Soy milk confusion in Hong Kong

Unlike my previous visit to Hong Kong when I was searching for cow milk, this time around I was on the hunt for soy milk.

Wellcome supermarket in Tai Po

At a nearby supermarket I found a wide selection.

Wide variety of soy milk available in a Hong Kong supermarket

From around the world.

Import Japanese milk and Australian soy milk in the supermaket

Including Australian brands like Sanitarium.

Wide variety of soy milk available in a Hong Kong supermarket

The packaging on these Australian made PureHarvest soy milks needed to be updated for the local market.

'Cholesterol free / lactose free' stickers slapped on cartons of PureHarvest soy milk

This carton having a promotional claim blacked out.

Blacked out promotional claim on the rear of a carton of PureHarvest soy milk

But the strangest soy milk I found was a carton of Vitasoy ‘Soy Milky’.

Australian-made Vitasoy 'Soy Milky' with the 'Lite' covered over for the Hong Kong market

It’s manufactured by Vitasoy’s subsidiary in Australia, then imported back into Hong Kong by the parent company.

But with one claim on the carton covered up:

Lite – Less than 2% Fat
40% less fat than Soy Milky Regular

Under Australia food standards, “Lite” means.

The food contains at least 25% less fat than in the same quantity of reference food.

While Hong Kong standards are much the same.

Nutrient comparative claim compares the energy value or the content level of nutrients contained in the same or similar types (e.g. same or different brands of the same or similar food items) of food.

Nutrient comparative claim must fulfil the following criteria –

i. The comparison must be on energy or those nutrients specified in Schedule 8 of the Amendment Regulation for different versions of the same or similar foods and is based on the same quantity of food;
ii. The description of the food being compared and the amount of difference (absolute value or as a percentage or a fraction) must be stated in close proximity to the nutrient comparative claims; and
iii. The comparison must meet the conditions below –

Total fat
25% Minimum Relative Difference
Liquid food: Not less than 1.5 g of total fat per 100 mL of food

So why did Vitasoy bother covering up the ‘Lite’ claim in Hong Kong? I’ve got no idea!

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Hong Kong loves butter cookies!

As a kid my Dad always bought Danish butter cookies for special occasions, but it seems like he isn’t alone – the rest of Hong Kong also loves them!

Chinese people love Kjeldsens Butter Cookies!

Kjeldsens being the big name in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong people love Kjeldsens Danish butter cookies!

They’re also popular over the border in Mainland China – if these advertisements on the Shanghai Metro are anything to go by.

Advertisements for Danisa brand Danish butter cookies on the Shanghai Metro

So at Mid-Autumn Festival I know what most people would prefer instead of more mooncakes.

Mooncake advertisement at Central station

A tin of butter cookies!

Hong Kong people love Kjeldsens Danish butter cookies!

Further reading

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Playing ‘where’s the car’ on the streets of Hong Kong

I recently saw a car advertisement where the first thing I noticed wasn’t the car, but the backdrop. I swear it was somewhere in Hong Kong, but I couldn’t quite pick the location. So where could it be?

Time to start digging

I initially got Kennedy Town vibes.

Western District Public Cargo Working Area at Kennedyt TOwn

Or Quarry Bay.

Looking over the harbour towards North Point

Definitely somewhere residential, with twisting roads up the hillsides looking down on a mix of residential towers, and not a New Town down at sea level.

The foothills of Kowloon around Wong Tai Sin was my other guess.

Apartment towers at Diamond Hill in Hong Kong

But after scanning around Google Earth for some time, I couldn’t find anything that matched.

A clue

These tall buildings looked rather distinctive.

So I headed over to Wikipedia’s list of tallest buildings in Hong Kong.

And I got lucky on entry #99 – ‘The Pacifica‘ in Lai Chi Kok was a match.


Exploringlife photo via Wikimedia Commons

I headed back onto Google Earth, and discovered Lai Chi Kok was right where Google’s 3D scanned buildings cut out. 😂


Google Earth

But the problem was actually at my end – turns out Google does cover it, but bad internet meant the page didn’t load the first time around.


