With a population of 25 million, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world and by jove, doesn’t it feel like it?!! Sooooo many people ev-er-y-where!!
If Bruce Lee is not of interest to you, don’t stop reading here! Let us show you that we saw and did a lot more than just search for Bruce Lee related references, after all, we were in Hong Kong – a place I had personally wanted to visit for many years, I mean, who doesn’t want to go to Hong Kong?!
The promenade at Victoria Harbour waterfront has fantastic views of the skyscrapers, especially at night when the magnificent lights illuminate the buildings in all their glory, it makes for a beautiful stroll up and down the strip. Apparently it costs 1 million HKD PER NIGHT to light up the harbour skyscrapers – wow, global warming and energy conservation isn’t a consideration here, and I am concerned about leaving a light on in an empty room!
Dining in the highest restaurant in Hong Kong
The ICC building is home to the Ritz-Carlton and we had a reservation at “Ozone” on the 118th floor– the highest restaurant in Hong Kong!
We caught the “Peak Tram” funicular to the top of Victoria Peak which has been here since 1888 and is one of the world’s oldest. It rises to 396 metres and sometimes leans to a gradient of 27° - oh yes it was a little hairy at times!
A beach ... outside the City?
I love the beach and when I found out that Cheung Sha Beach (aka Long Beach) was within reach, we made a bee-line for it!
We caught the No. 11 bus for 20 minutes and went to the quiet sandy beach by the South China Sea, it was perfect – just what we needed! The sun was hot, the sea warm, sand was soft, there were a few trees to make it picturesque and we relished this quiet time, it didn’t matter that we didn’t have our bathers, it was just nice to feel sand beneath our toes.
Monastery of 10,000 Buddhas
On a gloriously hot sunny day we visited the Man Fat Sze known as the “Monastery of 10,000 Buddhas”. We climbed a lot of steps and admired the beautiful butterflies we saw flying around, then we reached monks who were chanting in front of a giant Buddha. Sy bought a pack of incense and lit them in front of a Buddha statue. We thought it was strange that there were a lot of rooms with people buried in the walls and visitors brought flowers. It suddenly dawned on us.... we were at the wrong place and this was in fact a mausoleum! All these people were visiting their deceased relatives – doh!
Bruce Lee Exhibition
Another highlight for us was the Bruce Lee exhibition at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum. It was opened on the 40th anniversary of his death; 20 July 2013 and will run until 20 July 2018.
Videos played showing interviews with family members, school friends, students and directors/actors. By all accounts he was a humble man, totally dedicated, kind and thoughtful and if he hurt anyone during his fight scenes, he would pay their medical bills.
You get the feeling he was just about to explode onto the scene and take the world by storm when his life was cut so tragically short – he still had so much to teach his fans and the world and I believe his death is a huge loss to the martial arts and acting industries.
We both felt sad to leave and wrote a tribute to him that was pinned onto the board – we both quoted him “Be Water my friend” (which Sy has since had tattooed on his back!).
When we finished our four days in Hong Kong, I admit to coming over all teary as we left. It could be a mixture of too much alcohol celebrating our final evening, the stunning scenery I was viewing, the fact I was reflecting on all the emotions I had felt not just in Hong Kong but our 13 days in China beforehand and the amazing time we had on this trip. Sadness and acceptance overcame me; our time, in this place I had longed to visit for many, many years, was now over.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Hong Kong and we hope to return again one day! We feel we have only just scratched the surface on this bustling City and simply didn’t have enough time to see all that we wanted.
Have you been to Hong Kong, if so, what would you recommend? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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Do you want to know more about Bruce Lee? Read his story ...
Bruce Lee was born Lee Jun Fan on 27 November 1940 in San Francisco to wealthy parents, his father was Chinese and his mother Eurasian. When he was 5 months old, his family which included one older brother and two older sisters, moved to Hong Kong.
As a child, he was naturally rebellious and wasn’t keen on studies, however he loved acting and, before he turned 18, had already starred in 23 Cantonese films. He loved dancing the cha-cha for which he won awards including, at aged 18, the “Cha-cha champion of Hong Kong”. Of course, there was also his love for martial arts and at the age of 13, was introduced to Wing Chung and became a student of Ip Man with whom he had a special relationship throughout his life.
At 19 he moved back to the US to pursue his studies but he had a hard life working and studying, never having any money, so he began teaching Wing Chung and at only 22 years old, he founded the Jung Fan Gung Fu Institute. A year later he moved to Seattle and a year after that, opened his 2nd studio in Oakland. He married Linda Emerty in August 1964 who was of a Swedish/English mixed family. The huge turning point for Bruce in the way he viewed martial arts came in November 1964 when he was challenged to a dual by San Francisco based Kung Fu Instructor Wong Jack Man. Although he won the fight, he wasn’t happy with the rigidity of the form so created his own style called Jeet Kune Do which translates to “The Way of the Intercepting Fist”.
His philosophy was “no fixed technical moves, no style, no form” he believed martial arts should be a free form of behaviour and he would train each and every muscle in his body – he believed an artist should be able to make any move he wanted to honestly express himself. He could do two finger push ups and thumb push ups and had a rigorous training schedule every day.
He was clever and innovative and designed more effective training equipment, for instance to toughen his knuckles and strengthen the power in his fists, he would fill a sandbag with sand, gravel or even scrap iron. In February 1965 his son Brandon was born and four years later in April 1969 his daughter Shannon was born in California.
In April 1985 he was invited to play Kato in The Green Hornet which was the start of his recognition for the talented artist he was. In February 1967 he opened his 3rd institute which attracted famous students such as Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, James Coburn and Roman Polanski and in July 1971 he shot The Big Boss in Thailand – his first movie. He founded his own production company Concord Productions Ltd so in 1972 he closed all three Kung Fu schools in the US and moved to Hong Kong to develop his acting career which resulted in him writing, directing, starring and providing martial arts direction with his newly founded company for The Way of the Dragon. He moved to 41 Cumberland Road, Kowloon Tong which is the MTR station we changed at to get to this museum – it brought home how close we were to Bruce while being there.
In September 1972 he began shooting action scenes for Game of Death but he never finished making this movie, this same year he filmed his 3rd movie, Fist of Fury. His 4th and movie “Enter the Dragon” was filmed in 1973. Game of Death was changed and released in 1978 to become his 5th and final movie.
At the age of 32 on 20th July 1973, he died suddenly of an aneurysm and the world lost a legend, far too soon.