To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!



So this post starts my series of "batched" posts, and I have chosen to start with Hong Kong. A fellow collector, Edward Hong, has been very generous in sending over some very nice covers, which I share with you below.

This first cover has the 4v set on the Judiciary of Hong Kong issued 27 November 08. This set of four stamps was issued "in praise of the just and fair legal system in Hong Kong, and features familiar symbols of [the Hong Kong] Judiciary. Each side of each stamp is equal in length representing equality before the law, and the white background represents a corruption-free society."

The stamps, from left to right, show judges in their uniform (as of 2005 Hong Kong judges wear British-style outfits, including wigs made of horsehair and scarlet-coloured robes), the Court of Final Appeal building in Central Hong Kong (which replaced the Supreme Court of Hong Kong in 1997), a statue of Lady Justice, and what seems to be the mace of the Hong Kong Judiciary. On each stamp is a version of the word 司法, which roughly translates to "administration of justice."

Intersting to note: the 14 September, 2008, Political and Economic Risk Consultancy survey reported Hong Kong and Singapore have the best judicial systems in Asia, with Indonesia and Vietnam the worst: Hong Kong's judicial system scored 1.45 on the scale (zero representing the best performance and 10 the worst); Singapore with a grade of 1.92, followed by Japan (3.50), South Korea (4.62), Republic of China on Taiwan (4.93), the Philippines (6.10), Malaysia (6.47), India (6.50), Thailand (7.00), People's Republic of China (7.25), Vietnam's (8.10) and Indonesia (8.26).

This next cover is an FDC of the Hong Kong Museums collections 6v set issued 16 May 09 during the 23rd Asian International Stamp Exhibition held in Hong Kong from 14-17 May. It features Chinese calligraphy and painting, presenting six selected exhibits from museums and universities in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Post writes, "With a glimpse of the calligraphic works and paintings of celebrated Chinese artists, we can admire the beauty of culture, thereby realising the importance of heritage and art conservation."

The stamps feature the following works of art:

$1.40 Poem in Running Script
WANG Duo (1592 - 1652)
$1.80 Landscape after the Style of Huang Gongwang
WANG Yuanqi (1642 - 1715)
$2.40 Calligraphy of WANG Youjun
WANG Xizhi (303 - 361)
$2.50 Bird in Moonlight
GAO Qifeng (1889 - 1933)
$3 Flower and Butterfly
JU Lian (1828 - 1904)
$5 Figures in Pure Line Drawing (detail)
GU Huai (Qing dynasty)

The stamp cover below bears one of the stamps in the set, but what makes it special is that the commemorative postmark for the stamp exhibition was used and the date on the postmark is also the first day of issue of the stamp!

Last is my favorite of all these covers, again because it shows and commemorates and airport; this time it is Chek Lap Kok International Airport (HKIA).

Construction of the new Hong Kong airport (colloquially termed 赤鱲角機場 or Chek Lap Kok airport since it occupies Chek Lap Kok island) began in 1991 and the airport was opened for civil transport on 6 July 1998, just one week later than the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was built to replace the old Kai Tak airport, which was located in the densely populated area of Kowloon.

The old Kai Tak airport was built in 1925 on a rather small parcel of land and, as Hong Kong began to develop and air traffic began to increase, it capacity was pushed way over the design limit, resulting in many delays. Moreover, terrible noise pollution harried the residents of the area s the flight paths of the landing aircraft flew over city streets. This is also a reason why flights were not allowed to arrive at night, further limiting the capacity of the airport.

Kai Tak was also notorious for its landing approach, which in the piloting community was known as the "Hong Kong turn." Considering that hills and and mountains surrounded the airport and that buildings as tall a 6 stories high could be found just across the road from the runway and that crosswinds were also often causing trouble, landing in Kai Tak was really a feat that demanded concentration and skill. In fact, landings at Kai Tak were so spectacular that spectators would watch planes land for a thrilling experience.

Here is a video of some of the best of these notorious landings caught on camera:

Here is a link to another interesting set of landings, this time with the crosswinds:

The HKIA is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China and the rest of Asia. It has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards in just ten years. It operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings and operates twenty-four hours a day. In 2008, Hong Kong International Airport was the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, and was also the 12th busiest airport worldwide in terms of handling passengers.

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