26 July 2014

Hong Kong!



Hello! Last weekend, we flew to Hong Kong with my family. The city was sooo much better than I remembered it to be! Hong Kong yer a beauty, and we will be back.

I know it's //just hong kong// to most people,but this trip will mean more to me than it would to some, for a couple of reasons. Jw has never been to Hong Kong before so showing him (and knowing more than him for once!!) was pretty exciting, Also, Jw. Family. Holiday. Together! We usually go to Hong Kong to shop, but this year, with a closet about to burst, a desire to start living simply and half an Asian Studies degree, we went sightseeing instead.
Pictures taken with a Canon Rebel T3i, or otherwise an iPhone (sorry), edited with VSCOcam or Afterlight.

I have a lottttt of pictures, but I'll promise to keep this post not-so-lengthy.
So....
FOPs, I guess. And by that I mean fresh off the plane. 

We stayed around the Jordan area in Kowloon, which was really convenient because we were surrounded by everything required for basic first world human survival: the subway station, Mcdonalds, and drinking water (by that I mean a supermarket.)

I don't know how to explain this, but the buildings and colours in Hong Kong are unique. Like, you look at a picture online and see a brick orange apartment complex or a forest green gate and you think, ah! That's Hong kong. I love it.

We had dinner at BB Cow, which was just around the corner from where we were staying. I had pork trotters in red bean sauce.  I wish we could have gone back once more, but we didn't and I will always dream of this meal. 

He had beef brisket noodles.


At night we went to Temple Street, where you can find things like phone cases, HK memorabilia,  childrens toys and crafts for cheap. The stretch wasn't as long (or interesting) as I hoped it would be, unfortunately, but it was something different, walking under neon signs and catching a glimpse of the lives of different people: some were trying to make it through the day, others seemed resigned to their everyday routine, and a handful of people were cheerful as ever. It was rather fascinating, for lack of a better word.




This is my favourite shot of the signboards! I think it's because they look like they're floaaaating. ^^ 

This father and son deal was kind of cute and awww-worthy when I first saw them. 

My favourite dessert in the history of EVER is mango pudding, by the way. I had mango pudding almost every day (the best one I had was in Canton Deli in Harbour City.)  We bought this on discount from a bakery around the corner of Temple Street to cool down because the weather was sooo warm.

Spoons are redundant and inconvenient so we slurped it up instead.


THIS WAS SUCH A CUTE SIGHT. BIG KITTY SMALL BOX. MUCH CUTE. 

At midnight we went for egg custard at the Australia Dairy Company.  I read a lot of good reviews about this place beforehand, so stumbling upon the place (seriously, we never planned to go) was a pleasant surprise. We didn't have to queue for an hour like most reviews said, in fact, we barely queued at all, but they do hurry you and hand you the bill immediately when they see you're done. This was the first time I had egg custard so I can't really say much about it, but I do know that it was yummy to me at least! People around me were eating some sort of spam and soup pasta, but I only noticed it when we were leaving :( their menus aren't written in English either so egg custard was pretty much the only thing I could have because I ordered whatever my dad ordered.

( i have too many pictures and i don't like clutter, so click to read more. ) 


We visited Tian Tan Buddha the next day. It was a pretty big deal for me at least because I study East Asian philosophy in university and have read a great deal about different kinds of Buddhism. I am more familiar with Theravada / Korean / Japanese strains of buddhism, so seeing something uniquely Chinese after learning about how Theravada Buddhism had to be repackaged when it was brought over to China was my thaaang.


 See those steps? Somebody's kid went missing when they were up where Buddha was. Everybody up there ran about looking for her, and eventually Jw and I trekked down the steps (256 of them– the most exercise I've done in like, three years) and found her safe with a nice man who had gone off to look for her as well. Eventually, other people found her and came up to her to check if she was alright, offered her a drink, and the likes. It was really nice seeing lots of people stop in their tracks and work together to help a group of strangers. ^^ 

At Po Lin Monastery. I was told by the tour guide that these are supposed to be the past / present / future incarnations of Buddha but I think this is more of a representation of the Trikaya doctrine. 





We also visited Tai O fishing village, where the houses are built on stilts and everyone leads simple and happy lives.





Saw this handsome fella enjoying his fair share of sun. He looked me so much like Booboo, the rottie I had growing up. I miss you so much buddy.

We took a ferry back to Hong Kong island!  


The money shot, hnggg. 

Jw brought me to Disneyland, but I'll save that for another post :) 

V I C T O R I A P E A K was something, looking down on the city itself. I imagine the view at night to be magnificent.

Chris P Baecon <3 <3  (before Jw gave himself his current English name, he went by the name Chris. It's a funny story, but not mine to tell.) 

Took a ride in a sampan (kind of like a tiny wooden boat) one afternoon.We went through Aberdeen fishing village, but this one was different because the people actually live on their boats. Most of their boats were in the harbour because they don't fish in June and July. (The guide mentioned something about a law to protect the fish?)

Check out this floating restaurant!
 


We had lunch at Ho Choi restaurant in Empire Center because most locals advised us against Tim Ho Wan (which is like, really well known and has 2 Michelin Stars or whatever and everyone ravvvves about it). Yeah so anyway they recommended Ho Choi, which had !!the best!! fried carrot/radish cakes and !!the best!! porridge. Ever. Unfortunately, their service was not !!the best!! (but they were pretty reasonably priced. We paid about 50 CAD for 1 serving of xiao long bao, glutinous rice, phoenix claws,  2 servings of siu mai, porridge,  gyoza and carrot cake.) Ps if it's full when you go there, head to the restaurant upstairs.


By the waterfront.

  
We had dinner at The Spaghetti House. I'm still dreaming about this pot of mussels in cream, mm. I ordered a second round of this, and above this you'll find my clam aglio olio (garlicky. Me likey). If I could eat one kind of food for the rest of my life it would be carbs– i'm being clever here because it means potatoes,  pasta and rice. I.e the holy trinity of the kitchens of Tajonest™

The day after was really just frolicking about hilly Lan Kwai Fung in the hot hot HOT sun, and then having lunch at Yung Kee restaurant, and getting excited about my double boiled wintermelon soup, served in an actual wintermelon. Behold:


And then I had the best ice blended chocolate at Zambra at pacific place.  

I got a little too excited when I saw this.  Oh, Canada. I miss you. I miss you!! I miss you!!!!!




I think the pictures sum it up. Thanks, Hong Kong. See you in August!



*As mentioned, because we usually go to Hong Kong to shop, this was our first time venturing out of our Tsim Sha Tsui / Admiralty comfort zone.. so I did some researching and planning for this trip.
I've put some stuff on my Pinterest board and you can check it out here if you'd like to get an inkling of what to do in HK. Thanks for reading!

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