After disembarking my fabulous first class flight, I made it through customs and before I knew it, was on the airport express train to Hong Kong Island where I would be meeting my friend Katie. Katie and I had attended the same university and have some friends in common, so naturally when I decided on stopping in Hong Kong, I dropped her a line asking her what I should be checking out in the short time I had there. Katie being the incredibly awesome person she is, offered for me to stay with her and told me that she would be more than happy to play tourguide to me, since she’s been living in Hong Kong for 3 years and knows it like the back of her hand.
So at roughly 8:45pm on a rainy Thursday evening, I stepped off the train and there was Katie waiting for me. We grabbed a cab back to her place (North Point on Hong Kong Island), dropped off my stuff and promptly went for ‘hot’ sushi. No – the sushi wasn’t hot; one of the boys working there is apparently very good looking , however he wasn’t working that evening so I didn’t get the full hot sushi experience (insert sadface here). After a lovely dinner, we wandered around North Point before heading back to her apartment where we settled in and got some sleep.Friday morning we woke up bright and early, Katie headed to school and I headed to the MTR (the subway) and managed to make my way to OceanPark – an amusement park, which is the only place in the entire country/SAR/whatever you want to define Hong Kong as- to see pandas. I wandered around for most of the day before heading over to Katie’s school to watch her volleyball team’s practice. It unfortunately got rained out, so we had to leave early.
After returning home and freshening ourselves up, we headed out to Wan Chai where we went for Shanghainese food. It was a culinary adventure, with the first dish being jellyfish! ACK! To describe it: cold, slimy, had an odd crunch to it, cut up into noodle-like pieces. Glad I can say I tried it… don’t think I’d order it again though. After that, the meal was more tame, but I did get to try these delicious dumplings: xiao long bao! You basically have one chance to pick them up with your chopsticks without piercing them, because there is soup as well as some meat inside. Once hoisted up in your chopsticks, you take a tiny nibble, suck out the soup, and then proceed to eat the rest of the dumping. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS.
Once finished our culinary adventure, we headed out to see the busiest intersection in all of Hong Kong – let me tell you it was total madness! I’m not one who’s too big on large crowds of people and found it was slightly uncomfortable, don’t let the smile in the picture fool you. We then proceeded to Kowloon to the Ladies Markets where Katie bought herself an absolutely gorgeous white Asian style dress; I managed to pick up a gorgeous hot pink silk kimono for $120HK (roughly $15CDN). We then decided to meet up with her colleagues and friends in Wan Chai for a night on the town. After having a crazy time at one particular bar, we all decided to head over to Lan Kwai Fong – an internationally renowned party/clubbing district — to finish off the night. Lots of drinks, tons of dancing, and loads of laughs ensued. Overall I’m pretty sure good times were had by all.
The next morning was a rough start for us – not to say we were hung over, but just the general tiredness from being out super late + jet lag, made it hard for us to get our act together in a quick fashion. Today’s adventure included going for REAL dim sum and getting four additional stamps in my passport! Firstly, the dim sum. We enjoyed suckling pig (sorry to those cute 3wk old piglets I saw at the CNE this summer- I probably ate one of your Asian cousins), tendon curry (surprisingly nicer than I expected it to be), and some dumplings, amongst other strange and delicious things. Then it was time to hop on the ferry to catch the one hour ride over to the little country of Macau!
We returned to Hong Kong around 10pm, but didn’t make it back to North Point until just after 11pm, when, surprisingly, all the restaurants around seemed to be closed! Us being completely starved decided to settle on some poutine (Yes! With real cheese curds – but they used a curry gravy) and falafel & shawarma. After feasting, chatting and watching copious amounts of Sex and the City we headed to bed.
The next morning, I packed up everything of mine that had magically exploded out of my backpack upon my arrival at her apartment. Then we headed out to Victoria Peak where we got amazing pictures of the beautiful view of Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong Harbour and Kowloon. We then headed to a Buddhist temple on the Kowloon side, followed by a trip to the jade and pearl markets. We bartered and bargained with the vendors, and I managed to pick up loads of cool souvenirs for myself and others. On our way back to the MTR we walked through the real markets – selling literally everything, from dried snake, to fruit, to clothing, you name it! Before we knew it, it was time to head back to do some last minute packing and to eat some lunch. We grabbed some Thai and I enjoyed delicious red curry beef, while Katie had pad thai. As soon as we finished our meal, it was time for me to grab my bags and we grabbed a cab back to Hong Kong station where I was to take the airport express back to Hong Kong International.
Katie was beyond an amazing hostess to me over the 3 days I was there, I got just enough of a taste to want to go back and see more of what Hong Kong has to offer. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on flight deals in the next 7 months to hopefully get back there while Katie’s still living there!
Have any of you been to Hong Kong? What did you think of it? Tell me all about your Hong Kongese experiences!