This is the Chinese Almanac that I have been using since the early 2000s when a friend recommended it to me. It is published in Hong Kong, compiled by Master Cai Be Li (pinyin). I usually get my copy from an incense shop located at Chinatown's Smith Street. There is a hard cover more expensive version.
Going far back into China's ancient history, almanacs were once used solely for the emperor and royalty. Physical copies of this royal almanac can be traced back to the Tang and Song dynasties (835 ad). In 2011, I met a Taiwanese speaker at a regional I-Ching conference in Taipei who had a private collection of these royal almanacs.
Master Chua shows depth of knowledge in his field and shares information in a light hearted yet professional manner.
We have engaged him to be our FengShui Master for our new house. From the first meet up session, he has been very approachable and patient in answering our enquiries, and explanation of our bazi. He has made it easier for us to digest by offering solutions and better managing our life ahead. He has been meticulous in ensuring that every corner of our new house has been covered. He has also spend long hours with us in assisting the contractor to tilt our door which is the most important part of a new house.
Soon as we have move in, great news came as we are expecting a new family member(baby) to be joining into our family portrait. This was a joyful moment for both of us and our family members. His services does not just stop after the completing of our new house, he continue to provide us with guidance whenever we have other enquiries. We are really thankful and pleased for Master Chua's guidance and personnel services that he has rendered to us.
Client source: Referral, Word of mouth
One of my favourite local street-food in Singapore is Laksa. The original version has a spicy hot broth made from dried shrimps and coconut milk, along with other spices and usually topped with servings of hard-boiled egg, tau pok, and cockles. And so, quite obviously the original Laksa is not vegetarian!
There are many vegetarian food stalls offering vegetarian versions of Laksa in Singapore, but they just do not measure up to the original version. I was very pleased to have found a vegetarian restaurant that serves up a version that satisfied my craving for spicy food about 2 years ago. Just had it for lunch. I have included a photo below of this satisfying dish, the vegetarian version but the broth is still thick in consistency, and filled with lots of spicy flavours. If you vegetarian tips to share, do send me a message and I may start doing reviews on this web site!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!
The photo above was taken on my iPhone 5 that I keep as a spare smart phone now when I travel. It was taken in October 2013. Beautiful place. Beautiful memory. You will see that my travels have a theme .. the 4 seasons.
The Chinese solar calendar is divided equally into 24 solar terms (Jie Qi), 12 marking the first day of the respective 12 solar months (Jie), and 12 marking the half-way point of each month (Qi).
Of the 24 solar terms, 4 of them mark the beginning of seasons:
4 of them mark the equinoxes
Simply put, Autumn Equinox marks the halfway point of the "autumn" season. Most of the local readers here in South East Asia, living in the tropics, will have a question about the 4 seasons in the Chinese solar calendar. We only have two seasons here, season of hot and hot and the season of hot and wet. It is basically hot all year round. The Chinese solar calendar was invented in China, using the seasons to mark out the calendrical divisions. It does not necessarily dictate the weather that the calendar indicates.
For 2016, the day of Autumn Equinox is 22 September 2016 at 22:21 hours, according to an electronic Chinese almanac I use on my iPhone. For temperate countries, it is observed that the seasonal weather enters into Autumn, as the earth cools down from the hot summer season.
Earlier in the year, the local morning newspapers reported on the special rates for Singapore citizens and permanent residents for this concert on the first night of the F1 Singapore Night Race. Many people missed it but not me! My income had been reduced since leaving the corporate 9-5 life in 2001 for this self-employed job as a Feng Shui and Ba Zi consulting xian sheng / mister. For some strange reason or another people always think that I look rich. I am not! Your ang pow rewards are very welcome :-). Anyway, back to the concert, it was $38 only for a one day Zone 4 walk-about ticket to the F1 Singapore Night Race, the finale for the first night after the races being this Kylie Minogue concert at 11pm.
Unlike the other Feng Shui Master-type colleagues in this field, I do not put up an image of the "ah Pek master type". I have mastered what I have learnt this far, still learning whenever the opportunity arises. I love music, I used to work in the music industry, I loved listening to music in my teenage schooling years and I still listen to music, both western English and Asian mandarin music. Feng Shui Master or not, I am just like any other person! If you are a fan of the stereotypical "conservative" image of a Feng Shui Master, you have visited the wrong web page! Feng Shui is a skill, not a death sentence to be someone that I am not!
