PREPARATIONS FOR THE BUN FESTIVAL
Our excellent guide around the Ping Shan Heritage Trail earlier in the year, Pauline Poon, took us out once again, this time to Cheung Chau to watch the heats for competitors in the ‘bun scrambling’ event that takes place on the final day of the Bun Festival. These days the event has been ‘sanitized’ and those taking part have to use harnesses, while the tower has a metal frame to prevent collapse. Nonetheless we were deeply impressed by the ability of the competitors to scamper lightly to the top of the tower with seemingly little effort! Pauline then took us to the Pak Tai temple, intimately linked to the Bun Festival where we had a lengthy discussion about what constitutes ‘good’ and ‘not so good’ restoration. At that point she reckoned that we had earned a treat and so off we went to a local bakery to discover the taste of the festival’s buns (and other delicacies) for ourselves. We then went on to discover some of the island’s other heritage buildings; a 1930s Art Deco cinema, fallen into disuse; the Hung Shing Temple and behind it the Fong Pin Hospital , dating from the 1930s, and mortuary, part of a tradition of Chinese philanthropy that provided places for poor people without families to go and die.
As ever when Pauline takes us out we learned a great deal and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Our heartfelt thanks to Pauline for making it such a great day out.