journalist – writer – traveler

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Then and now: How Hong Kong’s Christmas decorations have changed from Tsim Sha Tsui to Causeway Bay


Thanks God! This is my best Christmas present this year. The long and exhausting effort of tracking down the photos’ locations and shooting has not been wasted. But I really enjoy this project! I went back to the Christmas hotspots which I used to go in childhood. I saw how Hong Kong has changed-THEN, the Christmas lights were cute, NOW were fewer and commercial. Merry Christmas!


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Star Wars in Hong Kong: What we said the first time the Force came to our cinemas


Second byline on SCMP news. I have been working on the old newspaper and photos in archive. Though tiring but interesting.

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Step or fall

Below is a set of multiple choices, which hide my story. Highlight and make the answer visible below each questions. If you take the choices I took on that day, you will find the way out.


  1. It was a Sunday in March. My Czech and Chinese friends invited me to go hiking in Louny, a small town near Prague. I hadn’t decided yet. Until I woke up in the morning, I doubted because

          a. I suffered insomnia last night because of the coffee. So my condition was not suitable for hiking.

          b. I was not so interested in hiking. It is a tiring exercise.

          c. The weather was not good. Although rain stopped, it was still foggy.

A, B, C go to Q.2


  1. The three reasons made me stumble.

          a. I decided to go because of my friends.

          b. I decided to go because I believed the day would be a happy memory in my exchange life.

          c. I waited for a bit longer to see if the weather would be better.

          d. I decided to sleep in the morning and join them in the afternoon.

          e. I did not go because I really felt unwell.


A, B go to Q.3
C, D: “Sorry, you are out!” I could not wait even for a minute. My friends and the bus would not wait for me. And I did not know how to go to Louny.
E: “Sorry, you are out!” Although I felt unwell, I still chose to go.


  1. On the one-hour bus, I fell asleep and got energy. Before we went hiking,

          a. We walked around the Louny village.

          b. We grabbed some food in supermarket.

          c. We visited a church.

          d. We went to the toilet in a cinema.

B: “Sorry, you are out!” Supermarkets were closed on Sunday. All of us had brought food.
A, C, D go to Q. 4


  1. We planned to climb a dead volcano called Oblik. But there was a long way since

          a. We had a big group about 30 people. We had to wait and walk slowly.

          b. It started to rain.

          c. We were walking on road, a trail for car rather than for hikers.

          d. We had to pass through the field.


A: “Sorry, you are out!” Although we had a big group, we kept our pace.
B: “Sorry, you are out!” It was not yet raining.
C, D go to Q. 5


  1. Feeling impatient, we decided to take a shortcut.

          a. We found a shortcut trail.

          b. We walked across the field.

          c. We walked across the forests.

          d. We climbed up the slope.


A: “Sorry, you are out!” There was no hiking trail yet! We made up the trail.

B, C, D go to Q. 6


  1. It was not easy because

          a. Our shoes were trapped in the mud.

          b. We had to push away the tree branches.

          c. We had to aware the wild animals.

          d. We were already tired.

          e. We were thirsty and hungry.


A, B, D go to Q.7

C: “Sorry, you are out!” There were no animals.
E: “Sorry, you are out!” We felt tired rather than thirsty or hungry.


  1. After taking rest on a slope and viewing down the beautiful plain, we finally reached the hill. It came to the most exciting but dangerous part in our trip.

          a. There was no hiking trail.

          b. We climbed with our hands and foot.

          c. The hill was a forest.

          d. The hill had river streams.

          e. It suddenly started raining on our half way and we were all wet.

          f. The hill was as steep as 30 degrees.


A, B, E, F go to Q.8
C, D: “Sorry, you are out!” The hill was a bare grassland with thorns.


  1. Ominous! The trip suddenly turned to be life-threatening.

          a. We went back and down the hill immediately.

          b. We slid down .

          c. We kept up before the rain turned heavy.

          d. We encouraged each other to resist.

          e. We hid under the trees.

          f. We fell down because of the slippery soil.

          g. We got hurt by the thorns, which scratched our skins and clothes.


C, D, G go to Q. 9
A: “Sorry, you are out!” We did not give up. The best and easiest way was to go up to find another trail. And we saw some other people on top the hill.
B: “Sorry, you are out!” It was impossible to slide down the thorns.
E: “Sorry, you are out!” No trees on hill!
F: “Sorry, you are out!” I slipped several times but I held the thorns tight.


