Hong Kong Part Three: mussels, geese and boats

Date I was there: 11-12 July 2010

As our big Gap Year trip drew closer towards its end, my travel buddy and I were still not inspired to get out of bed early and as 12.45pm, our host came to chase us out of bed. We all went out to Kowloon with a stop off at a View Point for… wait for it… some views of the suspension bridge, heading towards the New Northern Territories for some impressive scenery around the Gold Coast. We wandered up and down the Piazza, looking at different 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 mussels. They just never seemed appetizing to me  but, after weeks of eating chicken feet, squid mouth and duck tongue, somehow mussels now seemed less weird. Good thing too, because they were delicious and not nearly as slimy and fishy as I had anticipated.

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 roasts whilst I was 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 (chicken in this instance), which was something else that I had yet to sample. Lets just say that I wasn’t inspired to have it again. It wasn’t that it tasted bad, it’s just that I couldn’t get over the texture. It melted in your mouth. Chocolate should melt in your mouth, not liver. I did have the best prawns (with garlic and spring onions) that I’d ever had though.

On the way back, we caught some amazing views. The high-rise buildings sat in between rows of mountains and appeared as purple silhouettes beneath the forget-me-not blue sky, surrounded by the fluffy clouds. The suspension bridge had its lights on and they twinkled over the blue water, whilst boats floated all around. All in all, I could see that Hong Kong wouldn’t be a bad place to live. Sadly, I couldn’t get any photos, as we whizzed along in the car.

The next morning, we actually had to be up at a respectable hour (9.30am to be precise) for our boat day. Our host 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 the city. 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 the day; I can’t remember the cost exactly per person but it must have fitted into our waning budget!

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 applying suncream, I took to the 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. Full of food, we rolled back onto the boat and set off to Clearwater Bay. Sadly, it didn’t live up to the name. 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 owner refused to chase after it. Instead we amused ourselves by jumping from the top deck into the water below. Since we were swimming outside of the designated area, we spotted a jellyfish, camouflaged in amongst the rubbish.

Back on the boat, we sailed past an island covered in satellites, which looked as though a James Bond villain could live there, and headed 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, which was saying something. At one point, as I was kneeling down, the boat rocked sideways and I slid along with it. All in all, we had a laugh 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. The sky was a deep purple with pinkish clouds. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any photos that would do it justice.

After a 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 the lit-up glass sculptures that were dotted around. A relaxing end to a relaxing day.

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