A Halloween Welcome to the Gardens!
Travel Tales is what I have decided to call the series of posts I have planned, to share some photos from our recent travels to Asia to visit our eldest daughter. I hope those of you coming here to read about Italy will not mind too much if I diversify with these articles as it is at the request of some of my readers, that I share our experiences here. I am hoping you will enjoy them!
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens were one of our favourite places on our first visit to Hong Kong last year, so it was somewhere we decided to revisit very early on in our trip this time. It is such a surprising oasis of peace right in the city centre amongst all the skyscrapers. We did not spend much time there this visit as we had a couple of other destinations planned for the same day and had after all seen it all before albeit at a different time of the year. Although if I lived in Hong Kong I would certainly spend many happy hours there with my camera, there is so much to see. If you want to see more photographs of the Gardens taken last Spring you are welcome to peruse my Flickr Album China 2010 - Hong Kong Volume 4
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens ( 香港動植物公園) is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centres in the world. It occupies an area of 5.6 hectares at Mid-levels, on the northern slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Founded in 1871, its first stage had been opened to the public in 1864. The Zoological part of the name was in fact only added in 1975 when the Gardens were renamed to reflect the increased number of zoological exhibits.
The park was previously named Bing Tau Fa Yuen (「兵頭花園」) "Bing Tau" literally means "the head of the soldiers" or the "Commander-in-Chief". Some said it was named such way by the Chinese because it was once the private garden of the governor. Other said Bing Tau was just the phonetic transliteration of the first two syllables of the word botanical.
At the southern entrance to the gardens, at Upper Albert Road, is a memorial arch dedicated to the Chinese who died assisting the Allies during the two World Wars. The inscription on the lintel reads: "In Memory of the Chinese who died loyal to the Allied cause in the Wars of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945". The granite arch in the shape of a paifang was erected in 1928. Reference to the Second World War was added later.
By far the easiest way of letting you view a large selection of photos easily is by producing some collages, the photos can be viewed individually in larger format in my Flickr Album by those of you interested in more detail. Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
The photograph in the middle of this second collage is a bronze statue of King George VI which was erected in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of British colonial rule over Hong Kong (1841–1941).
The complete set of my photos can be viewed in the Flickr Album Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens