I had an invite to Hong Kong for the holidays and needed a visa renewal for my coming year in China so I spent Christmas with some friends in Kowloon area of HK (the Mainland side of the city.) This was also an ideal time to research details for my current writing project. The Guardian – An Inspector Ma mystery.
After sharing the holidays, getting the visa and packing in some business meetings I set aside Saturday to have one relaxing day to enjoy the special atmosphere of the city. Though I awoke to a morning downpour, I did not let it dampen my spirits. The fates were on my side and it cleared for a nice lunch picnic in Kowloon Park enjoying the flamigo bird enclosure and the many richly colored garb of the many Muslims and folks of all races that frequent this park, which is such a peaceful Oasis located just off the busy Nathan Road. I was driven indoors for another bout of storm soon after my repast.
Of course, no trip to Hong Kong is complete without a visit to Central on the Hong Kong island itself and a climb up the hill. Luckily, I had the pleasure of meeting up with journalist, China hand and insightful scholar Dave Lore for an afternoon coffee at Portabello on Staunton and then a walk to the Peak. The day was topped by a nice supper in a restaurant on Hollywood before catching the Star Ferry back from the Island to Kowloon and returned to my lodgings just as an yet evening downpour struck.
During my time in the city I was able to get a wide sampling of the back streets, small neighborhoods and small, local shops to add the needed spice to my writing. Not a bad day in HK.
The next step was to leave my pleasant roost in HK and meet up with my dear Shenzhen-based friend and actress Ting Ni. The order of the day was to connect her with a producer eager to work with a talent of her caliber.
On to the way further North, I stopped in at the great folks at Guangzhou-based Ace Studios, who worked on one of the feature films I produced. They are kicking off the next Roger Corman film, a classic martial arts film and I met up with Xin Sarith Wuku on the set of the new Roger Corman martial arts action film. Xin is renowned for Urban Ninja viral video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2kJZOfq7zk along with the stunt troupe the EMCmonkeys http://www.emcstunts.com/ Xin is playing a villain in this classic-style martial arts film. I got to watch some fight choreography and stunt planning and fun things like blowing stuff up. This is surely going to be a fun film in the classic Hong Kong action tradition.
Joining a New Years gathering with the Australian stunt coordinator Trung Ly and his team. Back to Beijing tomorrow.
I will be riding the new Gaotie High Speed bullet train which opened December 26 and makes the formerly 23 hour run in Just 8 hours of ample legroom comfort. I was warned they do not have the level of catering that matches the comfortable accommodations yet, so I will be packing my own food for the journey. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/beijing-to-guangzhou-in-8-hours-on-chinas-new-super-fast-train/story-e6frg6so-1226543621328