The new year for China is on its way .On the 12th of February 2021 China will celebrate the new year of the OX .In the chinese astrology there are 12 animals for each year : the rat , the tiger , the dragon , the horse , the monkey , the dog , the rabbit , the ox ,the goat, the snake, the rooster and the pig .
Every zodiac is also defined by one of the 5 elements which are water , metal , wood , fire and soil . With a complex calculating system the astrologers do their fortunetelling for the year for the people in general as well as for the related individual .
The tumult of the Year of the Rat 2020 is going to an end being characterized by a year of anxiety lasting with a worldwide pandemic and its horrendus affects on people and nations worldwide .
According to chinese astrologers the Year of the Metal Ox that is going to start soon will be a year of hard work , positivity and honesty .
It will be a year where worldwide all the people will have the same wish – the wish of being healthy , safe and getting back to our “normals” refering our business lifes, school lifes , health systems , cultural exchanges , travels , social interactions .It was a divasting year filled with fears and losses so that the new year is full of hope for all , having also the vaccinations started in many nations .
When talking about chinese new year of course I need to talk about Hong Kong , a place that I visited maybe more than 50 times , mostly for business and a place that means sleepless nights as we were working day and night whenever we have been in Hong Kong .
The city reminds me of high skyscrapers with huge meeting rooms , a permanently beating heart of business and success as Hong Kong is one of the gates of China to the Western World , a worldwide very important finance and business center as well as trade center especially to Southeast Asia .
Hong Kong means my 3rd hometown since I spent so much time there , lived in the city for months , gained lots of very precious friendships and business relationsships and memories over there .
Hong Kong means Victoria Harbour , Tsim Sha Tsui , Canton Road , Nathan Road , Queens Road ,Harbour City , Ocean Terminal ,Lane Crawford , Starferry , 5 o clock Tea , Night markets , luxurious brands and shopping malls, Marco Polo , Gran Stanford – Interconti , The Felix ,the Shangri- La , 1881 Heritage ,the Ritz , The O-zone Bar , the Peak , the Tram , Aberdeen, Repulse Bay , the Hong Kong Cultural Center , IFC , Bejing Garden , Golden Chow Sang ,the beautiful exotic gardens and so much more .
A city that is full impulsing and does not sleep at all.
For me Hong Kong was always a place to mingle with the local people and tourists on the streets and to explore the city with its local markets like the Ladies Market in Mong Kok , the Temple Street Night market and the Jade Market in Jordan , its traditional decorations and festivals and its very beautiful shopping malls with its international brands . For people who love shopping Hong Kong for sure is a paradise .
Hong Kong is a city of luxury where people queue up in front of shops like LV , Burberry etc , a city where especially rich chinese ladies reserve 5 star hotel rooms just to keep their shopping bags .
It was always nice to discover the backyards with their little temples , mostly buddhist temples , which were a place of silence and faithfulness and the chinese music in the background.
It was also great to observe the local people meeting each other for the weekend to socialize ,
, to listen to the singers on the streets at Victoria Harbour , to have a 5 o clock tea at the 1881 heritage , to take a starferry to Hong Kong Island , to take a traditional chinese boat with its beautiful red sails to Stanley market at the weekend
and to have a dinner there at the Spanish or Vietnamese restaurant at the fisher village , to go for Lamma Island to have great seafood or even to Macau Island to enjoy the different ambiance of a former portuguese colony ,
to have some good seafood meal at the floating Jumbo Resyaurant in Aberdeen harbour
and to visit Oceanpark to see the black and white and red pandas over there .
I never get bored in Hong Kong as it was always enjoyable and full of happiness .The best is when you have HongKongnese friends over there whom to meet and to go for a great dinner in the numerous phantastic restaurants in Hong Kong .
Actually the city is also home to all kind of international cuisine and there are thousands of restaurants over there whether they are local cuisines from the different angles of China like Cantonese ,Anhui ,Fujian, Hunan , Jiangsu , Shandong , Szechuan or Zheijang or from allover the world like from India , Italy , Spain, German , Mongolia , Japan , Vietnam and so many more .
Certainly you can also have a lot of great dishes at the foodstops on the streets like in MongKok .What they have in common is that they are all excellent and very delicious .
Dumplings with shrimps, seafood , steamed fish , Dim sum , Pekin duck ,home made Wonton noodles , fried rice , hot pot ( especially in winter times in Hong Kong when temperature is below 20 degrees and share your vegetables and slim sliced meet in a hot bowling brew together ) , vegetables , spring rolls .
I love the chinese way of dining , sitting at a round table and sharing all the different dishes , cold and warm and get all the nice tea inbetween and having a nice chat together.
One of my favourite places to go is also the retro-chic Shanghai -style China Club on Hong Kong Island which is a private club . It fascinates me all the time when we go there with its gorgeous interior design which illustrates a chinese tea house in the 1930s of Hong Kong and its numerous historical art pieces and paintings which are from the old communist times .
There is always a chinese singer there with an old micro from the 1930s and once you enter the club you really have the feeling that you are back in time and in good old Hong Kong – a gorgeous , mindblowing atmosphere .
What is also a classic of mine , especially in summer times , is to take the very steep peak tram which is a funicular railway transporting tourists and citizens to the upper levels of Hong Kong island up to Victoria Peak ,
to have a nice seafood lunch or dinner at the Lookout Restaurant and to have a full walk around the peak which is the most greenest area in Hong Kong with a gorgeous view down to Hong Kong Island , to the sea and to the islands. Especially in summer it is also the coolest area in Hong Kong when it is very hot and humide down in the city .
So many great memories that we have and we are so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend this time in the Far East , in amazing Asia , in this special part of the world and to meet great people and to be at great locations .
I am very postive and hopeful for the future and my only wish ,as it is for mankind in this new year, is to get back to healthy and safe days and to have the chance to meet our family and friends allover the world and to appreciate our “normals ” in our lives back again .