Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient

Hong Kong… what a city! 😯

Although I only had two and a half days there, I sincerely enjoyed my time. With a constant juxtaposition of seeming opposites, the city has such a unique and vibrant feeling that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

From its towering skyscraper jungles & forested mountain slopes, designer shopping malls & bustling street markets, glass-and-steel structures & bamboo scaffolding, loud and crowded streets & tranquil bays and islands, to its rich Chinese tradition & Western colonial history, Hong Kong is a very memorable place indeed.

Here are some photos that I took from walking the streets:

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So. Much. Meat. 😳

Something I thought was funny was how often I’d see images of skinned animals next to prices outside of eating places:

…are those eyes a couple of cherry tomatoes? Kinda macabre, but I’ll roll with it.
For only 38 HKD ($5 USD), you may feast on a tiny roasted pigeon!

 

…and how random animals seem to often accompany advertisements:

A large, disgruntled Chef Chick demands for you to eat his brethren? Your guess is as good as mine 🙈
A pale horse never fails to make one desire expensive, wearable minerals.

…or how names of some places just wouldn’t fly in the USA:

The bar I didn’t know I needed.

But not everything is so weird. For example, this is apparently a common type of Hong Kong wedding cake:

Just my $.02, but to me, this is less weird than putting a copy of the wedding couple on a cake.
tong kee bao
Bao is one of my favorite things ever! For those unfortunately uninformed, it’s a type of steamed, filled bun with lots of varieties as to the fillings and preparations.
My favorite kinds are the BBQ pork (cha siu bao) and also taro paste!

 

For one of the days, my mom and I were lucky enough to have her cousin Ruth take us around more local places within Hong Kong.

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Fa Yuen Street, known as “Sneaker Street.” Cheap wearables abound!
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Ruth graciously buying a bunch of finger bananas for us from a pro-pot vendor.

Although there’s countless of delicious types of foods within Hong Kong, the kind that my mom and I were most excited about eating was dim sum. So much so, that we ended up going to two different places for it! What is dim sum, might you ask?

Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea for a full tea brunch.

BBQ pork buns, shrimp dumplings, and lotus-wrapped sticky rice with different kinds of meat inside.
BBQ pork buns (cha siu bao), shrimp dumplings, and lotus-wrapped sticky rice with different kinds of meat inside.
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Pork & shrimp dumplings (siu mai), beef balls, and that delicious lotus wrap again.
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Bao with cute faces harboring delicious taro paste inside!
Eating food that has a face just tastes better somehow...
Eating food that has a face just tastes better somehow…

On our first night, Ruth and her husband Nelson were kind enough to take us out to a traditional Chinese restaurant for dinner.

Me, Nelson, Ruth, and Mom
Me, Nelson, Ruth, and Mom. You can see the tank behind us where fish is taken out to be freshly cooked and served!

Here are a couple photos of some of the dishes that we got to try:

Soup made from the parts of animals that aren't usually eaten. Inside this soup is "fish maw", which is the dried swim bladder of large fish like croaker and sturgeon. It has has no fishy taste and absorbs the flavors of other ingredients.
This is soup made from the broth of parts of animals that aren’t usually eaten! Inside this soup you can see the “fish maw”, which is the dried swim bladder of large fish like croaker and sturgeon. It has has no fishy taste and absorbs the flavors of other ingredients.
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Top right: those parts of the animals that aren’t usually eaten (chicken feet, gizzard, etc), but are served anyway just in case you DO want to eat them. Can’t say that the Chinese are wasteful!
A plate of steamed fish and another of lobster with noodles.
A plate of steamed grouper and another of lobster with noodles.

The next day, we took the roughly 25-minute ferry to Lamma Island at Ruth and Nelson’s suggestion. It was a decision I didn’t regret, as the island was a beautiful and tranquil get-a-way from such a bustling and lively city.

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Even on the remote Lamma Island, I still couldn’t escape the far-reaching tendrils of the drama-filled U.S. election. When we passed by a bar that was playing the news, my mother, like many other passersby, latched onto it like a moth to a flame.

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I came to Asia to escape this, not to be distracted by it!

After too long for my liking, we continued on our way and hiked up a pathway into a residential area.

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When we walked back down the valley, we were ready for lunch. I spotted a seafood restaurant that was overrun with locals, so we decided to eat there.

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This fresh sweet & sour fish was everything.
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Enjoying a glass of oolong tea by the sea.

After Lamma Island, we took the ferry back to Hong Kong and walked to the station for the Peak Tram.

Lines were long, but the steep 120 year old funicular was part of the charm and history of getting to the Peak.
Lines were long, but the steep 120 year old funicular was part of the charm and history of getting to the Peak.

Unfortunately, it was a foggy night, so the photos that I took didn’t turn out very well. Here’s the best one that I managed:

Fun fact: Hong Kong has the second largest number of high rises of any city in the world.

So that sums up my two and a half days in Hong Kong! With its simple and well-developed public transportation, amazing and delicious food options, deep and rich culture, and sophisticated fusion of East and West, I can safely say that I would visit again. 🙂

 

Did you like my first overseas post? Was it too long? Too short? I’m still very new to this, so if you have any suggestions for improvements, please let me know! I welcome any comments and feedback.

Thanks for reading, everyone! Please come back for my next post about Brunei.

– Comrade Brad

One Reply to “Hong Kong, the Pearl of the Orient”

  1. Can’t believe you’d eat things with the faces still on it!
    Looks fun though 😬☺️

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