Date I was there: 5-8 July 2010
After only a two hour flight from Vietnam, my travel buddy and I landed in the Hong Kong heat to be met by our old school friend, who would be hosting us during our stay. After some reunion hugs and a brief train ride, we arrived in the city itself and were picked up by our friend’s mum who took us to their home. We freshened up and headed out to dinner at Times Square in Causeway Bay, where there was a Toy Story theme going on in celebration of the upcoming film (this was a while ago). We were thrown in at the deep end with some casual duck’s tongue. I ended up dropping it on the floor but didn’t make a second attempt. We also had “drunken chicken” (i.e. cold marinaded chicken) and some tasty noodles, fried fish and crispy fish, so overall it was a good start to the trip. We then rounded off the night with cocktails and my first shisha experience at Sahara.
Our first activity the next morning was a visit to Stanley Market. It wasn’t quite the same as the markets we had visited in Malaysia and Vietnam (and also not as cheap) but we do love a good market. It was then time for a Dim Sum lunch, which is essentially Chinese tapas, for those who don’t know Dim Sum. In addition to my delicious spring rolls, steamed pork balls and shrimp, we mixed things up a little with some chicken’s feet. I think my friend and her mum liked trying to freak us out.
After a bit of a rest back at the flat, we went out for something a bit less cultural: we went to see the third Twilight movie in the cinema (it was in English with subtitles). Don’t judge me. It wasn’t a great film but we enjoyed ourselves and filled up on caramel popcorn. We then headed out to Central (or maybe Causeway Bay I forget) for even more food at The Burger Rooms. My cheesy curly fries certainly made up for the chicken feet, which I wasn’t a massive fan of, and my bacon cheese burger was pretty good too. After a wander around Times Square, we had stop-off at a bar in Soho, where a live band was playing. My travel buddy requested they play American Pie, which ended up in her being dragged up on stage to sing it. I just sat and watched whilst sipping my cocktail(s). Our party was joined by a couple of my friend’s friends and our little group then headed off to a sports bar called The Wheel so that we could watch the latest World Cup match until we got too tired and went to bed.
We spent a very tiring morning by the pool, trying to catch some rays (I refused to go home pasty after 3.5 months travelling- but I did have to admit defeat in the end) but decided we had to move when we became peckish. We were taken to a 24/7 breakfast place called the Flying Pan, where we found an actual English fry-up. Hallelujah!
Once we’d had our fill of lying around doing nothing and eating, we caught the tram and headed up to The Peak. We wandered around the mall up there for a little while before collapsing at a table outside McDonald’s and just admiring the amazing views of the city below.
The next day, we ended up at the IFC centre for food (you’ve probably caught the theme of our trip by now). Our meal this time included a feast of steamed pork buns, fried noodles, egg fried rice and fish- just to name a few. We spent a little time in the mall before hopping on the Star Ferry over to Kowloon, where we found a H&M for some more affordable shopping. Obviously it was now time for something to eat. Again we were cultural and went for the local foods: curried fish balls (yum) and pig intestines (err…no). Actually, in all honesty, my intestines didn’t really have much flavour but my companions informed me that they were not nice and they were probably right. For something slightly sweeter, we ended up in a restaurant that sold purely mango-themed dishes. I certainly got a couple of my five a day there.
We explored Mongkok market for a little while and then found a place which had novelty Japanese photobooths. None of us knew Japanese so we just pressed stuff until we got what we wanted. We ended up with 10 pictures of us in various poses which we could then write over them and add in cartoon images before printing them out. A souvenir for life.
After all the photo-fun, we realised it had been simply ages since food has last passed our lips. We decided the perfect place was the Modern Toilet– a, you’ve guessed it, toilet themed restaurant. Mhmm, tasty. There were pipes, urinals and decorative toilet seats on the walls, the tables were sinks with a glass top and we sat on toilets. Part of the restaurant was also designed to look like a shower room. The food was served in miniature loos and basins. What the food lacked in taste, it made up for in sheer novelty-value. They seemed to have run out of quite a bit of food, so sadly although we did have unlimited cake and ice cream, the only flavours of ice cream were taro (a kind of purple potato thing), coffee (which I didn’t like at the time but, since my time at university, necessity has made me into a coffee-fan) and sesame. We didn’t really order ice cream.
In hindsight, our time in Hong Kong was rapidly turning into eating with shopping breaks. We ended up in another mall: the snazzy-looking 1881 Heritage, which was particularly pretty lit up in the dark. Next it was down to the waterfront by the clock tower, where we found a viewing deck from which we could take slightly blurred photographs of the skyline at night.