  1. Sparing no efforts, we reached the top! The rain and wind blew and hit our faces. Looking down the flatland and greenery, it was peacefully beautiful. Looking up the stormy sky, it was wild and gray.

          a. Nature is amazing. Spend some time and appreciate it, we will find its wonder.

          b. We wanted shortcuts to end those dull things. But keep in mind, shortcuts take risks.

          c. Our goal, the hill, looked to be very close but actually very far.

          d. Process is long but we can always find reasons to enjoy and learn from it.

          e. Some parts in life are hard and painful. We wiped our tears and withstand. When we look back, “How strong we have been!”

          f. Today I earned many friendships. Friends are always important along our life.

A, B, C, D, E, F go to Q. 10


  1. We finally found the “official” hiking trials and returned safely.

Congratulations! You make it! Leave your feelings below or in heart.



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Falling into Van Gogh wonderland

I remember that was a gloomy day. The morning rain softly then hardly kissed the land of Amsterdam. Travelers hated it because we have to clumsily cover ourselves with umbrella and we cannot take nice pictures. So we spent hours in Van Gogh museum.



Van Gogh, I describe him as a crazily wonderful Impressionist painter. The reason I fell in love with him is that he inspired me “paint your pain”. Painting remained in his utmost pain of depression. His style played with contrasting colors and thick curves. When I contemplated his works, which the most attractive are “Sunflowers” and “Wheatfield with a reaper”, my mind suddenly turned bright and clear. In one moment, I understood life.


After the visit, we wandered around the city. My friend eagerly reminded to try the space cake, said to be a must itinerary. I was not sure, but I would like to try. I followed her upstairs to a coffee shop. The coffee shop was filled with strong cannabis particles, so as cigarettes. It was decorated as a pretty blue ocean world. We sat. The bartender and neighbor customers stared at us strangely, conveying something like “where comes these stupid girls?”


We ordered a space cake, costed nine euros. The bartender asked for our identity cards to make sure we were over 18 years old. After finishing her cocktail in hand, she put the cake on our table. From surface, it is a normal delicious chocolate cake topped with colorful chocolate pieces. Funnily, it is attached with a piece of paper written its ingredients and red hints.



We shared it into half. I smelt it “Not strong cannabis scent”, then I tried it “Full of cannabis!” Then, I looked at my friend who was wearing a blank and disappointed face. She felt merely a piece of chocolate cake, “Nothing special.” “What? The weed taste is prominent!” I frowned. “Just very tiny!” she replied sadly.


We left the coffee shop and kept on window shopping. But after 20 minutes, as I turned round from a souvenir shop, something happened in me. I felt terribly dizzy.


The world is spinning. I was spinning into Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Along his brush, I slid down the thick lines and down into the bottomless vortex. It was dark with nothing. The voices on street seemed so far from other space.

The world is shaking. I was shaking. My sight was like the screen of special effect in film. It blurred. I could not see the way. I tried hard to widen my opens and focus. But I could not. I did not want to see.

The world is sleeping. I wanted to sleep. So tired. So tired. All my energy lost at once. I felt like I was so light that I could fly. But if I closed my eyes, I was afraid I would fall into a long long sleep.


My friend was holding me by side. We slowly approached to another museum as we had booked a visit. Luckily, my other friends finished the visit and picked me up. I remember the staff member, a young man. I remember his blue eyes. I remember his warm words and smile, “I tried once and never try anymore. My reaction was feeling very hungry. But after a sleep, everything goes back. Don’t worry. Go and take a rest. You will be fine.”



People said taking drugs can be happy and relieved. But why I only feel tired and bitter? Is this a dream? Can I wake up? Will I die? Am I worried? No, I had no energy and time to fear, but I did pray.

I entered a video game. Many shapes appeared with different sharp colors. They were jumping everywhere. When I wanted them bigger, they rapidly enlarged to full screen. Then, they flickered continuously and danced crazily. I felt like I could control everything. But, why I could not stop the game? Why was there no “game over”?


I don’t remember how I took tram and walked back to my hostel. I remember I immediately lied on my bed and fell asleep. My friend left me a pack of cookies and said, “When you wake up, eat this if you feel hungry.”


I saw Van Gogh, Van Gogh lonely and depressed face.


In morning, I woke up. My spirit was still sleepy but I felt like a human. I almost died. Thanks God I was alive. Yesterday was a nightmare. I called my parents. They immediately worried about me with a blaming tone. I regretted. I should not have done this. I told myself to remember this feeling so I would never do this stupid dangerous thing.


I looked out the window. Amsterdam was foggy but with pieces of blue in the sky.

Yes, after rest, everything goes back, you will be fine.



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