Google Earth

Once I’d orientated the buildings in Google Earth to match the photo, I followed the terrain backwards until I noticed this loopy road hanging off the side of a hill.


Google Earth

Switching to Google Street View, I found it was a driveway leading to the ‘Villa Carlton’ development at 363 Tai Po Road, Cheung Sha Wan.


Google Street View

There’s another photo of this loop ramp over at the Gwulo website.


Photo via Gwulo.com

Unfortunately Google Street View doesn’t actually go down the driveway.


Google Street View

But it looks like the same spot to me.

Especially in the extra angles I found from the same photo shoot.

Definitely the same looping ramp.

Footnote – more Hong Kong locations!

I looks like the marketing team for the Polestar 2 electric car spent some time in Hong Kong.

Visiting Des Voeux Road Central.

This very familiar elevated road that I’m unable to pinpoint.

And this ‘generic’ freeway shot that just screams Hong Kong.

Any takers for finding the location of the last two photos? 😉

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Closing time at Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Square is a major tourist attraction located in the heart of Beijing, so you’d thinking finding out the closing time would be easy – but you’d be wrong!

Haze fills the air at Tiananmen Square as the sun starts to set

Time to pay a visit

I visited Tiananmen Square after a long day of sightseeing, and the sun was starting to go down.

Sun starts to go down at Tiananmen Square

When soldiers from the Beijing Garrison Honor Guard Battalion marched in.

PLA soldiers march past for the start of the flag lowering ceremony

A crowd soon formed.

Waiting for the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

Around the central flagpole.

Red flag flies over Tiananmen Square

Out came the mobile phone cameras.

Mobile phone snappers at the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

A sea of LCD screens.

Mobile phone snappers at the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

As the soldiers took their positions.

Mobile phone snappers at the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

To lower the flag.

Mobile phone snappers at the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

And it’s down.

Mobile phone snappers at the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

The soldiers then marched off again.

Soldiers depart following the flag lowering ceremony at Tiananmen Square

Leaving the tourists to mill around.

Night falls following the flag lowering ceremony in Tiananmen Square

Taking happy snaps.

Happy snaps at twilight in Tiananmen Square

But then out of nowhere appear police vans.

Police chase the public out of Tiananmen Square at closing time

Shepherding the crowds out of the square.

Police car chases out the last few visitors from Tiananmen Square

Most took the hint, but a a few stragglers were left behind.

Police car chases out the last few visitors from Tiananmen Square

As the cleaners started work.

Closing time at Tiananmen Square, as the cleaners start work

I then got chased out as well.

Police car chases out the last few visitors from Tiananmen Square

Out of Tiananmen Square, and back onto the street.

Police car chases out the last few visitors from Tiananmen Square

Where I found the soldiers marching back to their barracks.

Chinese soldiers march back to their barracks following the flag lowering ceremony at Tiananmen Square

Followed by plain clothed police offices.

Undercover police march back to their barracks following their day at Tiananmen Square

Leaving the square locked up until sunrise the next day.

Tiananmen Square locked up for the night

So what time does Tiananmen Square close?

For some reason many website quote “10 pm” as the closing time – but that didn’t match my experience at Tiananmen Square.

However visitor in 2009 had the similar experience as me.

Saw the lowering of the national flag, lots of soldiers looking official. Within minutes of the flag coming down, police directed people off the square with angry yells and gestures. I would not like to get these guys pissed off! Smiled at one of the police, he did not smile back!

This tourist website describes closing time more politely.

After the flag-lowering ceremony, the police will politely ask members of the crowd to stop lingering.

As does this Canadian journalist.

The police presence (both uniformed and plain clothes) is immense.

This force leaps into action immediately following the flag ceremony, as the Square is systematically evacuated. Police cars, trucks and armoured vehicles come out of nowhere and corral the thousands of onlookers out of the Square in a matter of minutes.

This is a practised and efficient drill. We watch in amazement as we, along with the rest of the crowd, are herded towards the several exit points leaving the Square.

While someone on Tripadvisor says don’t even bother with the flag lowering ceremony.

