This is called a Bodhi Wishing tree. I encountered this on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. People flock to these wishing trees to write down a wish, ask for it while standing under the tree, and then hang it on the tree. It is a charming notion, and I am not ashamed to say I followed the custom and made my own wish while there that day.
While in Hong Kong, I returned to Kowloon to check out the famous "Ladies Market", where for may many blocks, you can shop the outdoor market for a variety of wares. If you like to bargain shop and haggle/negotiate this is a great place to shop. Never pay full price. Always negotiate. Most merchants will go down as low as 50% of the original price they quote-but rarely less than that. There is everything from souvenirs, clothing trinkets, to statues, silks, leather goods and bracelets galore. It is often very crowded, and since it is open to midnight, it is an excellent option to maximize the day. My advice is to eat dinner before going there. There aren't great restaurants in the immediate vicinity, and those that are there have a long wait. It is worth checking out; just remember, it is cash only in most stalls.
|photo from my hotel window in Hong King, looking out to the hillside|
For some reason I love this photo. I snapped it at a popular restaurant called Din Tai Fung, known for its amazing dumplings. The dumpling chefs make zillions of dumplings all day long, and it is fascinating to watch them go at it.
Overall, I had a great trip in Asia. It turned out to be highly productive from a business standpoint, and personally I enjoyed the time I spent with my Asian business colleagues. But as mentioned, it was so nice to return home again. My two poodles Duncan and Sheldon were delighted to see me. Owen too! (you can see his butt behind Sheldon). Little things like being able to go to sleep with the pets curled up next to me always seems extra nice after being away from them for a few weeks. And so, this Asian journey is complete for now. For those of you who enjoy travel, stay tuned, Rick's Roadshow will return in a few weeks from a far away land...