11-12 July 2010
As our big Gap Year Adventure drew closer towards its end, The Gap Year Buddy and I were still not inspired to get out of bed early and, at 12.45pm, The HK Friend came to chase us out of bed. The three of us went out to Kowloon with The HK Friend’s mum, stopping off at a View Point for… wait for it… some views (of the suspension bridge to be precise), as we headed towards the New Northern Territories for some impressive scenery around the Gold Coast. We wandered up and down the Piazza, looking at different market stalls that were situated near the water edge. We even got a cartoon done of us as a little memento – out of all of us, I think mine was the closest resemblance.
We grabbed a drink at a nearby restaurant and shared a plate of mussels in white wine sauce. So far in my life, I had avoided mussel – they just never seemed particularly appetising to me – but, after weeks of eating chicken feet, squid mouth and duck tongue, I now felt I could handle a few mussels. This was a good thing too, because they were delicious and not nearly as slimy and fishy as I had anticipated. I can’t believe I’ve spent so much time missing out on them.
After our mussel starter, we went off to a restaurant called Yue Kee Roasted Goose, for their famous roast goose – bet you didn’t see that one coming. Despite the hype, I wasn’t disappointed. Back home in England, I am generally accustomed to having my Sunday roast. I’d had the odd roast while I’d been away but this time it was actually on a Sunday – Hong Kong was starting to feel like home. I also took the opportunity to try liver for the first time (chicken in this case). Unlike the mussels, I can’t say I planned to have this one again. It wasn’t that it tasted bad, it’s just that I couldn’t get over the texture. It dissolved in your mouth. Chocolate should melt and dissolve in your mouth, not meat. On the plus side, I did have the best prawns (with garlic and spring onions) that I’d ever had.
The next morning, we actually had to be up at a respectable hour (9.30am – after all our lie-ins that was a shock to the system) for our boat trip. The HK Friend had rented a boat for the day so that we, along with some of her other friends, could take a tour around the islands that make up Hong Kong. If you’re travelling in a big group (I was in a group of 9), I can certainly recommend this as a way of spending a day; I couldn’t tell you the exact cost per person but after 3.5 months our budgets were seriously waning and we could still afford it.
We met up with the rest of our group at Pier 9 in Central just before 11am. The boat had plenty of room for us all to either relax in the shade below or sunbathe on the top deck. I was running out of time to tan so (after responsibly applying suncream) I took to the upper deck. Apparently Lamma Island is particularly good for seafood, so that is where we stopped off for lunch. This turned out to be a good decision as we gorged on sweet and sour pork, fried rice, scallops, prawns, calamari and some kind of fish and shellfish that I couldn’t identify.
Full of food, we rolled back onto the boat and set off to Clearwater Bay. Sadly, it didn’t live up to the name but, despite the rather dirty water, we still hopped off for a swim. We had tried to play with a blow up ball but sadly, as it hit the water, it got carried off by the current and the boat driver refused to chase after it. Instead we amused ourselves by jumping from the top deck into the water below for a while. Since we were swimming outside of the designated area, we spotted a jellyfish, camouflaged in amongst the rubbish, and took this as a sign to get back on our way.
Back on the boat, we sailed past an island covered in satellites which looked the home of a James Bond villain, before heading back to the docks. By this point a mixture of water, sweat and tanning oil had made the top deck rather slippy. Miraculously, I managed not to fall over but, at one point, as I was kneeling down, the boat rocked sideways and I slid along with it. It was enough to keep us entertained for a while and we were all very relaxed as the city loomed into view. It was particularly stunning as the sun began to set. The skyscrapers were all lit up, next to the water, with the mountains looming behind and the sky was a deep purple with pinkish clouds. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any photos that did it justice.
After a super cultural KFC dinner, we ventured up to the IFC rooftop garden, where we found even more great views of the city, and messed around taking photos alongside lit-up glass sculptures that were dotted around the place. It was a relaxing end to a relaxing day.
Read about the rest of my trip:
- Hong Kong Part One: Twilight, chicken’s feet and eating out of the toilet
- Hong Kong Part Two: a night out, city views and palm reading
- Hong Kong Part Four: a giant buddha and a last ladies’ night out