A Travellerspoint blog

Hong Kong takes the Crown!

rain 10 °C

Hello Everyone,

After enjoying the luxury of a flight from Singapore to Hong Kong we took a bus from Hong Kong airport to the Causeway Bay area on the Island, our home for just over a week. Arriving early evening, the scenic journey approaching the panoramic views of Hong Kong Island filled us both with excitement. We were dropped off at stop number 14, outside mix of tacky Chinese jewelry shops and the lovely Vivienne Westwood. We realised we would be staying in shopping central and the buzz of our street - known as 'Fashion Walk' reflected our feelings. We were both prepared by the dire accommodation that awaited us, but to our delight we were immediately offered a private double room with en-suite (caravan size shower-over-toilet bathroom) when they realised we were a couple. We instantly got a good feel for this guesthouse, and the friendly communal areas with wifi and a kettle, made up for our pokey room.

After a poor sleep on the hardest mattress either of us had ever known, we were ready to embrace Causeway Bay. Every turn we took gave us a sensory overload - modern high rises; run-down tenement blocks; bra's and knickers 'drying' in the damp, cold fog that is the weather here; bespoke, boutique fashion houses; trams; old buses; new buses; trendy fashionistas; City workers and dim-sum hawkers.....it goes on and on. We spent the day exploring the streets and then on to Times Square where we discovered a reasonably priced, but excellent vegetarian Cantonese restaurant on the 10th floor of the World Trade Centre - the food was excellent, tasty dim sum, Chinese tea, friendly service and a city-worker lunchtime buzz that you can't beat. We rounded off the day with a trip on the Star Ferry to Kowloon, munched on bakery treats and treated ourselves to a glass of wine, under patio heaters enjoying the panoramic view of Hong Kong Island.....it was quite magical.

Yesterday was one of those long, memorable great days out. We took the metro to Central (Soho) - another sensory overload of sounds and smells. The main market is legendary - live fish; dried fish; butchered meat of all kinds (see photo's - but don't if you're squeamish!), floristry stalls, row upon row, street upon street. The landscape of this area is really interesting, incredibly hilly, yet withstanding tall tenement blocks; the views are fantastic from any hilltop you choose, of the streets below. We stopped at a very traditional, old Chinese teahouse for traditional dim sum from trolleys in a take you pick and pay later style. Of course, I had no idea what I was choosing and poor Ross wasn't able to indulge, as everything was meat based. After trying at least one bit of everything, I was informed by a helpful local that I had eaten pork and fish stomach wrapped in pig hoof skin...nice! I also enjoyed a char-sui pork bun, some beef and spring onion meatballs and some sweet sponge cakes - at least Ross got one of those! The food was ok, but the experience was fantastic - old fashioned, noisy, rough and ready - the place was sprawling with locals reading their broadsheets, talking loudly, using toothpicks with dangerous speed and some of them laughing at our perplexed faces and lack of language understanding - it was very good fun. Ross was fascinated with the Chinese tea crockery...more to the point, how it was used...the hot water bowl to keep the cups warm and to wash the spoons, was also the water that made the tea.... defeated the point of washing anything. As Ross rightly commented, our tea pourer looked like he's worked there since he was born - huge bags under his eyes, a tired expression, he shuffled from table to table, in his tea stained whites, wiping and pouring, slamming down the cups and plates. He seemed content though.

We went from one extreme to the other, this time to an uber-cool New York style cafe - dark wooden floors and trendy lighting. This was a vegetarian, vegan, onion-free, garlic-free (I'm assuming this is for the Hare Krishna's who eat nothing grown in the dark), wheat-free, gluten-free place; we were intrigued to know how good anything could taste. A decent wrap, dahl soup, and quinoa cake later washed down with some flaxseed shakes....we had eaten well today!

We finished off the day in a tapas-style bar for a glass of wine and some free nibbles (got to grab it while you can!) before heading to Backstage on Wellington street (a quirky restaurant and gig venue) to see Craft Spells from San Francisco. The band (after a 2 hour wait) were actually pretty good and need all the help they can get after their promoters and sound engineers (Songs for Children) let them down badly. We left at midnight to catch the last tube back - all in all, another perfect day.

So far Hong Kong takes the Crown as the most seductive, stimulating and fun City yet on our world trip. It's the sort of City that just makes you smile, even though you can't really pinpoint what you're smiling at.

Hope you're all well back home - I believe it's warmer in the UK than here right now!!

Much love,

Ross and Charlie

Posted by charlieandross 22:14 Archived in Hong Kong

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I am glad you loved it as much as I did! You summed it up in the best possible way-HK makes you smile even if you can't pinpoint why! Everything you did sounds brilliant-it really is a place that has a great buzz.

Miss you x x

by Shalley

So happy you like it! All that you mention bring's back happy memories for me. As you know I loved it the moment I stepped off the plane all those year's ago and I long to see it all again one day along with all that must have changed since.
It's good to know that HK still has that 'special something' that makes you fall in live with it.I hope the weather improves enough for you to go up on the peak tram and enjoy the view's.
Stanley Market is definately worth seeing too.
Lot's of love to you both
Mum xxx

by lee day

The way you write about your time in Hong Kong and the wonderful photographs leave us in no doubt you are both smitten with the place. The meat market pictures prove that nothing goes to waste, literally, from nose to tail! Nothing wrong with that. Have a safe onward journey to Los Angeles, much love, Mum and Dad B xx

by vancoevorden13

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