Photos: Chua Chee Hiang
Shot on iPhone
It was a superb 90 minutes concert by Kylie Minogue, costume changes, great dancers and a set list of hits from the 1980s up until the 2015 album. The best $38 I had spent so far on a concert!
Photos by Chua Chee Hiang © 2016
Shot on iPhone
Buildings, people, buildings everywhere.
This is the follow-up trip as the shop fittings come in. I decided to stay a little longer this time to explore Hong Kong island and Kowloon a little, and take more photographs. The weather was not too good, too hot and humid, and it rained everyday. Still I managed to take some nice shots on my iPhone 6sPlus. There are many sides to Hong Kong, the tall skyscraper glass covered buildings, the packed shopping malls and shopping streets, the heritage buildings and then there are the gritty and dirty backlanes; the posh restaurants and cafes, the wet markets selling fresh seafood, meats and vegetables to the loud and noisy traditional restaurants where their focus is on food (not service!).
Full of graffiti and character
The PMQ near Lan Kwai Fong
Walking up the steep hills of the Central area was quite a task in the hot and humid weather. If you are visiting Hong Kong next year during summer, here is a travel tip, wear shorts and really light clothes like t-shirts and tank tops. My partner took the "ding ding" tram from Wanchai to Central and along the way I managed to get a really good spontaneous shot of this couple having their wedding photo shoot by the tram lines.
Took a subway train, the MTR to Sham Shui Po on the Kowloon side, as my client suggested a street there where they sold beads and accessories for my arts and crafts work. I was looking for a supplier of cords for the bracelets I make. While walking through an underpass, I saw this other side of Hong Kong. As usual I donated my spare change. There were homeless people sleeping behind those cardboard boxes you see in the photo above. The old man said thank you, it was not much, just HK$10 loose change. I wonder if he has the strength to actually get up as he looked quite weak. I don't make as much these days in terms of income but if I could, I would have given a lot more.
City of contrast
I met up with an old friend and his wife for dinner, they are Singaporeans living in Hong Kong for quite some time now. Over a dinner conversation I said what makes Hong Kong different and full of character is that it has a mix of old and new. The gritty aspects give the place character, a punch of real to contrast with the glitzy glass facades of skyscrapers. At the Times Square area you see can a huge Prada boutique, and 2 streets down you see a wet market made up of shop lots selling all kinds of fresh produce in the Wanchai area.
There are the 4 and 5 stars hotels with luxury suites, and then there are the guest houses of Mongkok. Under a flyover in Wanchai on the Hong Kong island side, we chanced upon the mini shrines run by Cantonese aunties offering prayers services for a fee - to "hit small people / villains" or for a "blessing". And on the next street you find the hipster cafes, shops and high-end brand boutiques.
Until the next time, good bye Hong Kong!
Thanks to Google Maps, it is easy to organise my work, storing addresses and at the same time look at the terrain maps.
Hong Kong has a very interesting landform with a lot of hill ranges. Kowloon itself in Chinese means "9 Dragons", dragon itself a word used in Feng Shui to describe landforms. The historical trivial is that there were actually 8 dragons (mountains) but to make the Emperor happy, he was included a dragon too, hence 9 dragons.
Unlike the smooth shorter rolling hills of the Singapore terrain, the Hong Kong mountains rise tall with sharp slopes.
While being driven to the work site, I chatted with my client a little about topography and its interpretation in Feng Shui.
And so this is what I do for my Feng Shui work, going to work sites to make measurements. It involves physical work to walk around the site, and in this case, involves a lot of sweating in the hot summer weather of Hong Kong. It involves more than just giving advice in air-conditioned offices! Well, at least that is how I do my Feng Shui work, on site and hands-on. By the end of the day, after dinner with the client I was absolutely tired out from the early morning flight and the Feng Shui work. I spent a night at the hotel and after another on site visit with the client, I was on the flight back to Singapore in the evening.
Just call me Mr. Chua as in 蔡先生.