A trip to the Hong Kong Wetland Park 香港湿地公园一游

Last Thursday I went to the Hong Kong Wetland Park, which is a huge natural wetland situated adjacent to the border between Hong Kong and Mainland China. The Park is home to thousands species of fishes, water animals and insects and birds. It also provides a transit sanctuary to, may be, millions of migrating birds en route to the South before the dawning of the winter. On that day, it was cloudy, warm and humid, not a good day for a trip of such sort. However, a day away from the hectic city life of Hong Kong was a bliss anyway. I enjoyed it very much. As Hong Kong was turning into Spring, I could not see too many birds at the Park. I was told by a guide at the Park that the best time for birds watching there were the months of October or November each year. I took some photos with my iPhone, coupled with the cloudiness on that day, which photos did not do justice to the Park and me. Please read about the Park in English, Spanish and Chinese.

I also saw Pui Pui, the crocodile which enjoyed celebrity status when it was captured in 2004 (see photo above). Please read about the story of Pui Pui in English and Chinese.

上周四我到香港湿地公园一游,这是一个巨大天然湿地,位于香港与大陆边境毗邻,该 公园是数千品种水动物,昆虫和鸟类之家,它同时为数以百万计之候鸟提供过境庇护。当天天气多云,闷热和潮湿,并不是一个游该公园的好时间,但是可以离开香港繁嚣紧张生活一刻都是一件赏心乐事。由于香港已进入春季,在公园看不到太 多雀鸟,当天导游说最佳赏鸟的时间是每年的十月及十一月,我用我带去的iPhone拍了几张照片,加上当天多云拍到的照片效果不好,对湿地公园和我不公平。当天我还探访了鳄鱼贝贝(请看以上照 片),当年2004年它被捕时,新闻多多,有似明星般。

Wealth or Health?

This is a sequel to my blog on the poem entitled “Ching Ming Festival” by Du Mu. It happened that I was talking to a good friend (let’s name her Mary) who happened to live in the home town of Du Mu – Taiyuan of Shanxi, China. For those who had helped me in the translation of the poem in Spanish, a few of them wondered what and where is “杏花村” named in the poem. In Chinese it is “Xin hua cun” and in English it is “apricot flower village”. According to Mary, historians had it that the village was somewhere in the Anhui Province, but she thought it was likely to be in her home province of “山西” Shanxi (literally means “mountain’s West”). Mary thought so because “Xing hua cun” is in Fen Yang(汾阳)city of the Shanxi province and the city is famous for “杏花村酒”(the wine named after the Xin hua cun).

I tried to be nice and made a comment to Mary that her hometown had to be very beautiful, otherwise, it would not have inspired Du Mu to write such a beautiful poem. Mary surprised me by saying that Shanxi is now polluted by the mining industry in the province. If you look up the link on Shanxi above, you will notice that Shanxi is one the most important mining producing centres in China. No wonder there is pollution. It seems that many miners died of related accidents too. I think Du Mu could never have imagined a scenario like this. What a pity that the ambiance of the environment has to give way to apparent prosperity.

I have a friend from Colombia (let’s call him Carlos),who informed me the other day that he did not have to attend classes at his university as there was a protest going on. As I understand from Carlos, the university was on the verge of going into bankruptcy as it did not get enough funding from the Government, which the lacked the funds. I informed Carlos that the Hong Kong Government does not have this kind of problem as we have large foreign exchange reserves. Carlos joked about coming to work in Hong Kong. I told him that he had to put up with the poor air quality here. Carlos informed me proudly that Colombia is one of cleanest country, in terms of air quality,in the world. I envy Colombia because the air quality in HOng Kong is getting worse and worse because of the air pollution blowing out from Mainland China. As a matter of fact. we are getting less and less number of “blue sky” days in Hong Kong in a year. This is just the price we have to pay for a better economy.

So I ask myself the question: Which is more important: Wealth or Healthy?