Some people actually spend hours waiting for it. But there’s really nothing much, all done in silence. An anti-climax. And immediately after the ceremony, the security will clear everyone out from the square. That’s the time when the lights come on at the Forbidden Palace across the road, which presents a great photo opportunity.

And finally – an answer

I eventually found the closing time thanks to the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality – Tiananmen Management Committee – on a Chinese-language only webpage.

Question: Closing time of Tiananmen Square

Reply: Hello, the daily opening hours of Tiananmen Square are about one hour before the flag is raised and the end of the flag is lowered.

As well as the possible source of the “10 pm” closing time – that’s when the lights get switched off.

Question: What time does the night lighting time of Tiananmen Gate Tower end?

Response: According to the “Notice on Printing and Distributing Beijing Night View Lighting Management Measures” of the General Office of the Beijing Municipal People’s Government:

  • Weekday closing time: from May 1st to September 30th, at 22:00 every day. From October 1st to April 30 of the following year, it will be 21:30 every day.
  • General holiday closing time: from May 1st to September 30th, at 22:30 every day. From October 1st to April 30th of the following year, at 22:00 every day.
  • major holidays: Closing time: 24 o’clock every day.

The turn-on time is uniformly turned on with the road lighting.

So closing time at Tiananmen Square is sunset, and don’t even try to hang around!

Footnote: security everywhere

Entering Tiananmen Square requires running the gauntlet of security.

Pedestrian crossing leading into Tiananmen Square

Bags and ID get checked at the gatehouse before entering the square.

Security checkpoint at an entrance to Tiananmen Square

With long lines in peak times.

Visitors wait in the security line before entering Tiananmen Square

And once inside, police are everywhere.

Police van on patrol at Tiananmen Square

With police cars.

Police cars parked in the middle of Tiananmen Square

Vans.

Police van on patrol at Tiananmen Square

And armoured trucks.

Police truck parked opposite Tiananmen Square

And another thing…

One thing you won’t see at Tiananmen Square is advertising, including on passing buses.

Buses and bike riders on Chang'an Avenue, beside Tiananmen Square

The reason – Beijing Municipality’s Measures for the Administration of the Installation of Outdoor Advertisements.

Article 9  

It is forbidden to install outdoor advertising facilities on the Tiananmen Square area and within 100 meters on the east and west sides of the square.

Article 10:

Passing vehicles with body advertisements are prohibited from the section of Chang’an Avenue from the west of Wangfujing Intersection (excluding Wangfujing Intersection) to the east of Xidan Intersection (excluding Xidan Intersection) and the Tiananmen Square area . However, vehicles temporarily called for due to large-scale events are excluded.

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A Singapore bus in Hong Kong

I’ve written before about retired Hong Kong buses in Australia, but here’s a different example – a retired Singapore double-deck bus was purchased by a private collector and shipped to Hong Kong.


Photo: 縱橫巴士綫.BusLanes

Bus SBS9844Z was first registered in April 2003, and used in Singapore until reaching the end of its 17-year statutory lifespan. It was was retired from service in April 2020 and was sold to a private collector, arriving in Hong Kong aboard the vessel Hoegh St. Petersburg on 3 August 2020.

A total of 50 Volvo Super Olympian buses entered service in Singapore between 2002 and 2003, with a Volvo B10TL chassis fitted with Volgren CR222LD bodywork, supplied as a complete-knock down (CKD) kit and assembled in Singapore.

And some videos

Here we see SBS9844Z under tow in Singapore following retirement.

Headed to the port.

On arriving in Hong Kong, it made a special excursion for National Day of the Republic of Singapore.

Has popped up on the streets of Kowloon.

Met up with a Hong Kong cousin – the last Citybus Volvo Super Olympian double decker.

And featured in a video for HK Bus Channel 巴士台.

Footnote: the crossover you never knew you needed

A photo of a Tower Transit bus in Singapore showing a route 106 ‘Wong Tai Sin’ destination did the rounds of the internet back in 2016, so a Hong Kong bus fan repaid the favour and programmed the Singaporean route 106 ‘Bukit Batok’ destination onto one of their buses.

Further reading

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