less common, but also played outdoors, are card games. These gents are playing the card version of Chinese dominoes (牌九, pai gau) I think. There are also other games, such as four-colour-cards (四色牌, sei sik pai), which is a bit like rummy in that you have to collect sets. I suspect that, where Chinese chess is universally popular, playing cards is more of a working man's pastime. That's because I have only ever spotted it being played in public housing estates (and in one instance, under a bridge!)

And what are the ladies doing, while the men are out preserving brain cells but losing money? Why, indoors, playing mah jong, of course!

All content © Emilie Pavey

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Seen a sign?

I have unscientifically categorised Hong Kong's street name signs into three types in my head: the modern type (white arrow shape on black rectangle with functional, helvetica-ish font), the older type (similar, but without the arrow) and the oldest type, with more old-fashioned lettering and characters, as pictured here:

I have been looking out for these to take photos of them but they are really very few and far between.

The two above signs are in wealthy old Central which has a lot of vocal advocates for heritage preservation, which might partly explain why these signs are still there. They add to that charm and nostalgia that is so good for business and tourism in the district. However the sign below is not in such a privileged district, so get an eyeful before the bulldozers arrive.

I'd really like to know of any other places where one of these old signs is still clinging on, especially if it's in an area where it hasn't been left there for decorative purposes! Thanks!

All content © Emilie Pavey

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Sticking out like a...

Stick insects outside of their natural environment, well, stick out a bit. Especially if you are bright yellow, on a manhole cover...

or bright green, on a 'clean up after your dog' poster.

Probably better to 'stick' to twigs and leaves...

By the way, they can fly. Yes. We gently nudged the yellow one out of pure concern for its safety (it was in the middle of the road) and its wings popped out. I wasn't hugely enthusiastic about this. It was a bit like cockroaches when you think they won't fly... and then they do.

I got the idea for this post from a blog I like called Oriental Sweetlips, specifically, this post.Thanks, Phil!

Some more beautiful bugs.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Red square

In an underpass: rooms for rent

From a window: lai see, dropped from a floor above

Round things.
All content © Emilie Pavey

Friday, 11 November 2011

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Peeping Toms

Now you see me ...

... now you don't?

Where are Mum and Dad?


Update on 10/11: Designer Joanne Pereira features Land of no cheese on her site, Eclectic Cool, today. Read about Joanne's eclectic finds in Hong Kong and around the world, and see a picture of me drinking ice lemon tea!

Also, grab this week's Time Out HK to see some of my pictures - street art, innocence, experience, and a mystery location. Here's a peek at this week and last week: (click for a larger view)

All content © Emilie Pavey

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


多雲 = do wan: lots of clouds



All content © Emilie Pavey

Monday, 7 November 2011


蜜蜂 = mat fung: honey bee

In Hong Kong bees can be active during the winter months due to the mild weather. As a result, HK is able to produce a speciality honey, winter honey. In fact, there are quite a lot of honey producers across the territory, and at least least two bee farms which can be visited. One of them is Po Sang Yuen Bee Farm, more information here.

If spending an afternoon surrounded by bees is not your cup of tea, then you can still sample this farm's produce by visiting - against all odds - your local supermarket. Just ignore all the Australian, NZ and British honeypots and go straight to the bottom shelf. Winter honey and acacia honey (pictured) were in stock when I visited earlier complete with black-and white picture of bee-bearded bloke. This honey is mouthwateringly sweet and slightly woody.

Buying local from a small producer is one thing (well done me), but tasting local from a tiny family-run island cafe is quite another. At one of my favourite outlying-island watering holes, you can sip fresher-than fresh, hot or iced, lemon or chrysanthemum honey and literally watch the bees which made your drink in the vegetable patch behind the house as you do so.

Ok, ok, the island is Tung Lung Chau... but that's all I'm saying!

However, the knowledge that honey bees are in global decline makes even delicious local honey taste bittersweet.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Friday, 4 November 2011

Pawn me

In chronological order (possibly)
一. Antique

 二. Palimpsest
 三. Naive
 四. Decayed
 五. Neon
 六. Lightbox
 七. Mis en abyme

Although a lot of shop signs are going that way, I have yet to spot an LED version of one of these. Anyone?

All content © Emilie Pavey

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


打球 = da kauh: play ball (literally, hit ball)

Unconventional fillings:
Sorry to have kept you waiting! The answers to the puzzle in the previous post are c. snickers bar and d. ice cream. Not too keen on the deep fried diabetes, but the utterly brilliant latter was eaten a coffee chain called Old Town coffee in Kuala Lumpur, which I have seen advertised in HK - does this mean I can get an ice cream sandwich here?

All content © Emilie Pavey