Chinese New Year crowds at Won Tai Sin temple
I had been pondering for a long time where I should spend Chinese New Year - after all, it was to be my last week of my adventures in Asia. In the end, I figured I had already been to Taiwan, China is too big to just visit for a few days (and the visa fee is too hefty), and I couldn't really spend any more time in Singapore. So Hong Kong it was.

I instantly fell in love with the city and would have loved to stay longer and see more. But once I got there, the cold I had been dragging along with me for 3 weeks turned into a really nasty flu and I spent my days mostly in my tiny room, coughing my heart out and drinking weird herbal teas the elderly lady at the hostel kept giving me.

In the four days I spent there, I didn't really have the energy to go out more than 3-4 hours each day, yet I enjoyed it a lot - even though I managed to be late for both the New Year's Parade and the fireworks, so it was too crowded to take any decent pictures of those. I can assure you they were fun ;)

Though it was a short visit (it was so crowded, you couldn't linger), the visit to Wong Tai Sin temple was impressive. Thousands of people went to pray and welcome the New Year. There were announcements that you should only carry a few sticks of incense because of the smoke and fire hazard, but most people carried fat bunches of the stuff, anyway.

Announcements were in English and Cantonese, and they explicitly encouraged "foreign contributions".
I didn't grab any incense, as I've done this thing before and I was already half-choking and gasping for air anyway.

 Most of the shops were closed for the first two days of the New Year, but not the infamous goldfish market - because you never know when you might need a goldfish to welcome the year of the dragon!

Hong Kong is famous for it's many advertising billboards literally everywhere, but postcards capture those much better than my crappy little camera. I was surprised to see this ad on the back of a bus stop - Asia is not really a vegetarian's paradise, though I guess a bit more than all other continents.

it even had a screen that played an animal rights video every now and then
I also had many dumplings, most of which were ordered off menus with hilarious English. Service was so swift I didn't have time to take any pictures of the menus, but look at this juice shop offering delicious "tleasule juice" - fresh off Tleasule Ireland :)

this means 'moustache' in German - the smartest incorporation of the word 'bar' in a bar name ever!
In spite of running a fever and using all the 7/11 tissues I could lay my hands on, it was a special time!

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